- 09-06-2012, 11:10 AM #53
Art Modell dies at 87
Updated Sep 6, 2012 12:02 PM ET
Former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell died early Thursday, the longtime NFL stalwart who incurred the wrath of Cleveland fans when he moved the team from Ohio and admittedly tarnished his own legacy as a civic leader.
He was 87.
David Modell said he and his brother, John, were at their father's side when he ''died peacefully of natural causes.''
Modell was among the most important figures in the NFL as owner of the Cleveland Browns and a league insider. During his four decades as a team owner, he helped negotiate the NFL's lucrative contracts with television networks, served as president of the NFL from 1967 to 1969, and chaired the negotiations for the first the collective bargaining agreement with the players in 1968.
He also was the driving force behind the 1970 contract between the NFL and ABC to televise games on Monday night.
Modell, however, made one decision that hounded him the rest of his life. He moved the Cleveland franchise to Baltimore in 1996 and Ohio fans never forgave him for it.
''It's a shame that one decision hurt how some people think of him, because he did so much good,'' said Doug Dieken, a Browns offensive lineman for 14 years.
Practically overnight, the man who was one of Cleveland's most notable civic leaders was a pariah in his own community.
''I have a great legacy, tarnished somewhat by the move,'' he said in 1999. ''The politicians and the bureaucrats saw fit to cover their own rear ends by blaming it on me.''
The move was also believed to be the main reason why Modell never made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was one of 15 finalists in 2001 and a semifinalist seven times between 2004 and 2011.
The Ravens won their lone Super Bowl in January 2001, less than a year after Modell sold a minority interest of the team to Steve Bisciotti. In April 2004, Bisciotti completed purchase of the franchise but left Modell a 1 percent share.
''He worked alongside Lamar Hunt, Tex Schramm, Well Mara and Art Rooney, and all of those men are in the Hall of Fame,'' former Browns guard John Wooten said. ''He worked with them in all of those meetings. He was there. It is indeed a shame that he is not in the Hall of Fame.''
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised Modell's work within the league as it was gaining momentum a half century ago.
''Art Modell's leadership was an important part of the NFL's success during the league's explosive growth during the 1960s and beyond,'' Goodell said in a statement. ''Art was a visionary who understood the critical role that mass viewing of NFL games on broadcast television could play in growing the NFL.''
Goodell also appreciated Modell's sharp wit.
''Art's skills as an owner and league contributor were matched only by his great sense of humor,'' he tweeted. ''Any conversation with Art included laughs.''
Modell's Browns were among the best teams of the 1960s, led for a time by legendary running back Jim Brown. Cleveland won the NFL championship in 1964 - Modell's only title with the Browns - and played in the title game in 1965, 1968 and 1969.
But his early years with Cleveland also were marked by controversy when he fired the team's only coach to that point, Hall of Famer Paul Brown, after the 1962 season. Brown then went on to co-found and coach the Cincinnati Bengals.
Modell said he lost millions of dollars operating the Browns in Cleveland and cited the state of Maryland's financial package, including construction of a $200 million stadium, as his reasons for leaving Ohio. The Baltimore Colts had left Maryland for Indianapolis in 1984.
''This has been a very, very tough road for my family and me,'' Modell said at the time of the Browns move. ''I leave my heart and part of my soul in Cleveland. But frankly, it came down to a simple proposition: I had no choice.''
The cost of the move to Baltimore left him financially strapped and with no choice but to put in motion the chain of events that enabled Bisciotti to assume majority ownership.
Bisciotti has since poured millions into the team, financing construction of a lavish practice facility in Owings Mills, Md. As a tribute, Bisciotti insisted that a huge oil painting of Modell be hung above the fireplace at the entrance to the complex.
''He was my friend, my mentor. We will miss him so much,'' Bisciotti said. ''... How fortunate I am to have had him teach me about the NFL.''
Modell wasn't the kind of owner who operated his team from an office. He mingled with the players and often watched every minute of practice.
''Art talked with me every day when I played in Baltimore,'' former Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe said. ''He knew everything about what was going on in my life. He showed real concern. But, it wasn't just me. He knew the practice squad players' names. He treated them the same. He was out at practice when it was 100 degrees and when the December snows came. I loved playing for him.''
If the league mandates a moment of silence for Art Modell this weekend, the Browns should opt to ignore it. Better that than have an embarrassing scene, says Zac Jackson.
Born June 23, 1925, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Modell dropped out of high school at age 15 and worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard cleaning out the hulls of ships to help out his financially strapped family after the death of his father.
