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August 27th, 2012

Blinky the Clown (Russell Scott) dies 91

Russell Scott (June 30, 1921 – August 27, 2012), also known as Blinky the Clown, was an American clown who starred in a Denver, Colorado, television program called Blinky's Fun Club.

Blinky's Fun Club began in 1958 and originated from the studios of KKTV in Colorado Springs. In 1966, the show moved to KWGN in Denver and remained there until it was cancelled in 1998.

Russell Scott cause of death
Scott died on August 27, 2012, at the Bear Creek Nursing Center in Morrison, Colorado, from complications of pneumonia. Russell Scott was 91 years old at the time of his death.

August 25th

Neil Armstrong, astronaut, first man on moon, dies 82

Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American NASA astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon.

Neil Armstrong cause of death
Neil Armstrong died from complications following a surgery.
Armstrong, who had just turned 82, underwent surgery on August 7, 2012, to relieve blocked coronary arteries.  He died at 2:45pm on August 25, 2012, at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Neil Armstrong was 82 years old at the time of his death

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong One Small Step first moon landing

August 23rd

Actress Phyllis Thaxter, Superman's Mum, Dies at 92

Pretty, brown-haired American actress who tended to play nice girls and woman who wrung their hands and waited, but her performances were spirited enough to bring an extra dimension to such roles. The impetus of her career was badly hit by an attack of infantile paralysis in 1952, but she continued to act, latterly in character roles, Mother of actress Skye Aubrey (1945-)

Jerry Nelson, Count von Count Of 'Sesame, Dies 78

Jerry Nelson (July 10, 1934 – August 23, 2012) was an American puppeteer, best known for his work with The Muppets. Renowned for his wide range of characters and singing abilities, he performed Muppet characters on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and various Muppet movies and specials.

Jerry Nelson cause of death
Jerry Nelson died on August 23, 2012, of complications from the various cancers and respiratory diseases from which he suffered in his final years.  He had suffered from emphysema for years.

Jerry Nelson

Sesame Street - Counting is Wonderful

August 20th

Phyllis Diller, Legendary Comic, Dies 95

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Phyllis DillerPhyllis Diller (July 17, 1917 – August 20, 2012) was an American actress and comedian. She created a stage persona of a wild-haired, eccentrically dressed housewife who makes self-deprecating jokes about her age and appearance, her terrible cooking, and a husband named "Fang", while pretending to smoke from a long cigarette holder. Diller's signature was her unusual laugh.

Phyllis Diller cause of death
Phyllis Diller passed away on August 20, 2012.
Diller suffered medical problems, including a heart attack in 1999. After a hospital stay she was fitted with a pacemaker and released. A bad fall resulted in her being hospitalized for neurological tests and pacemaker installation in 2005. She subsequently retired from stand-up comedy appearances.

On July 11, 2007, USA Today reported that she fractured her back and had to cancel a Tonight Show appearance, during which she had planned to celebrate her 90th birthday. On January 4, 2011, she appeared on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" as part of a panel of comedians.

Phyllis Diller, Hollywood Walk of Fame
North side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard

Phyllis Diller's son, Perry, says he found his mother passed away in her bed with a smile on her face.

Phyllis Diller and her bird legs

August 18th

Scott McKenzie, Singer, San Francisco, dies 73

Scott McKenzie (born Philip Wallach Blondheim, January 10, 1939 – August 18, 2012) was an American singer. He was best known for his 1967 hit single and generational anthem, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)".

Scott McKenzie co-wrote "Kokomo" (1988), a #1 single for the Beach Boys.

Scott McKenzie cause of death
Scott McKenzie died from Guillain–Barré syndrome he suffered since 2010.
Scott McKenzie was 73 years old at the time of his death

Scott McKenzie - San Francisco

August 7th

Randy Travis arrested naked, charged with DWI

On August 7, 2012, police in Grayson County, Texas responded to a call that a man was lying naked in the road. Police reported that they arrived to find Randy Travis naked and smelling of alcohol. Police say that Travis crashed his car in a construction zone, and that when they attempted to apprehend him, Travis threatened the lives of the officers. Travis was subsequently arrested for driving while intoxicated and retaliation against law enforcement officials. He posted bail in the amount of $21,500. Because this incident happened in a different county, his probation was not considered violated.

