Anita Pomares, better known as Anita Page (August 4, 1910 – September 6, 2008), was an American film actress and one of a few people to have acted as an adult (albeit young) in silent films (Barbara Kent, Dorothy Janis, and Miriam Seegar are among the handful of others) to live into the 21st century. She was also the last known living attendee of the very first Academy Awards in 1929.
Death of Anita Page Anita Page died in her sleep on September 6, 2008 in Los Angeles, California of natural causes. Anita Page was 98 years old at the time of her death.
Page entered films via A Kiss For Cinderella in 1925. She and her family were very close to Betty Bronson's family, and she got the part through Betty. After a few small but well received parts, was offered a contract with MGM Studios. MGM moulded her into one of their biggest female stars of the silent era, pairing her with such popular actors as Ramon Novarro and William Haines. Her performances in Our Dancing Daughters (1928) opposite Joan Crawford (with whom she appeared in three films), and The Broadway Melody (1929) opposite Bessie Love were her greatest successes of the period, and her popularity allowed her to make a smooth transition into talking pictures.
* Anita Page's biography continues on next page
She was the leading lady to Lon Chaney, Buster Keaton, Robert Montgomery, and Clark Gable (among others) and during the early 1930s, she was one of Hollywood's busiest actresses. She was involved briefly with Gable romantically during that time. At the height of her popularity, she was receiving more fan mail than any other female star, with the exception of Greta Garbo, and received multiple marriage proposals from Benito Mussolini in the mail.
One of her finest roles was as the prostitute, Jenny LeGrand, in the 1932 pre-Code movie, Skyscraper Souls, which starred Warren William and a young Maureen O'Sullivan.
Her body was featured in a poster labeling her "The Ideal Movie Star", which discussed her body parts and measurements, and another actress who possessed one comparable for each.
When her contract expired in 1933, she surprised Hollywood by announcing her retirement at the age of 26. She made one more movie (in the UK in 1936), and then left the screen, virtually disappearing from Hollywood circles for 60 years.
In a 2004 interview with author Scott Feinberg, she claimed that her refusal to meet demands for sexual favors by MGM head of production Irving Thalberg, supported by studio chief Louis B. Mayer, is what truly ended her career. She said that Mayer colluded with the other studio bosses to ban her and other uncooperative actresses from finding work.
She married composer Nacio Herb Brown that same year but their marriage was dissolved a year later. She married Admiral Hershel A. House in 1937 and they moved to Coronado, California and lived there until his death in 1991. They had two daughters, the elder of whom, Sandra, predeceased Anita.
She returned to the screen in 1996 after sixty years retirement and has since appeared in several low budget horror films, several of which appeared to have been uncompleted or not released. Film veteran Margaret O'Brien appeared in two of them.
Anita Page has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 6116 Hollywood Boulevard.
Sydney Pollack (July 1, 1934 - May 26, 2008) was an Academy Award-winning American film director, producer and actor. He directed over 21 films and 10 television shows, acted in over 30 films or shows, and produced over 44 films. Pollack is best known for directing films Out of Africa (Academy Awards, 1985), Tootsie (1982), Three Days of the Condor (1975), The Yakuza (1975), The Way We Were and Jeremiah Johnson (1972), along with newer films The Interpreter (2005), Sabrina (1995), The Firm (1993) and Havana (1990). He has appeared in over 15 films, including The Interpreter (2005), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Husbands and Wives (1992), The Player (1992), and The Electric Horseman (1979). In 2007, he appeared opposite George Clooney in Michael Clayton, a film which he also co-produced.
Death of Sydney Pollack Sydney Pollack died of cancer on May 26, 2008. Sydney Pollack was 73 years old at the time of his death. He died at his home in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California surrounded by family, said his publicist, Leslee Dart. He had been diagnosed with cancer about nine months ago.
Director The Slender Thread (1965) director This Property Is Condemned (1966) director The Scalphunters' (1968) director The Swimmer (1968) co-director Castle Keep (1969) director They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) director Jeremiah Johnson (1972) director The Way We Were (1973) director Three Days of the Condor (1975) director The Yakuza (1975) director/producer Bobby Deerfield (1977) director/producer The Electric Horseman (1979) director/actor Absence of Malice (1981) director/producer Tootsie (1982) director/producer/actor Out of Africa (1985) director/producer Havana (1990) director/co-producer The Firm (1993) director/producer Sabrina (1995) director/producer Random Hearts (1999) director Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005) director The Interpreter (2005) director, executive producer, and actor
Producer The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) executive producer Presumed Innocent (1990) producer Sense and Sensibility (1995) executive producer Sliding Doors (1998) producer The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) executive producer Iris (2001) executive producer The Quiet American (2002) executive producer Cold Mountain (2003) producer Breaking and Entering (2006) producer Michael Clayton (2007) producer Recount (2008) executive producer
Appearances in film and television War Hunt (1962) actor Tootsie (1982) actor Husbands and Wives (1992) actor A Civil Action (1998) actor Eyes Wide Shut (1999) actor Will & Grace (2000) actor King of the Hill (2000) as Grant Trimble Changing Lanes (2002) actor One Six Right (2005) as himself The Interpreter (2005) actor Avenue Montaigne (2006) The Sopranos (2007) actor Michael Clayton (2007) actor Entourage (2007) as himself Made of Honor (2008) actor
Suzanne Pleshette (January 31, 1937 - January 17, 2008) was an American actress, primarily known in character-type roles.
The naturally brunette-headed Pleshette was best known for her role as Bob Newhart's wife, Emily Hartley, on The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970s. She later guest-starred as Katey Sagal's mother, Laura Egan, on 8 Simple Rules, in the 2000s.
Death of Suzanne Pleshette Suzanne Pleshette died early in the evening of January 17, 2008 of respiratory failure at her Los Angeles home. Suzanne Pleshette was 70 years old at the time of her death.
** Suzanne Pleshette's husband is Tom Poston, an actor who passed away April 30, 2007. At the time of her death, the city of Hollywood was getting ready for her star on the walk of fame.
Early life Born to Eugene Pleshette, manager of the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn, New York and dancer Geraldine Kaplan, she was a cousin of Knots Landing actor John Pleshette. Pleshette graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts. She then attended Syracuse University.
Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (October 12, 1935 – September 6, 2007) was a celebrated Italian tenor in operatic music, who successfully crossed into popular music becoming one of the most beloved vocal performers. Known for his televised concerts, media appearances, and as one of The Three Tenors, Pavarotti also was noted for his charity work benefiting refugees, the Red Cross and other causes.
Cause of Death: Cancer. Age 72 While undertaking an international "farewell tour," Pavarotti was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2006. The tenor fought back against the implications of this diagnosis, undergoing major abdominal surgery and making plans for the resumption and conclusion of his singing commitments. On September 6 2007, however, in an e-mail statement, his manager, Terri Robson, wrote, "The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life. In fitting with the approach that characterized his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness."
According to several reports, before he died the singer had reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church and received the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick before his death.
Pavarotti's remains were honored in Modena Cathedral. The Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival Hall flew black flags in mourning. Tributes were published by many opera houses, such as London's Royal Opera House.
Pavarotti was survived by four daughters: three, Lorenza, Cristina and Giuliana with first wife Adua, to whom he was married for 34 years; and one, Alice, with second wife Nicoletta Mantovani. At the time of his death, he had one granddaughter.
Tom Poston (October 17, 1921 – April 30, 2007) was an American television and film actor. He starred on television in a career that began in 1950. He appeared as a comic actor, game show panelist, comedy/variety show host, film actor, television actor, and Broadway performer.
After a brief illness, Poston died on April 30, 2007 in Los Angeles, California, aged 85
Poston was born in Columbus, Ohio. After completing high school, Poston attended Bethany College in West Virginia, but did not graduate; Bethany College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree on September 13, 1990.
Instead, he joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1941 as a private . Accepted to officer candidate school and then graduating from flight training, Poston served as a pilot in the European Theater in World War II; his aircraft dropped paratroopers for the Normandy invasion. He was awarded the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster, representing a total of three Air Medals for his actions during the war.  Poston served in North Africa, Italy, France, and England, and reached the rank of captain . After his discharge, he began studying acting in New York City.
In the 1950s, Poston gained recognition as a comedic "Man in the Street" (along with his colleagues Louie Nye, Wally Cox and Don Knotts) on the Steve Allen Show. For these performances, Poston won the 1959 Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series. Following that, he appeared frequently on Broadway and as a television game show panelist, including regular appearances on To Tell the Truth and What's My Line?. While Poston's film career was limited to quirky comedies (such as William Castle's "Zotz" and "The Old Dark House" in the 1960s), his television career was expansive, covering the better part of five decades, and saw him contributing his comedic talents in virtually every corner of the medium, from made-for-TV movies to variety shows to situation comedies to talk shows and even to voice-overs for cartoons.
Poston was a recurring guest star on The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970s. He later played the role of Franklin Delano Bickley on Mork & Mindy. A longtime friend of Bob Newhart, Poston played George Utley, bumbling country handyman of the Stratford Inn, on Newhart. He was nominated for an Emmy Award three times for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance on Newhart: in 1984, 1986, and 1987. He had a third role with Newhart in the short-lived Bob.
Poston also had regular roles on many other television series: Family Matters, Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, Cosby, Malcolm & Eddie, ER, Grace Under Fire, That '70s Show, Will & Grace, and guest starred in an episode of The Simpsons as the Capital City Goofball. He also played Art Hibke on ABC's Coach, for which he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1991.
In 2001, Poston married for the third time, to actress Suzanne Pleshette, who played the wife of Newhart's character Bob Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show. Poston continued to appear in supporting roles in films, with two new ones released in 2004, Christmas with the Kranks and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and on several television programs. In 2005, he played the character "Clown" on the mercifully brief-lived NBC series Committed. They Might Be Giants mentions Poston as a writer for the New York Times in their song "Critic Intro". In 2006 Poston guest-starred on an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody in the episode "Ah! Wilderness" as Merle.
Robert George Pickett (February 11, 1938 – April 25, 2007), was a native of Somerville, Massachusetts, United States, who found fame as a one-hit wonder musician under the name Bobby "Boris" Pickett. He was best known for co-writing and singing the 1962 hit novelty song, "Monster Mash".
Pickett died at the age of 69 on April 25, 2007 in Los Angeles, California, due to complications from leukemia. His daughter Nancy was at his side when he died. He left two grandchildren, Jordan and Olivia. The Sunday, May 13, 2007, episode of the Dr. Demento show featured a documentary retrospective of Pickett's work.
Pickett's father was a theater manager, and as a 9-year-old he watched many horror films. He would later incorporate impressions of them in his Hollywood nightclub act in 1959. Pickett was a United States Army veteran, who served in Korea.
Bobby Pickett co-wrote "Monster Mash" with Leonard Capizzi, featuring impersonations of veteran horror stars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (the latter with the line "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?"). It was passed on by every major label, but after hearing the song Gary S. Paxton agreed to produce and engineer it; among the musicians who played on it was pianist Leon Russell. The single became a million seller, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks before Halloween in 1962. It was styled as being by "Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers". The track re-entered the U.S. charts twice, in August 1970, and again in May 1973, when it reached the #10 spot. In Britain it took until October 1973 for the tune to become popular, peaking at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.
A Christmas-themed follow-up, "Monster's Holiday," was also released in 1962 and reached #30 in December that year. Another of his songs, "Graduation Day", made #80 in June 1963. Pickett also recorded a novelty spoof on Star Trek called "Star Drek", again performing the various voices, which was played on Dr. Demento's radio show. In October 2005, Pickett protested inaction on global warming by releasing "Climate Mash," a new version of his hit single.
In addition to his music, Pickett also performed as a magician as "Dellesandro The Great."
Jack Palance (born Volodymyr Palahniuk; February 18, 1919 – November 10, 2006) was an Academy Award-winning American film actor. With his rugged facial features, Palance was best known to modern movie audiences as both the characters of Curly and Duke in the two City Slickers movies, but his career spanned half a century of film and television appearances.
