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comedian

David Brenner, Comedian, 'Tonight Show' Favorite, Dies 78

David Norris Brenner (February 4, 1936 – March 15, 2014) was an American stand-up comedian, actor and author. The most frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in the 1970s and 80s, Brenner was a pioneer in the genre of observational comedy.

Brenner was a writer, director or producer of 115 television documentaries and headed the documentary units of Westinghouse Broadcasting and Metromedia, winning nearly 30 awards including an Emmy, before moving to comedy. His first paid gig was at The Improv in June 1969, and then frequently performed at clubs in Greenwich Village. After making his national television debut in 1971, on the The Tonight Show, he became the show's most frequent guest, with 158 appearances. He guest-hosted for Johnny Carson 75 times between 1975 and 1984, putting him fifth on the list of Carson's favorite and most frequent guest hosts. Brenner was ranked No. 53 on Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. "At one point, he had appeared more often on major TV talk shows than any other entertainer. He also wrote five books,  and starred in four HBO Specials.

David Brenner cause of death

Brenner died on March 15, 2014, at the age of 78 from cancer at his Manhattan home. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, his three sons, Cole, Wyatt, Slade and his grandson, Wesley.

David Brenner on The Tonight Show

Jean Stapleton, Actress, "All in the Family", Edith Bunker, dies 90

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jeanJean Stapleton (born Jeanne Murray; January 19, 1923 – May 31, 2013) was an American character actress of stage, television and film.

Stapleton is best known for having portrayed Edith Bunker, the long-suffering, yet devoted wife of Archie Bunker (played by Carroll O'Connor) and mother of Gloria Stivic (played by Sally Struthers), on the 1970s situation comedy All in the Family. Stapleton also made occasional appearances on the All in the Family follow-up series, Archie Bunker's Place, but, tired of the role, asked to be written out as a regular character after the first season.

Stapleton's awards for All in the Family include three Emmys and two Golden Globes. She was offered a role in the feature film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as Mrs. Teevee, but she declined because it coincided with the production of the All in the Family pilot (the role went to Nora Denney).

She declined the opportunity to lead in the television mystery programme Murder, She Wrote, which from 1984 to 1996 instead starred Angela Lansbury.

In 1996, Stapleton played opposite John Travolta, portraying the eccentric rooming house owner, Pansy Milbank in Nora Ephron's hit Michael. Stapleton also appeared in the 1998 feature You've Got Mail as a close co-worker in whom Meg Ryan's character confides.

Jean Stapleton Cause of Death

Jean Stapleton died of natural causes, in New York City, surrounded by family and friends. Jean Stapleton was 90 years old at the time of her death. She is survived by her two children, John, a TV director, and Pamela, a TV producer.

Jean Stapleton - Simple Melody

All In The Family Intro

Allan Arbus, 'M*A*S*H' star, dies 95

Allan Arbus (February 15, 1918 – April 19, 2013) was an American actor notable for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Freedman on the television series M*A*S*H.

Arbus is far better known for his television work, which includes over 45 titles and works as recent as Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2000. Among Arbus's non-M*A*S*H TV work are guest and recurring roles in such television series as Law & Order, L.A. Law, Matlock, Starsky and Hutch, and Judging Amy.

During the 1940's Allan Arbus was a successful photographer, primarily known for advertising photography that appeared in Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines

Allan Arbus cause of death

Allan Arbus was 95 years old at the time of his death.  Cause of death was not released.

Allan Arbus as Sydney Freedman - M*A*S*H

Jonathan Winters, Comedy Legend, Dies 87

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J WJonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) was an American comedian, actor and artist.

Beginning in 1960, Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label. He also had comedy albums released every decade for over 50 years, receiving 11 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album nominations during his career, and winning the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for Crank(y) Calls in 1996.

Winters has also appeared in hundreds of television show episodes/series and films combined, including eccentric characters on The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters (1972–74), Mork & Mindy, Hee Haw and in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Winters had a dramatic role in the The Twilight Zone episode "A Game of Pool" (episode 3.5 on October 13, 1961)

After voicing Grandpa Smurf on The Smurfs (1986–89) and Papa Smurf in The Smurfs (2011 film), Winters's final feature film was The Smurfs 2 in 2013, which will be dedicated in his memory.

Jonathan Winters was inducted to the Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960 with 1 star.

Jonathan Winters cause of death

Jonathan Winters died on April 11, 2013, in Montecito, California, of natural causes. Jonathan Winters was 87 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by his two children: Jay Winters, and Lucinda Winters.

Jonathan Winters Montage Part 1 - Orinda Film Festival 2003

Conrad Bain, 'Diff'rent Strokes' dad, dies 89

Conrad Stafford Bain (February 4, 1923 – January 14, 2013) was a Canadian-American actor. His television credits include a leading role as Phillip Drummond in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and as Dr. Arthur Harmon on Maude.

Conrad Bain cause of death

Conrad Bain died of natural causes. Conrad Bain died on January 14, 2013, at the age of 89.

Diff'rent Strokes - Season 6 Intro

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

Phyllis Diller, Legendary Comic, Dies 95

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Phyllis DillerPhyllis Diller (July 17, 1917 – August 20, 2012) was an American actress and comedian. She created a stage persona of a wild-haired, eccentrically dressed housewife who makes self-deprecating jokes about her age and appearance, her terrible cooking, and a husband named "Fang", while pretending to smoke from a long cigarette holder. Diller's signature was her unusual laugh.

Phyllis Diller cause of death
Phyllis Diller passed away on August 20, 2012.
Diller suffered medical problems, including a heart attack in 1999. After a hospital stay she was fitted with a pacemaker and released. A bad fall resulted in her being hospitalized for neurological tests and pacemaker installation in 2005. She subsequently retired from stand-up comedy appearances.

On July 11, 2007, USA Today reported that she fractured her back and had to cancel a Tonight Show appearance, during which she had planned to celebrate her 90th birthday. On January 4, 2011, she appeared on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" as part of a panel of comedians.

Phyllis Diller, Hollywood Walk of Fame
North side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard

Phyllis Diller's son, Perry, says he found his mother passed away in her bed with a smile on her face.

Phyllis Diller and her bird legs

Sherman Hemsley, Comedian, 'George Jefferson', dies 74

Sherman Alexander Hemsley (February 1, 1938 - July 24,2012) was an American actor, most famous for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television series All in the Family and The Jeffersons, and as Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC series Amen. He also played Earl Sinclair's horrifying boss, a Triceratops named B.P. Richfield, on the Jim Henson sitcom Dinosaurs.

The characters of Hemsley and co-star Isabel Sanford were secondary on All in the Family, but were given their own spin-off series, The Jeffersons, less than two years after Hemsley made his debut on the show. The Jeffersons ran 11 seasons through 1985.

Sherman Hemsley cause of death
Sherman Hemsley dies in his home in El Paso, Texas.  Cause of death is not known.
Sherman Hemsley was 74 years old a the time of his death.

Celebrity Deaths

 George Jefferson & Helen Willis 'GET DOWN!'

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