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

60s

Sheila MacRae, 'Honeymooners' star, dies 93

Sheila Margaret MacRae (September 24, 1920 – March 6, 2014) was an English actress and author. She appeared in such films as Pretty Baby (1950), Caged (1950), Backfire (1950) and Sex and the Single Girl (1964).

On television, MacRae played herself in an episode of I Love Lucy, "The Fashion Show" in which she asks Lucy to participate in a Hollywood fashion show organized by Don Loper and featuring actors' wives as models.

MacRae later played Alice Kramden on 52 episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show (between 1966 and 1970). She was not the first actress to play Alice; Audrey Meadows remains best-known for the role.

Sheila MacRae cause of death

Sheila MacRae died in Englewood, New Jersey, from natural causes at the Lillian Booth Actor's Home. No funeral was planned as she had been a devout Christian Scientist.  Sheila MacRae was 93 years old at the time of her death.

Jewel Akens, 60's Singer, 'Birds and the Bees' Dies 79

Jewel Eugene Akens (September 12, 1933, Houston, Texas – March 1, 2013, Inglewood, California) was an American singer and record producer.

One-hit-wonder singer Jewel Eugene Akens recorded "The Birds And The Bees" in 1965, on the Era Records label. The single went to Number 3 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart that year, and Number 2 on the Cash Box chart. It reached Number 29 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. But the follow-up, "Georgie Porgie" only reached Number 68.

Jewel Akens cause of death

Jewel Akens died from complications of back surgery.  Jewel Akens was 79 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Eddie Mae.

Jewel Akens - The Birds & The Bees

Fontella Bass, Singer, 'Rescue Me', Dies 72

Fontella Bass (July 3, 1940 – December 26, 2012) was an American soul singer, best known for the 1965 R&B hit "Rescue Me", which she also co-wrote.

Her health started fading after a series of strokes beginning in 2005.

Fontella Bass cause of death

Fontella Bass died at a St. Louis hospital from complications of a heart attack suffered in early December 2012. Fontella Bass was 72 years old at the time of her death

Fontella Bass - Rescue Me (Shindig 1965)

Alex Karras, Actor, NFL Lineman, Pro-Wrestler, dies 77

Alex KarrasAlexander George "Alex" Karras (July 15, 1935 – October 10, 2012), nicknamed "The Mad Duck", was an American football player, professional wrestler, and actor. He played football with the Detroit Lions in the National Football League from 1958–1962 and 1964–1970. As an actor, Karras is noted for his role as the thuggish Mongo in the 1974 comedy film Blazing Saddles, and for starring in the ABC sitcom Webster (1983–89) alongside his wife Susan Clark, as the title character's adoptive father.

Professional wrestling
Before his NFL career got under way, Karras signed a contract as a professional wrestler on December 13, 1957, earning $25,000 during the six-month off-season.

NFL player
Karras was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions in 1958. He quickly became one of the dominant defensive tackles in the NFL, playing for 12 seasons (1958-1962, 1964-1970) with the same team

He was known for his humorous endorsement of La-Z-Boy recliners.

Alex Karras cause of death
Alex Karras died in the morning hours of October 10 from complications caused by kidney failure.
Alex Karras was 77 years old at the time of his death.

In his later years, Karras suffered several serious health problems, including dementia, heart disease, and cancer.

Karras was among many former NFL players to have filed a lawsuit against the NFL in early 2012, over issues of head injuries during their career that had caused various ill effects later in their lives, including dementia.

On October 8, 2012, it was revealed by friend Tom McInerney that Karras had suffered from kidney failure; doctors gave him a few days to live. Karras was treated at the Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, before being released into hospice care. After returning to his Los Angeles home with family.

