Hoss' RIP Thread
And R.I.P. to:

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Frank "Lumpy Rutherford" Bank (1942-2013)~Frank Bank, best known for playing Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford on the classic TV series "Leave It To Beaver", died on April 13th, 2013 of as yet unknown causes. Bank, whose birthday was April 12th, was 71 years old. Ironically, April 13th is Bank's former cast mate Tony Dow's (Wally Cleaver) birthday (actually mine too!).

As Lumpy on LITB, he was originally a bully who menaced Wally and Beaver Cleaver, but they slowly softened him up to a dopey lummox---sorta like "Big Moose" in the Archie comics (Frank Bank actually played Archie Andrews in an unsold TV pilot!). The dopey version of Lumpy, along with Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond), became one of Wally's best friends.

Frank Bank was pretty much typecast as Lumpy, so roles were not plentiful for him after LITB ended in 1963. In the early 70's, he became a bonds broker, a very successful one, by all accounts. But, Bank didn't abandon acting---he appeared in "High School USA", which also featured Tony Dow and Ken Osmond, as well as a bunch of other 50's & 60's stars. He also reprised the role of Lumpy Rutherford in the TV movie "Still The Beaver", and "The New Leave It To Beaver" series that ran for a few years back in the 80's. Bank is survived by his wife Rebecca, 4 daughters, and 5 grandchildren. R.I.P., Lumpy...

Here is Frank Bank in a short clip from LITB. Tony Dow (Wally) and Ken Osmond (Eddie) appear as well:
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1st pic L-R: Chris Kelly, Chris Smith; 2nd pic L-R: Smith, Kelly

Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly (1978-2013)~Chris Kelly, who was one half of the popular 90's rap duo, Kriss Kross, died on May 1st, 2013, of an apparent drug overdose. Kelly was just 34 years old. With partner Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith, as Kriss Kross they had their greatest success early on with their first album "Totally Krossed Out", which featured the infectious monster hit (8 weeks at number 1 on Billboard) "Jump", as well as "Warm It Up", among others.

"Jump" video

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Edna Mae "Deanna" Durbin (1921-2013)~Deanna Durbin, who was a major star during the 30's & 40's, died in late April 2013, of as yet unrevealed causes. Durbin was 91 years old. Deanna Durbin became a star with the movie "Three Smart Girls" (1936), and is often credited with saving the struggling studio Universal from bankruptcy. Durbin was at one time (1947) the highest-paid female in America. However, despite her immense popularity, Durbin retired in 1949, and lived out the rest of her life in France. She granted a rare interview in 1983, but otherwise turned her back on Hollywood. Durbin was married 3 times (widowed by her last husband) and had 2 children.

Three Smart Girls trailer
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Wilma Jeanne Cooper (1928-2013)~Jeanne Cooper, best known for playing Katherine Chancellor on "The Young & The Restless" for 40 years, died on May 8th, 2013 of an as yet unrevealed illness. Cooper was 84 years old. Jeanne Cooper started her career with small roles in movies before eventually turning to television, where she became a fixture for over 50 years. She guest-starred in many popular TV shows during the 50's & 60's---especially westerns like Bonanza, The Big Valley, Tales Of Wells Fargo, The Virginian, Maverick, Wagon Train & Cheyenne, among others.

But, Cooper's lasting legacy will be as Katherine Chancellor, a role she played for the last 40 years. Cooper's Katherine Chancellor was a focal point of TYATR, even at her advanced age, so her death will greatly impact the show. Cooper was also the mother of actor Corbin Bersen ("L.A. Law"), who posted about his mother's passing online. R.I.P., Katherine Chancellor...

Jeanne Cooper tribute

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Raymond Frederick "Ray" Harryhausen (1920-2013)~Ray Harryhausen, the master of stop-motion special effects in movies like "Clash Of The Titans", "Jason And The Argonauts", and "The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad", died on May 7th, 2013 at the age of 92. This guy was simply a pioneer. A lot of younger folks today are spoiled by the advanced technology in today's films, but as a kid, I really enjoyed Harryhausen's work---especially in Jason & The Argonauts (some very memorable sequences in that flick). R.I.P., Mr. Harryhausen...

A Video compilation of Harryhausen's work
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Joyce Diane Brothers (1927-2013)~Dr. Joyce Brothers, a TV psychologist & newspaper columnist who was a familiar presence on TV and other media for over 50 years, died on May 13th, 2013 of respiratory failure. Dr. Brothers was 85 years old. Among her many accomplishments, the New York-born Dr. Brothers has the distinction of being the only female to win the big prize on the classic game show "The $64,000 Question".
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Harry Vance "Chuck" Muncie (1953-2013)~Chuck Muncie, who was an NFL All-Pro running back with the New Orleans Saints & San Diego Chargers, died on May 13th, 2013 of a heart attack. Muncie was 60 years old.