He completed high school in night class, joined the Air Force in 1943, and then enrolled in a television school after World War II. He used that education to produce one of the first regular daytime television programs before moving into the advertising business in 1954.
A group of friends led by Modell purchased the Browns in 1961 for $4 million - a figure he called ''totally excessive.''
''You get few chances like this,'' he said at the time. ''To take advantage of the opportunity, you must have money and friends with more.''
Modell's work as a civic leader included serving on the board of directors of several companies, including the Ohio Bell Telephone Co., Higbee Co. and 20th Century-Fox Film Corp.
Modell and his wife, Patricia, continued their charity work in Baltimore, donating millions to The Seed School of Maryland, a boarding school for disadvantaged youths; Johns Hopkins Hospital; and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. The couple also gave $3.5 million to the Lyric, which was renamed the Patricia & Art Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric.
Patricia, his wife of 42 years, died last year.
''`Poppy' was a special man who was loved by his sons, his daughter-in-law Michel, and his six grandchildren,'' David Modell said. ''Moreover, he was adored by the entire Baltimore community for his kindness and generosity. And, he loved Baltimore.''
Art Modell hoped one day the people of Cleveland would remember him for what he accomplished there. Long after the move, Modell pointed out that Cleveland ultimately got the new stadium he coveted, and that the expansion version of the Browns could draw on the history he helped create.
''I think that part of my legacy is I left the colors, the name and the records in Cleveland,'' Modell said. ''The fans in Cleveland were loyal and supportive. They lived and died with me every Sunday for 35 years.''
- 09-08-2012, 02:12 AM #54
Joe South, 'Down in the Boondocks' songwriter, dead at 72
By Todd Cunningham
Singer-songwriter Joe South, who wrote the hits "Games People Play" and "Down in the Boondocks" in the 1960s and '70s, has died. He was 72.
South, whose real name was Joseph Souter, died Wednesday at his home in the Atlanta suburb of Buford, Ga., according to the Lowery Group, which published his music. A spokesman said South died of heart failure.
Find: Video of South singing 'Games People Play'
South also wrote the Grammy-nominated "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden."
South was in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
He was top notch session guitarist and played on Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools," Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" and albums by Eddy Arnold and Marty Robbins.
Dorothy McGuire of McGuire Sisters dies at 84 - Boston.com
Another oldie but goodie.
Dorothy McGuire Williamson,who teamed with sisters Christine and Phyllis for a string of hits in the 50s and 60s as the popular McGuire Sisters singing group,has died. She was 84.
Williamson died Friday at her son’s home in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, daughter-in-law Karen Williamson said. She had Parkinson’s disease and age-related dementia.
The McGuire Sisters earned six gold records for hits including 1954’s “Sincerely’’and 1957’s “Sugartime.’’The sisters were known for their sweet harmonies and identical outfits and hairdos.
They began singing together as children at their mother’s Ohio church and then performed at weddings and church revivals. They got their big break on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts show in 1952 where they continued to perform for seven years.
The group made numerous appearances on television and toured into the late 1960s, making a last performance together on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1968. Dorothy stepped back to raise her two sons,Williamson said. Christine also raised a family while Phyllis pursued a solo career,according to a 1986 profile in People Magazine after the trio reunited and began doing nightclub and Las Vegas performances again.
The sister last performed together in the mid-2000s,and are featured on a 2004 PBS show called “Magic Moments - Best of 50s Pop.’’
“They were a talent at a time when you had to have talent —it couldn’t be done as it is now,’’said Williamson,who is married to McGuire’s son,Rex. “Truly,their harmonies were some of the best and God-given and they always knew that and never took that for granted.’’
The group performed for five presidents and Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. They were inducted into the National Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.
Christine and Phyllis,86 and 81 respectively, live in Las Vegas.
Last edited by BergerKing; 09-10-2012 at 07:04 PM.
- 09-11-2012, 06:05 PM #56
Tiaina Baul "Junior" Seau Jr. (/ˈseɪ.aʊ/; January 19, 1969– May 2, 2012) was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) who became a San Diego sports icon. Known for his passionate playing style, he was a 10-time All-Pro, 12-time Pro Bowl selection, and named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.
Of Samoan descent, Seau played college football at the University of Southern California. He was taken by the San Diego Chargers as the fifth overall pick of the 1990 NFL Draft. Seau starred for 13 seasons for the Chargers before being traded to the Miami Dolphins, where he spent three years before four final ones with the New England Patriots.