Death of Jack Palance Jack Palance died at the age of 87, of natural causes, at his home in Montecito in Santa Barbara County.He was cremated and his ashes were retained by family and friends
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Jack Palance's filmography continues on next page
Jack Palance as a bad guy
Hollywood Walk of Fame Palance has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6608 Hollywood Boulevard. In 1992, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Academy award and nominations 1952 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Sudden Fear 1953 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Shane 1992 – Won – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – City Slickers
William Everett "Billy" Preston (September 2, 1946 - June 6, 2006) was an American soul musician from Houston, Texas, raised mostly in Los Angeles, California. In addition to his successful, Grammy-winning career as a solo artist, Preston collaborated with some of the greatest names in the music industry, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Nat King Cole, Little Richard, Eric Burdon, Ray Charles, George Harrison, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, King Curtis, Sammy Davis Jr., Sly Stone, Aretha Franklin, the Jackson 5, Quincy Jones, Richie Sambora, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He played the Fender Rhodes electric piano and the Hammond organ on the Get Back sessions in 1969.
Preston is the only non-Beatle to receiving billing as an artist alongside the Beatles (as distinct from receiving credit as a session musician on album packaging) on an official Beatles record release. The label of the Get Back single credits the artists on the record as "The Beatles with Billy Preston".
Death of Billy Preston Billy Preston had battled kidney disease in his later years, brought on by his hypertension. He received a kidney transplant in 2002, but his health continued to deteriorate. He died on June 6, 2006 in Scottsdale, Arizona, of complications of malignant hypertension that resulted in kidney failure and other complications. He had voluntarily entered a drug rehabilitation clinic in Malibu, Calif., and suffered pericarditis there, leading to respiratory failure that left him in a coma since November 21, 2005. His funeral was held on June 20 at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California. Preston was interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.
Billy Preston - Nothing from nothing 1975
Billy Preston's discography on next page
Billy Preston Discography
Albums (1965) The Most Exciting Organ Ever (1965) Early Hits of'65 (1966) The Wildest Organ in Town (1967) Club Meeting (1969) That's The Way God Planned It (1970) Encouraging Words (1971) I Wrote a Simple Song (1972) Music Is My Life (1973) Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music (1974) Live European Tour 1973 featuring Mick Taylor on guitar (CD release A&M, 2002) (1974) The Kids and Me (1975) It's My Pleasure (1976) Billy Preston (1977) A Whole New Thing (1979) Late At Night (1981) The Way I Am (1982) Pressin' On (1984) On the Air (1986) You Can't Keep a Good Man Down (2001) You and I (featuring the Italian band "Novecento") (2004) The Wildest Organ in Town (Re-released on Stateside Records)
Gospel albums (1962) Sixteen Years Old Soul (1965) Hymns Speak from the Organ (1973) Gospel In My Soul (Re-edition of Hymns Speak from the organ) (1978) Behold! (1980) Universal Love (1994) Ministry of Music (1995) Minister of Music (1996) Words and Music (2001) Music From My Heart
Singles 1969: "That's the Way God Planned It" - US Pop #62, UK #11 1971: "My Sweet Lord" - US Pop #90, US R&B #23 1972: "I Wrote a Simple Song" - US Pop #77 1972: "Outa-Space" - US Pop #2, US R&B #1, UK #44 1972: "That's the Way God Planned It" (re-release) - US Pop #65 1972: "Slaughter" - US Pop #50, US R&B #17 1973: "Will It Go Round in Circles" - US Pop #1, US R&B #10 1973: "Space Race" - US Pop #4, US R&B #1 1974: "You're So Unique" - US Pop #48, US R&B #11 1974: "Nothing from Nothing" - US Pop #1, US R&B #8 1974" "Struttin'" - US Pop #22, US R&B #11 1975: "Fancy Lady" - US Pop #71, US R&B #11 1977: "Wide Stride" - US R&B #33 1978: "Get Back" - US Pop #86 1979: "With You I'm Born Again" (with Syreeta Wright) - US Pop #4, UK #2 1980: "One More Time for Love" (with Syreeta Wright) - US Pop #52 1982: "I'm Never Gonna Say Goodbye" - US Pop #88
As a guest/session performer (1963) Night Beat (Sam Cooke) (1969) Get Back and Don't Let Me Down (The Beatles) (1970) All Things Must Pass (George Harrison) (1970) John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, piano on "God" (John Lennon) (1971) Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones) (1971) The Concert for Bangla Desh (George Harrison And Friends) (1971) There's a Riot Goin' On (Sly & the Family Stone) (1971) Live at Fillmore West (King Curtis & Aretha Franklin) (1971) Barbara Joan Streisand, Billy plays keyboards, drums (1972) Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones) (1972) Wind of Change, Billy plays piano, keyboards, harpsichord, accordion (Peter Frampton) (1973) Ringo, organ on "I'm The Greatest" (1973) Goats Head Soup (Rolling Stones) (1974) Goodnight Vienna, clavinet on the title track, electric piano on "Only You (And You Alone)" (1974) It's Only Rock'n Roll (Rolling Stones) (1975) "You Are So Beautiful" (Joe Cocker's biggest hit) (1975) "Blood on the Tracks" (Bob Dylan) (1976) Thirty Three & 1/3 (George Harrison) (1976) Black and Blue (Rolling Stones) (1978) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (also acted the part "Sgt. Pepper" in the film) (1981) Tattoo You (Rolling Stones) (1986) "Great Gosh A'Mighty (Been A Long Time Comin')" (co-written with Little Richard - from the hit motion picture 'Down And Out in Beverly Hills'. Little Richard - vocal.) (1990) Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band (Billy plays keyboards and vocals) (1990) Giovani Jovanotti (Jovanotti) (Billy plays keyboards & Fender Rhodes) (1991) ...E La Vita Continua (Nino D'Angelo) (1996) "Voyage of Dreams" - Jephté Guillaume and the Tet Kale Orkestra (Billy plays Organ, Strings on Al Di Yo, Go Tell Them, Kanpe, Get Up) (1997) Bridges to Babylon (Rolling Stones) (1998) Undiscovered Soul (Richie Sambora) (2000) The Harsh Light of Day (Fastball) (Billy played keyboards on "You're An Ocean") (2001) Songs From The West Coast - Elton John ("Electric organ" on "I Want Love", "The Wasteland"; "Love Her Like Me") (2001) Reptile (Eric Clapton) (2001) One More Car, One More Rider (Eric Clapton, live) --DVD includes live performance of Will It Go Round in Circles (2003) The Colored Section (Donnie) (Billy plays Hammond B3 on the last track: "The Colored Section") (2003) Concert for George -- including Isn't It a Pity and My Sweet Lord (2003) Get Born (Jet) (2004) Me and Mr. Johnson (Eric Clapton) (also appears in the DVD companion Sessions for Robert J) (2004) Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival (Eric Clapton) (2004) Genius Loves Company (Ray Charles) (2005) 12 Songs (Neil Diamond) (2005) Back Home (Eric Clapton) (2005) Choose Love (Ringo Starr) (2005) The Concert for Bangladesh (George Harrison and Friends) (Re-mastered version & video) (2006) Stadium Arcadium (Red Hot Chili Peppers) (on "Warlocks") (2006) The Road to Escondido (J. J. Cale and Eric Clapton)
June Antoinette Pointer Whitmore (November 30, 1953 - April 11, 2006) was an American Pop/R&B singer and was a founding member of the vocal group The Pointer Sisters.
