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Whitney Houston Dies 48

Breaking news.  Detail may not be accurate.
It may take time (days - weeks) to determine cause of death

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 — February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer and a former model. Often referred to as the "Queen of Pop" or simply "the Voice". Houston is the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records, and her list of awards include 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. Houston is also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums and singles worldwide.

Whitney Houston cause of death
Whitney Houston was 48 years old at the time of her death.

On March 22, 2012, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported the cause of Houston's death was drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use" In addition, the office stated the amount of cocaine found in Houston's body indicates she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicology results also revealed additional drugs in her system: Benadryl, Xanax, marijuana and Flexiril. The manner of death was listed as an "accident".

How the body was found
At Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, a female hairdresser went to check on Houston and found her lying in the bathtub. Houston's face was underwater.  Beverly Hills paramedics performed CPR for about 20 minutes before declaring her dead at 3:55pm. Authorities speculate that a combination of Xanax and alcohol could have fatally sedated Houston and she may have fallen asleep or lapsed into unconsciousness in the bathtub. But it is too early to tell the actual cause of death.  Police stated that there was no obvious sign of criminal intent, foul play, nor drugs.

National Anthem - Super Bowl XXV - Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You Official Music Video

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Grammy-Winning Bluesman dies 75


Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (January 19, 1936 – September 16, 2011) was a Grammy Award-winning American electric blues vocalist, harmonica player, and multi-award winning drummer. He was best known for several stints with the Muddy Waters band beginning in the early 1960s.

On February 13, 2011, he won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for Joined at the Hip, an album he recorded with Pinetop Perkins.

In 1961 Smith became a regular member of Muddy Water's band, which then consisted of George "Mojo" Buford, Luther Tucker, Pat Hare, and Otis Spann. By the mid '60s he'd left the band for more steady work as a cab driver. In the late '60s he rejoined Muddy's band and remained a permanent member until 1980.

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith Cause of death
Willie Smith died following a stroke on September 16, 2011.
Willie Smith was 75 years old at the time of his death.

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith Harmonica

Wilma Lee Cooper, Grand Ole Opry Star, Dies 90

Wilma Lee Leary (February 7, 1921 - September 13, 2011), known professionally as Wilma Lee Cooper, was an American bluegrass-based country music entertainer.

Wilma Leary and the husband Stoney scored seven hit records between 1956 and 1961, with four top ten hits on Billboard charts, notably "Big Midnight Special" and "There's a Big Wheel." They remained connected to the Leary Family tradition as well, recording popular gospel songs like "The Tramp on the Street" and "Walking My Lord Up Calvary's Hill."

Husband Stoney Cooper died in 1977 but Wilma Lee stayed on the Opry as a solo star and on occasion recorded an album for a bluegrass record label. In 2001 she suffered a stroke while performing on the Opry stage which ended her career, but Cooper defied doctors who said she would never walk again and has since returned to the Opry to greet and thank the crowds.

The Cooper's daughter, Carol Lee Cooper, is the lead singer for the Grand Ole Opry's backup vocal group, The Carol Lee Singers.

Wilma Lee Cooper cause of death
Wilma Lee Cooper passed away in Sweetwater, Tennessee from natural causes.
Wilma Lee Cooper was 90 years old at the time of her death

Wilma Lee Cooper - Big Midnight Special

Wade Mainer, a Pioneer of Bluegrass Banjo, Dies at 104

Wade Mainer (April 21, 1907 – September 12, 2011) was an American singer and banjoist. With his band, the Sons of the Mountaineers, he is credited with bridging the gap between old-time mountain music and Bluegrass and is sometimes called the "Grandfather of Bluegrass." In addition, he innovated a two-finger banjo fingerpicking style, which was a precursor to modern three-finger bluegrass styles.

Mainer has been credited with bridging the gap between old-time mountain music and Bluegrass and musicians such as Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Doc Watson have all cited Mainer as a source of influence. He has also been called the "Grandfather of Bluegrass.

Awards and honours
In 1987, president Ronald Reagan bestowed upon him a National Heritage Fellowship for his contributions to American music.[2] In 1996 he received the Michigan Heritage Award and the Michigan Country Music Association and Services' Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1998 both he and his wife were inducted into the Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame, while Mainer received North Carolina’s Surry Arts Council Lifetime Achievement.