Seau retired from pro football in 2010. A standout on San Diego's only Super Bowl team, he was later inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame and the team retired his number 55. Seau committed suicide with a gun shot wound to the chest in 2012 at the age of 43
- 09-11-2012, 06:09 PM #57
Henry Hill Jr. (June 11, 1943 – June 12, 2012) was a New York City mobster. Between 1955 and 1980, Hill was associated with the Lucchese crime family. After he turned FBI informant in 1980, Hill testified against Lucchese captain Paul Vario and James Burke, both of whom were convicted on multiple charges. Hill's life story was documented in the true crime book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi.. In Martin Scorsese's 1990 film adaptation, Goodfellas, Hill is the protagonist.
Argumentatively one of the best movies EVER imho.
And if you have ever listened to him on Howard Stern although a little lowbrow but funny enough to make you pyp
Last edited by esk369; 09-11-2012 at 06:15 PM.
Funeral Services Pending Character Actor Lance LeGault
(CNS) Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2012– 10:27 AM
Funeral arrangements were pending today for Lance LeGault, a veteran character actor whose 50-year Hollywood career included work as a stunt double for Elvis Presley and appearances in television programs such as “Magnum P.I.” and “The A-Team” and movies such as “Stripes” and “Coma.”
LeGault died Monday at his home in Los Angeles, according to his daughter, Mary. He was 75, according to his official website, www.lancelegault.com.
One of LeGault’s best-known roles was that of Col. Roderick Decker on the hit 1980s series “The A-Team,” his daughter said. The actor, a Chicago native who grew up in Chillicothe, Ill., also played a military officer, Col. Glass, in the 1981 comedy “Stripes,” which starred Bill Murray and John Candy she said.
LeGault had a recurring role in 1980 and 1981 on the series “Dynasty,” according to IMDB.
His early credits include stunt double for Presley in “Viva Las Vegas,” “Kissin’ Cousins” and “Roustabout,” his daughter said.
LeGault also did voice work in cartoons and in commercials, pitching products for such brands as Burger King, Dodge and 7-Up, Mary LeGault said.
His voice was also used for time as the narrator of the tour audiotape at Presely’s Graceland mansion.
Glen Larson, creator of the television series “Knight Rider,” said LeGault’s voice was “four octaves lower than God’s,” his daughter said.
LeGault is survived by his wife of 35 years, Teresa; daughters Mary and Teresa; and two sons, Marcus and Lance.
Last edited by BergerKing; 09-12-2012 at 08:38 PM.
- 09-18-2012, 09:44 PM #61
NFL Films President Steve Sabol dies at 69 - Courant.com
By Mike Kupper, Special to the Los Angeles Times
4:19 p.m. EDT, September 18, 2012
Steve Sabol, who helped his father get an unlikely fledgling movie company off the ground, then later took over and expanded the family business, now known to sports fans as NFL Films, has died. He was 69.
Sabol, who had served as president of NFL Films since 1985, died Tuesday, the company announced. He had been diagnosed with brain cancer in March 2011.
"Steve Sabol was the creative genius behind the remarkable work of NFL Films," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we look at football and sports, and a great friend."
Sabol was a football-playing art student with a flair for self-promotion when, in the fall of 1962, his father Ed called him home to Philadelphia from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, advising the young man that they, and a few others yet to be hired, would be filming the National Football League's championship game that December.
At that point, Ed Sabol had never filmed a pro football game. He had not, in fact, filmed anything professionally. He had, mostly, filmed the Sabol family at leisure and at play, in large part Steve playing youth and high school football. Even so, he had convinced NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, primarily by doubling the previous year's bid to $3,000, that he was just the man to record what would be the title game between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers.
For Ed Sabol, who had been peddling menswear for his father-in-law's clothing factory, it was the opportunity of a lifetime and he wanted an idea man he could trust at his side.
Steve Sabol recalled often, "He said he could see by my grades that all I'd been doing for the last four years at Colorado is playing football and going to the movies. So he said, 'I think that makes you uniquely qualified for this.' "
So the young Sabol returned home and shouldered one of the eight cameras the Sabol crew used on what turned out to be a bitingly cold day in Yankee Stadium. Despite camera malfunctions, film breaks and lens freeze-overs, Blair Motion Pictures, as Ed had named his recently formed company, in honor of his daughter Blair, came up with an unusual melding of art and football that set the tone for all that was to follow.
Two years later, Ed Sabol had convinced Rozelle that the NFL needed its own film company and Blair became NFL Films, a wholly owned, yet artistically independent, subsidiary of the league. With that, the Sabols turned sports movie-making into something entirely new, combining gritty, yet artistic, football frames with stirring background music and authoritative narration, much of it written by Steve and delivered in doomsday tones by John Facenda, sometimes called "the voice of God."