Blazing Saddles - Alex Karras as Mongo

R. B. Greaves, Singer, 'Take a Letter Maria', dies 68

Ronald Bertram Aloysius "R. B." Greaves III (November 28, 1943 - September 27, 2012) was a singer who had chart success in 1969 with the pop single "Take a Letter Maria". A #2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, this single sold one million copies and earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Greaves also had a Top 40 pop hit a year later with "Always Something There to Remind Me"

R. B. Greaves cause of death
Greaves passed away in Los Angeles.  Cause of death was not released.
R. B. Greaves was 68 years old at the time of his death.

R.B. Greaves -Take A Letter Maria

Andy Williams, 'Moon River' Singer, Emmy Winning TV host, dies 84

Hollywood Walk of FameEmmy WinnerEmmy WinnerEmmy Winner

Andy WilliamsHoward Andrew "Andy" Williams (December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012) was an American singer who recorded eighteen Gold and three Platinum-certified albums. He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a TV variety show, from 1962 to 1971, as well as numerous television specials, and owned the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, named after the song "Moon River", with which he was closely identified.

During the 1960s, Williams became one of the most popular vocalists in the country and was signed to what was at that time the biggest recording contract in history. He was primarily an album artist, and at one time he had earned more gold albums than any solo performer except Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Elvis Presley. By 1973 he had earned as many as 18 gold album awards. Among his hit albums from this period were Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses (number one for 16 weeks in mid-1963), The Andy Williams Christmas Album, Dear Heart, The Shadow of Your Smile, Love, Andy, Get Together with Andy Williams, and Love Story. These recordings, along with his natural affinity for the music of the 1960s and early 1970s, combined to make him one of the premier easy listening singers of that era.

Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer's song "Moon River" (1962 Oscar winning song) became Williams' theme song. However, it was never released as a single.  "Moon River" was never actually a chart hit for Williams.

Andy Williams became the star of his own weekly television variety show, The Andy Williams Show (1962 to 1971). He won three Emmy Awards for outstanding variety program.

Williams hosted the most Grammy telecasts, from the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971 through the 19th Annual Grammy Awards in 1977, totaling seven consecutive shows.

Williams was an avid golfer, and hosted the PGA Tour golf tournament in San Diego from 1968–88 at Torrey Pines. Then known as the "Andy Williams San Diego Open", the tournament continues as the Farmers Insurance Open, usually played in February.

Andy Williams cause of death
Andy Williams died at his home in Branson, Missouri after suffering from bladder cancer for a year. Andy Williams was 84 years old at the time of his death.

Andy Williams health history
On Friday, November 4, 2011, it was reported in the press that Williams had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. The singer confirmed the condition in a surprise appearance that weekend at his theater in Branson, as reported by the Branson Tri-Lakes News. He underwent chemotherapy treatments in Houston, Texas and then moved with his wife, Debbie, to a rented home in Malibu, California to be closer to cancer specialists in the Los Angeles area.

On July 19, 2012, Williams's theater announced that Andy Williams had returned to Branson following cancer treatment and was "in good spirits and getting stronger every day" and had hoped to take the stage as scheduled in September.

Andy Williams - Moon River 1960's performance

Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Joe South, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer, dies 72

Grammy WinnerGrammy Winner

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe South - Games People Play

Scott McKenzie, Singer, San Francisco, dies 73

Scott McKenzie (born Philip Wallach Blondheim, January 10, 1939 – August 18, 2012) was an American singer. He was best known for his 1967 hit single and generational anthem, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)".

Scott McKenzie co-wrote "Kokomo" (1988), a #1 single for the Beach Boys.

Scott McKenzie cause of death
Scott McKenzie died from Guillain–Barré syndrome he suffered since 2010.
Scott McKenzie was 73 years old at the time of his death

Scott McKenzie - San Francisco

Norman Alden, character actor, dies 87

Norman Alden (September 13, 1924 – July 27, 2012) was an American character actor who has performed in television programs and motion pictures since first appearing on The 20th Century Fox Hour in 1957. He provided the voice of Kay in The Sword in the Stone film in 1963 and received Oscar buzz for his role in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. His acting career began in 1957 and lasted nearly 50 years; he finally retired in 2006 at the age of 82.

