Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Necrology - Celebrity Edition PART 1 of 3

It is the end of another year, and this is when I like to look back and remember all of those we have lost. These celebrities have brought us many decades of joy. Good-bye to you all.

(this will be done in parts)

Jimmy Dean
Born: Aug. 10, 1928 (Olton, TX)
Died: Jun. 13, 2010 (Richmond, VA)
Age: 82

Jimmy Ray Dean was an American country music singer, television host, actor and businessman. Although he may be best known today as the creator of the Jimmy Dean Sausage brand, he first rose to fame for his 1961 country crossover hit "Big Bad John"; and became a national television personality in the 1960s. His acting career included a supporting role in the 1971 James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever. He lived near Richmond, Virginia, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Lena Horne

Born: Jun. 30, 1917 (Brooklyn, NY)
Died: May 9, 2010 (New York, NY)
Age: 93

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne broke through racial barriers as the first black performer to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio. Throughout her career, she was a passionate advocate for civil rights. She was honored for Lifetime Achievement at the Kennedy Center in 1984, was recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 1989, and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Artist in 1999. She received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for music, the other for film.

Dennis Hopper
Born: May 17, 1936 (Dodge City, KS)
Died: May 29, 2010 (Los Angeles, CA)
Age: 74

Actor, Director. He was considered one of Hollywood's most outspoken and versatile actors. He appeared in over 150 motion pictures during his lifetime, working as both an actor and film director, in a career that spanned over five decades. Known in the motion picture industry for his anti-establishment reputation, he was nominated for two Academy Awards during his professional career. Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002, he suffered a recurrence of the disease in October 2009, which ultimately resulted in his death. He made his final public appearance on Friday March 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California, accepting a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Art Linkletter
Born: Jul. 17, 1912 (Canada)
Died: May 26, 2010 (Los Angeles, CA)
Age: 97

Television and Radio Personality, Author. He hosted two of the longest-running programs in broadcast history and was a presence in American media for more than six decades. "Art Linkletter's House Party," a variety show, debuted on radio in 1944 and was seen on CBS television from 1952 to 1969, and "People Are Funny", which he helmed on radio from 1943 and on NBC television from 1954 to 1960.

Rue McClanahan
Born: Feb. 21, 1934 (Carter County OK)
Died: Jun. 3, 2010 (New York, NY)
Age: 76

Best known as the co-star of the popular TV sitcom The Golden Girls. Born Eddi-Rue McClanahan, she grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma, graduated from the University of Tulsa, and began a career as an actress in 1957. She died from a stroke.

Tom Bosley
Born: Oct. 1, 1927 (Chicago, IL)
Died: Oct. 19, 2010 (Palm Springs, CA)
Age: 83

He will be remembered for his role as the patriarch Howard Cunningham in the popular TV series "Happy Days". Born in Chicago, he served in the US Navy, and attended DePaul University following his return home. After becoming interested in an acting career, he studied at the Radio Institute of Chicago, and began performing on various radio programs. He made his debut on Broadway in the production "The Power and the Glory" (1958 to 1959), and began a lengthy television career during that same period. He died from heart failure.

Barbara Billingsley
Born: Dec. 22, 1915 (Los Angeles, CA)
Died: Oct. 16, 2010 (Santa Monica, CA)
Age: 94

Born Barbara Lillian Combes, she attended Los Angeles Junior College in the mid 1930s and then moved to New York City, where she worked as a model. In 1945 she received a contract from MGM, and she appeared in several films during the late 1940s and 1950s, sometimes without screen credit. In 1957 Billingsley began starring in the sitcom "Leave it to Beaver" as June Cleaver, mother to Wally and Theodore, nicknamed "Beaver". She appeared in her most famous role for 234 episodes, remaining with the show until it ended after six seasons. She died at her home after having dealt for several years with the effects of a rheumatoid disease.

Tony Curtis
Born: Jun. 3, 1925 (Bronx, NY)
Died: Sep. 29, 2010 (Clark County, NV)
Age: 85

Bernard Schwartz was brought up in poverty in a tough Bronx neighborhood. He developed an interest in acting after visiting a neighborhood settlement house, and following service in the US Navy, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill and studied at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research (New York City). He was formerly married to actress Janet Leigh (1927 - 2004) and was the father of actresses Kelly and Jamie Lee Curtis. In addition to acting, Curtis was a gifted painter. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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