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Celebrity Deaths

Bob Flanigan, Four Freshmen Founder, Dies 84

Bob Flanigan (August 22, 1926 – May 15, 2011), was an American tenor vocalist and founding member of The Four Freshmen, a jazz vocal group

Flanigan, who was born in Greencastle, Indiana, was a respected trombonist, and also played bass guitar with the outfit for several decades, beginning on September 20, 1948, and sang the top part.

After retiring from performing in 1992, Flanigan maintained the band's name and was responsible for the group's changing cast of performers.

Bob Flanigan Cause of Death
Bob Flanigan died of congestive heart failure at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 15, 2011. Bob Flanigan was 84 years old at the time of his death.

Four Freshmen - Poinciana (1952) Bob Flanigan on Bass
You can see Beach Boys and Manhattan Transfer were influenced by their style.

 A Visit with Bob Flanigan of The Four Freshmen

Norma Zimmer, 'Lawrence Welk Show' soloist, dies 87

Norma Zimmer (July 13, 1923 – May 10, 2011) was a vocalist, best remembered for her 22-year tenure as Lawrence Welk's "Champagne Lady" on The Lawrence Welk Show.

Zimmer sang with a quartet called The Girlfriends along with Betty Allan and others. They sang backup for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, and others. Their coup was to be hired as backup for the famous Bing Crosby version of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas".

As her two sons were growing up, she decided to give it up to raise her children. Welk told her it was all right for her to quit the road tours, but he asked her to stay on the television show until he could find another singer. Each week, a new girl came on as a possible replacement, but Welk kept asking Zimmer to come back the following week. That went on for 20 years. As the show's Champagne Lady, Zimmer sang one solo and often a duet (usually with Jimmy Roberts); she frequently danced with Welk at the end of the show.

Norma Zimmer Cause of Death
Norma Zimmer stopped performing publicly since she was suffering from a neurological disorder. She died peacefully on May 10, 2011 at her Brea, California home.
Norma Zimmer was 87 years old at the time of her death. She was survived by her two sons, Ron and Mark, as well as three grand children.

Norma Zimmer on The Lawrence Welk Show: Hold Me, Thrill Me
** Recommended **

Dreamin' of a White Christmas on the Welk Show
1972, Norma Zimmer and Jimmy Roberts

Dolores Fuller, Ed Wood Star and Elvis Songwriter, Died 88

Dolores Fuller (born Dolores Eble; March 10, 1923 – May 9, 2011) was an American actress and songwriter best known as the one-time girlfriend of the low-budget film director Edward D. Wood, Jr. She played the protagonist's girlfriend in Glen or Glenda, co-starred in Wood's Jail Bait, and had a minor role in Bride of the Monster. Later, Elvis Presley recorded a number of her songs written for his films.

Ed Wood (1994 film)
Fuller was portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker in Tim Burton's 1994 Wood biopic Ed Wood.

Dolores Fuller Cause of Death
Dolores Fuller died at her Las Vegas home after a long illness.
Dolores Fuller was 88 years old at the time of her death.

Jail Bait Preview

Cornell Dupree, rhythm-and-blues guitarist, dies at 69

Cornell Dupree (December 19, 1942 – May 8, 2011) was an American jazz and R&B guitarist. He worked at various times with Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, King Curtis and Steve Gadd, appeared on David Letterman, and written a book on soul and blues guitar: Rhythm and Blues Guitar ISBN 0-634-00149-3. He reputedly recorded on 2,500 sessions.

Cornell Dupree also worked with Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt and Mariah Carey.

He played on Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love", and is featured on two tracks of Peter Wolf's 1998 album, Fool's Parade. He is also known for playing the opening guitar riff on Aretha Franklin's "Respect"

Cornell Dupree Cause of Death
Cornell Dupree died of emphysema while waiting for lung transplant.
Cornell Dupree was 69 years old at the time of his death.

Rainy Night in Georgia - Brook Benton

Aretha Franklin - Respect [1967]

Seve Ballesteros, Golf legend, dies 54

Severiano "Seve" Ballesteros Sota (April 9, 1957 – May 7, 2011) was a Spanish professional golfer, a World No. 1 who was one of the sport's leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. He gained attention in the golfing world in 1976, when at the age of 19 he finished second at the British Open. A member of a gifted golfing family, Ballesteros won five major championships between 1979 and 1988, the British Open three times, and The Masters twice. He was also successful in the Ryder Cup, helping the European team to five wins both as a player and captain, and won the World Match Play Championship a record-tying five times. He is best known for his great short game, and his erratic driving of the golf ball. He is generally regarded as the greatest Spanish golfer of all time.

Seve Bellesteros Cause of Death
On 6 May 2011, his family released a press release announcing that Ballesteros's neurological condition had "suffered a severe deterioration". He died within hours of the announcement in the early hours of 7 May 2011. 