Wade Mainer caouse of death
Mainer died of congestive heart failure on September 12, 2011.
Wade Mainer was 104 years old at the time of his death

David Holt: Julia and Wade Mainer songs & banjo tricks

David Holt: Julia and Wade Mainer songs & banjo tricks

Wade Mainer - Worried Man Blues

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.

 

Legendary broadcasting icon Walter Cronkite Dies 92

Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (November 4, 1916 - July 17, 2009) was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–81). During the heyday of CBS News in the 1970s and 1980s, he was often cited in viewer opinion polls as "the most trusted man in America" because of his professional experience and kindly demeanor.

Death of Walter Cronkite
Cronkite died on July 17, 2009 at his home in New York City, at the age of 92. He is believed to have died from cerebral vascular disease.

Walter Cronkite announces death of JFK

Johnny Carson - playing Walter Cronkite, 1981!

Wayman Tisdale, Former NBA star, Jazz Bass Guitarist dies 44

Wayman Lawrence Tisdale (June 9, 1964 - May 15, 2009) was an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association and a smooth jazz bass guitarist and a member of the Oklahoma Tourism Board. Tisdale and wife Regina have four children.

Death of Wayman Tisdale
Tisdale died from cancer on the morning of May 15, 2009, at age 44, at St. John's Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Basketball Career
As a center and power forward, Tisdale averaged over 15 points and six rebounds per game in a 12-season professional career with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. His best season was in 1989-90 with the Kings, when he averaged 22.3 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Tisdale and Mitch "The Rock" Richmond combined to one of the most dynamic duos in the NBA. In 1997, Tisdale retired to focus on his musical career.

Music Career
Tisdale released his debut CD, Power Forward, in 1995. In 2002, he was awarded the Legacy Tribute Award by the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. In an ESPN internet chat, Tisdale claims his musical influences include funk bands of the 1970s

Emmy-nominated producer (Hawaii Five-O) William Finnegan dies 80

William R. Finnegan (June 29, 1928 Kansas City Missouri - November 28, 2008 Sag Harbor, Suffolk County New York) was a five times Emmy nominated TV & film producer.

William Finnegan's credits include "Hawaii Five-0," "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" and "The Fabulous Baker Boys,"

He co-produced movies such as; "Support Your Local Gunfighter" (1971), "North Shore" (1987), "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (1989), "White Palace" (1990), "The Babe" (1992), "CrissCross" (1992), "Reality Bites" (1994) and "Ed" (1996).

Death of William Finnegan
William Finnegan died of parkinson's disease at his home in Sag Harbor, N.Y.
William Finnegan was 80 years old at the time of his death.

Wilson Pickett, Singer

Wilson Pickett CD
Buy from Amazon.com: Wilson Pickett CDs

Wilson Picket MemoryWilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American R&B/Rock and Roll and soul singer. Known for his raw, raspy, passionate vocal delivery, he recorded some of the most incendiary soul music of the twentieth century. A major figure in the development of Southern soul music, his recordings between 1963 and 1973 left behind a legacy of some of the deepest, funkiest soul music ever to emerge from the South. The impact of his recordings also resulted in his 1991 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Wilson Pickett's Death
Wilson Pickett died of a heart attack January 19, 2006,
Wilson Pickett was 64 years old at the time of his death

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Wilson Pickett In the Midnight Hour

 

Walter Matthau - Academy award winning actor (The Odd Couple)

Hollywood Walk of FameAcademy Award WinnerGolden Globe Award Winner 

Walter Matthau Died 2000Walter Matthau death
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Walter Matthau DeathWalter John Matthau (October 1, 1920 – July 1, 2000) was an Academy Award-winning American actor best known for his role as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple and his frequent collaborations with fellow Odd Couple star Jack Lemmon.

Death of Walter Matthau 
Walter Matthau died of full cardiac arrest on July 1, 2000 in Santa Monica, California.
Walter Matthau was 79 years old at the time of his death.

After heart surgery, doctors discovered that he had colon cancer, which had spread to his liver, lungs and brain. However, on his death certificate the causes of death are listed as cardiac arrest and atherosclerotic heart disease, with ESRD and atrial fibrillation added as "other significant conditions contributing to death but not related to [primary] cause..."

