Lynyrd Skynyrd Keyboardist Billy Powell Dies 56

William Norris "Billy" Powell (June 3, 1952 – January 28, 2009) was the longtime keyboardist of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Death of Billy Powell
On January 28, 2009 Powell died at his condo in Orange Park, Florida. He had called 911 just before 1 am complaining of difficulty breathing. Paramedics found him unresponsive in his bedroom still holding the phone. It is believed he had a heart attack, but an autopsy will be preformed.

Billy Powell & Lynyrd Skynyrd
Powell remained a roadie for Skynyrd until 1972, when the band was hired to play the Bolles School prom. After setting up the band’s equipment, Billy sat down at a piano in the corner of the room and began to play his own version of ‘Free Bird’. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant was impressed, and invited Powell to join Lynyrd Skynyrd officially as their new keyboard player.

In 1973, Lynyrd Skynyrd was signed to MCA Records and received national exposure in with the release of their first album, (pronounced ‘l?h-‘nérd ‘skin-‘nérd). The bands popularity soared in 1974 with their follow-up album, Second Helping, which featured their highest-charting single, "Sweet Home Alabama". The band enjoyed great popularity over the next three years, culminating in the 1977 release of Street Survivors, which many considered to be their strongest effort to date.

Lynyrd Skynyrd-Call Me The Breeze-1987

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However, three days after the release of Street Survivors, Skynyrd’s chartered plane crashed into a forest near McComb, Mississippi. The crash took the lives of singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, and assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick. The remainder of the band suffered injuries ranging from mild to severe. Powell suffered severe facial lacerations, almost completely losing his nose but was otherwise relatively uninjured. He was the first to be released from the hospital, and the only member able to attend the funerals of his fallen bandmates.

John Updike, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Dies 76

John Hoyer Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic. Updike’s most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest received the Pulitzer Prize. Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class," Updike is widely recognized for his careful craftsmanship, his highly stylistic writing, and his prolific output, having published more than twenty-five novels and more than a dozen short story collections, as well as poetry, art criticism, literary criticism and children’s books. Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems have appeared in The New Yorker since 1954. He also writes regularly for The New York Review of Books. His work has attracted a significant amount of critical attention and he is considered one of the most prominent contemporary American novelists.

Death of John Updike 
John Updike died from lung cancer
John Updike was 76 years old at the time of his death

John Updike’s Literary works continues on next page


John Updike’s Literary works 

Rabbit novels
(1960) Rabbit, Run
(1971) Rabbit Redux
(1981) Rabbit Is Rich
(1990) Rabbit At Rest
(2001) Rabbit Remembered

Bech books
(1970) Bech, a Book
(1982) Bech Is Back
(1998) Bech at Bay

Buchanan books
(1974) Buchanan Dying (a play)
(1992) Memories of the Ford Administration (a novel)

Eastwick books
(1984) The Witches of Eastwick
(2008) The Widows of Eastwick

Other novels
(1959) The Poorhouse Fair
(1963) The Centaur
(1965) Of the Farm
(1968) Couples
(1975) A Month of Sundays
(1977) Marry Me
(1978) The Coup
(1986) Roger’s Version
(1988) S.
(1994) Brazil
(1996) In the Beauty of the Lilies
(1997) Toward the End of Time
(2000) Gertrude and Claudius
(2002) Seek My Face
(2004) Villages
(2006) Terrorist

Short Story Collections
(1959) The Same Door
(1961) A & P
(1962) Pigeon Feathers
(1964) Olinger Stories (a selection)
(1966) The Music School
(1972) Museums And Women
(1979) Problems
(1979) Too Far To Go (related short stories about a single family)
(1987) Trust Me
(1994) The Afterlife
(2000) The Best American Short Stories of the Century (editor)
(2001) Licks of Love
(2003) The Early Stories: 1953-1975
(2009) My Father’s Tears and Other Stories

(1957) Ex-Basketball Player
(1958) The Carpentered Hen
(1963) Telephone Poles
(1969) Midpoint
(1969) Dance of the Solids
(1977) Tossing and Turning
(1985) Facing Nature
(1993) Collected Poems 1953-1993
(2001) Americana: and Other Poems