As a team, the Sabols meshed beautifully. Ed was seldom short of ideas but what he didn't think of, Steve did. And often, it was Steve who suggested the artistic touches that set NFL Films apart.
"My dad wanted to show the game the way Hollywood portrayed fiction, with a dramatic flair," Steve Sabol told USA Today in 2008. "I wanted to show the game the way I had experienced it as a player, with the eyeballs bulging and the veins sticking out and the snot flying. We blended those two styles."
Thus, the films showed sweat dripping off skinned noses, savage line clashes in slow motion, and a fatigued player on the bench looking like the Indian warrior in sculptor James Earle Fraser's "End of the Trail."
Ed Sabol ran the business, as chairman and president, until turning the presidency over to Steve in 1985. When Ed retired as chairman in 1995, Steve moved into that position as well, NFL Films never missing a beat. Today, it not only films all things NFL — team highlight productions, Super Bowls, blooper shows and various specials for TV — it also lends its expertise to Hollywood football movies and serves as a treasure trove of pro football history with more than 100 million feet of film stored in a fireproof facility in Mount Laurel, N.J. The facility, Steve Sabol liked to brag, is big enough to house a Boeing 727.
George Halas, founder of the Chicago Bears and one of the founders of the NFL, had some initial misgivings about the filmmakers. At first he thought they were spies but later referred to the Sabols as "the keepers of the flame."
Steve Sabol was born Oct. 2, 1942, in Moorestown, N.J., and while growing up nurtured two great passions: art, whose appreciation he got from his mother Audrey, who befriended up-and-coming artists and hung their work in the Sabol home; and football, a craving he developed on his own.
So determined was he to succeed as a football player that when he went to Division III Colorado College as a 170-pound fullback, one with little discernible talent, he decided all he needed was some positive publicity.
He took out newspaper ads, had T-shirts, brochures, buttons and color postcards printed, all touting "Sudden Death Sabol, the Prince of Pigskin Pageantry now at the Pinnacle of his Power." He invented a new hometown, Coaltown Township, Pa., then later changed it to Possum Trot, Miss.
He rarely played for two seasons, yet, in the program for the last game of his sophomore season, a full-page ad appeared: "Coach Jerry Carle congratulates Sudden Death Sabol on a fantastic season." And the next fall, an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper proclaimed, "The Possum Trot Chamber of Commerce extends its wishes for a successful season to its favorite son – Sudden Death Sabol."
Coach Carle, Sabol often said, "looked at me like I was a side dish he hadn't ordered."
And yet, as a junior, having gained 40 pounds, he not only played but was voted to the all-conference team and, he figured, big things awaited him as a senior. Except his father called, saying, "I need you here." So Steve went home, took the only job he ever had and turned it into bigger things than Sudden Death Sabol had ever imagined.
Sabol is survived by his wife, Penny; their son, Casey; his sister, Blair; his mother, Audrey; and his father, Ed, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
- 09-18-2012, 09:50 PM #62
UghhhhhhhhhWAPers do it With A Passion
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- 09-19-2012, 10:10 AM #64
Andy Williams Dies at 84; Moon River Singer Dead : People.com
Andy Williams, 'Moon River' Singer, Dies at 84
BY STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN
Andy Williams, whose corn-fed good looks, easygoing charm and smooth rendition of "Moon River" propelled him to the heights of music stardom in the early '60s, died Tuesday at his home in Branson, Mo., following a battle with bladder cancer, his family announced.
He was 84, and 2012 had marked his 75th year in showbiz. Williams is survived by his wife Debbie and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian.
With 17 gold and three platinum records to his name, Williams enjoyed his golden years playing golf and dividing his time between La Quinta, Calif., and Branson, where he appeared at his Andy Williams Moon River Theater since 1992.
It was on the stage of that theater, in November 2011, Williams announced he had bladder cancer. At the time, he assured fans the disease was no longer a death sentence and that he had every intention of being a survivor.
Born in Wall Lake, Iowa, the son of a railroad worker, Howard Andrew WIlliams sang in his family's church choir with older siblings Bob, and Don. In the late '30s, the boys built up a name for themselves regionally on Midwestern radio stations as the Williams Brothers quartet.
After the war, in 1947, they joined entertainer Kay Thompson in her innovative and sophisticated nightclub act. In his 2009 memoir Moon River and Me, Williams admitted he had a long affair with Thompson, who had been a legendary vocal coach at MGM (she taught Judy Garland and Lena Horne to sing for the screen) and was 18 years the senior of her handsome young protégé.
