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April 24, 2014

in memoriam

'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' to Air Uncle Frank Tribute Show

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 2nd 2011 11:15AM
Frank PotenzaTwo weeks after the passing of Jimmy Kimmel's Uncle Frank, security guard and frequent contributor to the comedian's late night show, 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' will air a special episode dedicated to Frank Potenza.

According to ABC, the tribute show will air Tue., Sept. 6, and will feature some of Frank's comedy pieces, "notable interviews with everyone from Tom Cruise to Kermit the Frog," and an appearance by comedian Don Rickles, who will reminisce about his old friend Frank.

Potenza died Aug. 23 at 77 years old. At the time, ABC released a statement saying Uncle Frank was "beloved by his co-workers and considered an uncle to all. His kindness and humor will be missed by everyone he touched."

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Jimmy Kimmel's Uncle Frank Dies at 77

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 23rd 2011 2:25PM
Uncle FrankFrank Potenza, Jimmy Kimmel's uncle who frequently appeared on his nephew's late-night talk show 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!,' died this morning at 77, according to the AP.

ABC confirmed the news in a statement, saying Uncle Frank was "beloved by his co-workers and considered an uncle to all. His kindness and humor will be missed by everyone he touched."

Potenza was a New York City cop for 20 years before becoming a security guard in Las Vegas (and personal security guard to Frank Sinatra) and Manhattan. He moved to Los Angeles when his nephew hired him for a new gig as security guard/commentator on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!.'

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Ryan Dunn, 'Jackass' Star, Dies in Car Crash

by PopEater Staff, posted Jun 20th 2011 10:45AM
Ryan Dunn'Jackass' star Ryan Dunn died early this morning in a Pennsylvania car crash. April Margera, mother of fellow 'Jackass' daredevil Bam Margera, confirmed to TMZ that Dunn was killed in the car wreck that also killed one other person who has yet to be identified.

The 34-year-old was a part of the 'Jackass' film franchise -- often pulling off eyebrow raising stunts to the delight of his fellow thrill-seeking buddies.

Just hours before his death, Dunn tweeted photo of himself and two pals -- documenting their night out, beer and cigarette in hand.

A photo of the charred wreckage of the car was posted on Twitter and Flickr, apparently by the towing company. The image shows the extent of the fire that must have engulfed the vehicle.

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'Golden Girls' Theme Song Writer Andrew Gold Dies at 59

by Jean Bentley, posted Jun 6th 2011 11:30AM
The Golden GirlsYou might not have heard of Andrew Gold, but you've definitely heard his work.

The singer-songwriter worked with luminaries like Linda Ronstadt, Art Garfunkel, Celine Dion, James Taylor and Sir Paul McCartney in the '70s, but he was most famous for the iconic tune 'Thank You For Being a Friend,' which was used as the theme song for 'The Golden Girls' during the sitcom's seven-year run.

Gold died Friday of a heart attack in Los Angeles at age 59. You know what this means -- Betty White will truly outlive us all.

After the jump, sing along with us as we honor Gold's life (and amazing contribution to the TV landscape).

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'Gunsmoke' Star James Arness Dies at 88

by PopEater Staff, posted Jun 3rd 2011 3:05PM
James ArnessLegendary 'Gunsmoke' star James Arness, a bigger-than-life actor who kept the peace as Marshal Matt Dillon during the show's remarkable 20-year run, died Friday of natural causes at his home in Brentwood, Calif., his family told the Los Angeles Times. He was 88.

'Gunsmoke' debuted on CBS in 1955 and ran until 1975, in the process making Arness one of the more enduring stars on television and the Matt Dillon character one of its most beloved and trusted.

The 6' 7" Arness towered over the cast, including Dillon's deputy, Chester, played by Dennis Weaver. Other supporting stars included Amanda Blake as Kitty and Milburn Stone as Doc Adams.

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Jeff Conaway, TV and Film Star, Dies at 60

by PopEater Staff, posted May 27th 2011 3:15PM
jeff conaway dead
Actor Jeff Conaway, best known for his television and movie roles in 'Taxi,' 'Babylon 5' and 'Grease,' died Friday at age 60, RadarOnline.com reports and The Hollywood Reporter confirms. The news comes just a day after reports that the star would be taken off life support.

Radar calls it "the end a long, sad road of addiction that made him one of Hollywood's cautionary tales." Conaway, known for his roles as Bobby Wheeler on 'Taxi' and T-Bird Kenickie in 'Grease,' was a New York native whose brutal battles with substance abuse came to define the latter decades of his fame.

Conaway was checked into an LA hospital on May 11. As of May 26, he was reported to have been experiencing no brain activity. A source told Radar that Conaway's feeding tube had been removed as of Thursday afternoon and that "Jeff is in no pain whatsoever."

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'Macho Man' Randy Savage, Wrestling Icon, Dies at 58

by PopEater Staff, posted May 20th 2011 3:37PM
Randy Savage
Wrestling legend "Macho Man" Randy Savage died Friday morning in a car accident after suffering a heart attack while behind the wheel, his brother told TMZ. Lanny Poffo says his brother was driving in Seminole, Florida around 10 AM when the accident occurred. He was 58.

