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The Final Encore
A tribute to entertainers who've recently left us

sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2010-10-01 15:15
Subject: R.I.P. Stephen J. Cannell, 1941-2010
Security: Public
Mood:sadsad
Tags:dead celebrities, obits, stephen j. cannell
I am absolutely shocked and stunned to discover that my entertainment industry idol, Stephen J. Cannell has passed away last night (September 30th, 2010) after losing a battle to cancer (melanoma).

This just seems completely unreal to me. I have been a passionate fan of all things Cannell since I first became active in fandom in the early 1980s, and discovered that most of the TV series that I had a strong love for all featured episodes writen and/or produced by Cannell. My first great TV love was The Greatest American Hero, which was only the second series (after Tenspeed and Brown Shoe) that Cannell produced after leaving Universal to found his own production company. I edited and produced The Cannell Files, a letter-and-newszine for fellow fans of Cannell shows -- this lasted for 19 issues from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. I met and engaged with dozens of fellow Cannellphiles during that time, and have maintained friendships with many of you in the years since. One of my proudest moments was to hear from Cannell himself, that he kept the issues of The Cannell Files that I was sending him, on his coffee table in his office, proudly visible to anyone who was visiting him. I've got a signed postcard from him, thanking me for all my efforts with that fanzine.

My online persona is shaped around the fact that I "am" CANNELLFAN. That's my e-mail handle on three different e-mail services, not to mention here on LiveJournal, on Flickr, on LibraryThing, and pretty much anywhere else I have an online presence. I've been planning to get a personalized license plate, and my first choice was going to be CNLLFAN or CNNLFAN.

Because of my involvement with The Cannell Files, and the unofficial Stephen J. Cannell fanclub, I (and Becky) ended up getting flown out to L.A. by the Cannell Studios to thank me for my efforts to help publicize the release of Cannell's first two novels. This was supposed to have included a face-to-face meeting with Stephen J. Cannell himself, for which I had purchased a microcassette recorded and had prepared some interview questions. One of Cannell's assistants, Wayne, screwed the scheduling of that up, and Cannell ended up out on his yacht with his family on the weekend that I should have been able to meet with him. Still, we enjoyed touring his offices and seeing his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

My fascination for all things Cannell waned a bit since he left the television industry to become a full-time novelist, though I didn't begrudge him the opportunity to do what he'd always wanted to do...write novels. I just never quite got into his fiction as much as his television productions -- a little too "coarse" for my tastes. Still, he became a huge sensation all over again.

I finally had the chance to meet Cannell in person when he was on a signing tour for one of his books, and got as close as Kansas City, MO (a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive from here). Becky and I drove down to K.C. in the beginnings of a major snow storm. We attended his appearance, at a church that hosts public events, and I got to have him sign nearly all of my Cannell-written books (to that point). When I presented him with an issue of The Cannell Files to have him sign, and explained that I was the editor, he brightened up and told everybody around him how much he enjoyed that fanzine and my efforts 15-20 years earlier. I got Becky to take a photo of my with Cannell (see my icon above).

That's now all I'll ever have with me and Steve, 'cause he's gone. And even though our direct connection was minimal, I still feel like I've lost a member of my family. Hell, I was more interested in Stephen J. Cannell and his life and activities than I am in most members of my actual family.

Damn! This is just...damn. I'm still just stunned. I had no idea he was even ill. Damn.

Cannell.com
Wikipedia article on Cannell
Obituary article on yahoonews
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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2010-07-28 00:33
Subject: R.I.P. Maury Chaikin and James Gammon
Security: Public
Mood:sadsad
Tags:dead celebrities, james gammon, maury chaikin, nash bridges, nero wolfe
Today's entertainment news brought the death of American-born Canadian actor Maury Chaikin, who passed away Tuesday, July 27th, on his own 61st birthday.

Although active in the Canadian (and to a lesser degree American) television and motion picture industry since 1975, Chaikin may be best known for the 2+ years he spent portraying Rex Stout's corpulent, orchid-raising, crime solver Nero Wolfe, opposite Timothy Hutton's Archie Goodwin, for the A&E television network from 2000 to 2002. Prior to Wolfe, Chaikin appeared in dozens of television drama productions, with roles in such series as Seeing Things, Night Heat, Adderly, Diamonds, Street Legal, La Femme Nikita, Due South and Lexx. He took on the Jonathan Winters role of "Fats" in the "A Game of Pool" episode of CBS's 1985 updated Twilight Zone. Following Nero Wolfe, he had guest roles on Andromeda, CSI, two episodes of Stargate SG-1, Boston Legal, the pilot episode of Eureka, and a recurring role on Entourage, that was a parody of Harvey Weinstein.