In 1952, when the brothers' act broke up, Andy launched his solo career, only to find himself broke and without bookings. Giving himself one last shot, he wisely switched his repertoire from clever Noël Coward ditties to the latest pop hits, and his New York club appearances soon included singing spots on the Tonight show (which was in Manhattan at the time), then regular TV shots and a Columbia Records contract.
By the early '60s he had an easy-listening hit under his belt, "Can't Get Used to Losing You," though it was his romantic take on the Best Song Oscar winner from 1961's Breakfast at Tiffany's, "Moon River," that landed him on the map – and kept him there.
The smash hit recording led to NBC's 1962 launch of The Andy Williams Show, which remained on the air until 1971 and then returned as an annual Christmas special. It was on the variety weekly program in 1963 that Williams introduced to America a group of young singing siblings from Utah, The Osmond Brothers.
Despite his own clean-cut good looks – the Williams signature look was a turtleneck under a brightly colored pullover sweater – scandal did touch Williams's life. In the mid-1970s, his ex-wife, French dancer Claudine Longet, went on trial in Aspen for the fatal shooting of her lover, international skiing star Vladimir ("Spider") Sabich.
In the end, Longet, who claimed the shooting was an accident, was found guilty of misdemeanor criminal negligence and received only a 30-day sentence, which she served on and off at her convenience. In his 2009 memoir, Williams, who during the trial had accompanied his ex-wife to the courtroom on a daily basis, continued to defend her innocence.
Longet and Williams were married from 1961 to 1975 and had three children together: Noelle, Christian, and Robert. They survive him, as does his second wife (since 1991), Debbie Williams
Last edited by BergerKing; 09-26-2012 at 08:56 AM.
- 09-27-2012, 11:04 AM #66
Pink Panther' Actor Herbert Lom Dead at 95
Herbert Lom, the Czech-born actor best known as Inspector Clouseau's long-suffering boss in the "Pink Panther" movies, died Thursday, his son said. He was 95.
Alec Lom said his father died peacefully in his sleep.
Herbert Lom had a handsomely lugubrious look that was suited to comedy, horror and everything in between. It served him well over a six-decade career in which roles ranged from Napoleon Bonaparte — whom he played twice — to the Phantom of the Opera.
The London-based star appeared in more than 100 films, including "Spartacus" and "El Cid," and acted alongside film greats including Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas.
But Lom was most famous for playing Charles Dreyfus, boss to Peter Sellers' befuddled Clouseau in the popular "Pink Panther" series, from "A Shot in the Dark" in 1964 to "Son of the Pink Panther" in 1993.
Britain Herbert Lom.JPEG
FILE - An Oct. 28, 1955 photo from files... View Full Caption
"It was a delight to him later in his career to be cast by Pink Panther producer and director Blake Edwards in a comedy role opposite Peter Sellers, and he hugely enjoyed that move," Alec Lom said. "He had many funny stories about the antics that he and Peter Sellers got up to on the set. It was a nightmare working with Peter because he was a terrible giggler and, between my father and Peter's laughter, they ruined dozens and dozens of takes."
Born Herbert Karel Angelo Kuchacevic ze Schluderpacheru in Prague in 1917, Lom came to Britain at the start of World War II and began his career as a radio announcer with the BBC's overseas service.
His first major movie role was as Napoleon in 1942's "The Young Mr. Pitt." The career that followed saw him cast often as a villain.
In "The Ladykillers," one of the best-loved British films of the 1950s, Lom played a member of a ruthless crime gang fatally outsmarted by a mild-mannered old lady.
Horror roles included the title character in Hammer Studios' "The Phantom of the Opera" in 1962, and Van Helsing in 1970's "Count Dracula," opposite Christopher Lee.
A postwar American career was stymied when Lom was denied a visa, though he later appeared on U.S. TV series including "The Streets Of San Francisco" and "Hawaii Five-O."
In the 1950s, Lom also had success on the London stage playing the King of Siam in the original London production of the "The King And I" at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, opposite Valerie Hobson.
- 09-27-2012, 11:07 AM #67
'Sons of Anarchy' Actor Johnny Lewis, Murder Suspect, Found Dead
A young actor best known for a role on the hit motorcycle club series "Sons of Anarchy" has been found dead outside a Los Angeles home along with his elderly landlady, who he is suspected of killing.
The L.A. coroner's office has identified the male found by police outside a home in the Los Feliz neighborhood on Wednesday as Jonathan Kendrick Lewis, 28, also known as Johnny Lewis. Officers responding to a report of a screaming woman came upon Lewis' body outside of the home on the driveway, while the body of Catherine Davis, 81, was found inside the residence.
