Thursday, December 29, 2016

Obituary: Carrie Fisher

Carrie Frances Fisher  was born on 21 October 1956 as the only daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher{Source}. She has one full brother, two younger paternal half-sisters, several siblings-in-law and nieces and nephews:
  1. Todd Fisher (1958)
    1. Catherine Hickland (m. 2012)
  2. Joely Fisher (1967)
    1. Christopher Duddy (m. 1996)
      1. Cameron Duddy (stepson)
      2. Collin Duddy (stepson)
      3. Skylar Grace Duddy (2001)
      4. True Harlow Duddy (2006)
      5. Olivia Luna Duddy (2008)
  3. Tricia Leigh Fisher (born 1968)
 When Fisher was two, her parents divorced after her father left Reynolds for her mother's close friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, the widow of her father's best friend Mike Todd{Source}. The following year, her mother married Harry Karl, owner of a shoe-store chain, who secretly spent Reynolds' life savings{Source}.

Fisher "hid in books" as a child, becoming known in her family as "the bookworm" {Source}. She spent her earliest years reading classic literature, and writing poetry. She attended Beverly Hills High School until, at the age of 15, she appeared as a debutante and singer in the hit Broadway revival Irene (1973), which starred her mother{Source}. This activity interfered with her education, and she never graduated from high school {Source}. In 1973, Fisher enrolled at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, which she attended for 18 months,  and in 1978, Fisher was accepted into Sarah Lawrence College, where she planned to study the arts. However, she left before graduating due to conflicts filming Star Wars {Source}.


Fisher died, in her own words "...drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra" {Source}. Reality folks: She died of a heart attack on the plane from London to LAX.

Fisher is survived by her daughter, actress Billie Lourd, her ex-husband and talent agent Bryan Lourd (father of Billie) , her brother Todd Fisher, her sister-in-law, Catherine Hickland, half sisters Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, as well as brother-in-law Christopher Duddy and nieces and stepnephews , Skylar Grace Duddy, True Harlow Duddy, and Olivia Luna Duddy and Cameron Duddy and Collin Duddy. She also is survived by her beloved French bulldog, Gary.

Her mother, Debbie Reynolds died one day after her from a stroke.

Funeral arrangements are said to be pending.


In other news...2016 can be done now, I think we call can agree, no?

Obituary: Zsa Zsa Gabor

Born on 6 February 1917 as Sári Gábor  in Budapest, Hungary,    Zsa Zsa Gabor was the middle of three sisters, all of whom would become famous in their own rights. Her elder sister, Magda, would become an American socialite. Younger sister, Eva, would become an American actress and business woman.

In her own words, Gabor claimed she was "discovered by the operatic tenor Richard Tauber on a trip to Vienna in 1934 following her time as a student at a Swiss boarding school". She made her first stage appearance for Tauber, singing a soubrette role in his new operetta, Der singende Traum (The Singing Dream). Two years later, she would be crowned Miss Hungary.

In 1944, she co-wrote a novel with Victoria Wolf called Every Man For Himself. In 1949, Gabor declined an offer to play the leading role in a film version of the classic book, Lady Chatterley's Lover (the part later went to Danielle Darrieux in 1955).

Her more well-known credits include roles in Moulin Rouge,  Lovely to Look At, We're Not Married, Lili, Touch of Evil, Queen of Outerspace, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood, and Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie. She appeared in cameos in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Beverly Hillbillies, and A Very Brady Sequel. One of her most recent credits was voicing Blossom in Happily Ever After.  
She made regular guest appearances in television shows, such as Bob Hope's specials, the Dean Martin Roasts, Hollywood Squares, among others. In 1973 she was the guest roastee on the Dean Martin Roast show, and in 1998, film historian Neal Gabler called her kind of celebrity "The Zsa Zsa Factor".

