Major Causes of Death: Accidental | Cancer | Drug | Heart Attack | Heart Failure | Lung | Natural Causes | Suicide

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Mike Evans - Lionel Jefferson from "The Jeffersons" dies 57

Michael Jonas Evans  (Mike Evans) (November 3, 1949 – December 14, 2006), was an American actor and co-creator of the show Good Times.

Evans is most famous for the recurring role of Lionel Jefferson on All in the Family and was the first (and eventually final) actor to play Lionel on the spin-off The Jeffersons. He played Lionel on The Jeffersons for much of its 11-year run, with the majority of his appearances occurring from 1979-1983. Opera singer/actor Damon Evans (no relation to Michael) played the role for a few years of The Jeffersons, as Michael was occupied in the production of Good Times. He returned after Good Times was cancelled in 1979.

Evans died of throat cancer at his mother's home in Twentynine Palms, California at the age of 57. The announcement of his death was not released until a week later.

Maureen Stapleton - Actress, Award Magnet, dies 80

Lois Maureen Stapleton (June 21, 1925 - March 13, 2006) was an Academy Award-, Emmy- and two-time Tony Award-winning American actress in film, theater and television. She was also elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Death of Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton suffered from anxiety and alcoholism for many years and once told an interviewer, "The curtain came down and I went into the vodka." She also said that her unhappy childhood contributed to her insecurities. In 2006, Maureen Stapleton, who was a heavy smoker, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at her home in Lenox, Massachusetts, at the age of 80

A Tribute to Maureen Stapleton

Maureen Stapleton's awards & filmography continues next page

Academy Awards

Best Supporting Actress
1981 Reds

BAFTA Awards
Best Supporting Actress 1982 Reds

Emmy Awards
Outstanding Lead Actress - Miniseries/Movie 1968 Among the Paths to Eden

Golden Globe Awards
Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture 1971 Airport

Tony Awards
Best Leading Actress in a Play 1971 The Gingerbread Lady
Best Featured Actress in a Play 1951 The Rose Tattoo

Maureen Stapleton - Filmography

1958All the King's MenTV; Nominated - Emmy Award
LonelyheartsNominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1959The Fugitive Kind 
1961Vu du pontaka A View from the Bridge
1963Bye Bye Birdie 
1967Among the Paths to EdenTV; Emmy Award
1969Truman Capote's TrilogyReprise of Emmy winning 1967 role
1970AirportGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1971Plaza SuiteNominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Summer of '42Voice (Uncredited)
1972Dig 
1974Voyage to NextVoice
1975Queen of the Stardust BallroomNominated - Emmy Award
1977The GatheringNominated - Emmy Award
1978InteriorsNominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1979The Runner Stumbles 
Lost and Found 
1981RedsAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
The Fan 
On the Right Track 
1984Johnny Dangerously 
1985Cocoon 
1986Heartburn 
The Cosmic EyeVoice
The Money Pit 
1987Nuts 
Made in Heaven 
Sweet Lorraine 
1988Liberace: Behind the MusicTV
The ThornsTV series
Doin' Time on Planet Earth 
Cocoon: The Return 
1989B.L. StrykerNominated - Emmy Award
1992LincolnTV, voice
Miss Rose WhiteNominated - Emmy Award
1994Trading Mom 
The Last Good Time 
1995Road to AvonleaNominated - Emmy Award
1996My Universe Inside OutVoice
1997Addicted to Love 
1998Wilbur Falls 
2003Living and Dining

Morton Downey, Jr - Talk Show Host

Dead Talk Show HostMorton Downey, Jr. (born Sean Morton Downey; December 9, 1932 - March 12, 2001) was a controversial and influential American television talk show host of the 1980s who pioneered the "trash talk show" format.

Death of Morton Downey, Jr
Morton Downey, Jr was died of lung cancer
Morton Downey, Jr was 67 years old at the time of his death.

