The persona he first projected in Maverick in 1957—handsome, charming, genial, a bit of a rogue, mostly a mensch—established Garner as America’s leading television actor. Born James Scott Baumgarner in Norman, Okla., in 1928, he survived an upbringing that was at best knockaround and often, at the hands of a cruel stepmother, abusive. “By the time I was 14, I’d become an independent little bastard,” he says. “Nobody was going to tell me what to do.” The attitude ebbed; the independence remained. As a young man, he played football, migrated to California, flunked out of Hollywood High, spent a semester at the University of Oklahoma, served in the Merchant Marines, won two Purple Hearts in Korea, modeled Jantzen swimsuits, and eventually fell into acting.
Tag: In Memoriam (1-10 of 88)
A spokesman for the family of comedian David Brenner says the Tonight Show favorite has died. He was 78.
Brenner died Saturday afternoon at his home in New York City, said Jeff Abraham, who was Brenner’s publicist. READ FULL STORY
When Marcia Wallace passed away last year after a 28-year battle with breast cancer, fans of The Simpsons mourned the loss of the series’ beloved, wisecracking teacher Edna Krabappel — whom Wallace had voiced for 24 years.
Executive producer Al Jean promised that the character would be retired, and The Simpsons has since paid homage to Wallace in a few brief instances: in a November episode, Bart remembered his teacher in a somber opening chalkboard gag, and a holiday opening credits sequence featured Krabappel sporting angel wings in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment.
But at the end of the March 10 episode “The Man Who Grew Too Much,” the show dedicated its tag to what appears to be Mrs. Krabappel’s final appearance. The scene finds Ned Flanders — who married Bart’s perennial fourth grade teacher in a 2012 episode — wearing a black armband and tenderly remembering his late wife. And naturally, we hear her signature laugh echo one last time.
Veteran TV journalist Garrick Utley, whose far-ranging career included anchoring duties as well as reporting from more than 70 countries, has died of cancer at 74, NBC said Friday.
Utley began at NBC News in 1963, and for three decades handled a wide variety of assignments. Early on, he reported from Vietnam on the escalating conflict. In later years, he moderated Meet the Press. READ FULL STORY
Mary Grace Canfield, a veteran character actress who played handywoman Ralph Monroe on the television show Green Acres, has died. She was 89.
Her daughter, Phoebe Alexiades, says Canfield died of lung cancer on Saturday at a hospice in the California coastal town of Santa Barbara. READ FULL STORY
Actor Ralph Waite died Thursday at the age of 85, and though he was best known for for his portrayal of stalwart father figure John Walton on The Waltons, which ran from 1971-81, in recent years, he had recurring roles on Bones, NCIS, and Days of Our Lives. And after news of Waite’s passing, cast and producers from those shows honored the actor. READ FULL STORY
Sid Caesar, at once one of the greatest improvisors and one of the most rigorous sketch-comedy artists in television history, has died at the age of 91. His friend Larry King revealed Caesar’s passing Wednesday on Twitter.
Caesar was a modest dynamo, a man who disappeared into his comedy as though it was his escape from reality. A New York-born nightclub performer, he helped to usher in the dawn of the TV revolution. His 90-minute Saturday night variety program, Your Show of Shows, premiered in 1950. The live broadcast became a hit that lasted four years and immediately morphed into Caesar’s Hour, from 1954 to 1957. Eddy Friedfeld
The legendary writing staff of Your Show of Shows included Woody Allen, Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, and Larry Gelbart (the latter would go on to adapt M*A*S*H for TV). They wrote sketches that played off Caesar’s tall, broad-shouldered physique, casting him as everyone from Tarzan to blustering military types. (Brooks’ famous description of Caesar: “He could punch a Buick in the grille and kill it.”) READ FULL STORY
Veteran actor James Avery, best known for his role as Uncle Phillip Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, died Tuesday night. He was 67.
UPDATE: In a statement from Avery’s publicist, EW has confirmed that Avery died as a result of complications from open heart surgery in Glendale, Calif., on Tuesday night. His most recent project was Wish I Was Here, directed by Zach Braff, which is slated to premiere at Sundance. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Avery, mother, Florence Avery, and stepson Kevin Waters.
Former Fresh Prince co-star Alfonso Ribeiro took to Twitter to share his condolences.
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Actor Danny Wells, best known for portraying Luigi in the 1989 television series based on the Super Mario Bros. video game, has died. He was 72.
The actor, whose real name was Jack Westelman, played one half of the famous brother duo opposite the late Lou Albano in the live-action segments (and also voiced the character in animated segments) for the length of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!‘s 65-episode run in the late ’80s. He also recurred on The Jeffersons as Charlie the Bartender, from 1975-1985.
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In addition to the traditional “In Memoriam” segment of the Emmys, this year’s broadcast will feature a special tribute for “five individuals who warrant special recognition,” according to a press release.
During the ceremony, Edie Falco will pay tribute to her Sopranos co-star James Gandolfini, Michael J. Fox will honor his Family Ties producer Gary David Goldberg, Jane Lynch will speak about Glee co-star Cory Monteith, Rob Reiner will take the stage to talk about his All in the Family co-star Jean Stapleton, and Robin Williams will pay tribute to his mentor Jonathan Winters.
The Emmys air Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Glee doesn’t start production on season 5 until next month, but on Thursday, the close-knit cast and crew got together for a private memorial in honor of Cory Monteith, who was found dead July 13 at age 31.
“Today, Ryan Murphy and Lea Michele gathered the cast, crew and producers of Glee, along with colleagues from the network and studio, to share memories and music in an emotional celebration of the life of Cory Monteith,” Fox said in a statement to EW. “We thank the public for their continued outpouring of love and support as we grieve our friend and colleague during this difficult time.”
Following Monteith’s tragic death, production on the new season was delayed, as was the season premiere, which is now set for Thursday, Sept. 26, a week later than originally scheduled.
The young stars of Glee were largely unknown before landing their breakout roles back in 2009, and they’ve grown up together in the spotlight. That’s why Cory Monteith’s death more than a week ago hit the group especially hard — they hadn’t lost just a co-star; they’d lost a family member.
Tributes have poured in from Monteith’s co-stars, including Chord Overstreet dedicating a song to his late friend and Dianna Agron remembering his “enormous talent.” Now Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) has posted an Instagram photo of the tight-knit cast along with a message to Monteith:
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