Posts Tagged ‘obituary’

Farewell to Patrick Swayze

He will certainly be missed.  Whether you remember him most for shaking his thing in Dirty Dancing,

Dirty Dancing Patrick Swayze

feeling up Demi Moore in Ghost,

Ghost Patrick Swayze

bringing back big hats in To Wong Foo,

To Wong Foo Patrick Swayze

or helping us forget how bad Keanu is as an actor in Point Break,

Farewell to Patrick Swayze

he was a fine man.  I remember going to the Mountain Lake Resort where they filmed much of Dirty Dancing on location.  It was like a pilgrimage.

Fare thee well, sweet Swayze.


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Ciao, Mrs. Slocombe

This won’t mean as much to many of you, but to me – this is tragic news.

I’m sad to report the passing of Mollie Sugden, who played the beloved Mrs. Slocombe on the Britcom Are You Being Served? It’s one of my favorites, and I’ve seen every episode on PBS many times over. Some would rightfully argue that Sugden was the star – when she made those unintended double-entendres about her cat…it was seriously funny stuff. Almost as funny as the various colors her hair sported each episode – everything from magenta to electric blue.

R.I.P. Mollie Sugden

A fond farewell to a great dame.

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Billie Jean Michael Jackson

Yes, there was controversy.  Yes, there was the ever-changing skin tone.  But ultimately there was the music.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was without question the most influential album in my childhood.  Many, many summer afternoons were spent in our negihbor’s basement, dancing like mad to songs like “Billie Jean,” “PYT” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”  It’s non-stop genius, and for that alone he will be missed.

I pondered various ways to do a tribute, but I think I’ll just let the King of Pop speak for himself.  Here it is – my favorite MJ song ever.  Take it away, Michael.

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Bea Arthur – R.I.P.

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I report the wonderful Bea Arthur has passed away.  Details are still hazy, but it appears she succumbed to the cancer she has been battling for some time now.

A real American treasure, I of course fell in love with Bea while watching every episode of The Golden Girls (several times each).  But that wasn’t all!  She also was the force behind the trailblazing comedy Maude (she won an Emmy for both TV shows), co-starred opposite Angela Lansbury in the original Mame on Broadway, originated the role of Yente in Fiddler on the Roof, and more recently had her own show on the Great White Way.

I was very blessed to have the chance to see Bea’s one-woman show when she did an out-of-town tryout here in DC at the Warner Theater.  It was truly touching and hilarious, and it’s a memory that I’ll always treasure.

In her honor, I offer a YouTube clip of some of her best moments on The Golden Girls.

To truly see her at her best, I refer you to the episode entitled “The Case of the Libertine Belle.”  Genius!

Thank you for being a friend, Bea.

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Farewell to Blossom Dearie

It is with great sadness that I announce (incredibly before CNN or Entertainment Weekly!) that the great jazz singer Blossom Dearie has died at the age of 82.  (Thanks, Telegraph.)

photo courtesy Verve Records

photo courtesy Verve Records

Her gentle voice was admired in Europe and America as she was able to interpret jazz standards both upbeat – “I Won’t Dance” and downbeat – “Manhattan.”  She really made a name for herself in Paris, and you can hear her effortless French in some songs.

But she was first introduced to me as she was to many youngsters in the 70s – as the child-like voice of Schoolhouse Rock!  Dearie was unforgettable singing “Figure Eight” and “Unpack Your Adjectives.”

photo courtesy ABC Television

photo courtesy ABC Television

She shall be missed by me and other fans of the great jazz songwriters.

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