Tiger Woods said of Ballesteros that he was "one of the most talented and exciting golfers to ever play the game"

John Walker of The Walker Brothers, 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine' Dies 67

John Joseph Maus (November 12, 1943 - May 7, 2011), known professionally as John Walker, was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the founder of The Walker Brothers, who had their greatest success in the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom.

The Walker Brothers sold about 23 million albums and disbanded in the late 60s.

John Walker Cause of Death
In 2010 Walker was diagnosed with liver cancer from which he died, at his home, in Los Angeles on 7 May 2011.
JohnWalker was 67 years old at the time of his death

The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) - Walker Brothers

 John Walker - Kentucky Woman (of The Walker Brothers)

John Walker's Official Website

Dana Wynter, Actress from 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' Dies 79

Related:
Kevin McCarthy, 'Body Snatchers', Prolific Actor, Dies 96 (September 11, 2010)

Dana Wynter (born Dagmar Winter; June 8, 1931 – May 5, 2011) was a German-born British actress, who was brought up in England and Southern Africa. She appeared in film and television for more than forty years beginning in the 1950s, most notably in the original version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Dana Wynter Cause of Death
Dana Wynter died on 5 May 2011 from congestive heart failure at the Ojai Valley Community Hospital's Continuing Care Center; she was 79 years old. She had suffered from heart disease in later years, and was transferred from the hospital's intensive care unit earlier in the day. Her son Mark said she was not expected to survive, and "she stepped off the bus very peacefully", 33 days short of her 80th birthday.

Danny Kaye: ON THE DOUBLE  (with Dana Wynter)

Related:
Kevin McCarthy, 'Body Snatchers', Prolific Actor, Dies 96 (September 11, 2010)

Arthur Laurents, Tony Winning Playwright and Director, Dies 93

Arthur Laurents (July 14, 1917 - May 5, 2011) was an American playwright, librettist, stage director, and screenwriter. His credits include the stage musicals West Side Story and Gypsy and the film The Way We Were.

Arthur Laurents's Notable Work
    * West Side Story - 1957 - Tony Nomination for Best Musical
    * Gypsy - 1959 - Tony Nomination for Best Musical
    * Hallelujah, Baby! - 1967 - Tony Award for Best Musical
   
Direction
    * Gypsy - 1974 - Tony Nomination for Best Direction of a Musical
    * La Cage aux Folles - 1983 - Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical
    * Gypsy - 2008 - Tony Award nomination as Best Director of a Musical

Arthur Laurents Cause of Death
Arthur Laurents died from complications of pneumonia.
Arthur Laurents was 93 years old at the time of his death.

Sada Thompson, Actress Known for Maternal Roles, Dies at 83

Sada Carolyn Thompson (September 27, 1927 — May 4, 2011) was an American stage, film and television actress.

Sada Thompson was nominated for the Emmy Award nine times in total. Additional television credits include Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, The Love Boat, Father Dowling Mysteries, Andre's Mother, Cheers, Indictment: The McMartin Trial, and Law & Order.

Thompson's feature films include The Pursuit of Happiness, Desperate Characters and Pollock.

Sada Thompson Cause of Death
Sada Thompson died in Danbury, Connecticut of lung disease.
Sada Thompson was 83 years old at the time of her death.
In addition to her daughter, Liza, she was survived by her husband, a former executive for Pan American Airlines, and a brother, David.

Family (1976) ABC - Kate has Nancy's number
Sada Thompson as Mother, Kate Lawrence (Emmy Awarded Role)
 

 

Mary Murphy, Actress, opposite Brando in ‘Wild One’ died 80

Mary Murphy ( January 26, 1931 - May 4, 2011) was an American film actress of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. She was born in Washington, D.C., before moving to Los Angeles. Shortly out of high school she was signed to appear in films for Paramount Pictures in the late 1940s.

Murphy first gained attention 1953, when she played a good-hearted girl who tries to reform Marlon Brando in The Wild One. The following year, she appeared opposite Tony Curtis in Beachhead, and the year after that as Fredric March's daughter in the thriller The Desperate Hours, which also starred Humphrey Bogart. She co-starred with actor-director Ray Milland in his Western A Man Alone. She appeared in dozens of television series including Perry Mason, I Spy and Ironside. She was long absent from the big screen before acting in 1972 with Steve McQueen in the Sam Peckinpah film Junior Bonner. She had retired from acting by the 1980s.

Mary Murphy Cause of Death
Mary Murphy died from heart disease complications on May 4, 2011; she was 80 years old.

