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September 7th, 2012

Dorothy McGuire of McGuire Sisters dies 84

* not to be confused with the other Dorothy McGuire, an actress.

Dorothy McGuire, (February 19, 1928 - September 7, 2012) was a member of an American popular  singing trio, The McGuire Sisters . The group was composed of three sisters: Dorothy McGuire, Christine McGuire, born July 30, 1926 (age 86); and Phyllis McGuire, born February 14, 1931 (age 81).  Among their most popular songs are "Sincerely" and "Sugartime".

They performed for five Presidents of the United States (Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush) and for Queen Elizabeth II. The sisters maintained a busy television schedule, making frequent appearances on popular variety hours hosted by Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin, Danny Kaye, Milton Berle, Andy Williams, Perry Como and Red Skelton. The trio was dressed and coiffed identically and performed their synchronized body movements and hand gestures with military precision. Their recordings of "Sincerely," "Picnic," and 1958's "Sugartime" all sold more than one million copies.

Dorothy McGuire cause of death
Dorothy McGuire died at her son's home in Phoenix, Arizona. She had Parkinson's disease and age-related dementia.  But her cause of death was not released.  Dorothy McGuire was 84 years old at the time of her death

PBS Special 2004 - McGuire Sisters

The McGuire Sisters - Sincerely

September 5th

Joe South, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer, dies 72

Grammy WinnerGrammy Winner

Joe South (born Joseph Alfred Souter, February 28, 1940 - September 5, 2012) was a multi-talented American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

South was a prominent sideman, playing guitar on Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools", Tommy Roe's "Sheila", and Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde album.

His biggest single was "Games People Play"  The production won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Song and the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

South's compositions have been recorded by many other artists as well, including Billy Joe Royal's songs "Down in the Boondocks", "I Knew You When", "Yo-Yo" (later a hit for the Osmonds), and "Hush" (later a hit for Deep Purple and Kula Shaker). South's most commercially successful composition is Lynn Anderson's 1971 country/pop monster hit "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden", which was a hit in 16 countries worldwide and translated into many languages. Anderson won a Grammy Award for her vocals, and South won a Grammy Award for writing the song. South would go on to write more hits for Anderson, such as "How Can I Unlove You" (Billboard Country No. 1) and "Fool Me" (Billboard Country No. 3).

South was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1979.

Joe South Cause of Death
Joe South died of heart failure.
Joe South was 72 years old at the time of his death

Joe South - Games People Play

September 3rd

Michael Clarke Duncan, Actor, 'Green Mile' dies 54

Michael Clarke Duncan (December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012) was an American actor, best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. He is also recognized for his appearances in famous motion pictures such as Armageddon, The Whole Nine Yards, Brother Bear, and Daredevil as well as voice acting roles in works such as Delgo.

Michael Clarke Duncan Cause of Death
Michael Clarke Duncan was 54 at the time of his death.

Michael Clarke Duncan died of myocardial infarction (heart attack).  He suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered.

On August 6, 2012 Michael Clarke Duncan was moved from the intensive care unit but remained hospitalized following his July 13 heart attack.

On July 13, 2012, Duncan was sent to the hospital after suffering from a heart attack. It was reported that his girlfriend, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, potentially saved his life by performing CPR before he was transported to the hospital.

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Myocardial infarction (MI) or acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die.

Craig Ferguson 4/20/11C Late Late Show Michael Clarke Duncan

September 1st

Hal David, Music Legend, 'Raindrops' Lyricist, Dies 91

grammy winnerOscar WinnerHollywood Walk of Fame

Harold Lane "Hal" David (May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012) was an American lyricist. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York City. He was best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach and his association with Dionne Warwick.

Hal David and Burt Bacharach's hits included "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", "This Guy's in Love with You", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", "Do You Know the Way to San Jose", "Walk On By", "What the World Needs Now Is Love", "I Say a Little Prayer", "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me", "One Less Bell to Answer", and "Anyone Who Had a Heart".

The duo's film work includes the Oscar-nominated title songs for "What's New Pussycat?" and "Alfie", "The Look of Love", from Casino Royale; and the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid In addition, "Don't Make Me Over", "(They Long to Be) Close to You", and "Walk On By" have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

David and Bacharach were awarded the 2011 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song bestowed by the Library of Congress, the first time a songwriting team was given the honor.  David and Bacharach won an Oscar for "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" (from the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"), and Grammys and Tonys for the songs from the hit Broadway musical "Promises, Promises."

Hal David's work with other composers includes Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias's "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", with Albert Hammond; Sarah Vaughan's "Broken Hearted Melody", with Sherman Edwards; the 1962 Joanie Sommers hit "Johnny Get Angry". also with Edwards; and "We Have All the Time in the World", written with John Barry and sung by Louis Armstrong for the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. With Paul Hampton, David co-wrote the country standard "Sea of Heartbreak", a hit for Don Gibson and others.

Hal David cause of death
David died of stroke
Hal David was 91 years old at the time of his death.

Hal David Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hal David was inducted to the Walk of Fame on Friday, October 14, 2011, at 6752 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of The Musicians Institute.

Rain Drops keep falling on my head - Written by David & Bacharach

August 28th

Sylvester Stallone’s half-sister Toni Ann Filiti dies of cancer at 48

Related Blog
Sage Stallone, Sylvester Stallone's son, dies 36

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Toni Ann Filiti succumbs after long battle with lung cancer. Mom Jackie Stallone: Sly ‘said he can’t take any more pain.’ 

Tragedy struck Sylvester Stallone’s grieving family for the second time in two months Sunday with the death of the actor’s half-sister from cancer.

Toni Ann Filiti, 48, passed away Sunday morning at her mother’s residence in Santa Monica, Calif., just six weeks after the “Rocky” star’s 36-year-old son Sage Moonblood Stallone was found lifeless in his Los Angeles home.

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Click for complete article from NY Daily News

August 27th

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"