Lung cancer of Morton Downey, Jr
In 1996, Downey was diagnosed with lung cancer and had one of his lungs removed. He did a complete about-face on tobacco use, going from a one-time member of the National Smokers Alliance to a staunch anti-smoking activist. He continued to speak against smoking until his death from lung cancer in 2001 at age 67. After being diagnosed with lung cancer, he said, "I had spawned a generation of kids to think it was cool to smoke a cigarette. Kids walked up to me until a matter of weeks ago, they'd have a cigarette in their hand and they'd say, 'Hey, Mort,' or, 'Hey, Mouth, autograph my cigarette.' And I'd do it." He also blamed tobacco companies for lying to consumers about cigarettes.

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  • Morton Downey Jr's biography continues next page

Morton Downey Jr - Rock / Metal

Author Adrian Havill later said that Downey's cancer and subsequent anti-smoking commercials, like other celebrity causes for certain diseases, served as a publicity tool

Career
In the 1980s, Downey was working as a talk show host at KFBK-AM in Sacramento, California, where he established his abrasive and much imitated right wing, populist style, relentlessly deriding anyone who disagreed with him or had a liberal point of view. Downey's success, coupled with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, laid the groundwork for more aggressive, opinion-based talk radio. His work led to the "trash talk" genre of Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Ricki Lake and many more. His fight with fellow radio talk show host Wally George (with each charging that the other was not conservative) on George's talk show led to police tackling Downey to the ground.

Downey later headed to Secaucus, New Jersey where his highly controversial television program The Morton Downey Jr. Show was taped for two years before it was canceled for low ratings. (His replacement at KFBK was Rush Limbaugh). The program featured screaming matches among Downey, his guests, and his audience members. He would chainsmoke during the show and blow smoke in his guests' faces. Downey's signature phrases pabulum puker (referring to political liberals) and "zip it!" briefly enjoyed some popularity in the contemporary vernacular. He particularly enjoyed making his guests angry with each other. The Washington Post wrote about him, "Suppose a maniac got hold of a talk show. Or need we suppose?" David Letterman said, "I'm always amazed at what people will fall for. We see this every 10 or 12 years, an attempt at this, and I guess from that standpoint I don't quite understand why everybody's falling over backwards over the guy."

The success of the show made Downey a pop culture celebrity, leading to an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1988 and later roles in movies such as Predator 2 and Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation. He was also cast in several TV roles, often playing tabloid TV hosts or other obnoxious media types.

Controversies
In 1989, as fascination with Downey's show began to wane, he was involved in an incident in a San Francisco International Airport restroom in which he claimed to have been attacked by neo-Nazis who painted a swastika on his face and attempted to shave his head. Some inconsistencies in Downey's account (e.g., the swastika was painted in reverse, suggesting that Downey had drawn it himself in a mirror), and the failure of the police to find supportive evidence, led many to suspect that the incident was a hoax and a plea for attention. A few months later, the show was canceled.

Downey was sued for allegedly appropriating the words and music to his theme song from two songwriters. He was sued for $40 million after bringing a stripper onto the show and calling her a "slut," a "pig," a "hooker," and a "tramp," saying that she had diseases, and banging his pelvis against hers. At one point, he was arraigned on criminal charges for attacking a gay guest on his show, in a never-aired segment. In another lawsuit, he was accused of slandering a newscaster (a former colleague), and of indecently exposing himself to her and slapping her.

Downey infamously hit Stuttering John with a chair on The Howard Stern Show and punched him.

In interviews, he expressed regret for some of the extreme theatrics of his TV show, saying he had taken things too far. He added that he had been a "bastard." However, he also claimed that his show was of a higher quality and not as "sleazy" as Jerry Springer's.

Attempted comeback
In 1993, Downey attempted a comeback in talk radio on Dallas radio station KGBS, where he would scream insults at his callers. He was also hired as the station's VP of Operations. The following year he had a short-lived television show, Downey, that was similar in theme to his earlier, more popular show. In one episode, Downey claimed to have had a psychic communication with OJ Simpson's murdered ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Like his father, Downey pursued music as a career, recording in both pop and country styles. One song, "Green Eyed Girl" scraped the bottom reaches of the Billboard Magazine Country chart, peaking at #95 in 1981. After the success of his talk show, Downey returned to the recording studio to cut an album of songs based on his show, Morton Downey Jr. Sings. The album's only single, "Zip It!" (a catch-phrase from the TV show, used to quiet an irate guest), became a surprise hit on some college radio stations. Following his death, news reports and obituaries incorrectly (according to the Orange County Register) credited him as the composer of "Wipe Out." As of 2007, Downey's official website (and others) continue to make this claim.

