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September 2, 2014

Obituaries

Helen Wagner, 'As the World Turns' Legend, Dies at 91

by Allison Waldman, posted May 2nd 2010 10:00PM
helen_wagner_nancy_as_the_world_turns_cbsOne of the legendary actors of daytime television, 'As the World Turns' star Helen Wagner, passed away Saturday, May 1, 2010. She was 91 years old and still an active member of the CBS soap opera.

In fact, Helen Wagner was daytime marvel. She was on 'As the World Turns' when it premiered on April 2, 1956, and continued in the role of Nancy Hughes ever since. She's in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest run by an actor in a television show.

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David Simon's Dad Dies at 89

by Laura Prudom, posted Apr 22nd 2010 2:45PM
Bernard Simon, father of HBO showrunner David Simon (pictured), has died of natural causes at the age of 89, the Washington Post is reporting.

After starting his career as a reporter for various New Jersey dailies, Mr. Simon served as public relations director of B'nai B'rith, the international Jewish service organization, for over 30 years, continuing to work at the company in varying positions into the '90s.

He died Tuesday at his home in Olney, his son confirmed.

Best known for creating acclaimed HBO shows 'The Wire' and 'Treme,' David Simon spoke fondly of his father in an email to the Post, reminiscing about Mr. Simon's character when his father was in the midst of editing his first book, 'Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. "He tried to systematically delete every single profanity, even those in quotes. He could never be as blunt as the world often is," he recalled.

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'Designing Women,' 'Desperate Housewives' Star Dixie Carter Dead at 70

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 11th 2010 7:52AM
Dixie CarterJust last night I was watching a TV commercial featuring Dixie Carter, talking to the camera about a terrible disease whose name escapes me at the moment. And tonight comes the news that Carter has passed away at the age of 70. No further details have been released yet.

Carter is probably best known for her role as feisty, outspoken (well, all of the women were pretty feisty and outspoken on that show, weren't they?) Julia Sugarbaker on 'Designing Women,' which ran on CBS for eight years. But younger TV watchers might know her from her role on 'Desperate Housewives' as Gloria, the loopy mom of Orson (she was nominated for an Emmy for the role). But she actually starred in several other TV shows over the years, including 'Family Law,' 'Ladies Man,' 'Filthy Rich,' 'Out of the Blue,' and 'On Our Own,' not to mention numerous guest roles on many other shows. Her first TV role was in the soap 'The Doctors.'

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'Dynasty' Actor John Forsythe Dead at 92

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 2nd 2010 4:08PM
john_forsythe_2010_headshotThe distinguished actor and television leading man, John Forsythe, passed away yesterday at his home in Santa Ynez, California, following a year-long battle with cancer. According to his publicist, Harlon Boll, the 92-year-old actor succumbed to complications of pneumonia.

John Forsythe is best known for two iconic roles on television, only one of which included his appearance. On 'Charlie's Angels,' the hit ABC jiggle-cop show of the 1970s, Forsythe was the voice of Charlie Townsend, the man who hired Kelly, Sabrina and Jill as investigators in the Townsend detective agency.

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'Treme' Writer David Mills Dies After Collapsing on Set

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 31st 2010 10:55AM
Treme
Sad news coming out of the New Orleans set of the new HBO series 'Treme': writer and producer David Mills collapsed Tuesday on the set and later passed away at a local hospital. According to the Times-Picayune site, Mills had a brain aneurysm.

Mills was head writer and producer on the show, which is about how a group of people of New Orleans rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina. Mills won two Emmys for his writing and producing on the HBO miniseries 'The Corner' and wrote for several other shows as well, including 'ER,' 'Homicide: Life on the Street,' 'Kingpin,' 'NYPD Blue,' and was a story editor on the CBS drama 'Picket Fences.' He also wrote for several newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

'Treme' premieres on April 11.

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In His Time, Chet Simmons Changed Sports TV

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 29th 2010 1:02PM
chet_simmons_espn_pioneerChet Simmons was a true television pioneer. The things we watch today and consider essential to our viewing, didn't exist before Simmons created it. You know that little show on ESPN, 'SportsCenter'? That was Chet Simmons. All this is important to appreciate because Simmons died last week in Atlanta at the age of 81. In his passing, it's time to appreciate that Simmons was a visionary television executive who had the gumption and wherewithal to make his visions a reality.

