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Chuck Barris Dead; ‘Gong Show’ Host Was 87

Chuck Barris, who hosted “The Gong Show” and created “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game,” died Tuesday of natural causes in Palisades, N.Y., his publicist confirmed. He was 87.

His autobiography, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” was made into a film directed by George Clooney and starred Sam Rockwell as Barris. In the book (subtitled “An Unauthorized Autobiography”), he claimed to have worked for the CIA as an assassin during the 1960s and ’70s, a claim which the CIA denied. “He also fabricated his life because it might have been the best way of getting at the truth. The truth was that back when he was the Jerry Springer of his day, he couldn’t stomach being attacked for doing something he considered harmless,” wrote Joel Stein in Time magazine.

The multi-talented game show creator was also a songwriter, writing songs such as “Palisades Park” as well as music for his game shows.

via variety.com


Chuck Berry, revolutionary guitarist-songwriter, dead at 90

Chuck Berry, who died Saturday at 90, was one of the architects of rock ’n’ roll, as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. More than any artist of the 1950s, his songs exploded with imagery that saw rock ’n’ roll not just as a fad but as the future — a vision of freedom that transcended generation and race.

Berry’s opening solo on “Johnny B. Goode” blared reveille for subsequent generations of rockers. Every rock guitarist since is in his debt. In addition, Berry wrote and sang at least two dozen rock ’n’ roll classics, including “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Back in the U.S.A.,” many of them recorded at Chicago’s Chess Studios in the 1950s and ’60s and later covered by countless artists, including the Beatles, Beach Boys and Rolling Stones.

via www.chicagotribune.com


‘M*A*S*H’ Star William Christopher Dies at 84 | Variety

William Christopher, the actor who played the sensitive and soft-spoken Father John Mulcahy on the long-running CBS comedy “M*A*S*H,” died Saturday at his home in Pasadena, Calif. He was 84.

The actor’s son, John Christopher, confirmed Christopher’s death to KABC-TV Los Angeles. Christopher died of non-lung small cell carcinoma, KABC-TV reported.

Christopher was a regular and a fan favorite throughout the 1972-1983 run of the much-praised “M*A*S*H.” The show’s final episode still holds the ratings record for the most watched scripted series closer with nearly 106 million viewers tuning in. Christopher was also featured in the spinoff series “AfterMASH,” which ran from 1983-85 on CBS.

via variety.com


Stars React to the Death of Carrie Fisher's Mother Debbie Reynolds

Just one day after Hollywood began mourning the loss of Carrie Fisher, stars are shocked and saddened once again by the news of her mother Debbie Reynolds’ sudden death on Wednesday.

PEOPLE confirmed Reynolds, 84, was rushed to the hospital from her home in Beverly Hills Wednesday afternoon for treatment of a possible stroke. She died several hours later.

Hollywood took to Twitter to mourn the Oscar-nominated star of The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Singin’ in the Rain.

via people.com


George Michael, Pop Superstar, Has Died at 53 - The New York Times

George Michael, the creamy-voiced English songwriter who sold tens of millions of albums as a member of the duo Wham! and on his own, was found dead on Sunday at his home in Goring in Oxfordshire, England. He was 53.

A police statement said: “Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. Christmas Day. Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.”

Mr. Michael’s manager, Michael Lippman, told The Hollywood Reporter that Mr. Michael had died of heart failure “in bed, lying peacefully.”

via www.nytimes.com


Actor Alan Thicke, Who Played Dad on 'Growing Pains,' Dead at 69 - NBC News

Actor Alan Thicke died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack, a publicist for his family told NBC News.

He was 69.

According to TMZ, which first broke the news, Thicke collapsed while he was playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter.

He was transported to Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, California, around noon (3 p.m. ET) and was pronounced dead there, the site reported.

via www.nbcnews.com


John Glenn, First American To Orbit The Earth, Dies At 95 : The Two-Way : NPR

The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn't stop his pioneering ways.

Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space.

Glenn was 95 when he died; he had been hospitalized in an Ohio State University medical center in Columbus since last week.

via www.npr.org


Ron Glass, Actor Known For His Role In 'Barney Miller,' Has Died At 71 : NPR

Ron Glass, the handsome, prolific character actor best known for his role as the gregarious, sometimes sardonic detective Ron Harris in the long-running cop comedy "Barney Miller," has died at age 71.

Glass died Friday of respiratory failure, his agent, Jeffrey Leavett, told The Associated Press on Saturday.

"Ron was a private, gentle and caring man," said Leavett, a longtime friend of the actor. "He was an absolute delight to watch on screen. Words cannot adequately express my sorrow. "

Although best known for "Barney Miller," Glass appeared in dozens of other shows in a television and film career dating to the early 1970s.

He portrayed Derrial Book, the spiritual shepherd with a cloudy past in the 2002 science-fiction series Firefly" and its 2005 film sequel "Serenity."

He was Felix Unger opposite Desmond Wilson's Oscar Madison in "The New Odd Couple," a 1980s reboot of the original Broadway show, film and television series that this time cast black actors in the lead roles of Unger's prissy neat freak forced to share an apartment with slovenly friend Madison.

via www.npr.org


Robert Vaughn, Who Starred as Napoleon Solo in ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.,’ Dies at 83 - The New York Times

Robert Vaughn, the cleft-chinned actor who reached the peak of his fame in the 1960s playing Napoleon Solo, the debonair international agent tasked with saving the world each week on the hit television series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” died on Friday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83.

His manager, Matthew Sullivan, said that the cause was acute leukemia, for which Mr. Vaughn had been under treatment in Manhattan and Connecticut.

Mr. Vaughn had numerous roles in film and on television. He played an old boyfriend of Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) on an episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and a gunman in “The Magnificent Seven” (1960). He was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role as a man accused of murder in “The Young Philadelphians” (1959) and won an Emmy in 1978 for his performance as a White House chief of staff in the mini-series “Washington: Behind Closed Doors.”

via www.nytimes.com