Personal life
His parents were also in show business; his father Morton Downey was a popular singer, and his mother Barbara Bennett was a singer and dancer. His aunts included Hollywood film stars Constance and Joan Bennett, from whom he was estranged, and his maternal grandfather was the celebrated matinée idol Richard Bennett. Born into a life of luxury, he was raised next door to the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

Downey was married four times and had four children from three of those marriages. With wife Helen he had Melissa, with Joan he had daughters Tracey and Kelli, and with fourth wife and widow Lori he had Seanna. He and Lori met when she appeared as a dancer in a show he attended in Atlantic City.

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Madeline Kahn - Actress, Comedian - Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles

Movies Madeline KahnMadeline Kahn DVDMadeline Kahn Young Frankenstein

Buy from Amazon.com: Madeline Kahn DVDs

Madeline KahnMadeline Kahn (September 29, 1942 – December 3, 1999) was a two-time Academy Award-nominated, four-time Golden Globe-nominated, Tony Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning American actress, known primarily for her comedic roles. Director Mel Brooks — who directed her in four films — said of her: "She is one of the most talented people that ever lived. I mean, either in stand-up comedy, or acting, or whatever you want, you can't beat Madeline Kahn".

Death of Madeline Kahn:
Kahn was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in early 1999. She underwent treatment and continued to work, even continuing her role on Cosby. However, the disease progressed rapidly, and on December 3, 1999, Kahn died.
Madeline Kahn was 57 years old at the time of her death

Madeline Kahn: High Anxiety

Biography & filmography on Page 2

Movies Madeline KahnMadeline Kahn DVDMadeline Kahn Young Frankenstein

Buy from Amazon.com: Madeline Kahn DVDs  

Early life
Madeline Kahn was born in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., as Madeline Gail Wolfson to Paula and Bernard Wolfson. Her mother was just 17 when Kahn was born. Although Kahn's parents were high school sweethearts, they divorced after her father's return from World War II (Kahn was only two years old at the time). After the divorce was finalized, Kahn and her mother moved to New York City. A few years later, her mother remarried and gave Kahn two half-siblings (Jeffrey and Robyn).

In 1948, Kahn was sent to a progressive boarding school in Pennsylvania and stayed there until 1952. During that time, her mother pursued her acting dream. Kahn soon began acting herself and performed in a number of school productions. In 1960, she graduated from Martin Van Buren High School in Queens, where she earned a drama scholarship to Hofstra University. At Hofstra, she studied drama, music, and speech therapy. After changing her major a number of times, Kahn graduated from Hofstra in 1964 with a degree in speech therapy.

Career
Kahn began auditioning for professional acting roles shortly after her graduation from Hofstra; on the side, she briefly taught public school in Levittown, New York. Just before adopting the professional name Madeline Kahn (Kahn was her stepfather's last name), she made her stage debut as a chorus girl in a revival of Kiss Me, Kate, which led her to join the Actors' Equity. Her part in the flop How Now, Dow Jones was written out before the 1967 show reached Broadway, as was her role as Miss Whipple in the original production of Promises, Promises. She earned her first break on Broadway with New Faces of 1968. That same year, she performed her first professional lead in a special concert performance of the operetta Candide in honor of Leonard Bernstein's 50th birthday. In 1969, she appeared off-Broadway in the revue Promenade.

She appeared in two Broadway musicals in the 1970s: a featured role in Richard Rodgers' 1970 Noah's Ark-themed show Two by Two (her silly waltz "The Golden Ram," capped by a high C, can be heard on the show's cast album) and a leading lady turn as Lily Garland in 1978's On the Twentieth Century. She left (or was fired from) the latter show early in its run, yielding the role to her understudy, Judy Kaye, whose career it launched. She also starred in a 1977 Town Hall revival of She Loves Me (opposite Barry Bostwick and original London cast member Rita Moreno).