The Florida Highway Patrol later told the website that Savage and his wife, Lynn, were driving their Jeep Wrangler when the car veered across a concrete median, rushed through oncoming traffic and "collided head-on with a tree."

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In Memoriam: TV Stars We Lost in 2010

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 26th 2010 10:00AM
Gary ColemanA lot of celebrities die every year, but going over the deaths from 2010, it seems like an inordinate amount of classic TV stars died this year.

We compiled a list of TV-related people we lost in 2010. It's a long list, with links to the full obituaries for each. With so many TV stars passing away over the months, we may have missed one or two, so if there's an obit we overlooked, please let us know in the comments.

Gary Coleman. The 'Diff'rent Strokes' actor had a lot of health complications over years after being born with a kidney disease, but he actually died from a brain hemorrhage he suffered after a fall at home in May. He was 42.

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Remembering Jill Clayburgh, TV Star

by Jane Murphy, posted Nov 8th 2010 7:00PM
Fans still missing 'Dirty Sexy Money' are now mourning anew. The matriarch of the dysfunctional Darling clan, Jill Clayburgh, died last week at the age of 66.

If you only knew Clayburgh from her work on the sometimes-outrageous Manhattan drama, you probably had more of a connection to her than you think. She made several appearances on 'The Practice', 'Nip/Tuck', 'Law & Order', and played 'Ally McBeal's mother.

Away from TV, here's another piece of Clayburghia: did your high school ever put on a production of 'Pippin'? ('fess up!) Clayburgh was 'Pippin's original Catherine on Broadway in the early 1970s.

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Actress Jill Clayburgh Dies

by Jean Bentley, posted Nov 6th 2010 12:00AM
Jill ClayburghTwo-time Oscar nominee Jill Clayburgh died Friday of complications from chronic leukemia, The New York Times reports. The 66-year-old struggled with the disease for more than two decades.

Clayburgh played family matriarch Letitia Darling on the ABC series 'Dirty Sexy Money,' which ran for two seasons and ended last year. She also recurred on the Fox hit 'Ally McBeal' as Ally's mother, Jeannie, and appeared in episodes of 'Frasier,' 'The Practice' and 'Nip/Tuck,' though was mostly known for her film and stage career.

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Stephen J. Cannell, Creator of 'The A Team' and 'The Rockford Files,' Dies

by Jean Bentley, posted Oct 1st 2010 3:10PM
Stephen J. Cannell'The A Team,' '21 Jump Street' and 'The Rockford Files' creator Stephen J. Cannell died yesterday evening due to complications with melanoma, his family told 'Entertainment Tonight.'

In a statement to the show, the family told 'ET' that Cannell, 69, was "surrounded by his family and loved ones" at the time of his death. "Aside from being a legendary television producer and prolific writer, Stephen was also a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, and a loyal friend. Mr. Cannell is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 46 years, Marcia, their three children, Tawnia, Chelsea and Cody and three grandchildren. Stephen was the pillar of strength within his family and he touched everyone he met. He will be most deeply missed."

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Remembering Greg Giraldo: A Smart Comedian Who Never Pandered, But Never Quite Broke Through

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 30th 2010 1:00PM
Greg Giraldo, dead from an overdose at 44"There's nothing inherently smarter about a political joke than a joke about someone's balls," Greg Giraldo told me a couple of years ago when I interviewed him for the Boston Globe.

The general consensus about Giraldo, who died of an overdose Wednesday at 44 years old, was that he was a smart comic. He was quick with a sarcastic slam, which made him a regular guest on the Comedy Central roast series and 'Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.' He could speak convincingly about social and political issues, from foreign policy in Asia to why Americans love their big gas-guzzling cars.

And it didn't hurt that he attended Harvard Law School, passed the bar exam, and practiced law. For some reason, that life never seemed to fit him.

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Why Was Farrah Fawcett Left Out of the 'In Memoriam' Last Night?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 8th 2010 12:30PM
Farrah FawcettYeah, they screwed it up again. While it's great that they included the biggies in the 'In Memoriam' tribute (Michael Jackson -- not a big movie star but he did 'The Wiz' and it would have been odd if they left him out, David Carradine, Patrick Swayze, Natasha Richardson), and film industry vets (Army Archerd, Horton Foote), they left out some people, too.

What about Farrah Fawcett? Sure, she wasn't a huge movie star, but she was in several movies and a big name. I'm sure that the Academy thought of her but simply left her out because she was "too TV." But she should have been included, just as Bea Arthur, James Whitmore, and Edward Woodward should have been included. (Actually, Whitmore died over a year ago.)

I think fans would appreciate less time given to each person if they included more people in the montage. They also have to stop filming the 'In Memoriam' the way they do, as Danny and others pointed out earlier today. More closeups of the people and the words on the screen (and not a shot of the screen in the theater!), less singer/songwriter singing a sad tune.

Update: the Academy says they "can't include everybody."

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