I was never a fan of Muncie's teams (still not---to this day), but I admired his talent. Pretty big guy who could run thru people, but he had decent speed too. Hard to believe his Chargers teams (the Don Coryell/Dan Fouts era) never won anything. They had some talent on those teams. Too bad Chuck was unable to control his drug problem---who knows what numbers he could've put up. R.I.P. Chuck Muncie.
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Marvin Junior (1936-2013)~Marvin Junior, long-time lead singer for the (Mighty) Dells, died on May 31st, 2013, from heart & kidney failure. Junior was 77 years old. Junior was still in high school when he helped form the Dells. In the mid-50's the Dells had their first big hit with "Oh What A Nite", which was co-written by Junior and fellow Dell, Johnny Funches. Other hits included "Stay In My Corner", "There Is", "Always Together" and "Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation".

The Dells may not have had as many hits as some of their contemporaries, but some of their hits are just as memorable. Marvin was a helluva vocalist. R.I.P., brother Marvin.

The Dells Stay In My Corner (Live circa 1972)

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Jean (Murray) Stapleton (1923-2013)~Jean Stapleton, best known for playing Archie Bunker's wife Edith on the classic TV series, "All In The Family", died on May 31st, 2013 of natural causes. Stapleton was 90 years old. Stapleton, in addition to her success on television, had a lengthy career on Broadway, which is where she started her career. Personally, I think "All In The Family" was never the same after they killed off Edith. The relationship between Archie & Edith was central to the show, IMO, so they lost a lot there---no disrespect to Danielle Brisebois ("Stephanie") or the other actors that were on the show (by then "Archie Bunker's Place"). R.I.P. Ms. Stapleton...

All in the Family / Archie Bunker's Place Opening Credits

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David D. "Deacon" Jones (1938-2013)~Deacon Jones, an NFL Hall Of Fame Defensive End, who played for the Los Angeles Rams (1961-1971), San Diego Chargers (1972-1973) and Washington Redskins (1974), died on June 3rd, 2013 of natural causes. Jones was 74 years old. Jones played on the legendary Los Angeles Rams defensive front nicknamed "The Fearsome Foursome", alongside Merlin Olsen, Rosie Grier and Lamar Lundy. The FF is considered by many to be the greatest front four in NFL history. Rosie Grier, BTW, is now the only living member of that group.

Jones was an 8-time Pro-Bowler and in the years 1967-1968, he racked up an amazing 50 QB sacks! Jones is credited with coining the term "sack", although the NFL didn't officially keep QB sack stats until the 80's. Jones (unofficially) had over 170 career sacks. R.I.P., Deacon "The Secretary Of Defense" Jones...

Deacon Jones Highlights Video
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Esther Jane Williams (1921-2013)~Esther Williams, a champion swimmer-turned movie star, died on June 6th, 2013 of natural causes. Williams was 91 years old. Esther Williams spent much of her teens as a champion swimmer, then she was discovered by MGM and landed a movie contract, debuting with Mickey Rooney in "Andy Hardy's Double Life" (1942). She later went on to star in "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" (1949), "Neptune's Daughter" (1949), and perhaps her best-known film, "Million Dollar Mermaid" (1952).

Williams was married 4 times, including a marriage to Fernando Lamas, the father of actor Lorenzo Lamas (Lorenzo's mom is actress Arlene Dahl).

Esther Williams Video Tribute
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I swear, there's been so many celebrity deaths these last couple of years---just unbelievable. This death below, I didn't see coming, so I was kinda shocked at the news...

R.I.P. to:

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James Joseph Gandolfini Jr. (1961-2013)~Gandolfini, who won 3 Emmy awards for his portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit HBO series, "The Sopranos", died of an apparent heart attack on June 19th, 2013. Gandolfini was 51 years old.

The Sopranos was probably my favorite TV show of say, the last 15 years or so. I really don't follow many TV shows, but 9:00 PM Sunday EST, my ass was in front of the TV watching "The Sopranos". Tony Soprano was the centerpiece of the show. He could be funny one minute then one mean sunuva bitch the next. I don't think too many actors could have played Tony Soprano as well as Gandolfini---he was fantastic in the role. Gandolfini is survived by his wife and a young son. R.I.P., Tony Soprano...

James Gandolfini death report

Carmella and Tony have an argument: Great scene---I remember this one well...

