June 3, 2010
Rue McClanahan, the Emmy-winning actress
who brought the sexually liberated Southern
belle Blanche Devereaux to life on the hit TV
series "The Golden Girls," has died. She was
Her manager, Barbara Lawrence, said
McClanahan died Thursday morning at
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital of a brain
She had undergone treatment for breast
cancer in 1997 and later lectured to cancer
support groups on "aging gracefully." In
2009, she had heart bypass surgery.
McClanahan had an active career in
off-Broadway and regional stages in the
1960s before she was tapped for TV in the
1970s for the key best-friend character on
the hit series "Maude," starring Beatrice
Arthur. After that series ended in 1978,
McClanahan landed the role as Aunt Fran on
"Mama's Family" in 1983.
But her most loved role came in 1985 when
she co-starred with Arthur, Betty White and
Estelle Getty in "The Golden Girls," a
runaway hit that broke the sitcom mold by
focusing on the foibles of four aging - and
frequently eccentric - women living together
June 4, 2010
Richard Dunn, a longtime character actor who
frequently collaborated with comics Tim
Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, died Friday after
being unconscious several days. He was 73.
His agent of 15 years, William Kerwin, says
Dunn had been unconscious at a Hollywood
hospital since Sunday. Kerwin didn't
immediately know the cause of death.
The lanky, bespectacled actor, listed at
5-foot-10 and 125 pounds on his resume,
often appeared on "Tim and Eric Awesome
Show, Great Job!" on Cartoon Network's
Adult Swim lineup. Dunn also had bit parts on
shows including "Nip/Tuck," "Weeds" and
June 4, 2010
Jack Harrison, who survived the
Great Escape plot by Allied
prisoners in a German prison in
World War II, has died at age 97,
his family said.
Harrison died Friday at Erskine
veterans' home in Bishopton,
As one of the camp's gardeners,
Harrison helped dispose of the dirt
excavated from three escape
tunnels. He was 98th on the list of
some 200 inmates designated to
make the escape on March 24,
1944, but only 76 got away before
guards detected the breakout and
raised the alarm.
The breakout was celebrated in the
1963 film "The Great Escape"
starring Steve McQueen and James
June 2, 2010
Dorothy de Borba, a former child actress
who played Dorothy in the "Our Gang"
comedies in the early 1930s, has died. She
De Borba, whose married name was
Haberreiter, died of emphysema
Wednesday at a hospital in Walnut Creek,
Calif., said her daughter, Janet Moorehead.
The daughter of a singer-dancer-actress
and a drummer for the Paul Whiteman
band, De Borba was 5 years old when she
began appearing in the popular "Our Gang"
series of comedy shorts produced at the
Hal Roach Studios in Culver City.
She earned the nickname Echo around the
studio after her memorable performance in
Love Business (1930), mocking Chubby’s
romantic utterances by trying to repeat
them, in deadpan fashion, but getting the
words mixed up. That scene always made
me laugh as a kid, and I smile now just
thinking about it. (Chubby, reading from
one of his mother’s flowery love letters:
“My heart is filled with joy; I want to skip
and dance.” Dorothy: “My heart is filled with
joy; I want to rip my pants.”)
June 13, 2010
Singer, sausageman Jimmy Dean dies
Jimmy Dean, a country music legend for
his smash hit about a workingman hero,
"Big Bad John," and an entrepreneur
known for his sausage brand, died on
Sunday. He was 81.
His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her
husband died at their Henrico County,
She told The Associated Press that he
had some health problems but was still
functioning well, so his death came as a
shock. She said he was eating in front of
the television. She left the room for a
time and came back and he was
unresponsive. She said he was
pronounced dead at 7:54 p.m.
"He was amazing," she said. "He had a lot
June 20, 2010
Edith Shain, 91, a retired kindergarten
teacher who is widely believed to be the
uniformed nurse whose lip-locking
embrace with a Navy sailor on V-J Day in
August 1945 was captured in a
photograph that became one of the most
iconic images of the World War II era, died
June 20 in Los Angeles, her family
Ms. Shain was working as a nurse at
Doctor's Hospital in New York on August
14, 1945, the day Japanese troops
surrendered, ending World War II. She
and thousands of other jubilant New
Yorkers flooded Times Square, where a
young sailor in Navy blues made his way
through the crowd kissing every woman
he could find.
"Someone grabbed me and kissed me, and
I let him because he fought for his
country," Ms. Shain later said. "I closed my
eyes when I kissed him. I never saw him."
The moment was captured on film by
famed photojournalist Alfred Eisenstadt,
once described in the New York Times as
"a master of the little detail, the homely
trifle, that tells a big story." Eisenstadt's
picture appeared on the cover of Life
magazine later that month.
A symbol of the relief, euphoria and
optimism that Americans felt at the end of
a long, horrible war, the kiss became one
of Life's best-known and most-reproduced
images, appearing on greeting cards and
dorm-room walls galore.
June 27, 2010
Corey Allen, who fatally challenged James
Dean to a "chicken race" in the 1955 film
classic "Rebel Without a Cause" before
embarking on a career as a prolific TV
director, died of natural causes in
Hollywood on Sunday, two days before
his 76th birthday.
With the May 29 death of his longtime
friend Dennis Hopper, Allen was briefly the
last surviving member of the "Rebel" main
cast. He played Buzz Gunderson, one of
the pic's antagonistic tough guys in a
Allen turned to directing in 1969, and
collected an Emmy Award for a 1983
episode of "Hill Street Blues" after being
nominated for another series episode two
years earlier. In all, he shot about 80 TV
episodes and 20 TV movies.
Jack Harrison, at right, the veteran thought to be the last survivor of the World
War II prisoner-of-war breakout from Stalag Luft III, is seen with other
prisoners-of-war in this undated file photo.
|James Dean & Corey Allen from "Rebel Without a Cause"
Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a fiery
orator versed in the classics and a
hard-charging power broker who steered billions
of federal dollars to the state of his
Depression-era upbringing, died Monday. He
A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs, said
Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova
Hospital in Fairfax, Va. He had been in the
hospital since late last week.
At first Byrd was believed to be suffering from
heat exhaustion and severe dehydration, but
other medical conditions developed. He had
been in frail health for several years.
Senator Byrd made his one and only acting
debut as a confederate general in the 2003 film
"Gods and Generals"
June 26, 2010
Vince O'Brien of Haworth, N.J., a character
actor whose long career included memorable
turns as a debauched businessman in the
Broadway musical comedy "Promises, Promises"
and an earnest hotel doctor in Woody Allen's
film classic "Annie Hall," has died. He was 91.
The cause was heart failure, said Liam O'Brien,
Vince O'Brien, who died Saturday, was adept at
playing authority figures, a consequence of his
balding, mature appearance.
"I've seen pictures of him as a young man," his
son said, "and he always had that older look."
He had recurring television roles as judges on
"Law and Order" in the 1990s and the soap
operas "Ryan's Hope" in the '70s and "The
Edge of Night" in the '60s, and as a sheriff in
the cult soap "Dark Shadows," also in the '60s.