Kahn's film debut was in the 1968 short De Düva: The Dove. Her feature debut was as Ryan O'Neal's hysterical fiancé in Peter Bogdanovich's screwball comedy What's Up, Doc? (1972) starring Barbra Streisand. Her film career continued with Paper Moon (1973), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Kahn was cast in the role of Agnes Gooch in the 1974 film Mame, but star Lucille Ball fired Kahn due to artistic differences. (Note: several of Ball's biographies note that Kahn was eager to be released from the role so that she could join the cast of Blazing Saddles, a film about to go into production; whether Kahn was fired or left Mame under mutual agreement is undetermined).

A close succession of Kahn comedies — Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), and High Anxiety (1977) — were all directed by Mel Brooks, who many Hollywood observers claimed was able to bring out the best of Kahn's comic talents. Their last collaboration would be 1981's History of the World, Part I. For Blazing Saddles, she was again nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In the April 2006 issue of Premiere magazine, her performance as Lili von Shtupp in Saddles was selected as #31 on its list of the 100 greatest performances of all time. In 1978, Kahn's comic screen persona reached another peak with Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective, a spoof of Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon directed by Robert Moore. In the film she befuddles Peter Falk's gumshoe with an array of fake identities.

Kahn's roles were primarily comedic rather than dramatic, though the 1970s found her originating roles in two plays that had both elements: 1974's In the Boom Boom Room and 1977's Marco Polo Sings a Solo. After her success in Brooks' films, she played in a number of less successful films in the 1980s (perhaps most memorably as Mrs. White in the 1985 film Clue). She also performed in the movie The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother opposite Gene Wilder.

In 1983, she starred in her own short-lived TV sitcom, Oh Madeline, which ended after only one season due to poor ratings. In 1987, Kahn won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance in the ABC After school special, 'Wanted: The Perfect Guy'.

Late in her career, Kahn returned to the stage, first in Judy Holliday's role in a 1989 revival of Born Yesterday, then as Dr. Gorgeous in Wendy Wasserstein's 1993 play The Sisters Rosensweig, a role that gained her a Tony Award. She played the corrupt mayoress (Angela Lansbury's role) in a concert performance of Anyone Can Whistle that was released on CD. She also continued to appear in movies, including the holiday farce Mixed Nuts and a cameo in the 1978 "The Muppet Movie".

In the early 1990s, Kahn recorded a voice for the animated movie The Magic 7. Her most notable role at that time was her recurring role on the sitcom Cosby as Pauline, the eccentric neighbor. She also voiced Gypsy the moth in A Bug's Life. Kahn received some of the best reviews of her career for her Chekhovian turn in the 1999 independent movie Judy Berlin, her final film.

Theater
Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1968 (1968)
Two by Two (1970)
Boom Boom Room (1973)
On the Twentieth Century (1978)
Born Yesterday (1989)
The Sisters Rosensweig (1993)

Movies
De Düva: The Dove (1968) (short subject)
What's Up, Doc? (1972)
Paper Moon (1973)
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
At Long Last Love (1975)
The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
High Anxiety (1977)
The Cheap Detective (1978)
The Muppet Movie (1979) (cameo)
Happy Birthday, Gemini (1980)
Simon (1980)
Wholly Moses (1980)
First Family (1980)
History of the World: Part I (1981)
Slapstick of Another Kind (1982)
Scrambled Feet (1983)
Group Madness (1983) (documentary)
Yellowbeard (1983)
City Heat (1984)
Clue (1985)
My Little Pony: The Movie (1986) (voice)
An American Tail (1986) (voice)
Betsy's Wedding (1990)
For Richer, for Poorer (1992)
Mixed Nuts (1994)
Nixon (1995)
The Volunteers (1997)
A Bug's Life (1998) (voice)
Judy Berlin (1999)
The Magic 7 (projected for release in 2007) (voice)

Television
Comedy Tonight (1970)
Harvey (1972)
NBC's Saturday Night (1976) [Host]
Sesame Street (1976) [Guest]
NBC's Saturday Night (1977) [Host]
The Muppet Show (1977) [Guest]
Oh Madeline (1983)
Wanted: The Perfect Guy (1986)
Mr. President (1987)
Welcome to the Monkey House (1991)
Lucky Luke (1991)
New York News (1995)
Saturday Night Live (1995) [Host]
Saturday Night Live (1996) [60-minute syndicated version ONLY]
London Suite (1996)
Cosby (1996)

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