Chaikin was married to Canadian actress Susannah Hoffman, and had one daughter.

Chaikin on Wikipedia
Chaikin on IMdB

Character actor James Gammon, who over the course of a 44-year career appeared in over 130 movies and television series, died July 16th at the age of 70. In recent years, Gammon's craggy visage served him well, landing him numerous parts that featured him as weather-beaten older characters. Television viewers since the 1990s will remember him fondly for the 70+ episodes of Nash Bridges in which he appeared as Nash's dad, Nick, dealing with the onset of Alzheimer's symptoms. Other series regular roles included Baghdad Cafe (1990-91) and Homefront (1992-93).

Gammon also appeared on stage, earning a Tony nomination for Best Actor in Burning Child on Broadway in 1996.

Gammon Wikipedia
Gammon in IMdB
Gammon obituary in the New York Times
Gammon obituary in the L.A. Times
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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2009-10-20 12:12
Subject: Joseph Wiseman, R.I.P. 1918-2009
Security: Public
Mood:depresseddepressed
Tags:dead celebrities, james bond, joseph wiseman

Joseph Wiseman, James Bond’s Dr. No, Dies at 91

Published: October 20, 2009
Joseph Wiseman, a longtime stage and screen actor most widely known for playing the villainous title character in “Dr. No,” the first feature film about James Bond, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.
MGM/UA Entertainment

Joseph Wiseman in “Dr. No” in 1962.

His daughter, Martha Graham Wiseman, confirmed the death, saying her father had recently been in declining health...

See the entire New York Times obit/article.

See Joseph Wiseman's credits on IMdB

See Joseph Wiseman's credits on IBdB

"The successful criminal brain is always superior. It has to be!"

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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2009-02-07 00:47
Subject: R.I.P. James Whitmore, 1921-2009
Security: Public
Mood:depresseddepressed
Tags:james whitmore, riptide
One of my favorite character actors of all time died today -- James Whitmore.

Article at Yahoo News


He was in dozens of television and movie productions from 1949 to his last filmed performance in a 2007 CSI episode -- as evidenced by his IMDb credits -- but the performance I'll always remember him for the most was as Ben Wilkensen in the RIPTIDE episode "Home for Christmas" in 1985. That was one of my favorite shows from that era, and that was one of the most powerful episodes that any Stephen J. Cannell series ever put on the screen...mainly for his emotional performance as an elderly father mourning the loss of a son and fighting against "the system" that was trying to hide the details of that son's death.

Thank you, Mr. Whitmore, for a lifetime of superb performances! I'm only sorry I never got to see you on stage, since you made it clear that was your preferred performance venue.

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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2008-08-30 16:28
Subject: Good Grief! Jeff Mackay and Julius Carry both died in the past two weeks
Security: Public
Mood:depresseddepressed
Was just checking my e-mail, and got a blurb from >tvshowsondvd.com about how one of my old favorites, Tales of the Gold Monkey is apparently NOT coming out on DVD any time soon. That news was unfortunate enough, but buried in the article itself was mention that actor Jeff Mackay (who played Corky on TotGM and both Mac and Jim Bonig on Magnum, not to mention being a regular on both seasons of the Cannell series Baa Baa Black Sheep), died a week ago on August 22nd!

And, if that wasn't depressing enough, when I went digging for more information (he died of liver failure), I ended up on one of my favorite entertainment obituaries sites (einsiders.com) where on the same page that Mackay's listing appeared, so did an obituary for Julius Carry -- Lord Bowler of Brisco County Jr. fame! He died of pancreatic cancer on August 19th.

I can't tell you how bummed out I am right now. Carry was 56 and Mackay was 60. I looked forward to seeing them in many more television and/or movie productions. My earliest memory of Mackay is, indeed, his role on Black Sheep, although he seemed to pop up on nearly everything Cannell or Bellisario produced in the 1980s and 1990s. My first memory of Carry was as the co-star of Doctor, Doctor, which starred Matt "Max Headroom" Frewer, just a year or two before Brisco County appeared. I haven't seen as much of his work, but his performance as Lord Bowler was terrific.

Man...I haven't lost too many of my on-screen favorites since this year's MediaWest*Con, but these two really rank up there near the top. What a lousy week!
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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2006-12-14 00:13
Subject: Peter Boyle, r.i.p.
Security: Public
Mood:depresseddepressed
Tags:actors, celebrity obits

Holy crap! I don't think I ever saw a single Peter Boyle performance that I wasn't impressed by. Talk about a lengthy, successful career! Damn...I'm gonna have to watch some Everybody Loves Raymond episodes tonight, or even better... Young Frankenstein, or his marvelous turn in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose".