Death of June Pointer June died at 1:10pm on April 11, 2006 at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California from bone cancer, liver cancer, and lung cancer. She died in the arms of her older sisters and brothers Ruth, Anita, Aaron, and Fritz.
Struggling with drug addiction for much of her career, June was ousted from the Pointer Sisters by 2004 as her sisters hoped and waited for her to become drug-free. Ruth's daughter filled in for June during stage performances.
Wilson 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
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American comedian, actor, and writer.
Pryor was a storyteller known for unflinching examinations of racism and customs in modern life, and was well-known for his frequent use of colorful language, vulgarities, and racial epithets such as "nigger", "honky," "cracker," and "motherfucker." He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations, although public opinion of his act was often divided. He is commonly regarded as the most important stand up comedian of his time: Jerry Seinfeld called Pryor "The Picasso of our profession"; Whoopi Goldberg cited him as her biggest influence, stating "The major influence was Richard - I want to say those things he's saying." Bob Newhart has called Pryor "the seminal comedian of the last 50 years."
Death of Richard Pryor Ricahrd Pryor died of cardiac arrest in Encino, California. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 7:58 a.m. PST. Richard Pryor was 65 years old at the time of his death.He was brought to the hospital after his wife's attempts to resuscitate him failed. His wife Jennifer was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face."
His body of work includes such concert movies and recordings as Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin' (1971), That Nigger's Crazy (1974), ...Is It Something I Said? (1975), Bicentennial Nigger (1976), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982) and Richard Pryor: Here and Now. He also starred in numerous films as an actor, usually in comedies such as Silver Streak, but occasionally in dramatic roles, such as Paul Schrader's film Blue Collar and epic roles like Gus Gorman from Superman III (1983). He also collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder. He won an Emmy Award in 1973, and five Grammy Awards in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982. In 1974, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards and the Writers Guild of America Award. In 2004, Pryor was voted the greatest stand-up act of all time by Comedy Central.
Early life and career Born on December 1, 1940 in Peoria, Illinois, Pryor grew up in his grandmother's brothel, where his mother, Gertrude L. Thomas, practiced prostitution. His father, LeRoy "Buck" Pryor (a.k.a. Buck Carter) was a former bartender, boxer, and World War II veteran who worked as his wife's pimp. After his mother deserted him when he was 10, he was raised primarily by his grandmother, Marie Carter. As a small child, Pryor was molested by a neighbor and a priest.
He was expelled from school at age 14, and began working various odd jobs. His first professional performance was playing drums at a night club. From 1958 to 1960, Pryor served in the U.S. Army but spent virtually that entire stint in an army prison. According to a 1999 profile about Pryor in The New Yorker, Pryor was incarcerated for an incident that occurred while stationed in Germany. Annoyed that a white soldier was a bit too amused at the racially charged sections of Douglas Sirk's movie Imitation of Life, Pryor and some other black soldiers beat and stabbed the white soldier (not fatally). According to Live on Sunset Boulevard, when he was nineteen he worked at a Mafia owned nightclub as the MC. Upon hearing that they would not pay a stripper, he attempted to hold up the owners with a cap pistol. They apparently thought he was amusing, though Richard Pryor may have made this story up.
In 1963, Pryor moved to New York City and began performing regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. On one of his first nights he opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone at the Village Gate. Simone recalls Pryor's bout of performance anxiety:
“ He shook like he had malaria, he was so nervous. I couldn't bear to watch him shiver, so I put my arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down. The next night was the same, and the next, and I rocked him each time.”
Inspired by Bill Cosby, Pryor began as a middlebrow comic far less controversial than what was to come. Soon, he began appearing regularly on television variety shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. His popularity led him to become a rather successful comic in Las Vegas. The first five tracks on the 2005 compilation CD Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974), recorded in 1966 and 1967, capture Pryor in this era.
In September 1967, Pryor had what he called in his autobiography Pryor Convictions an "epiphany" when he walked onto the stage at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas (with Dean Martin in the audience), looked at the sold-out crowd, said over the microphone "What the fuck am I doing here!?", and walked off the stage. Afterward, Pryor began working at least mild profanity into his act, including the word "nigger". His first comedy recording, the eponymous 1968 debut release on the Dove/Reprise label, captures this particular period, tracking the evolution of Pryor's routine. It was around this time that his parents died-his mother in 1967 and his father in 1968. Richard got his familiar nickname at this point of time which is ba-loot.
What he thought was his first child was a girl named Renee. Years later however, he found out that this was not his child. In 1960, he married Patricia Price and they had one child together, Richard Jr. (his first child and first son) They divorced in 1961. In 1967, his second child and first daughter, Elizabeth Ann, was born to his girlfriend Maxine Anderson. Later that year, he married Shelly Bonus. In 1969, his third child and second daughter Rain Pryor was born. Pryor and Bonus divorced later that year.
Mainstream success In 1969, Pryor moved to Berkeley, California, where he immersed himself in the counterculture and rubbed elbows with the likes of Huey P. Newton and Ishmael Reed. He signed with the comedy-centric independent record label Laff Records in 1970 and recorded his second album in 1971, Craps (After Hours). In 1972, the relatively unknown comedian appeared in his first film, a documentary entitled Wattstax, where he riffed on the tragic-comic absurdities of race relations in Watts and the nation. Not long afterward, Pryor sought a deal with a larger label, and after some time, signed with Stax Records. His third, breakthrough album, That Nigger's Crazy, was released in 1974 and, Laff, who claimed ownership of Pryor's recording rights, almost succeeded in getting an injunction to prevent the album from being sold. Negotiations led to Pryor's release from his Laff contract. In return for this concession, Laff was enabled to release previously unissued material, recorded between 1968 and 1973, at will.