Non-fiction, essays and criticism
(1965) Assorted Prose
(1975) Picked-Up Pieces
(1983) Hugging The Shore
(1989) Self-Consciousness: Memoirs
(1989) Just Looking
(1991) Odd Jobs
(1996) Golf Dreams: Writings on Golf
(1999) More Matter
(2005) Still Looking: Essays on American Art
(2007) Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism 

Kim Manners, direcgtor of X-Files & Supernatural Dies 59

Kim Manners (c. 1950 – January 25, 2009) He was an American television producer and director best known for his work on The X-Files and Supernatural.

Death of Kim Manners
Kim Mannersdied of lung cancer.
Kim Manners was 59 years old at the time of his death.

Kim Manners Biography
Manners made his directorial debut in 1978, directing an episode of Charlie’s Angels. Prior to this, he had worked as unit production manager on the show and as an assistant director on a handful of other projects. Other notable directorial credits to Manners’ name include episodes of 21 Jump Street, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Baywatch, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. and The Commish.

Manners signed on to produce and direct The X-Files in the show’s second season at the advice of Rob Bowman, who had worked on the show in its first season, and James Wong and Glen Morgan, who were writers for the show and had previously worked with Manners on 21 Jump Street. He, along with his fellow producers on The X-Files, was nominated for four Emmy awards for Outstanding Drama Series in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998. Manners was referenced in the X-Files episode "Jose Chung’s From Outer Space" with a foul-mouthed police detective named after him.

Following the finale of The X-Files in 2002, Manners directed a number of small projects before signing on to direct and produce Supernatural in 2005. He was a vital part of the show for the next four seasons. After directing the first episode of the fourth season, he learned he had lung cancer.

Charles Schneer, 50’s Film producer dies 88

* Charles Schneer produced the only movie that starred Ronald & Nancy Reagan

Charles H. Schneer (May 5, 1920 – January 21, 2009) was a film producer most widely known for working with special effects pioneer, Ray Harryhausen. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia and died in Boca Raton, Florida.

After studying at Columbia University, he served in the US Army’s Signal Corps Photographic Unit. After the war he moved to Hollywood, and after joining Columbia Pictures he was introduced to Ray Harryhausen by a mutual friend from his Army days.

Together they made It Came From Beneath The Sea, about a giant octopus-like creature that wreaks havoc. This film made use of stop-motion photography which the pair were to use to great effect in later films including Jason and the Argonauts, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Clash of the Titans.

Schneer also produced the 1967 film version of the stage musical Half A Sixpence starring Tommy Steele

Death of Charles Schneer
Charles Schneer died 88 after a long illness.

Charles Schneer’s Filmography continutes on next page


The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad
First Men in the Moon
The Valley of Gwangi
20 Million Miles to Earth
I Aim at the Stars
Clash of the Titans
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
Mysterious Island
Good Day for a Hanging
It Came from Beneath the Sea
Jason and the Argonauts

David ‘Fathead’ Newman, jazz saxophonist, dies at 75

Jazz Musician DeathDavid "Fathead" Newman (February 24, 1933 – January 20, 2009) was an American saxophonist.

Death of David Newman
On January 20, 2009, Newman died from complications of pancreatic cancer

David Newman Biography
In 1954, David joined Charles in his band as the baritone saxophone player (although he is more famous as a tenor saxophone and flute player) and began a twelve year gig with Charles. He later joined Herbie Mann, with whom he played for another ten years.

Over the years up to 2008, Newman has recorded over thirty-eight albums under his own name, including his first, Ray Charles-Presenting David "Fathead" Newman (1959) and second, Wide Open Spaces, which was produced by Cannonball Adderley, the following year

David Fathead Newman & David Leonhardt – "Heads Up"

