July 2012
Ben Davidson
July 2, 2012

Professional Football Player, Actor. For
eleven seasons (1961 to 1971), he played
at the defensive end and defensive tackle
positions in the National and American
Football Leagues with the Green Bay
Packers, Washington Redskins and Oakland

Following his playing career, he served as a
pitchman for Miller Lite commercials and
acted in numerous TV programs during the
1970s and 1980s, as well as credits in films
including “Conan the Barbarian” (1982). He
died from prostate cancer.  
Andy Griffith
July 3, 2012

Actor Andy Griffith, who won the hearts of
1960s TV viewers with his role as gentle
Sheriff Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith
Show,” then returned as a 1980s country
lawyer in “Matlock,” died Tuesday at 86.

Griffith began his entertainment career
with comic monologues and moved into
movies, debuting in 1957’s “A Face in the
Crowd” with Patricia Neal. But it was as the
widower sheriff Andy Taylor on “The Andy
Griffith Show” that he really made his
mark. The show, which also starred a
young Ron Howard as Griffith’s son Opie,
and comedian Don Knotts as bumbling
Deputy Barney Fife, ran from 1960-1968.
Its setting, in the fictional small-town of
Mayberry, became almost as famous as
any one episode.
Ernest Borgnine
July 8, 2012

Ernest Borgnine, the beefy screen star
known for blustery, often villainous
roles, but who won the best-actor
Oscar for playing against type as a
lovesick butcher in "Marty" in 1955, died
Sunday. He was 95.

Borgnine died of renal failure at
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his
wife and children at his side.

Borgnine, who endeared himself to a
generation of Baby Boomers with the
1960s TV comedy "McHale's Navy," first
attracted notice in the early 1950s in
villain roles, notably as the vicious Fatso
Judson, who beat Frank Sinatra to
death in "From Here to Eternity."
Griffith returned to TV stardom in 1986 as Ben Matlock, a Southern lawyer. That show ran until 1995 and was
seized upon by comedians as a punchline for its popularity with older Americans. In one “Simpsons” episode, a
highway is renamed the Matlock Expressway so a town mayor can win the elderly vote.

Griffith is survived by wife Cindi and his daughter Dixie. Son Andrew Jr., known as Sam, died in 1996.
Then came "Marty," a low-budget film based on a Paddy Chayefsky television play that starred Rod Steiger.
Borgnine played a 34-year-old who fears he is so unattractive he will never find romance. Then, at a dance,
he meets a girl with the same fear.
Celeste Holm
July 15, 2012

Celeste Holm, a versatile, bright-eyed
blonde who soared to Broadway fame in
“Oklahoma!” and won an Oscar in
“Gentleman’s Agreement” but whose last
years were filled with financial difficulty and
estrangement from her sons, has died. She
was 95.

Holm had been hospitalized about two
weeks ago with dehydration after a fire in
actor Robert De Niro’s apartment in the
same Manhattan building. She had asked
her husband on Friday to bring her home,
and she spent her final days with her
husband, Frank Basile, and other relatives
and close friends by her side, said Amy
Phillips, a great-niece of Holm’s who
answered the phone at Holm’s apartment
on today.

In a career that spanned more than half a
century, Holm played everyone from Ado
Annie — the girl who just can’t say no in
“Oklahoma!”— to a worldly theatrical agent
in the 1991 comedy “I Hate Hamlet” to
guest star turns on TV shows such as
“Fantasy Island” and “Love Boat II” to Bette
Davis’ best friend in “All About Eve.”

She won the Academy Award in 1947 for
best supporting actress for her performance
in “Gentlemen’s Agreement” and received
Oscar nominations for “Come to the Stable”
and “All About Eve”.
Donald J. Sobol
July 11, 2012

Donald J. Sobol, the author of the
beloved “Encyclopedia Brown” series for
children, died in Miami on Wednesday,
July 11 at the age of 87, a spokesperson
for his publishing house confirmed. Sobol
wrote more than 80 books throughout
his career and his work has been
translated into 12 languages.

Sobol “died of natural causes after a brief
illness,” revealed Jessica Shoffel, a
publicist at Penguin Young Readers Group.

Sobol was a reporter for the New York
Sun. Though Sobol began writing
mysteries in the 1950s, the first
"Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective"
book wasn’t published until 1963, after it
was repeatedly turned down by
publishers. Once published, however, the
book became so popular Sobol soon
followed with more stories about 10-year-
old Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown and his
sidekick Sally Kimball. Eventually the
series would number almost 30 books,
earning him an Edgar Award from the
Mystery Writers of America in 1976.
Sherman Hemsley
July 24, 2012

Sherman Hemsley, the hot-tempered, upwardly mobile, janitor-
turned-dry-cleaner-owner George Jefferson in TV's iconic The
Jeffersons, has died at 74.

Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas, police say. A
cause of death was not immediately known.

Introduced each week with the gospel Movin' On Up theme
song, producer Norman Lear's show gave Hemsley a larger-
than-life character who delivered a brand of comedy all his own.

Zingers like "If I paid you to think, you could cash your check
at the penny arcade!" paired with over-the-top gestures left
audiences across the country in stitches. The show has lived
on for years in reruns on cable.

The actor, who first played the role in All in the Family – going
head to bigoted head with Carroll O'Connor's Archie Bunker –
went on to embody a softer character, Deacon Ernest Frye on
TV's Amen.
Chad EVerett
July 24, 2012

Chad Everett, a ruggedly handsome actor
who played young Dr. Joe Gannon on the TV
drama "Medical Center," has died. He was 75.

Everett died Tuesday at his home in the Los
Angeles area after battling lung cancer, his
daughter Katherine Thorp told the
Associated Press. Everett's wife of 45 years,
actress Shelby Grant, died of an aneurysm in
June 2011 at 74.
Lupe Ontiveros
July 26, 2012

Noted film and TV actress Lupe Ontiveros, who lost her
battle with liver cancer Thursday. She was 69.

An Emmy Award-winning actress, well-known for her role
as Juanita “Mama” Solis in the comedy/drama/mystery
television series of Desperate Housewives & Gabby Solis'
mother-in-law and as Yolonda Saldivar in the film Selena.

Lupe Ontiveros (born as Guadalupe Moreno) was born in
El Paso, Texas, but later moved to California after she
married her husband Elías. Ontiveros kicked off her
acting career by starring in small movies, such as El
Norte (1983), and also received a small roll as the Latina
housekeeper in the 1985 Columbus/Spielberg film The
Goonies. Ontiveros continued to star in small films
throughout the 80s and 90s.

Recently, Ontiveros starred alongside Ugly Betty star
America Ferrera in the 2002 film Real Women Have
Curves, and in 2004, received her roll in Desperate
Sally Ride
July 23, 2012

In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in
space. She blasted off aboard Challenger, culminating a
long journey that started in 1977 when the Ph.D.
candidate answered an ad seeking astronauts for NASA

In a lecture she gave at Berkeley, Ride said she saw the
ad on Page 3 of the student newspaper.

"The moment I saw that ad, I knew that's what I wanted
to do," she said.

Ride died July 23 in La Jolla, Calif., after a 17-month
battle with pancreatic cancer, her company said on its
website. She was 61.

According to her official biography, by the time Ride
decided to apply to become an astronaut, she had
already received degrees in physics and English and was
on her way to a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University.
Norman Alden
July 27, 2012

veteran character actor Norman Alden has passed away at the
age of 87. He died of natural causes on July 27th in a Los
Angeles nursing home.

Alden had a long career that included playing the soda shop
owner in Back to the Future and the color-blind cameraman in
Ed Wood, as well as providing voices for animated films like
Disney’s The Sword in the Stone and 1986′s Transformers: the

Television audiences recognized him from playing Professor
Frank Heflin in Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Coach Leroy
Fedder on Norman Lear’s Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and
Johnny Ringo on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp TV series.
Other TV appearances included Gunsmoke, The Untouchables,
My Three Sons, Bonanza, Charlie’s Angels, The Mod Squad,
Mannix, The A-Team, and JAG.
R.G. Armstrong
July 27, 2012

R. G. Armstrong Jr., a rough-hewed character actor
known for playing sheriffs, outlaws and other macho roles,
died on Friday at his home in Studio City, Calif. He was 95.

Mr. Armstrong’s five-decade career took off with guest
spots on virtually all the popular Western television shows
of the 1950s and ’60s, including “Have Gun — Will Travel”
and “Gunsmoke.” Departing from westerns, Mr. Armstrong
performed with James Earl Jones in “The Great White
Hope” and with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the alien-thriller
“Predator.” He appeared on innumerable non-western
television shows like “The Twilight Zone” and “The Andy
Griffith Show,” and was a favorite of Warren Beatty’s. Mr.
Beatty cast him in the films “Heaven Can Wait,” “Reds” and
as Pruneface in “Dick Tracy.”
Gore Vidal
July 31, 2012

Gore Vidal the author, playwright and
commentator has died in Los Angeles.

Burr Steers says Vidal died at his home in the
Hollywood Hills at about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday of
complications from pneumonia. Steers said Vidal
had been living alone in the home and had been
sick for "quite a while."

The acerbic Vidal was known for such best-selling
novels as "Burr" and "Myra Breckenridge," the
play "The Best Man" and for essays on everything
from politics and literature to sex and religion.

In the 1960s and '70s, he was a fixture on talk
shows and other television programs and feuded
openly with Norman Mailer, William F. Buckley and
others. He also worked on screenplays and
appeared in several movies, including "Bob
Roberts" and "With Honors."