He portrayed Coach Leroy Fedder in the 1970s television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Johnny Ringo in the 1955 western and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. He also voiced the ringmaster, Hank, on the animated television series, Devlin. He also played the lead in the film Andy.

Other roles that he has portrayed include Major Truman Landon in Tora! Tora! Tora!. He provided the voice of Kranix in the 1986 film Transformers: The Movie. He was in one episode of Dallas as Senator William Orloff. In Season 1 of The Dukes of Hazzard he played the part of Sheriff Lacey of Springville in the episode "Deputy Dukes"; he returned to the role in the second season episode "The Ghost of General Lee". He appeared as Lou Caruthers, the owner of the coffee shop in Back to the Future and the color-blind cameraman Bill in Ed Wood. He could also be seen in the episode of Murder She Wrote "'Keep The Homefries Burning" in 1986. In the 1970 roller derby movie Kansas City Bomber starring Raquel Welch, Kevin McCarthy and Helena Kallianiotes he plays the part of Horrible Hank Hopkins who has an unrequited love interest in K.C. Carr, played by Raquel Welch.

Norman Alden cause of death
Norman Alden died from natural causes in his Los Angeles, California home. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sharon Hayden.
Norman Alden was 87 years old at the time of his death.

Kitty Wells, first female country music pioneer, dies at 92

grammy

The Queen of Country Music.

Kitty Wells (August 30, 1919 – July 16, 2012), born Ellen Muriel Deason, was an American country music singer. Her 1952 hit recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s.

Wells ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of Billboard's country charts, according to historian Joel Whitburn's book The Top 40 Country Hits, behind Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, and Tanya Tucker. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and is currently its oldest living member. In 1991, she became the third country music artist, after Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, and the eighth woman to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Wells' accomplishments earned her the nickname The Queen of Country Music.

Kitty Wells cause of death
Kitty Wells died from complications after a stroke.
Kitty Wells was 92 years old at the time of her death

Kitty Wells - It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

Kitty Wells "I Can't Stop Loving You"

Doris Singleton, 'I Love Lucy' actress, dies 92

hollywoodDoris Singleton (born Dorthea Singleton; September 28, 1919 – June 26, 2012) was an American actress, perhaps best remembered as Lucy Ricardo's frenemy, the stuck-up Carolyn Appleby, in I Love Lucy.

Singleton guest starred on several other television shows including Hogan's Heroes, The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Twilight Zone, all on CBS, and on Rod Cameron's syndicated modern western crime drama, State Trooper. She played Laura, the girlfriend of Butch Cassidy on a 1958 episode, "The Outlaw Legion," of the syndicated western Frontier Doctor. Singleton played the sympathetic neighbor, Susie, to Annie Fargé's scatterbrained character "Angel Smith" in the short-lived CBS sitcom Angel (1960–61). Singleton also appeared in All in the Family as Edith's hotel roommate, Lydia Stonehurst in the 1971 episode "Edith has Jury Duty". She also appeared in two Perry Mason episodes, titled "The Crooked Candle" and "The Purple Woman".

Singleton guest-starred on My Three Sons, playing two different characters who had recurring roles throughout the long run of the show. She originally played the mother of Meredith MacRae whose character Sally Morrison married original oldest son Mike Douglas (Tim Considine) in the 1964-65 season. Later she played Margaret, mother of Polly Williams (Ronne Troup) in the 1970-71 season. At the time of her death in June 2012, Singleton was the last surviving major recurring adult cast members from the "Lucy" shows. Her last major acting role was in Deadly Messages (1985), though she appeared in advertising and voice overs for many subsequent years.

Doris Singleton cause of death
Doris Singleton died from complications from cancer on June 26, 2012, in her Los Angeles home. She had no children and left no immediate survivors.
Doris Singleton was 92 years old at the time of her death.

