July 1, 2009
The family of Karl Malden says the actor
who won an Oscar for his role in “A
Streetcar Named Desire” has died at age 97.
Malden’s family informed the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts & Sciences of his death
on Wednesday. Malden served as the
academy’s president from 1989-92.
He made his screen debut in the 1940
movie “They Knew What They Wanted,”
and was praised for his role as Mitch in the
1951 classic “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
His greatest fame came as Detective Mike
Stone in the 1970s TV series “The Streets
of San Francisco,” in which he co-starred
with Michael Douglas.
Malden also was a pitchman for American
Express in a series of commercials airing
over 21 years.
July 17, 2009
Legendary newsman, former CBS anchor
Walter Cronkite dies at 92
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American
broadcast journalist, best known as
anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19
years (1962–81). Although he reported many
events from 1937-1981, including bombing in
World War II, the Nuremberg trials, combat
in the Vietnam War, the death of JFK,
Watergate, and the Iran Hostage Crisis, he
was known for extensive TV coverage of the
U.S. space program, from Project Mercury to
the Moon landings, to the Space Shuttle. He
was the only non-NASA recipient of a Moon-
rock award. The moon landing was one of the
few times in his distinguished career that the
usually businesslike Cronkite let his opinions
and emotions show through on the air.
After the Apollo 11 crew famously announced
to the world that "The Eagle has landed," the
cameras in the studio showed Cronkite
pulling off his trademark dark-rimmed glasses
and he spoke for an entire nation as he said
in astonishment, "Oh boy!" Cronkite also
memorably fought back tears as he
announced the assassination death of
President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
But most of the time Cronkite was the
authoritative gatekeeper of television news
for a generation. It was his reputation for
accuracy and fairness that earned him the
title "Most trusted man in America."
Cronkite began his reporting career in 1935
after he dropped out of college in his junior
year and ended when he retired from CBS
News in 1981. He was a distinguished World
War II correspondent for United Press
International and was hired at CBS News in
1950 by another television news legend,
Edward R. Murrow.
It was Cronkite's tradition to end each
newscast with his trademark phrase, "... And
that's the way it is," followed by the date.
We will borrow from that tradition to say that
the world has lost a great television
journalist. And that's the way it is, July 17,
July 4, 2009
Actress Brenda Joyce, who became
famous for her role of ‘Jane’ in Tarzan
movies, died of pneumonia on July 4 at a
hospital in Santa Monica. She was 92. A
family friend, David Ragan, revealed she
suffered from dementia for a decade.
Joyce, real name Betty Leabo, succeeded
Maureen O'Sullivan for the character of
‘Jane’ in the jungle flicks, a step which
increased her popularity. She was cast in
five Tarzan movies in the 1940s,
alongside Johnny Weissmuller and later
Lex Barker, making her the only actress
to star as Jane with two different heroes
Gidget, the Taco Bell Chihuahua
July 21, 2009
Gidget, the Chihuahua best known for her
Taco Bell ad campaign, died from a stroke
on Tuesday night at age 15. She charmed
millions without ever saying a word, and
managed to make fast food tacos adorable.
The mostly retired actor lived out her final
days lying in the sun. Some corporate
pitch dogs get too big for their collars.
Eventually, they start wearing sunglasses
and scheming on human women. (Spuds
Mckenzie, we're looking at you.) Gidget,
the Taco Bell Chihuahua, kept it simple
with a few catch phrases and a funny
Mexican accent. But man, that dog could
sell some gorditas.