 Johnny meets Kathie (Marlon Brando & Mary Murphy ) - The Wild One(1953)

Jackie Cooper, Legendary Actor, 'Our Gang', 'Superman', Dies 88

Jackie Cooper (September 15, 1922 – May 3, 2011) was an American actor, TV director, TV producer and executive. He was a child actor who managed to transition to an adult career. He is also the youngest performer to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, an honor he received for the film Skippy (film) (1931).

Jackie Cooper dated Judy Garland when he was 14. He dated Joan Crawford when he was 17.

Jackie Cooper's other notable movies, mostly as a child or teen actor, included "The Champ" (1931), "Treasure Island" (1934), "The Return of Frank James" (1940) and "Ziegfeld Girl" (1941).

Jackie Cooper worked as director on M*A*S*H (TV series) and The White Shadow earned him Emmy awards.

Jackie Cooper found renewed fame in the 1970s and 1980s as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve.

Jackie Cooper has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1501 Vine Street.

Jackie Cooper Cause of Death
Jackie Cooper passed away on May 3, 2011 after a short illness.

America's Boy -- Jackie Cooper

 

Columbo - Candidate For Crime - Ending - Jackie Cooper as a bad guy.

William Campbell, Actor, ‘Star Trek’ Klingon, Dies 87

William Campbell (October 30, 1923 – April 28, 2011) was an American actor who appeared in supporting roles in major film productions and also starred in several low-budget B-movies, including two cult horror films.

Campbell has obtained cult status for his guest starring roles on Star Trek, appearing first as the mischievous super-being Trelane (in part a parody of Liberace, whom Campbell resembled), in an episode of the original series called "The Squire of Gothos". Campbell also appeared twice as the Klingon Captain Koloth. Campbell first played Koloth on the original Star Trek series in the classic episode "The Trouble With Tribbles." He reprised the Koloth role on the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, some thirty years later. Campbell appeared at several Trek conventions in the 1980s and 1990s and many Star Trek fans consider Campbell's portrayal of the Trelane character as the first introduction of the "Q culture" to the series. (The Q are an omnipotent race made part of The Next Generation, then Deep Space 9 and Voyager series.) His last appearance was at the convention organized by Creation Entertainment at the Las Vegas Hilton in August 2006.

He died quietly on April 28, 2011, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

 

Marian Mercer, Tony Winner for Promises, Promises, Dies 75

Marian Mercer (November 26, 1935 – April 27, 2011) was an American actress and singer.

She drew critical notice for her performance in New Faces of 1962, and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance, and the Theatre World Award for Promises, Promises (1968).

Marian Mercer Cause of Death
Marian Mercer died from Alzheimer's disease, in Newbury Park, California.
Marian Mercer was 75 years old at the time of her death.

IT'S A LIVING SITCOM INTRO

Phoebe Snow, Singer "Poetry Man", Died 60

Phoebe Snow (born Phoebe Ann Laub; July 12, 1950 – April 26, 2011) was an American female singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known for her 1975 hit "Poetry Man."

Phoebe Snow has performed with a numerous artists including Lou Rawls, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dave Grusin, Avenue Blue with Jeff Golub, Garland Jeffreys, Jewel, Donald Fagen, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Queen, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Jackson Browne, Dave Mason, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, Cyndi Lauper, Roger Daltrey, Chaka Khan, CeCe Peniston, Take 6, Michael Bolton, Thelma Houston, Mavis Staples, Laurie Anderson, Tracy Nelson, and The Sisters of Glory (with whom she performed at the second Woodstock festival), among others.

Phoebe Snow Cause of Death
Snow suffered a brain hemorrhage on January 19, 2010 and slipped into a coma, enduring bouts of blood clots, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure. Snow died on April 26, 2011.  Phoebe Snow was 60 years old at the time of her death.

In 1997, she sang the Roseanne theme song a cappella during the closing moments of the final episode.

Phoebe Snow Poetry Man

Phoebe Snow - Roseanne Finale Ending song

Phoebe Snow's Official Website

Elmer Lynn Hauldren, 'Empire Carpet Man', dead 89

Elmer Lynn Hauldren (April 1, 1922 in Missouri - April 26, 2011) was a former advertising copywriter based out of Chicago who was best known for originating the television character The Empire Man, the spokesman for Empire Today. He resided in Evanston, Illinois.

Hauldren was working on the Empire Carpet account in 1977 and could not find an actor the company approved of for the role of The Empire Man in a commercial scheduled to be shot. Instead, then company owner Seymour Cohen asked Hauldren to play the role of The Empire Man himself.

Elmer Lynn Hauldren Cause of Death
Elmer Hauldren died at the age of 89.
A cause of death wasn't given but the spokeswoman said he had been sick.

Empire Carpet Commercial 1986

 Empire Today 588.2300 animated carpet clip 

Empire Today Website

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