He is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, next to fellow actor George C. Scott.

Almost exactly one year after Walter Matthau's death, Jack Lemmon was also buried at the cemetery, after dying from cancer. After Matthau's death, Lemmon as well as other friends and relatives appeared on Larry King Live in an hour of tribute and remembrance; poignantly, many of those same people appeared on the show one year later, reminiscing about Lemmon.

His widow, Carol, died of a brain aneurysm in 2003.


Walter Matthau Died 2000Walter Matthau death
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Early life
Walter Matthau was born in New York City's Lower East Side on October 1, 1920, the son of Russian – Jewish immigrants. His original surname is often shown as Matuschanskayasky, but this is not true (see Original Name Rumor below for a detailed discussion).

Career
During World War II Matthau served in the U.S. Army Air Forces with the Eighth Air Force in England as a B-24 Liberator radioman-gunner, in the same bomb group as Jimmy Stewart. He reached the rank of Staff Sergeant and became interested in acting. He often joked that his best early review came in a play where he posed as a derelict. One reviewer said, "The others just looked like actors in make-up, Walter Matthau really looks like a skid row bum!" Matthau was a respected stage actor for years in such fare as Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and A Shot in the Dark. He won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a play. In 1952 Matthau appeared in the pilot of Mr. Peepers with Wally Cox. For reasons unknown he used the name Leonard Elliot. His role was of the gym teacher Mr. Wall. In 1955 he made his motion picture debut as a whip-wielding bad guy in The Kentuckian opposite Burt Lancaster. He appeared in many movies after this as a villain such as the 1958 King Creole (where he is beaten up by Elvis Presley). That same year, he made a western called Ride a Crooked Trail with Audie Murphy and the notorious flop Onionhead starring Andy Griffith and Erin O'Brien. Matthau also directed a low budget 1960 movie called The Gangster Story. In 1962, he won acclaim as a sympathetic sheriff in Lonely are the Brave. He also played a villainous war veteran in Charade, which starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

In addition to his busy movie and stage schedule, Matthau made many television appearances in live TV plays. Although he was constantly working, it seemed that the fact that he was not handsome in the traditional sense would keep him from being a top star.

Success came late for Matthau. In 1965, aged 44, Neil Simon cast him in the hit play The Odd Couple opposite Art Carney. In 1966, he again achieved success as a shady lawyer opposite future friend and frequent co-star, actor Jack Lemmon, in The Fortune Cookie. During filming, the film had to be placed on a five month hiatus after he suffered a heart attack.

He won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for that movie, and also made a memorable acceptance speech. He was visibly banged up, having been involved in a bicycle accident shortly before the awards show. He scolded nominated actors who were perfectly healthy and had not bothered to come to the ceremony, especially three of the other four major award winners: Elizabeth Taylor, Sandy Dennis and Paul Scofield.

Matthau and Lemmon became lifelong friends after making The Fortune Cookie and made a total of ten movies together (eleven if we count Kotch, in which Lemmon has a cameo as a sleeping bus passenger), including the movie version of The Odd Couple (with Lemmon playing the Art Carney role) and the popular 1993 hit Grumpy Old Men and its sequel Grumpier Old Men with Sophia Loren.

Matthau hummed the same tune in most of his movies, The Fortune Cookie, Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men etc.

Marriages
Matthau was married twice; first to Grace Geraldine Johnson (1948 – 1958), from 1959 until his death in 2000 to Carol Marcus. He had two children, Jenny Matthau and David Matthau, with his first wife, and a son, Charlie Matthau, with his second. His grandchildren include William Matthau and Emily Roman. His son, Charlie, directed Matthau in the movie The Grass Harp (1995).

Original name rumor
There is a persistent rumor that his birth name was Matuschanskayasky, which is false, as are the rumors that his name was Matashansky or Matansky, or any of the other reported names. In truth - as reported by the authors of Matthau: A Life by Rob Edelman and Audrey Kupferberg (along with Walter's son, Charlie Matthau), Walter was a teller of tall tales. In his youth, he found that the joy of embellishment lifted a story (and the listener) to such enjoyable heights that he could not resist trying to pass off the most bogus of information, just to see who was gullible enough to believe it. Matthau told many stories to many reputable people – including the Social Security Administration.