Simmons started in his career at ABC Sports, one of Roone Arledge's right hand men, and part of the team that came up with the 'Wide World of Sports.'

Today, the show is remembered as an Emmy-winning program that literally scanned the world looking but 'Wide World of Sports' was really groundbreaking entertainment. You saw things on that show that were new and different and always filmed brilliantly. Whether it was ski-jumping in Austria or cliff-diving in South America, 'Wide World' was exciting. And Simmons understood that sports fans craved more.

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'I Spy' star Robert Culp dead at 79

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 24th 2010 6:25PM
I SpyOne half of the 'I Spy' team is gone: Robert Culp has died near his home in Hollywood at the age of 79. What's even more troubling is the way he died. Culp apparently fell and hit his head while out for a walk and was found by a jogger. He later died at a hospital.

Although Culp is probably best known for his work with Bill Cosby on 'I Spy,' he could be equally well-known to modern audiences for his work on two other classic shows. He played Agent Bill Maxwell on 'The Greatest American Hero' and also played Debra's dad on 'Everybody Loves Raymond.'

He made appearances in tons of other TV shows too: 'Columbo' (he was the murderer four times), 'Murder, She Wrote,' 'Matlock,' 'Robot Chicken,' 'The Outer Limits,' 'Police Story,' 'Dr. Kildare,' 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E., 'Combat,' 'Disneyland,' 'The Rifleman,' 'Bonanza,' 'Golden Girls,' 'Wings,' and many more shows and movies.

Oh, 'I Spy' was a fantastic show. It was shot on location around the world, which is rather rare for a TV show. It's on tonight at 9 on Retro TV. After the jump, the opening (you can also watch the show for free at SlashControl).

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'Daniel Boone,' 'Davy Crockett' Star Fess Parker Dead at 85

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 19th 2010 9:00AM
Fess ParkerThere might be only a certain age group that remembers the TV shows 'Daniel Boone' and 'Davy Crockett' (part of 'Disneyland'), two shows that were really popular with kids in the 50s (it was a long time before video games and Facebook). The star of those two shows, Fess Parker, has died at the age of 85 in California.

Parker had a rather successful run in the movies too, appearing in such classics as 'Old Yeller,' 'The Kid From Left Field,' and the killer ants flick 'Them!,' which still freaks me out today. A lot of the films/shows that Parker appeared in were Disney films. He also starred in the short-lived TV version of 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington' and episodes of 'Burke's Law' and 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.'

For the past several years, Parker had his own winery and wine label and hotel in Santa Barbara. After the jump, the theme songs to 'Davy Crockett' and 'Daniel Boone.'

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'Mission: Impossible' Star Peter Graves Dead at 83

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 14th 2010 11:04PM
Peter GravesPeter Graves died of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home today. He was an actor who seemed to do a little bit of everything, and where you know him from might depend on your age.

He was team leader Jim Phelps on 'Mission: Impossible' in the '60s and also had a memorable role as the pilot Captain Oveur in the first two 'Airplane' movies in the '80s. He was also the host of A&E's 'Biography' for ten years and appeared in several commercials ("I'm Peter Graves..."). You might even know him from voice work he did on 'American Dad.' He had a recurring role on '7th Heaven' and guest roles on 'Cold Case,' 'House,' 'Diagnosis: Murder,' 'The Love Boat,' 'Fantasy Island,' and other shows.

Graves wasn't happy about Phelps being the bad guy in the big-screen 'Mission: Impossible' movie but was actually going to film a cameo in the fourth film in the franchise.

Graves was the brother of another TV icon, 'Gunsmoke's' James Arness. After the jump, the opening to 'Mission: Impossible.'

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Merlin Olsen Dead at 69

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 11th 2010 12:55PM
Merlin OlsenOn January 1 we reported that former football star and actor Merlin Olsen was suing NBC Universal, NBC Studios, and 20th Century Fox for exposing him to asbestos over the years. Now comes word that Olsen has died of mesothelioma in California.