Zsa Zsa was most well-known for her many marriages. Her husbands included:
  • Burhan Asaf Belge (1937–1941; divorced)
  • Conrad Hilton (1942-1947; divorced, had her only child with him)
  • George Sanders (1949-1954; divorced)
  • Herbert Hutner (1962-1966; divorced)
  • Joshua S. Cosden, Jr. (1966-1967; divorced)
  • Jack Ryan (1975-1976; divorced)
  • Michael O'Hara (August 27, 1976-1983; divorced)
  • Felipe de Alba (April 13–14, 1983; annulled)
  • Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (1986-2016; her death)
She has had her share of legal and financial troubles over the years. In 1989, she was accused of slapping the face of a Beverly Hills Police officer who had stopped her for a traffic violation, which she was later convicted of, as well as driving with out a license and in possession of an open container of alcohol, but acquitted her of disobeying the officer by driving away from the traffic stop. She was sentenced to serve three days in jail, pay fines totaling $12,937, perform 120 hours of community service and to undergo a psych evaluation. In 1990, she dropped her appeal of  the sentance and agreed to serve it. However, she refused to do community service. She served her jail time from July 27-30, 1990. She had a long-running feud with Elke Sommer, beginning when both Gabor and Sommer appeared on Circus of the Stars,  which escalated to a multi-millions of dollars libel suit by 1993. The suit result in an oder for Gabor and her husband to pay Sommer $3.3 million in general and punitive damages. In 2009, it was revealed she was a victim of Bernie Madoff, losing as a much as $10 million.

Over the years, she has had many health issues. In 2002, she was a front seat passanger in an automobile accident, in which she was partially paralyzed and  reliant on a wheelchair for mobility. She was a survivor of several strokes, in 2005 and 2007. In 2010, she fractured her hip and underwent a successful hip replacement. In August 2010, she was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in serious condition, where she was issued last rites by a Catholic priest. In 2011, her right leg was amputated above the knee to save her life from an infection. She was later hospitalized mulitple times for various reasons throughout 2011. In February 2016, she was rushed to the hospital after suffering breathing difficulties, which was later diagnosed as  a feeding tube related lung infection, and was scheduled to undergo a surgery to have it removed. 

In April 2016, Gabor expressed her wish to move back to Hungary in 2017 and live out the rest of her life there. Her husband stated that he was determined to make her wish come true and he intended to arrange for "a big party in the summer" to celebrate the actress' 100th birthday, after which she would return to Budapest.

Gabor died at the age of 99 of a heart attack at her home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, on December 18, 2016, less than two months before she would have become acentenarian.She had been on life support for the previous five years. She is survived by husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, whom she wed in 1986. Her only daughter,C. Francesca Hilton died a year before.




Obituary: Alan Thicke

Allan Willis Thicke was born 1 March 1947 as the son of William Jeffrey and Shirley "Joan" Isobel Marie Jeffrey {Source}. He was the stepson of Brian Thicke, who he would later take his last name{Source}. He has a half brother, Todd {Source}.

He graduated from Elliot Lake Secondary School in 1965,[4] and where he was elected homecoming king.{Source}. After graduation, he went on to attend the University of Western Ontario, where he joined the Delta Upsilon fraternity {Source}

He has been married several times. His first marriage was to Gloria Loring from 1970-1984, she is the mother of singer Robin Thicke and Brian Thicke{Source}.  His second marriage was to  Gina Marie Tolleson, from 1994-1999 and he has a son with her, Carter {Source}.

He began his television career as a game show host on Canadian television. In the late 1970s and into the 1980s,  he hosted a show called First Impressions and a celebrity game show called Animal Crack-Ups {Source}. In 1997, he hosted a television version of  Pictionary{Source}. In the early 2000s, he hosted the All-New 3's a Crowd {Source}.

He was also active on the talk-show scene. In the late 1970s, he was a frequent guest host of The Alan Hamel Show  on Canadian TV. He was hired by Norman Lear to produce and as head writer of the show Fernwood 2 Night {Source}. In the early 1980s, Thicke would get his own talk show, The Alan Thicke Show, which eventually spawned a prime-time spin off, Prime Cuts, which later led to an American syndicated late-night talk show, Thicke at Night {Source}. From 1983-1990, he was a co-host of the Walt Disney World's Very Merry Christmas Parade (now known as  the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade). He hosted the 1988 Miss USA Pageant, the 1988 Miss Universe Pageant. In 1989 he co-hosted with Andrea Martin the TV special Opening of SkyDome. In 2004, he was back in the Miss Universe Pageant, when he hosted the Miss Universe Canada Pageant. In April 2006, he hosted  Celebrity Cooking Showdown.  In August 2006 and 2007, he made appearances as talk show host Rich Ginger on The Bold and the Beautiful.  From 2014-2015, he returned to his television hosting roots, as host of the travelling dance show, Dancing Pros Live {Source}.

He was also a successful as a TV Theme Show composer, often collaborating with his wife at the time, Loring. Some of his credits include: Diff'rent Strokes, and The Facts of Life. He also wrote themes for the game shows: The Joker's Wild, Celebrity Sweepstakes, The Diamond Head Game, Animal Crack-ups (with his brother Todd and Gary Pickus), Blank Check, Stumpers!, and Whew! {Source}.

