Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Necrology - The Best of the Rest (Celebrities and other Notable Characters) PART 1 of 3

The Best of the rest means that a hodgepodge of Celebrities and Notable people will be listed. Some actors/actresses were well known, some were not, some were deaths that occured toward the end of the year. As well as them, I've included other personalities that made a great contribution to society. This is broken in to 2 parts, there were a lot of sad passings in 2010.

Simon MacCorkindale
Born: Feb. 12, 1952 (Cambridgeshire, England)
Died: Oct. 14, 2010 (London, England)
Age: 58

He studied drama, gaining experience on the repertory stage, appearing in a production of "Pygmalion" (1974). During that period, he began appearing on British TV in the series "Hawkeye, the Pathfinder" and made his movie debut in the suspenseful picture "Juggernaut" (1974). More substantial roles followed in "Death on the Nile" (1978) and "The Sword and the Sorcerer" (1982). MacCorkindale will be best remembered by American audiences for his part as Greg Reardon on the TV series "Falcon Crest" (1984 to 1986). During the late-1980s, he began producing, but remained an active performer, with a recurring role as Harry Harper in the TV series "Casualty". He was married to actress Susan George. He died following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Kathryn Grayson
Born: Feb. 9, 1922
Died: Feb. 17, 2010
Age: 88

She starred in a number of film and Broadway musicals from the 1940s to the 1960s. Born Zelma Kathryn Hedrick, she moved from North Carolina to St. Louis with her family where, at 12, she was discovered singing on the stage of an empty opera house. After she received voice lessons from Frances Marshall, the Hedricks relocated to Hollywood so that she could gain more advanced training. Meeting Louis B. Mayer, she was signed by MGM; her silver screen debut came in the 1941 "Andy Hardy's Private Secretary". Thru the 1940s, Grayson was to have a number of musical roles, including an appearance with Frank Sinatra in "Anchors Aweigh" (1945), and turns in Mario Lanza's first two movies, 1949's "That Midnight Kiss", and the 1950 "The Toast of New Orleans".

Ilene Woods
Born: May 5, 1929 (Portsmouth, NH)
Died: Jul. 1, 2010 (Los Angeles, CA)
Age: 81

She voiced the title role of Walt Disney's 1950 animated classic "Cinderella". She was born Jacqueline Ruth Woods. She died of Alzheimer's Disease. Of her part in "Cinderella", she said: "Oh, I love the idea that after I'm gone children will still be hearing my voice".

George Steinbrenner
Born: Jul. 4, 1930 (Rocky River, OH)
Died: Jul. 13, 2010 (Tampa, FL)
Age: 80

He was owner of the New York Yankees Major League baseball team from 1973 until his death in 2010. His health failing, he gave up the day to day control of the team to his sons in 2006, and was feted triumphantly at the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which was held at the old Yankee Stadium. Soon after his 80th birthday, and two days after long time Yankee Stadium announcer Bob Sheppard's death, he died of a heart attack in Tampa, Florida.

Edith Shain
Born: Jul. 29, 1918 (Tarrytown, NY)
Died: Jun. 20, 2010 (Los Angeles, CA)
Age: 91

She was a subject of one of the 20th Century's most indelible images. On August 14, 1945, she was photographed by the renowned Alfred Eisenstadt while being kissed by a jubilant US Navy sailor in Times Square, in celebration of the end of World War II. Her identity was a mystery until the 1970s, when Shain wrote to Eisenstadt and said she was the nurse in the photo; she was working at Doctor's Hospital in New York City when the spontaneous smooch took place. The sailor's identity is still unknown. In 1979 she and photographer Eisenstadt were the subject of a Life Magazine feature article. From that time she became a World War II icon, participating in ceremonies on the 50th anniversary of V-J Day in 1995 and the 60th in 2005. She also devoted herself to helping veterans, was Grand Marshal of numerous parades and made many overseas appearances for Veterans Memorial events.

Miep Gies
Born: Feb. 15, 1909
Died: Jan. 11, 2010 (Noord-Holland Province, Netherlands)
Age: 100

One of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis during World War II. She discovered and preserved Anne Frank's diary after the Franks were arrested. Born Hermine Santrouschitz in Vienna, Miep Gies was transported to Leiden from Vienna in December 1920 to escape the food shortages prevailing in Austria after World War I. In 1922, she moved with her foster family to Amsterdam. In 1933, she met Otto Frank when she applied for the post of temporary secretary in his spice company, Opekta. She initially ran the Complaints and Information desk in Opekta, and was eventually promoted to a more general administrative role. She became a close friend of the Frank family, as did Jan Gies, whom she married on 28 July 1941 after she refused to join a Nazi women's association and was threatened with deportation back to Austria. Her knowledge of Dutch and German helped the Frank family assimilate into Dutch society, and she and her husband became regular guests at the Franks' home. Gies died on 11 January 2010, following a short illness.

J.D. Salinger
Birth: Jan. 1, 1919
Death: Jan. 27, 2010
Age: 91

His book "The Catcher in the Rye" (1951) is considered the classic 20th Century novel of alienated youth. It has sold over 60 million copies worldwide. The author himself became legendary for his reclusive behavior. The mystery of what he wrote during his long silence - the manuscripts reportedly locked in a safe inside a concrete bunker at his home - will no doubt entice fans of literature for years to come.

Merlin Olsen
Born: Sep. 15, 1940 (Logan, UT)
Died: Mar. 11, 2010 (Los Angeles, CA)
Age: 69

Hall of Fame Professional Football Player, Actor, Broadcaster. For fifteen seasons (1962 to 1976), he played at the left and right-defensive tackle positions in the National Football League with the Los Angeles Rams. Olsen concentrated on his acting career (which began in TV guest appearances) and became a respected performer with roles as 'Jonathan Garvey' in the TV series "Little House on the Prairie" (1977 to 1981), as 'John Michael Murphy' in "Father Murphy" (1981 to 1984) and as 'Aaron Miller' in "Aaron's Way" (1988). He also appeared in a series of commercials as a spokesman for FTD florists. In addition, he served as a broadcaster on nationally televised NFL games with NBC along with Dick Enberg. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980, and enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982. Cause of death was Mesothelioma.

Pernell Roberts
Born: May 18, 1928 (Waycross, CA)
Died: Jan. 24, 2010 (Malibu, CA)
Age: 81

His role of 'Adam Cartwright' in the popular long-running television western series "Bonanza", made Roberts identifiable. He left the cast in 1965, remaining busy with guest appearances in a wide range of television programs throughout the 1960s and 1970s including "The Wild, Wild West", "Mission: Impossible", "Hawaii Five-O", "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Rockford Files". His second most identifiable part was the title role in the television medical drama "Trapper John, M.D." (1979 to 1986), for which he earned an Emmy Award nomination.

Fess Parker
Born: Aug. 16, 1924 (Fort Worth, TX)
Died: Mar. 18, 2010
Age: 86

He had a voice role as the driver in the now classic film "Harvey." He didn't appear in another film for two years, but then was in three separate films in 1952 and another four in 1953, most of which were uncredited. In 1954 he appeared in feature films such as "Them!" and "Battlecry" as well as branching out, appearing in almost a dozen television series including one of his twin signature roles, that of Davy Crockett, for which he returned for seven episodes of "The Wonderful World of Disney" over the next two years. He signed a contract with Disney appearing in films such as "The Great Locomotive Chase," in 1956 and "Old Yeller" in 1957. Apparently jealous of their wildly popular star, Disney refused to loan him out to other studios so as not to tarnish his persona. By 1959, his popularity had leveled off, and he found that he was unable to regain the success he had has Crockett.

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