During the legal battle, Stax briefly closed its doors. It was at this time that Pryor returned to Reprise/Warner Bros. Records, which re-released That Nigger's Crazy immediately after ...Is It Something I Said?, his first album with his new label. With every successful album Pryor recorded for Warner Bros. (or later, his concert films and his 1980 freebasing accident), Laff would quickly publish an album of older material to capitalize on Pryor's growing fame — a practice the label would continue until 1983.
In the 1970s, he wrote for such television shows as Sanford and Son, The Flip Wilson Show and a Lily Tomlin special, for which he shared an Emmy Award. Pryor also made an attempt to break into mainstream television during this period. In 1974, he was arrested for income tax evasion and served 10 days in jail. He was a guest host on the first season of Saturday Night Live,Richard took long time girlfriend -actress talk show host Kathrine McKee with him to New York,(sister of Lonette McKee) she made a brief guest appearance with Richard on SNL, and his "racist word association" skit with Chevy Chase is frequently cited by TV critics as one of the funniest and most daring skits in SNL history (this sketch was replayed on the Season 31 episode hosted by Alec Baldwin, which first aired on the day Pryor died). The Richard Pryor Show premiered on NBC in 1977 but after only four shows, the series was cancelled. Television was not ready for the show's controversial subject matter, and Pryor was not ready to alter the content of his material to meet the demands of network censors. During the short-lived series, he portrayed the first African-American President of the United States and in another skit, used costumes and visual distortion to appear nude.
In 1977, he married actress Deborah McGuire and they divorced in 1978. He soon began dating Jennifer Lee and they married in 1981. They divorced the following year.
Very successful and towards the height of his success, Pryor visited Africa in 1979. Upon returning to the United States, Pryor swore he would never use the word "nigger" in his stand-up comedy routine again. (His favorite epithet, "motherfucker", remains a term of endearment on his official website.)
In 1983, Pryor signed a five-year contract with Columbia Pictures for $40,000,000. Pryor appeared in several popular films, including Lady Sings the Blues; The Mack; Uptown Saturday Night; Silver Streak; Which Way Is Up?; Car Wash; Superman III (which earned Pryor $4,000,000); Brewster's Millions; Stir Crazy; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling; Moving; and See No Evil, Hear No Evil. He also took part in The Toy, one of Jackie Gleason's last projects. Though he made four films with Gene Wilder, the two comic actors were never as close as many thought according to Wilder's autobiography.
Pryor also co-wrote Blazing Saddles directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder. Pryor was to play the lead role of Bart, but the film's production studio would not insure him, and Mel Brooks chose Cleavon Little instead. Before his infamous 1980 freebasing accident, Pryor was about to start filming Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part I, but was replaced at the last minute by Gregory Hines. Pryor was also originally considered for the role of Billy Ray Valentine on Trading Places (1983), before Eddie Murphy ultimately won the part.
Despite a reputation for profanity, Pryor briefly hosted a children's show on CBS in 1984 called Pryor's Place. Like Sesame Street, Pryor's Place featured a cast of puppets, hanging out and having fun in a surprisingly friendly inner city environment along with several children and characters portrayed by Pryor himself. However, Pryor's Place frequently dealt with more sobering issues than Sesame Street. It was cancelled shortly after its debut, despite the efforts of famed puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft and a theme song by Ray Parker Jr. of Ghostbusters fame to ensure its success.
Pryor co-hosted the Academy Awards twice, and was also nominated for an Emmy for a guest role on the television series, Chicago Hope.
The freebasing incident and its aftermath On June 9, 1980, Pryor set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine. He ran down Parthenia Street from his Northridge, California home until subdued by police, with burns having covered over 50 percent of his body. Pryor spent six weeks in recovery at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. Pryor made this part of his heralded "final" stand up show Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982). After joking that the incident was actually caused when he dunked a cookie into a glass containing two different types of milk, he gave a poignant yet funny account of his accident and recovery, then poked fun at people who told jokes about it by waving a lit match and saying "What's this? It's Richard Pryor running down the street." Interviewed in 2005, his wife Jennifer Lee Pryor said that Pryor poured high-proof rum over his body and torched himself in a drug psychosis.His daughter, Rain Pryor also stated this in an interview in People Magazine. In a TV interview with Barbara Walters during his recovery, Pryor said that he tried to commit suicide. He claimed that his managers and lawyers created the "accident" lie in the belief that it would be less damning than a suicide attempt. Regardless of the incident's origins, Pryor continued his tradition of mining comedy out of the most intensely personal events. One of his jokes about this subject was
“ When you're on fire and running down the street, people will get out of your way. ”
Fellow comedian George Carlin made reference to this incident during his Carnegie Hall performance in 1983:
“ An update on the comedian health sweepstakes. I currently lead Richard Pryor in heart attacks 2 to 1. But Richard still leads me 1 to nothing in burning yourself up. See, it happened like this. First Richard had a heart attack. Then I had a heart attack. Then Richard burned himself up. And I said, 'Fuck that. I'm having another heart attack!' ”
He did not stay away from stand-up comedy very long though — in 1983 he filmed and released a new concert film and accompanying album, Here And Now, which he directed himself. He then wrote and directed a fictionalized account of his life, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. Interestingly, Jo Jo Dancer depicted a suicide attempt by the main character in which he douses himself in rum and ignites himself.
In 1984, his fourth child and second son, Steven, was born to his girlfriend Flynn Belaine. Pryor married Belaine in October 1986. They divorced in July 1987. Before their divorce was final, Belaine conceived Kelsey Pryor. Meanwhile, another of Richard's girlfriends, Geraldine Mason gave birth to Franklin Mason in April 1987 (his fifth child and third son). Six months later (October 1987), Belaine gave birth to Kelsey Pryor (Richard's sixth child and third daughter).
Fight with multiple sclerosis In 1991, Pryor announced that he had been suffering from multiple sclerosis since 1986. In response to giving up drugs after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he said:
“ God gave me this M.S. shit to save my life. ”
In 1992, he gave some final live performances, excerpts of which appear on the ...And It's Deep Too! box set. He continued to make occasional film appearances, pairing with Gene Wilder one last time in the unsuccessful 1991 comedy, Another You (in which his physical deterioration was noted by many critics). His final film appearance was a small role in the David Lynch film Lost Highway in 1997; by then, Pryor was wheelchair bound. His Final episodic Television appearance was on an episode of The Norm Show (AKA "Norm") in 2000, where he had a small role as one of Norm's clients. Afterwards, he was frequently a featured story on Entertainment Tonight until his death.
