Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Obituaries of Note

Category: News

More sad passings to report from the world of entertainment:

Richard "Dick" Sutcliffe (died May 11): The name might not ring a bell with you; however, Sutcliffe gave the world a piece of popular culture. He was the co-creator of the popular religious children's show Davy and Goliath, the Sunday morning saga of a boy (Davy) and his dog (Goliath) that always featured a Biblical message or faith-based lesson. Sutcliffe was 90 and died from complications resulting from a stroke.

Lloyd Moore (died May 22): A man recognized as the oldest living NASCAR driver passed away at the age of 95. According to the NASCAR obituary, Moore finished tied for 15th with Junior Johnson for most top 5 finishes (13) in the first six years of professional stock car racing.

Dick Martin (died May 24): Laugh-In always finished with Dan Rowan saying, "Say goodnight, Dick," to which Dick Martin replied, "Goodnight, Dick." (This is parodied at the conclusion of the Eagles' song "On the Border" from the album of the same name in 1974.) Martin graduated from comedian in front of the camera to director, putting his skills to work on The Bob Newhart Show, Brothers, Mama's Family, and the cult classic Sledge Hammer! Martin was 82 and died from respiratory failure.

Thelma Keane (died May 23): The name isn't familiar, but her character has delighted comic strip readers for generations. She was the inspiration for the wife in her husband Bil Keane's long-running strip The Family Circus. Thelma Keane was 82 and had Alzheimer's disease.

Geremi (Jeremi) Gonzalez (died May 25): A former major league pitcher who pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and New York Mets. Gonzalez was 33 and was killed by a lightning strike in his native Venezuela.

Sydney Pollack (died May 26): A man of multiple talents who could direct a great comedy like Tootsie (in which he also appeared as Dustin Hoffman's frustrated agent) or a majestic drama such as his Oscar-winning Out of Africa. Pollack died of cancer at age 73.

Earle Hagen (died May 26): Don't know the name? Betcha five bucks you know his song. Imagine a black-and-white image on a TV with a sheriff and his young son, fishing poles over their shoulders, walking down a dirt road. You're whistling, aren't you? That's Earle Hagen's signature song, which Andy Griffith actually released with lyrics under its title, "The Fishin' Hole." Other TV theme songs Hagen wrote include I Spy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mod Squad, and That Girl. Hagen was 88 and had been in ill health for several months.

A heartfelt farewell.

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