July 12, 2010
Harvey Pekar, whose autobiographical comic book
series "American Splendor" portrayed his
unglamorous life with bone-dry honesty and wit,
was found dead at home early Monday, authorities
said. He was 70.
The cause of death was unclear, and an autopsy
was planned, officials said. Pekar had prostate
cancer, asthma, high blood pressure and
depression, said Michael Cannon, a police captain
in suburban Cleveland Heights.
Pekar never drew himself but depended on
collaborations with artists, most notably his friend
R. Crumb, who helped illustrate the first issue of
the ironically titled "American Splendor," published
in 1976. It was made into an acclaimed 2003 film
starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar. The most recent
"American Splendor" was released in 2008.
"Harvey was one of the most compassionate and
empathetic human beings I've ever met," Giamatti
said in a statement. "He had a huge brain and an
even bigger soul. And he was hilarious. He was a
great artist, a true American poet, and there is no
one to replace him."
July 13, 2010
George Steinbrenner, who rebuilt the New
York Yankees into a sports empire with a mix
of bluster and big bucks that polarized fans
all across America, died Tuesday. He had just
celebrated his 80th birthday July 4.
Steinbrenner had a heart attack, was taken
to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and
died at about 6:30 a.m, a person close to
the owner told The Associated Press. The
person spoke on condition of anonymity
because the team had not disclosed those
For more than 30 years, Steinbrenner lived
up to his billing as "the Boss," a nickname he
earned and clearly enjoyed as he ruled with
an iron fist. The Yankees won seven World
Series titles and 11 American League
pennants during his reign.
July 1, 2010
The actress/singer who voiced Cinderella in
Disney's animated classic has died, aged 81.
Ilene Woods died on Thursday, July 1 from
causes related to Alzheimer's disease at a
nursing home in Canoga Park, Los Angeles.
Woods was an 18-year-old radio singer
when she recorded a demo for the
then-upcoming Disney feature in 1948. Days
later, she was auditioned by Walt Disney
himself, and went on to voice the title
character's speaking and singing parts for
the 1950 film based on the popular fairytale.
In 2003, she was awarded a Disney Legends
award for her voicework on the classic.
July 15, 2010
Hank Cochran, a consummate songwriter
who composed a string of country hits
including "Make the World Go Away" for
Eddy Arnold, died Thursday. He was 74.
Martha E. Moore, his publicist, said Cochran
died at his home in Hendersonville north of
Nashville. He had been in declining health in
recent years, and suffered an aortic
aneurysm in March. He was diagnosed with
pancreatic cancer two years ago.
He co-wrote the following No. 1 hits: Patsy
Cline's "I Fall to Pieces"; George Strait's
"Ocean Front Property"; and "Set 'em Up
Joe" by Vern Gosdin.
He also wrote the No. 1 hits: "Don't You
Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me" by Ronnie
Milsap; "He's Got You" by Cline and Loretta
Lynn; "I Want to Go With You" by Arnold;
and "That's All That Matters to Me" by
July 15, 2010
Peter Fernandez, who provided the voice of
Speed Racer when that animated Japanese
television series came to the United States
— and who wrote the American lyrics for
the show’s theme song — died Thursday at
his home in Pomona, N.Y. He was 83.
July 23, 2010
James Gammon, a squint-eyed, froggy-
voiced character actor who was best known
as the manager in the baseball film comedy
“Major League,” one of the rough-hewn
American types — cowboys, rednecks and
the alcoholic family patriarchs in the plays of
Sam Shepard — that were his specialty, died
Friday at his home in Costa Mesa, Calif. He
The cause was cancer of the adrenal glands
and the liver, said his wife, Nancy.
With a bushy mustache, large, weathered-
looking features and a voice full of gravel,
Mr. Gammon was a natural for roles that
called for men with the experience of dusty
roads, out-of-the-way saloons, physical
work and family travails written on their
faces. And he became a familiar presence on
television and in the movies, lending a
seeming authenticity to settings where the
townsfolk wore 10-gallon hats or overalls —
or both — and did a lot of spitting.
July 27, 2010
Maury Chaykin has died at age 61, his
manager said Tuesday. Paul Hemrend said
Chaykin died at a Toronto hospital
surrounded by family early Tuesday morning
— the day of his birthday.
Mark McKinney, who produced Chaykin's
most recent series, the HBO Canada sitcom
"Less Than Kind," said the veteran actor died
after battling kidney problems.
"He was one of our greatest actors," said
McKinney, adding that the cast was
devastated by the death. "Maury's an actor
of unparalleled gifts, you cannot learn what
he had in spades — you could study for
1,000 years. He had an incredible gift, an
Chaykin had roles in "Dances With Wolves,"
"The Postman," "Owning Mahoney,"
"Mystery, Alaska," "A Life Less Ordinary,"
"Entrapment", and "The Adjuster." He has
also been in the TV shows "C.S.I.," "Boston
Legal," the HBO series "Entourage." His
acting career spans 35 years.
July 31, 2010
Mitch Miller, the goateed orchestra leader
who asked Americans to "Sing Along With
Mitch" on television and records, has died at
His daughter, Margaret Miller Reuther, said
Monday that Miller died Saturday in Lenox
Hill Hospital after a short illness.
Miller was a key record executive at Columbia
Records in the pre-rock 'n' roll era, making
hits with singers Rosemary Clooney, Patti
Page, Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett.
"Sing Along With Mitch" started as a series
of records, then became a popular NBC
show starting in early 1961. Miller's
stiff-armed conducting style and signature
goatee became famous.
Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfeild, Dan Resin, Ted Knight, Brian Doye-Murray
July 31, 2010
Dan Resin was every woman's fantasy. As
the charming face of cleanser maker Ty-d-
Bol, he was an actual gentleman—a
yachtsman, even!—who seemed to care
how clean the toilet bowl was. Sigh. The
actor, who was born Daniel Wrzesien
before tweaking his last name for Hollywood
and Broadway purposes, died Saturday due
to complications of Parkinson's disease. He
was 79. Resin also parlayed his aristocratic
persona into a memorable role as the
pretentious Dr. Beeper in Caddyshack
opposite the likes of Chevy Chase, Bill
Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted
Knight. Additionally, he was a member of
the original casts of Once Upon a Mattress
and My Fair Lady.
July 29, 2010
Lorene Yarnell, half of the mime-dance-
comedy team Shields and Yarnell, died July
29 at the age of 66 after suffering a brain
aneurysm, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Best known for her partnership with
then-husband Robert Shields, the duo
worked the streets of San Francisco before
hitting the small screen, where they starred
in their own 1970s variety show and made
appearances on hundreds of programs
including The Sonny & Cher Show, The
Muppet Show, and the Christmas at Walt
Disney World special (which featured their
signature robot personas The Clinkers). They
were also a hit on the Vegas strip and in
concert halls around the world. Solo, Yarnell,
who began her career as a dancer on variety
shows, is best remembered for serving as
the body of the Joan Rivers-voiced robot Dot
Matrix in 1987's Spaceballs.