Marriages Richard Pryor was married seven times to five different women:
Patricia Price (1961 - 1967) (divorced) 1 child Richard Pryor Jr. Shelly Bonus (1967 - 1969) (divorced) 1 child Rain Pryor Deborah McGuire (22 September 1977 - 1979) (divorced) Jennifer Lee (August 1981 - October 1982) (divorced) Flynn Belaine (October 1986 - July 1987) (divorced) 1 child Flynn Belaine (1 April 1990 - July 1991) (divorced) 1 child Jennifer Lee (June 2001 - 10 December 2005) (his death) Each of his marriages was characterised by accusations of domestic violence and spousal abuse except for his relationship with Belaine (with whom there were no allegations of physical abuse); most of the allegations of abuse were connected to Pryor's drug use. The exception to this rule was Patricia Price who was married to Pryor before his rise to stardom. Deborah McGuire accused him of shooting her car with a .357 Magnum , but later dropped the charges (even though this was mentioned during one of Pryor's standup routines, Live in Concert). Lee accused him of beating and attempting to strangle her during their first marriage, and did not share his home after they remarried. During his relationship with actress Pam Grier, Pryor proposed to actress Deborah McGuire (1977).
He had seven children: Renee, Richard Jr, Elizabeth, Rain, Steven, Franklin and Kelsey.
Later life In 1998, Pryor became the first performer to win the inaugural Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. According to Former Kennedy Center President Lawrence J. Wilker,
“ Richard Pryor was selected as the first recipient of the new Mark Twain Prize because as a stand-up comic, writer, and actor, he struck a chord, and a nerve, with America, forcing it to look at large social questions of race and the more tragicomic aspects of the human condition. Though uncompromising in his wit, Pryor, like Twain, projects a generosity of spirit that unites us. They were both trenchant social critics who spoke the truth, however outrageous. ”
In 2000, Rhino Records remastered all of Pryor's Reprise and Warner Bros. albums for inclusion in the box set ...And It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992).
In 2001, he remarried Jennifer Lee, who also had become his manager.
In 2002, Pryor and his wife/manager Jennifer Lee Pryor, won the legal rights to all of the Laff material; almost 40 hours of reel-to-reel analog tape. After going through the tapes and getting Richard's blessing, Jennifer Lee Pryor gave Rhino Records access to the Laff tapes in 2004. These tapes, including the entire Craps album, form the basis of the double-CD release Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974).
In 2003, a television documentary, Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, , came out. It consisted of archival footage of Pryor's performances and testimonials from fellow comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes and Denis Leary of the influence Pryor had on comedy.
In 2004, Pryor was voted #1 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time. In a 2005 British poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, Pryor was voted the 10th greatest comedy act ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.
His final performance was at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, California.
In his later years, Richard Pryor became a wheelchair user due to multiple sclerosis (M.S., which he said stood for "More Shit"). In late-2004, his sister claimed that Pryor lost his voice. However, on January 9, 2005, Pryor's wife, Jennifer Lee, rebutted this statement in a post on Pryor's official website, citing Richard as saying: "Sick of hearing this shit about me not talking... not true... good days, bad days... but I still am a talkin' motherfucker!"
Pryor was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. The animal rights organization PETA gives out an award in Pryor's name to people who have done outstanding work to alleviate animal suffering. Mr. Pryor was active in animal rights and was deeply concerned about the plight of elephants in circuses and zoos.
Death On December 10, 2005, Pryor died of cardiac arrest in Encino, California. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 7:58 a.m. PST. He died just 9 days after his 65th birthday. He was brought to the hospital after his wife's attempts to resuscitate him failed. His wife Jennifer was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face."
Discography Richard Pryor (Dove/Reprise, 1968) Craps (After Hours) (Laff Records, 1971, reissued 1993 by Loose Cannon/Island) That Nigger's Crazy, (Partee/Stax, 1974, reissued 1975 by Reprise) ...Is It Something I Said?, (Reprise, 1975, reissued 1991 on CD by Warner Archives) L.A. Jail, (Tiger Lily, 1976) Bicentennial Nigger, (Reprise, 1976) Are You Serious???, (Laff, 1977) Who Me? I'm Not Him, (Laff, 1977) Black Ben The Blacksmith, (Laff, 1978) The title track was first issued as "Prison Play" on Richard Pryor, in spite of Warner Bros.' ownership of that particular master recording. The Wizard Of Comedy, (Laff, 1978) Wanted: Live in Concert (2-LP set), (Warner Bros. Records, 1978) Outrageous, (Laff, 1979) Insane, (Laff, 1980) Holy Smoke!, (Laff, 1980) Rev. Du Rite, (Laff, 1981) Live On The Sunset Strip (Warner Bros. Records, 1982) Richard Pryor Live! (picture disc), (Phoenix/Audiofidelity, 1982) Supernigger, (Laff. 1983) Here And Now, (Warner Bros. Records, 1983)
Filmography The Busy Body (1967) Uncle Tom's Fairy Tales (1968) (unfinished) Wild in the Streets (1968) Black Brigade (1970) The Phynx (1970) Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin' (filmed in 1971, released in 1985) (documentary) You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat (1971) Dynamite Chicken (1972) Lady Sings the Blues (1972) The Mack (1973) Wattstax (1973) (documentary) Hit! (1973) Some Call It Loving (1973) Blazing Saddles (1974) (co-writer) Uptown Saturday Night (1974) The Lion Roars Again (1975) (short subject) Adios Amigo (1976) Car Wash (1976) The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976) Silver Streak (1976) Which Way Is Up? (1977) Greased Lightning (1977) Blue Collar (1978) The Wiz (1978) California Suite (1978) Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) (documentary) The Muppet Movie (1979) (cameo) Wholly Moses (1980) In God We Tru$t (1980) Stir Crazy (1980) Bustin' Loose (1981) Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982) (documentary) Some Kind of Hero (1982) The Toy (1982) Superman III (1983) Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983) (documentary) Brewster's Millions (1985) Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986) (also director and co-writer) Critical Condition (1987) Moving (1988) See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) Harlem Nights (1989) The Three Muscatels (1991) Another You (1991) A Century of Cinema (1994) (documentary) Mad Dog Time (1996) Lost Highway (1997) Bitter Jester (2003) (documentary) I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$@!! (2003) Richard Pryor: The Funniest Man Dead Or Alive (2005, BET Special)
Jean Parker (August 11, 1915 – November 30, 2005) was an American movie actress.