Olsen was someone who had successful careers in both sports and acting. TV drama fans will remember him from his roles in 'Little House on the Prairie' (he played Jonathan Garvey) and 'Father Murphy' (as the title character) and football fans will remember his long pro football career playing for The Los Angeles Rams. He was the 1962 Rookie of the Year and retired in 1976 after being named to the Pro Bowl fourteen times. He also had a career as a sports commentator and analyst.

Olsen had roles in other TV shows and movies as well, including 'Aaron's Way,' 'Fathers and Sons,' 'Kung Fu,' 'The Brian Keith Show,' and 'Petticoat Junction.'

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Corey Haim Dead at 38

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 10th 2010 9:55AM
Haim'Lost Boys' star Corey Haim is dead.

Haim was found by his mother at his apartment near Burbank, CA. There's no word yet on cause of death, but TMZ is reporting that he died of an overdose.

While it's too bad that he might be remembered for all of his recent activities, including drug use, fights, and the unfortunate reality show 'The Two Coreys' that he did with frequent co-star Corey Feldman, he was actually in some good movies when he was younger. 'Lucas' and 'The Lost Boys' are great flicks. Haim also starred in two short-lived TV shows, 'The Edison Twins' in 1984 and 'Roomies' in 1987.

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Police Have Found Andrew Koenig's Body

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 25th 2010 9:02PM
TMZ has a sad and heartbreaking update on the ongoing saga of Andrew Koenig. Police have found the actor's body and his father, Walter Koenig, said it appears that his son took his own life.

Vancouver police released a statement earlier today that said a body was found in Stanley Park around noon that they believed was Koenig, the 41-year-old actor, activist and photographer who played Boner on the 80's sitcom 'Growing Pains'.

Andrew's mother, Judy, and father have just offered a public statement. Through the tears, they thanked the people who reached out to the family and urged people who think they are suffering from depression to seek help through their friends and family.



[via MSNBC]

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Phil Harris, the Captain from 'Deadliest Catch,' Passes Away

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 10th 2010 11:02AM
phil_harris_deadliest_catchThere's nothing more shocking than real reality. Death is real. Steve Irwin dying on the job, for instance, was a huge shock. Here's another dose of harsh reality. The star of Discovery Channel's 'Deadliest Catch,' Phil Harris, has died from a stroke. He had been at work on January 29, loading a catch like usual, when he suffered the stroke. After being flown to Anchorage for treatment, he succumbed despite having shown some improvement.

In a statement on the Discovery Channel web site, his grown children, Jake and Josh, explained, "It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our dad -- Captain Phil Harris. Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end. For us and the crew, he was someone who never backed down."

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'Days of Our Lives' Matriarch, Frances Reid, Dies At 95

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 4th 2010 3:27PM
days_of_our_lives_frances_reid_macdonald_careyIf you've been a soap watcher, you've probably seen the work of Frances Reid. Best known as Alice Horton on 'Days of Our Lives,' Frances Reid died yesterday at the age of 95.

For more than 40 years, Frances was the matriarch of the Horton family, Grandma Alice, one the wisest, wittiest and most charming oldster on daytime. She was 'Days of Our Lives' Rock of Gibralter, her character was the center of her family, the heart that kept it all together even when bizarre circumstances threatened to tear the Hortons apart.

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NFL Pro and CBS Broadcaster Tom Brookshier Dead at 78

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 1st 2010 5:28PM
tom_brookshier_philadelphia_eaglesIf you're old enough to remember before the merger between the NFL and the AFL, or if you're a Philly football fan, the name Tom Brookshier is a familiar one for you. Philly fans will remember Tom as a hard-hitting defensive back and part of the 1960 Philadelphia Eagle championship team.

But for the mainstream NFL fan, Tom Brookshier was the sideman to Pat Summerall before John Madden. That was when the NFC was on CBS, and Summerall and Brookshier were the top broadcasting team.

On Friday night, January 29, Tom Brookshier succumbed to cancer at the age of 78. At his hospital bedside when he died were his wife, Barbara, and his partner for so many years, Pat Summerall.

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