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June 23rd, 2013

Bobby 'Blue' Bland, Blues Legend, Dies 83

grammy winner

Robert Calvin "Bobby" Bland (January 27, 1930 – June 23, 2013), also known as Bobby "Blue" Bland, was an American singer of blues and soul. He was an original member of the Beale Streeters, and was sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues". Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Junior Parker, Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B. An imitator of Frank Sinatra, he was also known as the “Sinatra of the blues”, his music being influenced by Nat King Cole.

Bobby Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Bobby 'Blue' Bland cause of death

Bobby 'Blue' Bland died on June 23, 2013 at his home in Memphis after an illness.  Bobby 'Blue' Bland was 83 years old at the time of his death.

Bobby Blue Bland-Members Only

June 19th

James Gandolfini,'Sopranos' Star, Tony Soprano, Dies 51

James Joseph Gandolfini, Jr. (September 18, 1961- June 19, 2013) was an American actor. He was best known for his role as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, about a troubled crime boss struggling to balance his family life and career in the Mafia. For this role, Gandolfini garnered enormous praise, winning both the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series three times. Gandolfini's other roles include the woman-beating mob henchman Virgil in True Romance, enforcer/stuntman Bear in Get Shorty, and the impulsive Wild Thing Carol in Where the Wild Things Are.

Gandolfini's most acclaimed role to date is that of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey Mafia boss and family man who is the lead character in The Sopranos, which debuted in 1999. He won three Emmys for "Best Actor in a Drama" for his depiction of Tony Soprano, who constantly questions his identity and purpose. Gandolfini eventually earned $1,000,000 per episode in the series, and Entertainment Weekly listed him as the 42nd Greatest TV Icon of All Time.

James Gandolfini cause of death.

James Gandolfini died on June 19th, 2013 of a heart attack while vacationing in Italy. James Gandolfini was 51 years old when he was pronounced dead.

June 7th

Richard Ramirez, serial killer, 'Night Stalker', dies 53

Richard Ramirez, serial killer, 'Night Stalker', dies 53

Ricardo "Richard" Muñoz Ramirez (February 29, 1960 - June 7, 2013) was an American convicted serial killer, who died while awaiting execution on California's death row. Prior to his capture, Ramirez was dubbed the "Night Stalker" by the news media. Ramirez died of natural causes while on death row on the morning of June 7th, 2013.

Richard Ramirez cause of death.

Richard Ramirez died in Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California on the morning of June 7, 2013. The cause of death is pending an investigation. Richard Ramirez was 53 years old at the time of his death.

June 6th

Esther Williams, Swimmer and Movie Star, dies 91

walk of fame

Esther Jane Williams (August 8, 1921 – June 6, 2013) was an American competitive swimmer and MGM movie actress.

Williams set multiple national and regional swimming records in her late teens as part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team. Unable to compete in the 1940 Summer Olympics because of the outbreak of World War II, she joined Billy Rose's Aquacade, where she took on the role vacated by Eleanor Holm after the show's move from New York City to San Francisco. While in the city, she spent five months swimming alongside Olympic gold medal winner and Tarzan star, Johnny Weissmuller. It was at the Aquacade that Williams caught the attention of MGM scouts. After appearing in several small roles, alongside Mickey Rooney in an Andy Hardy film, and future five time co-star Van Johnson in A Guy Named Joe, Williams made a series of films in the 1940s and early 1950s known as "aquamusicals," which featured elaborate performances with synchronized swimming and diving.

From 1945 to 1949, Williams had at least one film listed among the 20 highest grossing films of the year

Esther Williams cause of death.

Esther Williams died on June 6, 2013 in her sleep in her Los Angeles home.  She was 91 years old at the time of her death.

May 31st

Jean Stapleton, Actress, "All in the Family", Edith Bunker, dies 90

Emmy WinnerEmmy WinnerEmmy WinnerGolden Globe WinnerGolden Globe Winner

jeanJean Stapleton (born Jeanne Murray; January 19, 1923 – May 31, 2013) was an American character actress of stage, television and film.