Born as Lois Mae Green in Deer Lodge, Montana, she appeared in 70 movies from 1932 through 1966. She was discovered by Ida Koverman, secretary to MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, after she saw a poster featuring Parker portraying Father Time. She attended Pasadena schools and graduated from John Muir High School. Her original aspirations were in the fine arts and illustration.
Death of Jean Parker
Jean Parker spent her final years in the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, where she died of a stroke on November 30, 2005.
Jean parker was 90 years old at the time of his death.
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Jean Parker's biography continues on next page
Jean Parker in She Married A Cop (1939)
Jean Parker biography continues
She had a successful career at MGM, RKO and Columbia including important roles such as the tragic Beth in the original Little Women, among many other film appearances including Frank Capra's Lady for A Day and Gabriel Over the White House; Sequoia; The Ghost Goes West, opposite Robert Donat; and Rasputin and the Empress, with fellow players, the Barrymore siblings (John, Ethel, and Lionel) in the only movie they all made together. In 1939, she starred opposite Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in RKO's The Flying Deuces.
Parker stayed active in film throughout the 1940s, playing opposite Lon Chaney in "Dead Man's Eyes" "Detective Kitty O' Day", and a variety of other films. Parker managed her own airport and flying service with then-husband Doug Dawson in Palm Springs, California until shortly after the start of World War II. During World War II, she toured many of the veteran hospitals throughout the U.S. and performed on radio. In the 1950s, Parker co-starred opposite Edward G. Robinson in Black Tuesday; had a small but effective role in Gunfighter which starred Gregory Peck and appeared with Randolph Scott and Angela Lansbury in the western Lawless Street (1955). Her last film appearance was Apache Uprising (1966), directed by A. C. Lyles.
Parker also appeared on Broadway. In 1949 she replaced Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday on Broadway and enjoyed a successful run in this classic. Parker also appeared on Broadway opposite Bert Lahr in the play Burlesque, did summer stock in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was on tour in the play Candlelight and Loco, and performed on stage in other professional productions.
She married Robert Lowery (who played Batman in 1949) in 1950. Two years later she gave birth to a son, Robert Lowery Hanks, an executive with the city of Los Angeles, California. Later in life, she continued a successful stint on the West Coast theatre circuit and worked as an acting coach.
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Gene Francis Alan Pitney (February 17, 1940 - April 5, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter. He was also an accomplished guitarist, pianist, drummer and skilled sound engineer. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Death of Gene Pitney Pitney died on April 5, 2006 at the age of 66. He was found dead by his tour manager in the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff in the middle of a UK tour. His final show at Worthing's Pavilion Theatre was deemed a huge success, with a standing ovation, ending the show with his 1961 hit "Town Without Pity". An autopsy confirmed the singer died of natural causes. Pitney was laid to rest on April 13, 2006 at Somers Center Cemetery in Somers, Connecticut.
Career Through the mid-1960s, he enjoyed considerable success as a recording artist on both sides of the Atlantic. As a performer, he charted 16 Top 40 hit singles in the U.S., four of which reached the Top Ten. In the UK, the figures were even more impressive: 22 top 40 hits, and 11 Top Tens. As a songwriter, he also penned the big early 1960s hits "He's A Rebel" by The Crystals, and "Hello Mary Lou" by Rick Nelson.
John Phillips, born John Edmund Andrew Phillips (August 30, 1935 – March 18, 2001), was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Known as Papa John, Phillips was a member and leader of the singing group The Mamas & the Papas. He is the father of Jeffrey Phillips, Mackenzie Phillips, Chynna Phillips, Tamerlane Phillips, and Bijou Phillips.
Death of John Phillips
John Phillips died on March 18, 2001, aged 65, in Los Angeles of heart failure.
John Phillips was 65 year old at the time of his death.
He is interred in an outdoor crypt at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City) near Palm Springs, California, where he had lived with his fourth wife, Farnaz. He left behind five children and a body of highly acclaimed music. He died just days after completing sessions for a new album. Phillips 66 was released posthumously in August of 2001
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Early life Phillips was born in Parris Island, South Carolina. His father was a retired United States Marine Corps officer who won an Oklahoma bar from a fellow Marine in a poker game on the way home from Europe after World War I. His mother was Cherokee Indian and met and married Phillips' father in Oklahoma. According to Phillips' autobiography, Papa John, his father was a heavy drinker who suffered from ill health.
Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, Phillips was inspired by Marlon Brando and other film stars to be "street tough." He formed a small gang of teenage boys, who also sang doo-wop songs. A poor student but likable kid, he was the star of the basketball team at George Washington High School (Class of 1953), one of the predecessors to today's T. C. Williams High School. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, but left during his first (plebe) year. He also attended Hampden-Sydney College on a partial athletic scholarship, but dropped out and shortly thereafter married his first of four wives.
Susan Adams was the daughter of a wealthy Virginia family. Together they had a son called Jeffrey and a girl they named (Laura) Mackenzie Phillips.
The Mamas & the Papas
Phillips longed to have success in the music industry and traveled to New York to find a record contract in the early sixties. His first band, The Journeymen, was a folk trio. He developed his craft in Greenwich Village, during the American folk music revival, and met his future The Mamas & the Papas bandmates Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot there. Lyrics of their song "Creeque Alley" describe this period.
While touring California with The Journeymen he met his future second wife, the teenage Michelle Gilliam. Their affair finally forced the dissolution of his first marriage. Phillips was married to Michelle Phillips from 1962 to 1970. They had one child together, Chynna Phillips, the founder of the singing group Wilson Phillips.
Phillips was the primary songwriter and musical arranger of The Mamas & the Papas. Early in the band's history, John and Michelle were responsible for writing most of the band's songs. John would often come up with a melody and some lyrics and Michelle would help him complete the lyrical portion of the song. After being signed to Dunhill Records, they had several Billboard Top Ten hits during the group's short lifetime, including "California Dreamin'"; "Monday, Monday"; "I Saw Her Again"; "Creeque Alley"; and "12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)". John Phillips also wrote "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," the 1967 Scott McKenzie hit that was to become the Summer of Love "anthem." Phillips also wrote the oft-covered "Me and My Uncle," which was the song performed more times than any other over 30 years of Grateful Dead concerts.