On February 6, 2012 Travis was arrested for public intoxication while sitting in his car at a Baptist church in Sanger, Texas. He paid a fine and was placed on a 90-day probation. The 90-day probation period expires September 23, 2012.

Randy Travis (born May 4, 1959, 53 years old) is an American country music singer and actor. Since 1985, he has recorded 20 studio albums and charted more than 50 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and 16 of these were number one hits.

Randy Travis - He Walked On Water (Official Video)

July 31st

Gore Vidal, celebrated author, playwright, dies 86

Eugene Luther Gore Vidal (October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012) was a liberal American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), outraged conservative critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality. He also ran for political office twice and was a longtime political critic.

The New York Times described him as being in his old age "an Augustan figure who believed himself to be the last of a breed, and he was probably right. Few American writers have been more versatile or gotten more mileage from their talent." The Los Angeles Times described him as a "literary juggernaut" whose novels and essays were considered "among the most elegant in the English language". The Washington Post remembered him as a "major writer of the modern era" and an "astonishingly versatile man of letters". Popular Spanish publication Ideal reported Vidal's death as a loss to the "culture of the United States" and described him as a "Huge American novelist and essayist". The Italian La Corriere described him as "the enfant terrible of American culture" and said that he was "one of the giants of American literature". French paper Le Figaro described him as "the Killjoy of America" but also said that he was an "outstanding polemicist" and that he used phrases "like high precision weapons."

Gore Vidal cause of death
Gore Vidal died at his home in Hollywood Hills, California, of complications from pneumonia.
Gore Vidal was 86 years old at the time of his death

July 27th

Norman Alden, character actor, dies 87

Norman Alden (September 13, 1924 – July 27, 2012) was an American character actor who has performed in television programs and motion pictures since first appearing on The 20th Century Fox Hour in 1957. He provided the voice of Kay in The Sword in the Stone film in 1963 and received Oscar buzz for his role in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. His acting career began in 1957 and lasted nearly 50 years; he finally retired in 2006 at the age of 82.

He portrayed Coach Leroy Fedder in the 1970s television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Johnny Ringo in the 1955 western and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. He also voiced the ringmaster, Hank, on the animated television series, Devlin. He also played the lead in the film Andy.

Other roles that he has portrayed include Major Truman Landon in Tora! Tora! Tora!. He provided the voice of Kranix in the 1986 film Transformers: The Movie. He was in one episode of Dallas as Senator William Orloff. In Season 1 of The Dukes of Hazzard he played the part of Sheriff Lacey of Springville in the episode "Deputy Dukes"; he returned to the role in the second season episode "The Ghost of General Lee". He appeared as Lou Caruthers, the owner of the coffee shop in Back to the Future and the color-blind cameraman Bill in Ed Wood. He could also be seen in the episode of Murder She Wrote "'Keep The Homefries Burning" in 1986. In the 1970 roller derby movie Kansas City Bomber starring Raquel Welch, Kevin McCarthy and Helena Kallianiotes he plays the part of Horrible Hank Hopkins who has an unrequited love interest in K.C. Carr, played by Raquel Welch.

Norman Alden cause of death
Norman Alden died from natural causes in his Los Angeles, California home. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sharon Hayden.
Norman Alden was 87 years old at the time of his death.

Tony Martin, Iconic romantic singer, dies 98

Tony Martin (December 25, 1913 – July 27, 2012) was an American actor and singer who was married to performer Cyd Charisse for 60 years.

He cut 25 records in 1946 and 1947 for Mercury, including a 1946 recording of "To Each His Own" which became a million-seller. This prompted RCA Victor records to offer him a contract, which he signed in 1947 after satisfying his contract obligations to Mercury.

Tony Martin cause of death
Tony Martin died of natural causes.
Tony Martin was 98 years old at the time of his death.