Stapleton is best known for having portrayed Edith Bunker, the long-suffering, yet devoted wife of Archie Bunker (played by Carroll O'Connor) and mother of Gloria Stivic (played by Sally Struthers), on the 1970s situation comedy All in the Family. Stapleton also made occasional appearances on the All in the Family follow-up series, Archie Bunker's Place, but, tired of the role, asked to be written out as a regular character after the first season.

Stapleton's awards for All in the Family include three Emmys and two Golden Globes. She was offered a role in the feature film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as Mrs. Teevee, but she declined because it coincided with the production of the All in the Family pilot (the role went to Nora Denney).

She declined the opportunity to lead in the television mystery programme Murder, She Wrote, which from 1984 to 1996 instead starred Angela Lansbury.

In 1996, Stapleton played opposite John Travolta, portraying the eccentric rooming house owner, Pansy Milbank in Nora Ephron's hit Michael. Stapleton also appeared in the 1998 feature You've Got Mail as a close co-worker in whom Meg Ryan's character confides.

Jean Stapleton Cause of Death

Jean Stapleton died of natural causes, in New York City, surrounded by family and friends. Jean Stapleton was 90 years old at the time of her death. She is survived by her two children, John, a TV director, and Pamela, a TV producer.

Jean Stapleton - Simple Melody

All In The Family Intro

May 1st

Chris Kelly of rap duo Kris Kross dies 34

On May 1, 2013 Chris Kelly, AKA "Mac Daddy", was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home. Kelly was pronounced dead around 5 pm on the south campus of the Atlanta Medical Center. He was 34 years old. A drug overdose is suspected.

Kris Kross was an American rap duo of the 1990s comprising Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith. The duo was best known for their hit 1992 song "Jump", which was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks and was certified double platinum as a single. Kris Kross was also noted for their fashion style, which consisted of wearing their clothing backwards.

Kris Kross- Jump

April 29th

Deanna Durbin, Singer, Former child star, dies 91

Deanna Durbin (born Edna Mae Durbin, December 4, 1921 – April 2013) was a Canadian singer and actress, who appeared in a number of musical films in the 1930s and 1940s singing standards as well as operatic arias.

On April 30, 2013, a newsletter published by the Deanna Durbin Society reported that Durbin died "a few days ago", quoting her son, Peter H. David, who thanked her admirers for respecting her privacy. No other details were given.

Deanna Durbin - Begin The Beguine

April 25th

George Jones, Country Music legend, dies 81

Breaking news, more coming

George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American country music singer known for his long list of hit records, his distinctive voice and phrasing, and his marriage to Tammy Wynette.

George Jones cause of death

Cause of death was not released.  George Jones died April 26, 2013 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He was hospitalized April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure.  George Jones was 81 years old at the time of his death.

George Jones - I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair

April 19th

Allan Arbus, 'M*A*S*H' star, dies 95

Allan Arbus (February 15, 1918 – April 19, 2013) was an American actor notable for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Freedman on the television series M*A*S*H.

Arbus is far better known for his television work, which includes over 45 titles and works as recent as Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2000. Among Arbus's non-M*A*S*H TV work are guest and recurring roles in such television series as Law & Order, L.A. Law, Matlock, Starsky and Hutch, and Judging Amy.

During the 1940's Allan Arbus was a successful photographer, primarily known for advertising photography that appeared in Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines

Allan Arbus cause of death

Allan Arbus was 95 years old at the time of his death.  Cause of death was not released.

Allan Arbus as Sydney Freedman - M*A*S*H

April 11th

Jonathan Winters, Comedy Legend, Dies 87

Hollywood Walk of FameEmmy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy WinnerGrammy Winner

J WJonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) was an American comedian, actor and artist.

Beginning in 1960, Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label. He also had comedy albums released every decade for over 50 years, receiving 11 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album nominations during his career, and winning the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for Crank(y) Calls in 1996.

Winters has also appeared in hundreds of television show episodes/series and films combined, including eccentric characters on The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters (1972–74), Mork & Mindy, Hee Haw and in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Winters had a dramatic role in the The Twilight Zone episode "A Game of Pool" (episode 3.5 on October 13, 1961)

After voicing Grandpa Smurf on The Smurfs (1986–89) and Papa Smurf in The Smurfs (2011 film), Winters's final feature film was The Smurfs 2 in 2013, which will be dedicated in his memory.