When he registered for a number, he was amazed that they only wanted him to write his name, and offer no proof of his identity. So, as another of his traditional goofs, he wrote that his true name was "Walter Foghorn Matthau".

The "Matuschanskayasky" name rumor culminated with the release of 1974's Earthquake. The executive producer, Jennings Lang, had worked with Matthau the previous year on the film Charley Varrick, and convinced him to take a small cameo role in the film - the small part scripted only as a "drunk at the end of the bar." On a whim, Matthau agreed to take the part, without compensation, on the condition that he not be credited under his real name. After Matthau agreed, the part of the "drunk" was expanded to provide comic relief for the film, the character offering toasts to various people (Spiro Agnew, Bobby Riggs, and Peter Fonda), as well as delivering the punchline "Hey, who do you have to know to get a drink around here?" in the midst of a bar devastated by a major earthquake.

As requested, when it came time to insert the credits for Earthquake, the long name "Matuschanskayasky" was used, as agreed, by Jennings Lang and Matthau.

Despite the facts, this fake name continued to appear in the World Almanac section on "Original Names of Selected Entertainers" as recently as the 2007 edition (p.235).

Awards
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1966 for The Fortune Cookie

Filmography
Atomic Attack (1950) (short subject)
The Kentuckian (1955)
The Indian Fighter (1955)
Bigger Than Life (1956)
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957)
King Creole (1958)
Voice in the Mirror (1958)
Ride a Crooked Trail (1958)
Onionhead (1958)
Gangster Story (1960) (also director)
Strangers When We Meet (1960)
Lonely are the Brave (1962)
Who's Got the Action? (1962)
Island of Love (1963)
Charade (1963)
Ensign Pulver (1964)
Fail-Safe (1964)
Goodbye Charlie (1964)
Mirage (1965)
The Fortune Cookie (1966)
A Guide for the Married Man (1967)
The Odd Couple (1968)
The Secret Life of an American Wife (1968)
Candy (1968)
Hello, Dolly! (1969)
Cactus Flower (1969)
A New Leaf (1971)
Plaza Suite (1971)
Kotch (1971)
Pete 'n' Tillie (1972)
The Laughing Policeman (1973)
Charley Varrick (1973)
 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
Earthquake (1974) (credited as "Walter Matuschanskayasky")
The Front Page (1974)
The Lion Roars Again (1975) (short subject)
The Gentleman Tramp (1975) (documentary)
The Sunshine Boys (1975)
The Bad News Bears (1976)
Casey's Shadow (1978)
House Calls (1978)
California Suite (1978)
Portrait of a 60% Perfect Man (1980) (documentary)
Little Miss Marker (1980)
Hopscotch (1980)
First Monday in October (1981)
Buddy Buddy (1981)
I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982)
The Survivors (1983)
Movers & Shakers (1985)
Pirates (1986)
The Little Devil (1988)
The Couch Trip (1988)
JFK (1991) as Senator Russell B. Long
Beyond 'JFK': The Question of Conspiracy (1992) (documentary)
Dennis the Menace (1993)
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
I.Q. (1994)
The Grass Harp (1995)
Grumpier Old Men (1995)
I'm Not Rappaport (1996)
Out to Sea (1997)
The Odd Couple II (1998)
The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998) (documentary)
Hanging Up (2000) 

TV work
Dry Run, episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents series (1959)
Juno and the Paycock (1960)
Tallahassee 7000 (cast member in 1961)
Awake and Sing! (1972)
Actor (1978)
The Stingiest Man in Town (1978) (voice)
The Incident (1990)
Mrs Lambert Remembers Love (1991)
Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore (1992)
Incident in a Small Town (1994)
The Marriage Fool (1998)

Stage appearances
Anne of the Thousand Days (1948) (replacement)
The Liar (1950)
Twilight Walk (1951)
Fancy Meeting You Again (1952)
One Bright Day (1952)
In Any Language (1952)
The Grey-Eyed People (1952)
The Ladies of the Corridor (1953)
The Burning Glass (1953)
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter (1955)
Once More, with Feeling! (1958)
Once There Was a Russian (1961)
A Shot in the Dark (1961)
My Mother, My Father and Me (1963)
The Odd Couple (1965)

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