Tony Martin "ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE"

July 26th

Darryl Cotton, Australian Pop Singer, Zoot Frontman, Dies 62

Darryl Cotton (September 4, 1949 – July 27, 2012) was an Australian pop singer, television presenter and actor, but was best known as a founding member of Australian rock group Zoot in 1968, along with Beeb Birtles, Rick Brewer and, later, Rick Springfield.

Following Zoot, Cotton ventured overseas, basing himself in Los Angeles where he worked consistently as a singer/songwriter and performing with such artists as Olivia Newton-John, The Osmonds, Shaun Cassidy and Cliff Richard. His songwriting credits include Donny Osmond & Marie Osmond, Engelbert Humperdinck and The New Seekers.

Darryl Cotton cause of death
Darryl Cotton was diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2012 (One Month before his death)
Darryl Cotton was 62 years old at the time of his death

The Zoot : 'Eleanor Rigby' - music video

July 24th

Larry Hoppen, Singer, Orleans Co-Founder, Dies 61

Larry Hoppen ( - died July 24, 2012) was a co-founder of the 1970s pop-rock group Orleans.  He sang including "Still the One" and "Dance With Me"

Larry Hoppen cause of death
Larry Hoppen's cause of death is not known yet.
Larry Hoppen was 61 years old at the time of his death.

Orleans is an American pop-rock band best known for its hits "Dance with Me" (1975), "Still the One", from the album Waking and Dreaming (1976) and "Love Takes Time" (1979). The group's name evolved from the music it was playing at the time of their formation, which was inspired by Louisiana artists such as Allen Toussaint and the Neville Brothers. Orleans was formed in Woodstock, New York in January 1972 by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter John Hall, vocalist/guitarist Larry Hoppen and drummer/percussionist Wells Kelly. In October of that year, the group expanded to include Larry's younger brother, Lance, on bass. Drummer Jerry Marotta joined in 1976, completing the quintet.

Orleans "Still the one" (with lyrics)

Chad Everett, actor, 'Medical Center', Dies 75

Raymon Lee Cramton or Chad Everett (June 11, 1937 – July 24, 2012) was an American actor who appeared in over 40 films and television series.

He was probably best known for his role as Dr. Joe Gannon in the 1970s television drama Medical Center.

Since then, he has appeared in numerous films and television series including Centennial, Hagen, Airplane II: The Sequel, Star Command, and Mulholland Drive. He has also appeared as a guest star on over 40 television series such as Melrose Place, The Nanny, Touched by an Angel, Diagnosis: Murder, Caroline in the City, Murder, She Wrote, The Red Skelton Show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Route 66.

Chad Everett cause of death
Chad Everett died at his home in Los Angeles after a year-and-a-half-long battle with lung cancer.
Chad Everett was 75 years old at the time of his death

Chad Everett Tribute

Love Stories - Shelby & Chad Everett (Part 1/4)
* Shelby died 2011

Sherman Hemsley, Comedian, 'George Jefferson', dies 74

Sherman Alexander Hemsley (February 1, 1938 - July 24,2012) was an American actor, most famous for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television series All in the Family and The Jeffersons, and as Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC series Amen. He also played Earl Sinclair's horrifying boss, a Triceratops named B.P. Richfield, on the Jim Henson sitcom Dinosaurs.

The characters of Hemsley and co-star Isabel Sanford were secondary on All in the Family, but were given their own spin-off series, The Jeffersons, less than two years after Hemsley made his debut on the show. The Jeffersons ran 11 seasons through 1985.

Sherman Hemsley cause of death
Sherman Hemsley dies in his home in El Paso, Texas.  Cause of death is not known.
Sherman Hemsley was 74 years old a the time of his death.

Celebrity Deaths

 George Jefferson & Helen Willis 'GET DOWN!'

July 22nd

British Actor Simon Ward Dies at 70

Boyish, diffident, fair-haired British actor who, after a few small roles, wes thrust into the limelight as Winston Churchill, Not surprisingly, that proved a hard act to follow, and Ward was not exactly charismatic. But to his credit, he continued to graft away in top supporting and minor leading roles in films until the mid-1980s. Father of actress Sophie Ward.