"He appeared to have died from some type of fall, either from the stairway, or from the balcony, or from one of the roofs," LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told ABC News affiliate KABC.
"The best we're piecing together now is that it appears that some type of altercation occurred inside of the house resulting in the death of the woman. Then this individual ran outside, had an altercation with a couple of neighbors, ran back into the house and by the time we got here, he had fallen or had somehow died on the driveway," said Smith.
Lewis is considered a suspect in the homicide investigation, the LAPD said in a statement. A neighbor and a handyman were badly beaten in a confrontation they had with the suspect.
The cause of death of Davis has not yet been released, but Smith said that she had suffered major trauma. According to the LAPD Lewis was renting a room from Davis.
Greg Sarian, a neighbor of the residence owned by the woman, said that she rented out rooms to boarders. He said that he became alarmed when he heard screams Wednesday morning.
"'Help, help,' from both sides, man and woman," Sarian said. "I was praying to God. 'God,' I said, 'Clean up this mess here, because this is evil place.' Evil place. All kind of people, by the way, coming, different people, coming, going couple of days, disappearing, coming, other people."
Lewis, who began acting in his teenage years, worked steadily in television in roles on "Boston Public," "American Dreams" and "The O.C." His career picked up steam when he landed the role of Kip 'Half Sack' Epps on two seasons of "Sons of Anarchy" and appeared alongside Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart in "The Runaways" in 2010.
- 09-27-2012, 02:21 PM #68
Corrie Sanders obituary | Sport | The Guardian
The Guardian, Monday 24 September 2012 08.42 EDT
The South African boxer Corrie Sanders has died aged 46 after being shot during an armed robbery at a restaurant in Brits, near Pretoria. Sanders was one of the biggest-punching heavyweights of recent years and most famously defeated Wladimir Klitschko to win the World Boxing Organisation heavyweight title in 2003.
Sanders was born in Pretoria. A talented sporting all-rounder, he played rugby and cricket as a schoolboy and later honed a golf game to near-professional standard. His impressive physique and strength, allied to a natural athleticism, helped him develop an intimidating punching power from a southpaw stance, which made him one of the most dangerous fighters of his time.
Claiming 196 wins from 200 amateur fights, he had won the South African heavyweight title in four consecutive years, from 1985 to 1988, before he moved into the professional sport. He won 42 of his 46 paid fights. Perhaps if he had moved to the US, he would have been a bigger name on the world stage. When asked why he had remained in South Africa, he said: "I loved this country too much. It might sound strange, but I felt I had more black fans than white. Whenever I was out and about, they would stop me and want to chat. That was always very humbling."
With his career handled by the leading promoter Rodney Berman, Sanders rose steadily up the rankings after making his professional debut in 1989, winning his first 23 contests and becoming the South African champion in only his 11th pro fight. Wins over fringe American contenders such as Smokin' Bert Cooper, Levi Billups and Britain's Johnny Nelson alerted the cognoscenti to the fact the he could become a potent force in the division.
His progress was slowed by a shocking second-round knockout defeat in 1994 against Nate Tubbs. But he remained undefeated thereafter until May 2000, when he lost a dramatic contest against the future champion Hasim Rahman. In the fight, televised by the American channel HBO, Sanders had Rahman down before being stopped himself in the seventh round. He was 37, and probably past his best, by the time he got his title shot fighting Klitschko for the WBO title in Hamburg in 2003.
The Ukrainian had only lost once in 41 fights and was a hot favourite to repel Sanders, who was quoted as a 40-1 outsider. But the South African produced a devastating display of power-punching to floor the champion twice in the opening round and twice more in the second when the fight ended. Ring Magazine hailed Sanders's win as their "upset of the year".
The following year, Sanders relinquished the then relatively lowly rated WBO belt to fight Wladimir's older brother Vitali for the World Boxing Council title, made vacant by the retirement of Lennox Lewis. This time Sanders looked to have a chance in the early rounds, especially the third when he caught Vitali with his danger punch, the left hook. But Vitali was able to withstand the pressure and went on to establish his dominance before stopping the South African in the eighth.
Sanders fought four more times before retiring, in 2008, and will be remembered as perhaps South Africa's best ever heavyweight. After moving away from boxing, he was a familiar figure at celebrity golf events and, as well as concentrating on various business interests, also worked as a motivational speaker.
He is survived by his former wife, Sunette, and a son and a daughter.
Chris Economaki changed motor sports coverage
The auto racing community waxed fondly on the intrinsic influence and boundless passion of legendary motor sports journalist Chris Economaki, who died Friday morning at 91.