The Sopranos opening & closing themes: Obviously from one of the earlier seasons, as the World Trade Centre still appears (they removed it after 9/11).
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Richard Burton Matheson (1926-2013)~Matheson, who primarily wrote science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories, died on June 23rd, 2013. He was 87 years old. Many of Matheson's stories were turned into movies or TV. The list includes "I Am Legend", "The Shrinking Man", "Duel" and others. Matheson wrote numerous episodes of the original "Twilight Zone", including the classic "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet" (featuring a young William Shatner), among others.

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Robert Calvin Brooks (aka Bobby "Blue" Bland~1930-2013)~Bobby Blue Bland, one of the great Blues/R&B singers, died on June 23rd, 2013. Bland was 83 years old. Since he was so firmly entrenched in The Blues, Bland didn't chart high on the Pop side of Billboard's charts (only 1 Top 20 Billboard Pop hit), but he enjoyed tremendous success on the R&B side, with 60 singles charting there, many of them finishing Top 30. Some of his hits include: Farther Up The Road, I Pity The Fool, Turn On Your Love Light, and Stormy Monday Blues, among others. R.I.P., Bobby "Blue" Bland...

I Pity The Fool (1961-#1 R&B)

Turn On Your Love Light (1961-#2 R&B, #28 Pop)

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Gary David Goldberg (1944-2013)~Gary David Goldberg, a writer/producer best known for his work on "Family Ties", "Spin City", and "Brooklyn Bridge", died on June 22nd, 2013 of brain cancer. Goldberg was 67 years old.

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David Tuthill Jennings (1952-2013)~Dave Jennings, who was a punter for both the New York Giants and New York Jets football teams, died on June 19th, 2013 of Parkinson's Disease. Jennings was 61 years old. The New York-born Jennings played for 14 years in the NFL (11 with the Giants; 3 with the Jets) and went to 4 Pro Bowls. From 1988-2008, Jennings worked in radio covering first the Jets, then the Giants, until his illness forced him to retire in 2008.

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James Milton "Jim" Kelly (1946-2013)~Jim Kelly, perhaps best known for co-starring with Bruce Lee in "Enter The Dragon", died on June 29th, 2013, after a battle with cancer. Kelly was 67 years old. Kelly's other films include "Three The Hard Way", "Black Belt Jones", and "Black Samaurai".

Jim Kelly in "Enter The Dragon".

Kelly in "Three The Hard Way" (1974)
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Dennis Henry Burkley (1945-2013)~Dennis Burkley, who usually played rednecks, truckers and bikers on TV and in films, died on July 14th, 2013 of a heart attack. Burkley was 67. I remember him from "Sanford", which came about when Demond Wilson left "Sanford & Son", necessitating the name change. He was also in "Mask", "No Way Out", and "Con Air". Pretty good character actor.

"Sanford" Opening Credits Season Two

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Ponciano "Poncie Ponce" Hernandez (1933-2013)~Poncie Ponce, best remembered for his role as cabbie Kazuo Kim on the hit TV series "Hawaiian Eye", died on July 19th, 2013. Ponce was 80 years old. I have vague memories of this show and "77 Sunset Strip", which ran around the same time. I can't really recall any episodes, but the theme songs always stuck in my head. Ponce I remember wearing that hat, and Connie Stevens is kinda hard to forget. Haven't seen those shows in ages. Amazingly, neither show is on DVD---what's up with that? Even "The Flying Nun" (which is a guilty pleasure of mine) is on DVD!

Hawaiian Eye Opening Theme

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Dennis Farina (1944-2013)~Dennis Farina, a Chicago-born cop-turned actor, who usually played cops or mobsters, died on July 22nd, 2013 of a blood clot in his lung. Farina was 69. Farina's credits include: "Law And Order", "Get Shorty", and "Midnight Run".

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George Charles "Boomer" Scott (1944-2013)~George Scott, a power-hitting 1st Baseman for the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, and New York Yankees, died on July 28th, 2013. "The Boomer" was 69 years old. I remember The Boomer well. I hated the Red Sox and Brewers, but I respected his talent. I really don't remember his brief stint with the Yanks tho'. That season (1978-1979) I was living down south, and all they showed was stupid Braves games (and they really sucked back then!). I only got to see the Yankees if they were on Monday Night Baseball or NBC's Game Of The Week.

Boomer won 8 Gold Gloves and was a 3-Time All-Star. His best overall year was 1975 with the Brewers, when he batted .285 with 36 HRs, 109 RBI, and 318 Total Bases (he led the league in the latter 3 categories). His career line was .268 BA/271 HR/1051 RBI. R.I.P., Boomer...
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