The group's popularity rivaled that of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the late sixties. Although the band lasted only several short years with five studio albums, the music is recognized today as some of the greatest pop of the 20th century.
The Phillipses became Hollywood celebrities, living in the Hollywood Hills and socializing with stars like Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Roman Polanski. The group broke up largely because Cass Elliot wanted to go solo and because of some personal problems between Phillips, Michelle, and Denny Doherty. Michelle had been fired briefly in 1966, for having had affairs with both Denny and Gene Clark, and was replaced for two months by Jill Gibson, their producer Lou Adler's girlfriend. Although Michelle was forgiven and asked to return to the group, the personal problems would continue until the band split up in 1968. Cass Elliot went on to have a successful solo career until her death in 1974.
After: The ups and downs Phillips released his first solo album Wolfking of L.A. in 1970. The album was not commercially successful, although it did include the minor hit "Mississippi", and Phillips began to withdraw from the limelight as his use of narcotics increased.
Actress Geneviève Waïte became wife number three in 1972. Tamerlane and Bijou Phillips entered the world during this union, which was marked by years of mutual drug abuse, infidelity and failed artistic expression. John produced a Genevieve Waite album, Romance Is On the Rise, that was quickly forgotten. Her acting career fizzled. Phillips persevered by writing music for films and Broadway, creating a musical. It was savagely criticized and closed on Broadway during previews. Phillips moved to London. He began to write new songs in 1973 when Mick Jagger encouraged him to record another solo album. It was to be released on Rolling Stones Records and funded by RSR distributor Atlantic Records. Jagger and Keith Richards would produce and play on the album, as well as former Stone Mick Taylor and future Stone Ronnie Wood. The project was derailed by Phillips' increasing use of cocaine and heroin, substances that he shot into his body, by his own admission, "almost every fifteen minutes for two years". Amazingly, he survived, yet almost everything else in his life, including the new album, was shelved.
In 1975 Phillips, still living in London, was commissioned to create the soundtrack to the Nicolas Roeg film The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie. Phillips asked Mick Taylor to help out and the film was released in 1976. Decades later, in 2001, the tracks of the Half Stoned or The Lost Album album were released as Pay Pack & Follow a few months after Phillips death. The record is an interesting collection of vocal harmony, country and rock. Although the album offers a trip back to the 1970s, the record was not noticed by the press and general music buying audience; moreover, Phillips' untimely death prevented any marketing or tour support.
A drug trafficking conviction in 1981 brought the hot glare of public scrutiny. Phillips and his television star daughter Mackenzie made the rounds in the media, instructing kids and their parents how not to become addicts. This public relations campaign helped reduce his prison time; he bargained down to only a month in jail. Upon release, he re-formed The Mamas & the Papas, with his daughter Mackenzie Phillips, Spanky McFarlane (of the group Spanky and Our Gang) and Denny Doherty. Throughout the rest of his life, Phillips toured with various versions of the group.
In 1986, he published a best-seller, his autobiography, Papa John. He was divorced from Waite in 1985. He co-wrote a song for the Beach Boys, "Kokomo" , which became a number one hit in 1988.
In the 1990s, his years of addiction took hold; he had a liver transplant in 1992. Several months later, Phillips was photographed drinking alcohol in a bar in Palm Springs, California, as published in the National Enquirer newspaper. Phillips was questioned about the photo on the Howard Stern radio show, saying "I was just trying to 'break in' the new liver." The Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame on Jan 12th, 1998.
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Tito Puente, Sr., (April 20, 1923 – May 31, 2000 or June 1, 2000 according to IMDb), born Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr., was an influential Latin jazz and mambo musician. The son of native Puerto Ricans Ernest and Ercilia Puente, of Spanish Harlem in New York City, Puente is often credited as "El Rey" (the King) of the timbales and "The King of Latin Music". He is best known for dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions that helped keep his career going for 50 years. He and his music appear in many films such as The Mambo Kings and Fernando Trueba's Calle 54. He guest starred on several television shows including The Cosby Show and The Simpsons.
Death of Tito Puente Tito Puente Died of a heart attack Tito Puente was 77 years old at the time of his death.
Biography Tito Puente Sr. served in the Navy for three years during World War II after being drafted in 1942. He was discharged with a Presidential Commendation for serving in nine battles. The GI Bill allowed him to study music at Juilliard School of Music, where he completed a formal education in conducting, orchestration and theory. In 1969, he received the key to the City of New York from former Mayor John Lindsay. In 1992 he was inducted into the National Congressional Record, and in 1993 he received the Smithsonian Medal.
During the 1950s, Puente was at the height of his popularity, and helped to bring Afro-Cuban and Caribbean sounds, like mambo, son, and cha-cha-cha, to mainstream audiences (he was so successful playing popular Afro-Cuban rhythms that many people mistakenly identify him as Cuban). Dance Mania, possibly Puente's most well known album was released in 1958. Later, he moved into more diverse sounds, including pop music, bossa nova and others, eventually settling down with a fusion of Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz genres that became known as "salsa" (a term that he disliked). In 1979 Puente won the first of five Grammy Awards for the albums A Tribute to Benny Moré, On Broadway, Mambo Diablo, and Goza Mi Timbal. In 1990, Puente was awarded the "James Smithson Bicentennial Medal." He was also awarded a Grammy at the first Latin Grammy Awards, winning Best Traditional Tropical Album for Mambo Birdland. He was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
After a heart attack following a show in Puerto Rico, Puente had heart surgery in New York City, from which he never recovered. He died on May 31, 2000, just a few months after shooting for the music video Calle 54, in which Puente was wearing all-white outfit with his band
Honors During the presidency of Sen. Roberto Rexach Benítez, Tito Puente received the unique honor of not only having a special session of the Senate of Puerto Rico dedicated to him, but being allowed to perform in his unique style on the floor of the Senate while it was in session.
On September 10, 2007, a United States Post Office in Harlem was named after him at a ceremony presided by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. José Serrano (D-NY).
Discography - too long to list here, Tito Puente is a legend
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