Economaki made his fame as the editor for more than 60 years of National Speed Sport News, once considered racing's publication of record, and also served as track announcer and a pit reporter and host for nearly 40 years of TV race broadcasts on ABC, CBS and ESPN. The Ridgewood, N.J., native's distinctive nasally voice and direct, plainspoken delivery made him a fan favorite.
He also was highly respected by drivers, having virtually covered every legend of the sport during his career. Mario Andretti once said if Economaki wasn't aware of you, "you simply were not a factor in the sport."
OBIT: 'Dean of American Motorsports' dies
Economaki, though, also wasn't known for playing favorites, offering sharply pointed views in his The Editor's Notebook column (which ran for six decades from a 1934 debut when Economaki was 13) and behind the microphone.
In an interview after a multicar crash that started the 1982 Indianapolis 500, Economaki tracked down an ornery A.J. Foyt and conducted a somewhat terse but informative interview on ABC in which the four-time Indy 500 winner fingered Kevin Cogan as the instigator of the wreck.
"Chris Economaki meant a whole lot to my career," Foyt said. "He saw me when I first started, and he wrote, 'You will read about this boy.'
"Chris was writing when racing was at its very best. I'm talking about midgets, sprints, dirt cars and Indy cars. He saw the sport grow to where it is today and how it grew, including NASCAR, and he contributed to that growth. When he was in his heyday, more people would read his column than any column that's been written today by far. He really knew what he was writing about, and he understood the sport in every field of it because he came through all the different types of racing. Today's writers don't understand racing like Chris did."
Four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon said he was a religious reader of Speed Sport News.
"It's a huge loss," Gordon said. "Chris did a lot for that newspaper and for motor sports and he was passionate about all of it. The last time I saw him was earlier this year and still, that is all he thought about was racing, and he cared so much about what was happening in this sport and wanted to make a difference and wanted to get those stories out there. It's just not very often that you come across somebody that puts their heart and soul and entire life mission into that."
Said five-time champion Jimmie Johnson: "I think many generations of race fans and racers and everybody in between has an 'Economaki moment' and remembers hearing his voice and seeing him on television and maybe meeting him. Everything he's done for motor sports it makes me so thankful for what he contributed to our sport and his passion and dedication for our sport."
Known as "the Dean of American Motorsports Journalism," Economaki attended his first race in Atlantic City, N.J., as a 9-year-old and began selling copies of Speed Sport News a few years later.
NASCAR founder Bill France asked Economaki to announce a 1951 race on the Daytona Beach, Fla., road course, and he also was part of ABC's first Daytona 500 telecast from Daytona International Speedway a decade later.
Economaki might have had an even larger impact on IndyCar. The trackside media conference room at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is named after Economaki, who continued to write stories on a typewriter into the 21st century. Though Economaki was perhaps best known for his impact on print journalism, his straight-talking interviews also left an indelible mark on TV, too.
Veteran pit reporter Berggren said Economaki had a simple philosophy for imparting good information during an interview: Ask a good question.
"Chris Economaki became the prototype for all radio and television journalists in his sport," Fox and SPEED play-by-play announcer Mike Joy said. "His depth of knowledge and skilled questioning made network execs understand that auto racing needed specialists to properly cover the sport. Chris opened the door for a whole generation of voices you hear today, and we are all indebted to him."
Last edited by BergerKing; 09-28-2012 at 03:36 PM.
BBC News - Frank Wilson, Motown producer and singer, dies
Frank Wilson, who sang the sought-after Northern Soul single Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) and produced a string of Motown hits, has died aged 71.
The Houston native wrote and produced for artists such as Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and The Temptations but only released one single as a vocalist.
Just two or three copies survived - one of which sold at auction for more than £25,000 in 2009.
Wilson had fought a long battle with prostate cancer but died on Thursday.
Just 250 demo copies of Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) were pressed on 7-inch vinyl, but Wilson decided he would rather focus on producing, so they were trashed.
A rare remaining copy which changed hands in 2009 is the most expensive record ever sold at auction. A prized item among collectors, the song is regarded as a Northern Soul classic in the UK.
"It's always seen as the epitome of the Northern Soul style," said promoter Ady Croasdell who runs the 6T's Northern Soul All-Nighter at London's 100 Club.
"It probably is the most iconic record of the lot, because it does have all the qualities that a classic Northern Soul record should have."
Croasdell revealed news of Wilson's death on the Soul Source website, after being emailed by mutual friend, Los Angeles producer HB Barnum.
Crossdell told the BBC: "He was a much-loved man with a friendly disposition who was delighted and humbled by the Northern soul scene's admiration of his singing."
