June 3, 2011
Kevorkian, the noted advocate for
assisted suicide, died at 83.
Kevorkian, a retired pathologist,
captured the world's attention as
he helped dozens of ailing people
commit suicide, igniting intense
debate and ending up in prison for
Controversial pathologist, writer
and inventor, Jack Kevorkian was
the only son of Levon Kevorkian a
former auto-factory worker who
owned an excavating company and
his homemaker wife. He had 2
sisters. Kevorkian's parents were
Armenian refugees, whose relatives
were among the 1.5 millon victims
of Turkish atrocities in World War I.
June 3, 2011
Singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Andrew Gold
died of a heart attack June 3 in Los Angeles.
He was 59.
An early signing at David Geffen's Asylum
Records, Gold was best known for a
run of mid-'70s albums that spawned the pop
hits "Lonely Boy" (No. 7, 1977) and
"Thank You For Being a Friend" (No. 25,
1978); the latter song later became the
theme of the sitcom "The Golden Girls."
Son of Ernest Gold, Oscar-winning composer
of the "Exodus" soundtrack, and prominent
soundtrack ghost singer Marni Nixon. In 1973,
Gold became the leader of Linda Ronstadt's
band; his work was featured on Ronstadt's
1974 solo breakthrough "Heart Like a Wheel"
and on her hits "You're No Good" and "When
Will I Be Loved." He made his Asylum debut
with a self-titled 1975 LP.
June 3, 2011
Arness, the 6-foot-6 actor who towered
over the television landscape for two
decades as righteous Dodge City lawman
Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke,’’ died at 88.
As US Marshal Dillon in the 1955-75 CBS
Western series, Mr. Arness created an
indelible portrait of a quiet, heroic man with
an unbending dedication to justice and the
town he protected.
American leading man famed as the star of
one of the longest-running shows in U.S.
television history, Gunsmoke. Born of
Norwegian heritage in Minneapolis,
Minnesota to Rolf and Ruth Duesler
Aurness. His father was a traveling
salesman of medical supplies and his mother
later became a newspaper columnist.
June 19, 2011
Character actor Don Diamond, best known for his
role as Crazy Cat in the 1960s sitcom "F Troop,"
died June 19. He was 90 and had been fighting
Parkinson's disease and other medical problems.
The Jewish, Brooklyn-born Diamond, who was
fluent in Yiddish, frequently played Native
Americans or Mexicans on shows such as
"Rawhide," "The Big Valley" and "The Flying Nun"
and, in fact, studied Spanish while attending the U.
During WWII he served in the Army Air Corps,
where he perfected his Spanish while stationed in
Before undertaking the role of Crazy Cat,
underling to Chief Wild Eagle in the comic Western,
he played sidekick El Toro in TV series "The
Adventures of Kit Carson" and Cpl. Reyes on
"Zorro," both during the 1950s. Diamond also
memorably guested on "Get Smart" in the 1969
episode "The Treasure of C. Errol Madre."
Diamond also made less-flamboyant guest
appearances on the likes of "Mission: Impossible,"
"Columbo" and "Quincy, M.E."
June 20, 2011
'Jackass' star killed in suburban Philadelphia car
As a star of MTV's "Jackass" franchise, Ryan
Dunn made a career out of cheating death, one
cringe-inducing, skin-crawling stunt after another.
Early Monday on a suburban Philadelphia highway,
that daredevil streak caught up with him. Mr.
Dunn, 34, of West Chester, Pa., died just before
3 a.m. when his Porsche 911 GT3 veered off the
westbound lanes of the Route 322 bypass in
West Goshen Township, 25 miles west of
Philadelphia. It careered through a guardrail,
flipped over into a wooded ravine, crashed into a
tree and burst into flames.
Killed along with Mr. Dunn was his passenger,
identified as Zachary Hartwell, 30, of West
Chester, an Iraq war veteran who was recently
married. Mr. Hartwell was credited as a production
assistant for the second "Jackass" movie.
June 24, 2011
Actor Peter Falk, known to millions as the
rumpled star of television crime drama
"Columbo," has died. The actor was 83.
He reportedly was suffering from Alzheimer's
Falk first played Lieutenant Columbo (his
first name was never clearly announced,
though one badge image lists it as "Frank")
in a 1968 TV movie. Its popularity led to a
second film and then to the series, which
ran from 1971 to 1978. Even after the show
was canceled, Falk would play the laid-back
detective in "Columbo" TV movies.
"He looks like a flood victim," Falk once said
of his famous character. "You feel sorry for
him. He appears to be seeing nothing, but
he's seeing everything. Underneath his
dishevelment, a good mind is at work.
Frank DeKova as Chief Wild Eagle and Don Diamond as Crazy Cat