David "Fathead" Newman’s discography on next page

David "Fathead" Newman Discography
Ray Charles-Presenting David "Fathead" Newman – 1959 (Atlantic Records)
Wide Open Spaces – 1960
Straight Ahead – 1962 (Atlantic Records)
House of David (Atlantic Records)
Captain Buckles (Atlantic Records)
Live at the Village Gate (Atlantic Records)
The Weapon – 1972
Teasin’ – 1973 – Cornell Dupree
Mr. Fathead – 1976 (Warner Bros. Records)
Back To Basics – 1977 (Milestone)
The Atlantic Family Live at Montreux – 1977
Still Hard Times – 1982 (Muse)
Fire! Live at the Village Vanguard – 1988 (Atlantic Records)
Return to the Wide Open Spaces – 1990
Mr. Gentle Mr. Cool – 1994
Under a Woodstock Moon
I Remember Brother Ray – 2005
Kissing in 29 Days – 2006 – JW-Jones
Cityscape- 2006
Life – 2007

Ted Kennedy collapses at inauguration

On January 20, 2009, Kennedy suffered a seizure during Barack Obama’s Presidential Inaugural luncheon. He was taken via wheelchair from the Capitol building, and has gone to a local hospital.

Ted Kennedy is the youngest brother of John F. Kennedy & Rober F. Kennedy.

On May 20, 2008, doctors announced that Kennedy had a malignant brain tumor, diagnosed after he experienced a seizure at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts the previous weekend. On June 2, 2008, Kennedy underwent brain surgery at Duke University Medical Center. He returned to the U.S. Capitol on November 17, 2008.

Bob May, Robot B9 from Lost in Space, dies 69

Lost In SpaceBob May (1939 – January 18, 2009) was an American actor best remembered for playing The Robot on the television series Lost in Space.

Born in New York City, May was the grandson of vaudeville comedian Chic Johnson, as well as an actor, stage performer, stuntman, director and public speaker.

For years, May was a regular at autograph conventions in the Los Angeles area and around the country. May’s home was destroyed in the firestorm that hit the Los Angeles area in 2008; he and his wife escaped without injury.  In later life, May enjoyed attending matches at St James’ Park to watch his beloved Newcastle United FC play.

Death of Bob May
Bob May died of congestive heart failure at a hospital in Lancaster.
Bob May was 69 years old at the time of his death

Bob May with B9

Suseanna Foster

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Susanna Foster (born Suzanne DeLee Flanders Larson) (December 6, 1924 –  January 17, 2009) was an American film actress best known for her role as Christine in the 1943 film, The Phantom of the Opera.

Death of Susanna Foster
Susanna Foster died unexpectedly at 5:30 a.m. EST on January 17, 2009 (aged 84). She had been residing at The Lillian Booth Actor’s Home in Englewood, New Jersey since 2003

Susanna Foster turned down the role for National Velvet, this role went to Elizabeth Taylor.

Later Life
By 1983 Foster had been on and off welfare, lived in her car, then moved back to Hollywood from the east coast to make a "comeback." She lived for a time with a doting fan in a tiny apartment on Cherokee Avenue in Hollywood. For a time she attended the occasional film convention or Phantom of the Opera screening and signed autographs, interacting with her fans. She claimed her son Philip was a drug addict and he also became an alcoholic. In 1985 Philip lapsed into hepatic coma (liver failure) on Susanna’s living room floor and died three days later in Van Nuys Hospital. Eventually, she was unable to keep a job or support herself. Her surviving son, Michael, who had tried in vain to help her, finally brought her back to the east coast where she spent the last years of her life living in nursing homes.

Ricardo Montalban, ‘Fantasy Island’ dies 88


Mexican Actor died 2009Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán Merino (November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009) was a Mexican television, theatre, and film actor. He had a career spanning decades and multiple notable roles. During the late 1970s, he was the spokesperson in automobile advertisements for the Chrysler Cordoba (in which he famously extols the "Corinthian leather" used for its interior). From 1977 to 1984 he starred as Mr. Roarke in the television series Fantasy Island. He also played the villainous Khan Noonien Singh in both the 1967 "Space Seed" episode of the first season of the original Star Trek series, and the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He won an Emmy Award in 1978, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 1993. Up until his 80s, he continued to perform, often providing voices for animated films and commercials.

Death of Ricardo Montalban
Montalbán died on January 14, 2009 in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 88. His cause of death has not yet been identified.

Star Trek – Kirk and Khan The Epic Encounter