May 4, 2011
Sada Thompson, the durable
matriarch of stage and screen who
won a Tony Award for her portraits
of three sisters and their mother in
the 1971 comedy "Twigs" and an
Emmy Award for playing the
eternally understanding mother in
the television series "Family," has
died at age 81.
Thompson died Wednesday of a
lung disease at Danbury Hospital,
agent David Shaul said Sunday
from Los Angeles.
Thompson won wide acclaim during
an illustrious career that spanned
more than 60 years, during which
she gravitated toward quality work
that allowed her to plumb her
May 15, 2011
Barbara Stuart, an actress with a familiar
if not famous face on television for half a
century, who appeared on nearly 80
television series that spanned much of
the medium’s history, died on Sunday in
St. George, Utah. She was 81.
She worked extensively in film and
television; she may dwell in the popular
imagination as Bunny, the girlfriend of
Sgt. Carter, in the U.S. TV series "Gomer
Pyle U.S.M.C." or as Peggy Ferguson,
McLean Stevenson’s wife on “The McLean
Stevenson Show,” but her television
appearances were notable more for their
frequency than their visibility. She had
small but memorable parts in the film
comedies "Airplane!" and "Bachelor
Party" as well.
May 5, 2011
The playwright, screenwriter and
director Arthur Laurents has died
aged 93. If he was not as well
known as some of his
collaborators, Laurents was
nevertheless intrinsic to the
success of the stage musicals
West Side Story (1957), Gypsy
(1959) and La Cage aux Folles
(1983), and the films Rope (1948)
and The Way We Were (1973).
Laurents wrote the book for West
Side Story, which updated Romeo
and Juliet to the streets of New
York, with gangs called the Jets
and the Sharks replacing the
houses of Montague and Capulet.
Randy "Macho Man" Savage
May 20, 2011
"Macho Man" Randy Savage, the
flamboyant, raspy-voiced former
professional wrestler known for
his bandanas, exotic sunglasses
and "Ooh, yeah!" catchphrase,
died Friday in a Florida car crash.
He was 58.
Savage, whose legal name was
Randy Mario Poffo, lost control of
his Jeep Wrangler in Pinellas
County on Florida's Gulf Coast
around 9:25 a.m. Friday,
according to a Florida Highway
May 22, 2011
Joseph Brooks, who won an Oscar in 1977 for
the song "You Light Up My Life," was found
dead Sunday in his East Village apartment
after an apparent suicide.
Brooks, 73, was facing trial on 82 counts of
sexual abuse. He is alleged to have raped 11
young women after luring them to his
residence with the pretense of auditioning
them for movie roles.
It was a rather difficult fall for a man who not
only wrote the tune "You Light Up My Life,
which singer Debby Boone turned into a
syrupy pop hit, he also wrote and directed the
eponymous movie, which starred Joe Silver
and Didi Cohn.
Undaunted by that film's critical panning,
Brooks wrote, directed - and, despite a
stammer, starred in - 1978's also-critically
eviscerated "If I Ever See You Again."
Brooks was found with a plastic bag over his
head, according to police, with a helium tank
situated nearby that may have also played a
role in his death.
Conaway, who starred in the sitcom "Taxi," played
swaggering Kenickie in the movie musical "Grease"
and publicly battled drug and alcohol addiction on
"Celebrity Rehab," died at 60.
While pneumonia was the cause of death, the
doctor who treated him for drug addiction for years
says it was his dependence on prescription
painkillers that eventually cost him his life.
"Jeff was a severe, severe opiate addict with chronic
pain, one of the most serious and dangerous
combination of problems you could possibly interact
with," Dr. Drew Pinsky said during a taping for
Friday night's "Dr. Drew" on HLN.
Conaway suffered from pneumonia and sepsis in
recent weeks and had been in a medically-induced
coma in an Encino, California, hospital for two
weeks, manager Phil Brock said.
His family surrounded Conaway in his hospital room
Thursday afternoon when he was taken off life
support, Brock said.
May 3, 2011
Jackie Cooper, the former child
movie star who won a best actor
Oscar nomination at the age of 9
for "Skippy" and grew up to play
The Daily Planet editor in
Christopher Reeves' four
"Superman" movies, has died. He
Cooper died Tuesday of old age at
a nursing facility in Santa Monica,
Calif., said his son, John Cooper.
"He just kinda died of old age,"
attorney Roger Licht told Reuters.
"He wore out."
"He was a fascinating guy who
really did everything, from all
different aspects of the business,"
said his other son, Russell
Cooper. "You can't really say that
about many people."