Jonathan Winters was inducted to the Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960 with 1 star.

Jonathan Winters cause of death

Jonathan Winters died on April 11, 2013, in Montecito, California, of natural causes. Jonathan Winters was 87 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by his two children: Jay Winters, and Lucinda Winters.

Jonathan Winters Montage Part 1 - Orinda Film Festival 2003

April 8th

Annette Funicello, Mouseketeer, Star of Beach Movies, dies 70

Annette Joanne Funicello (October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013) was an American actress and singer. Beginning her professional career as a child performer at the age of twelve, Funicello rose to prominence as one of the most popular "Mouseketeers" on the original Mickey Mouse Club. As a teenager, she transitioned to a successful career as a singer with the pop singles "O Dio Mio," "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess", as well as establishing herself as a film actress, popularizing the successful "Beach Party" genre alongside co-star Frankie Avalon during the mid-1960s.

Annette Funicello Cause of Death

In 1992, Funicello announced that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She died from complications of the disease on April 8, 2013.  Annette Funicello was 70 years old at the time of her death

Annette Funicello - Blame It On The Bossa Nova

Annette

April 7th

Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the UK, Dies 87

MTMargaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (October 13, 1925 - April 8, 2013) was a British Conservative Party politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to have held the office. A Soviet journalist called her the "Iron Lady", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.

Margaret Thatcher Cause of Death

Margaret Thatcher died on 8 April 2013 at The Ritz Hotel in London after suffering a stroke. Margaret Thatcher was 87 years old at the time of her death.

She had been staying at a suite in The Ritz Hotel since Christmas after having difficulty with stairs at her Chester Square home. She had suffered from poor health for several years.

April 4th

Roger Ebert, renowned film critic, dies 70

walk of fame

Roger Joseph Ebert (June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American journalist, film critic and screenwriter, who was described by Forbes as "the most powerful pundit in America". He was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, as well as the first to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Roger Ebert cause of death

Ebert died on April 4, 2013 after battling cancer for many years.  Roger Ebert was 70 years old at the time of his death.

March 28th

Richard Griffiths, 'Harry Potter' actor, uncle Vernon, dies 65

Richard Griffiths, OBE (July 31, 1947 – March 28, 2013) was an English actor of stage, film and television. He received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, all for his role in the play The History Boys. He was also known for his portrayal of Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films, Uncle Monty in Withnail and I, Henry Crabbe in Pie in the Sky, and King George II in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He also appeared in Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning 1982 film Gandhi portraying the role of a British journalist.

Griffiths' film roles were in both contemporary and period pieces such as Gorky Park (1983), Withnail and I (1987), King Ralph (1991), The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991), Guarding Tess (1994) and Sleepy Hollow (1999). Later, he was seen as Harry Potter's cruel uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series.

Richard Griffiths cause of death

Richard Griffiths died at the University Hospital Coventry on 28 March 2013 from complications following heart surgery.  Richard Griffiths was 65 years old at the time of his death.

March 23rd

Joe Weider, bodybuilding & fitness icon, dies 93

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joeJosef Edwin "Joe" Weider (November 29, 1920 – March 23, 2013) was the co-founder of the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) along with brother Ben Weider and creator of the Mr. Olympia, the Ms. Olympia and the Masters Olympia bodybuilding contests. He was the publisher of several bodybuilding and fitness-related magazines, most notably Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Men's Fitness and Shape, and the manufacturer of a line of fitness equipment and fitness supplements. In 1995, he appeared in the Charlton Heston and Peter Graves film, America: A Call to Greatness, directed by Warren Chaney.

Joe Weider created Weider Nutrition in 1940, considered the first sports nutrition company. Now called Schiff Nutrition International, they were the creators of Tiger's Milk nutrition bars and related products, one of the earliest lines of sports foods.

On Labor Day 2006, California governor and seven times Mr. Olympia winner Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Weider protégé, presented him with the Venice Muscle Beach Hall of Fame's Lifetime Achievement award. Schwarzenegger credited Weider with inspiring him to enter bodybuilding and to come to the United States.

Joe Weider cause of death

Joe Weider died of heart failure on March 23, 2013 at his home in Los Angeles, California.  Joe Weider was 92 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Betty.