He co-wrote the Bill Champlin hit, Sara  that appeared on his 1981 album, Runaway.

He was also a television producer, producing shows like the Anne Murray Christmas special for CBC in the 1970s.

His major claim-to-fame was the American sitcom, Growing Pains,  which ran from 1985-1992. Because of the show's successes, it also morphed into two reunion movies, The Growing Pains Movie (2000) and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers (2004). He appeared on the television shows Hope & Gloria, and played a lead role on the triology Not Quite Human. 


He made frequent guest appearances on several televison shows and cameo appearances in films over the years. Thicke made a cameo appearance on the 2007 film, Alpha Dog. In 2008, he appeared in How I met Your Mother  and in the music video Robin Sparkles. In 2009, he made a guest appearance on Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, on the web-series Star-ving, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, Attack of the Show!. He made a guest appearance on the season six finale of Just Shoot Me, and on a few episodes of Canada's Worst Handyman 5. In 2010, Thicke appeared on the television program, Tosh.0  and appeared as a celebrity contestant on the sohw Don't Forget the Lyrics. In 2013, he took part in ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap, swapping wives with Gilbert Gottfried. In October 2016, he appeared as himself in the This is Us pilot for NBC.

He has also made appearances in commercials. In the 1990s, he was a spokesman for the Canadian division of Woolco department stores, until it's closing in 1994. In 2009, he started appearing for CCS Medical, which is a distributor of home-delivered diabetes supplies. In 2011, he became a spokesman for Cambridge Life Solutions. In 2014, he was appearing in spots for Optima Tax Relief.

On December 13, 2016, Thicke collapsed while playing hockey with his son Carter at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, California. His funeral was held on December 16, 2016, and was attended by many family members, friends, and former co-stars. He was buried at Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara, CA.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Obituary: Florence Henderson

Florence Agnes Henderson was born 14 February 1934 as the youngest child of Elizabeth and Joseph Henderson (Life Is Not a Stage).  She was one of ten children, many of whom were already on their own or about to be by the time she was born. She grew up with her elder sister, who was a few years older than she. She grew up singing in church choir, and eventually at grocery stores. By the time she was thirteen, her mother had left her family, leaving her and her sister with their father (Life Is Not a Stage).

She became a serious performer during her high school years, participating in drama productions and choirs at St. Francisco Academy in Kentucky. When she was seventeen years old, she attended the American Academy for Dramatic Arts, with the help of a well-off friend's family's support (Life Is Not a Stage).  She was mentored by actress Christine Johnson (Life Is Not a Stage).

At the age of eighteen after only a year of seriously studying acting at AADA, she landed a role in the production of Wish You Were Here  as The New Girl.  As luck would have it, Richard Rogers of Rogers & Hammerstein would come see her and LOVE her in the production. Mr. Rogers would cast Florence in her break out role in the touring company of Oklahoma!  as Laurey. She was steadily working on Broadway from 1952-1956. Other Broadway credits include: the title role in Fanny,  and Mary Morgan in The Girl Who Came to Supper.

After several years on Broadway, she made her way westward to Hollywood where she appeared in several short-lived and lesser known television series in the 1950s and 1960s. A role she is most known for is Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch  and it's many movies and spin-offs over the years.

After The Brady Bunch ended, she did several guest appearances on various television shows, such as Murder, She Wrote; Roseanne, Dave's World, Loonatics Unleashed, among many others. Her final television appearance before her death was to support former co-actress from the Brady days, Maureen McCormick during her run of Dancing with the Stars{Video}.

Henderson died on 24 November 2016 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California at the age of 82. She was survived by her four children, and five grandchildren.


Bibliography

  • Life is not a stage: from Broadway baby to lovely lady and beyond Florence Henderson - Joel Brokaw - Center Street - 2012. (cited as Life is not a Stage)
  • League, The Broadway. “IBDB.com.” – Broadway Cast &Amp; Staff | IBDB, 2001, www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/florence-henderson-44834.

  • “Florence Henderson's Official Home on the Web - Florence Starred as Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch, so Come Ask Flo Questions, Read Her Bio, See Personal Photos, and Get Updates.” Florence Henderson's Official Home on the Web - Florence Starred as Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch, so Come Ask Flo Questions, Read Her Bio, See Personal Photos, and Get Updates., www.flohome.com/main.htm.

**Ed note: Sorry about the delay here, she was a favorite of mine and I want to get this right. :)