Wilson was more widely known for his work as a producer and joined Motown in 1965, when the record label set up an office in Los Angeles where he lived.
That year he co-wrote Patrice Holloway track Stevie, the first single to be released by Motown's west coast operation.
He then re-located to their studios in Detroit, where he worked with artists such as Brenda Holloway, The Four Tops and Eddie Kendricks.
He co-wrote tracks including Love Child and Stoned Love by the Supremes, All I Need by The Temptations, Chained by Marvin Gaye and Whole Lot of Shakin' in My Heart by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
He was born Frank Edward Wilson on 5 December 1940 in Houston to James Wilson and Samantha Gibbs, but moved to Los Angeles with his family while he was a teenager.
Wilson left Motown in 1976 and became a born again Christian. After being ordained as a minister, he wrote books and gave speaking tours around the US with his wife Bunny Wilson.
He was also involved in producing gospel music and founded the New Dawn Christian Village in Los Angeles.
His books include The Master Degree - Majoring in Your Marriage; and Unmasking the Lone Ranger. He also appeared on TV programmes such as The Oprah Winfrey Show.
(WXIA) -- Stage and television actor Michael O'Hare,best known for his role as Commander Sinclair on the 90s science fiction series "Babylon 5" died Friday at the age of 60 from complications related to a heart attack last weekend.
News of O'Hare's passing first came from television writer/producer and "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski's Facebook page.
PHOTOS | Notable deaths in 2012
"I regret that I must convey the sad news that Michael O'Hare passed away today. He suffered a heart attack on Sunday and was in a coma until his passing this afternoon."
O'Hare was the original lead actor for the syndicated science fiction series during its first season. He left the role prior to the start of the second season to concentrate on his first love,the stage. O'Hare reprised the role later in the series' run to complete Sinclair's storyline.
In addition to his lead role in "Babylon 5," O'Hare appeared in guest roles in a number of television shows including "One Life to Live," "Trapper John,M.D.," "The Equalizer," "Law & Order," "L.A. Law" and "Tales from the Darkside."
On the stage,O'Hare won acclaim in the role of Colonel Jessup in the stage version of "A Few Good Men" before Jack Nicholson made the role familiar to movie audiences in the 1992 motion picture version of the play.
Last edited by BergerKing; 09-29-2012 at 01:25 AM.
Last edited by BergerKing; 09-29-2012 at 12:45 PM.
Re: The Celebrity Bucket List. (Memorials and Tributes)Bacon should be reclassified as meat candy.Devices: SPH-A620/VGA 1000, Sanyo Katana, BlackBerry 8330, 9630, 9670, MB855 Photon, SPH-L710 Galaxy SIII.TM13, Taking Mobile Nations to the next level!
- 10-10-2012, 10:22 AM #74
Re: The Celebrity Bucket List. (Memorials and Tributes)
Ex-NFL star, actor Alex Karras dies, 77 – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs
Alex Karras, the former Detroit Lion defensive tackle turned actor in the ABC sitcom "Webster," died Wednesday in his Los Angeles home following a hard-fought battle with kidney disease, heart disease, dementia and stomach cancer, according to a family spokesman.
He was 77.
Karras, a Gary, Indiana native, was an All-American at the University of Iowa before becoming a four-time Pro Bowl selection in the NFL, playing for the Detroit Lions from 1958 to 1970. He went on to star in the 1980s sitcom “Webster” - he played George Papadapolis, the guardian of the newly orphaned Webster, played by actor Emmanuel Lewis - and also played the horse-punching Mongo in the 1974 movie “Blazing Saddles."
In April, he joined hundreds of ex-NFL players suing the league over concussion-related injuries, serving as lead plaintiff for what was then the 12th concussion-related complaint filed against the NFL by the Locks Law Firm in Philadelphia.
Karras “sustained repetitive traumatic impacts to his head and/or concussions on multiple occasions” during his NFL career, and “suffers from various neurological conditions and symptoms related to the multiple head traumas,” the lawsuit said.
His wife, "Webster” co-star Susan Clark, said in April that Karras suffered from dementia.
The more than 2,000 NFL players who are suing the league claim the NFL misled players concerning the risks associated with concussions. The NFL has repeatedly said that player safety is a priority and that any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit.
- CrackBerry Genius
10-11-2012, 02:12 PM #75
- 3,213 Posts
Re: The Celebrity Bucket List. (Memorials and Tributes)
Sahara Davenport, dead at 27. Star of Ru Paul's Drag Race.
sahara-davenport-dead.jpgIf You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher...if it's in English, Thank a Soldier
We etch these names in granite to stand against time so we and our children can learn and remember.