Herb Reed, last original member of the Platters, dies 83

The Platters was also known as "Herb Reed's Platters"

Herb Reed (August 7, 1928 – June 4, 2012) was an American musician, vocalist and founding member of The Platters, who were known for their hits during the 1950s and 1960s. Reed, who was the last surviving original member of the group, which he co-founded with four other musicians in 1953, is credited with creating The Platters' name. Reed thought of the group's name after noticing that DJs in the 1950s called their records, "platters."

Herb Reed cause of death
Reed toured throughout his career. He performed as many as 200 concerts per year until 2012, when he stopped due to declining health. He died from complications from several ailments, including heart disease, at a hospice in Boston on June 4, 2012.  Herb Reed was 83 year old at the time of his death.

The Platters were one of the most successful vocal groups of the early rock and roll era. Their distinctive sound was a bridge between the pre-rock Tin Pan Alley tradition and the burgeoning new genre. The act went through several personnel changes, with the most successful incarnation comprising lead tenor Tony Williams, David Lynch, Paul Robi, Herb Reed, and Zola Taylor. The group had 40 charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1955 and 1967, including four # 1 hits.

Herb Reed Tells the Platters Story

The Platters and the voice of Herb Reed in ''Blues in the night''

Carroll Shelby, Legendary car designer, racer, dies 89

Carroll Hall Shelby (January 11, 1923 – May 10, 2012) was an American automotive designer and racing driver. He was most well known for making the AC Motors-based Shelby American Cobra and later the Mustang-based performance cars for Ford Motor Company known as Mustang Cobras which he has done since 1965. His company, Shelby American Inc., founded in 1962, currently sells modified Ford vehicles, as well as performance parts.

He was Sports Illustrated's driver of the year in 1956 and 1957.

He competed in Formula One from 1958 to 1959, participating in a total of eight World Championship races and several non-championship races.

He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992.

Carroll Shelby cause of death
Carroll Shelby's cause of death was not disclosed.
Carroll Shelby was 89 years old at the time of his death.

George Lindsey, ‘Andy Griffith Show’s’ Goober, dies 83

George Lindsey (December 17, 1928 – May 6, 2012) was an American character actor, best known for his role as "Goober Pyle" on The Andy Griffith Show and his subsequent tenure on Hee-Haw.

In 1964, he got his big break as the slow-witted but kindly "Goober Beasley" on the now legendary The Andy Griffith Show. His character was eventually renamed "Goober Pyle" to retain the same name as his cousin Gomer Pyle, another slow-witted yokel played by Jim Nabors, another Alabamian. Goober's antics frequently included his exaggerated "Goober Dance" and his comically bad Cary Grant impression ("Judy, Judy, Judy").

As Lindsey started his portrayal as Goober, he also had a minor role in the Walter Brennan series The Tycoon on ABC. Lindsey also had a role in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea entitled Submarine Sunk Here. He played a blackmailing taxicab driver in the "Bed of Roses" episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

George Lindsey cause of death
George Lindsey died in Nashville after a brief illness.
George Lindsey was 83 years old at the time of his death

Goober takes off on Cary Grant

Jonathan Frid, actor, 'Dark Shadows', dies 87 (Friday, 13th)

* 40 years before Twilight, there was Dark Shadows.   Motion picture version of "Dark Shadows", starring Johnny Depp, is scheduled to release in 2012.

John Herbert Frid (December 2, 1924 – April 13, 2012) was a Canadian theater, television, and film actor, best known for having played the role of vampire Barnabas Collins on the gothic television soap opera Dark Shadows.

Jonathan Frid cause of death
Jonathan Frid died of natural causes on April 14, 2012, at Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.
Jonathan Frid was 87 years old at the time of his death.

The Tragic Loves of Barnabas Collins - "I Wasn't Her" 

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