Sigh...another huge gaping hole rips open in my youth...

CNN obit

Yahoo news obit

Boyle's IMDb listing

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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2006-11-22 00:46
Subject: Robert Altman, r.i.p.
Security: Public
Mood:sadsad
Tags:dead celebrities, directors, obits

Robert Altman, the quirky yet artistic director who brought such films as MASH, Nashville, Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean, The Player, Short Cuts and Gosford Park to the silver screen, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 81.

Altman, who both wrote and directed for film and television, first directed in 1951, and his latest film was this past summer's moderate success, A Prairie Home Companion. Known for injecting his films with a biting social commentary and liberal doses of black humor, Altman was nominated for the Academy Award for Directing five times but never won. At the 2006 Oscar telecast, he was given a lifetime achievement award, "For a career that has repeatedly reinvented the art form and inspired filmmakers and audiences alike."

Robert Altman's IMDb page

Wikipedia page for Altman

RobertAltman.com -- currently offline as of 11-21-2006, but soon to return.
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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2006-11-21 01:40
Subject: Jeremy Slate, r.i.p.
Security: Public
Tags:actors, dead celebrities, obits

Jeremy Slate, a craggy-faced actor who found steady work in film and television starting in 1959 and whose most recent appearance was an episode of My Name is Earl in 2006, has died of esophageal cancer at the age of 80 in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to his acting, Slate also cowrote the cult film Hell’s Angels ’69.

Slate appeared in guest roles in dozens of action, drama and sitcom series from the 1960s through the early 1980s, as well as numerous TV-movies. He also appeared in several feature films, including such star vehicles as Elvis Presley's Girls! Girls! Girls! and John Wayne's True Grit. Some of his earliest TV notoriety came from starring in the 1960-61 series The Aquanauts, although he's probably best known for an 8-year run (1979-1987) as Chuck Wilson on the afternoon soap One Life to Live.

Jeremy Slate's IMDb page
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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2006-11-11 01:14
Subject: Jack Williamson, r.i.p. [sf author]
Security: Public
Mood:shockedshocked
Tags:authors, dead celebrities

Legendary science fiction author Jack Williamson died November 10th at his home in Portales, NM, of natural causes at the age of 98.

First published in 1928, Williamson went on to win pretty much every award available in the SF genre, including the Hugo and the Nebula. He was named SFWA's 2nd Grand Master, in 1976, and received similar awards from the World Fantasy Association and the Bram Stoker Awards. In 1982, the Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library was established at Eastern New Mexico University, where Williamson annually lectured.

Williamson had remained an active writer even into his later 90s, with his final novel, The Stonehenge Gate appearing in 2005, when he was 97.

Wikipedia page for Jack Williamson

Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library

Jack Williamson bibliography at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

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sdc posting in The Final Encore
User: cannellfan
Date: 2006-11-11 01:01
Subject: Jack Palance, r.i.p.
Security: Public
Mood:sadsad
Tags:actors, dead celebrities

Oscar-winning movie and television actor Jack Palance has died in California at age 85 (or possibly 87, depending on the source), of natural causes.

Starting on Broadway and in traveling shows in the late 1940s and then making his film debut in 1951, Palance make his mark (and was subsequently typecast) as the hulking, soft-voiced villain in numerous films early in his career. Though he was never truly able to shed that villainous quality, he still managed a vigorous and lengthy career in all aspects of the acting profession.

Palance may be best known by contemporary audiences for his role in the two City Slickers films of Billy Crystal. In the original CS, Palance portrayed Curly, the taciturn trail boss who bonds with Crystal during difficulties on the cattle drive. Palance won the 1992 Oscar for best supporting actor for that role, in a ceremony hosted by Crystal. In accepting the award, he proceeded to drop to the floor of the stage, live, and perform a series of one-handed push-ups, to illustrate his fitness and vigor at the age of 71.

It's hard for me to pick my favorite of Palance's performances, since he's had so many. But here are a few that immediately leap to mind: he menaced Alan Ladd as one of the villains in Shane; the Playhouse 90 production of Requiem for a Heavyweight; the 1968 TV-movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; the oddest portrayal of Dracula ever, in the 1973 TV-movie Dracula; Voltan in 1980's Hawk the Slayer; Batman; and City Slickers.

Death announcement at Yahoo-News

IMDb page for Jack Palance

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