You’re Gonna Make It After All: RIP Mary Tyler Moore


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She was America’s TV sweetheart in the 60’s and 70’s. Beautiful and talented Mary Tyler Moore has passed away at age 80, her smile no longer brightening this world. Mary was Laura Petrie, the perky and perfect suburban housewife on THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, then broke new ground as single career girl Mary Richards on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, both seminal sitcoms from television’s Golden Age of Comedy.

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Born in Brooklyn Heights in 1936, Mary became a dancer as a teen, and got her first show business break as ‘Happy Hotpoint’, a tiny dancing elf in TV commercials for Hotpoint stoves. Her next break got her noticed, playing the sexy secretary on RICHARD DIAMOND PRIVATE DETECTIVE, which starred David Janssen. Mary never fully appeared on the show, only her smoky voice and dancer’s legs, and viewers were left to speculate on the rest of the package.

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Then came THE…

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2016 IN MEMORIAM (S through Z)


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This is the final entry in our tribute to those artists, entertainers, and pop culture figures who passed away in 2016. Let’s all hope the 2017 list is much, much shorter.

Veteran CBS News journalist Morley Safer (“60 Minutes”)

Actress Theresa Saldana (“Raging Bull”, “The Commish”)

DC comic book letterist Gaspar Saladino

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Actor Joe Santos (“The Rockford Files”)

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Prolific character actor William Schallert

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Horror star Angus Scrimm (the “Phantasm” series)

Comedian/actor Garry Shandling

Grand Ole Opry star Jean Shepherd

Actress Madeleine Sherwood (“The Flying Nun”)

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Actor/singer/conductor Frank Sinatra Jr.

MMA fighter Kimbo Slice

Actor James Stacy (“Lancer”)

Singer Kay Starr (“Wheel of Fortune”)

Music & film producer Robert Stigwood

ruthGolden Age actress Ruth Terry

Actor/host Alan Thicke (“Growing Pains”, “Thicke of the Night”)

Television producer/executive Grant Tinker

Futurist writer Alvin Toffler (“Future Shock”)

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Mexican actress Lupita Tovar (1931’s Spanish language “Dracula”)

jtChild actor Jerry Tucker of Our Gang

vanitySinger/actress Vanity

pvBritish…

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RIP The Unsinkable Debbie Reynolds


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One day after the tragic death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, the unsinkable Debbie Reynolds has passed at age 84. I’m not going to update my previous IN MEMORIAM  post; Miss Reynolds deserves a post of her own.

Full shot of illustration of Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood, Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden, and Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown walking together in rain, holding umbrellas during the opening musical number "Singin' In The Rain."

One of the last of the old studio contract players, Debbie got good notices in such musical films as THE DAUGHTER OF ROSIE O’GRADY, THREE LITTLE WORDS, and TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE, but it’s her role as Kathy Seldon in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN that made her a star. This joyful ode to the transition from silent movies to sound isn’t just my favorite musical, it’s one of my favorite films ever! Debbie shines as the ingénue forced to lip-synch for catty star Lina Lamont (the wonderful Jean Hagen), and more than holds her own in the dancing and clowning departments with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. Like CASABLANCA and CITIZEN KANE, SINGIN’…

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2016 IN MEMORIAM Part 3 (L through R)


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Continuing to pay tribute to those who have departed in 2016:

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Musician Greg Lake of King Crimson and ELP

50’s crooner Julius LaRosa

Cartoonist Mell Lazarus (“Miss Peach”)

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Actress Madeleine LeBeau (“Casablanca”)

Author Harper Lee (“To Kill A Mockingbird”)

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Grindhouse director Herschell Gordon Lewis 

Character actor Richard Libertini (“The In-Laws”, “Fletch”)

Singer/songwriter John D. Loudermilk

Rockabilly guitarist Lonnie Mack

ECW wrestler Balls Mahoney

Actor David Margulies (“Ghostbusters”)

Actor Don Marshall (“Land of the Giants”, “The Thing with Two Heads”)

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Producer/director/writer/actor Garry Marshall

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Beatles record producer Sir George Martin

Soap villain Joseph Mascolo (Stefano on “Days Of Our Lives”)

Singer Gayle McCormick of Smith (“Baby It’s You”)

Comedian Kevin Meaney

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Singer George Michael

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Grindhouse filmmaker Ted V. Mikels (“The Astro-Zombies”, “The Corpse Grinders”)

Film noir actress Kristine Miller (“I Walk Alone”, “Too Late For Tears” )

Actor/singer Mike Minor (“Petticoat Junction”)

smScotty Moore, guitarist for Elvis Presley

Actress Michele Morgan (“Higher and…

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2016 IN MEMORIAM Part 2 (F through K)


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Continuing the roll call of those in arts & entertainment taken from us in 2016. Sadly, another name has been just been added to this list. RIP Carrie Fisher.

Singer Joey Feek

Actor Abel Fernandez (TV’s “The Untouchables”)

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Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez

Actor Frank Finlay (“The Three Musketeers”)

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‘Princess Leia’, actress/author Carrie Fisher

Jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02: Glenn Frey of The Eagles performs live for fans at Qantas Credit Union Arena on March 2, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)

Glenn Frey of The Eagles

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Iconic nurse Greta Zimmer Friedman

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Character actor Bernard Fox (“Bewitched”, “Hogan’s Heroes”)

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Wrestling’s Mr. Fuji

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Actress/socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor

Actress Rita Gam (“The Thief”, “No Exit”, “Klute” )

Major League catcher/announcer Joe Garagiola

Actress Lisa Gaye (“Rock Around the Clock” )

Actor Ron Glass (“Barney Miller”)

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Astronaut/U.S. Senator/American Hero John Glenn

Wrestler Archie Gouldie, aka The Mongolian Stomper

Singer Gogi Grant (“The Wayward Wind”)

Broadway & Hollywood actress Tammy Grimes

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Country legend Merle Haggard

Actor Dan Haggerty (“Grizzly Adams”)

Director Guy Hamilton (“Goldfinger”)

Writer Earl Hamner…

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2016 IN MEMORIAM (Part 1, A through E)


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This past year, the Grim Reaper took a bumper crop from the worlds of film, television, music, sports, literature, and pop culture. Here at Cracked Rear Viewer, we salute those men and women who in some way touched our lives:

Television director Norman Abbott

julius-adamsNew England Patriots great Julius Adams

Voice actor Joe Alaskey

Playwright Edward Albee (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”)

ali1‘The Greatest’, Muhammed Ali

Folk/Blues/Jazz star Mose Allison

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   Catholic TV host Mother Angelica

Actor Arthur Anderson (voice of the Lucky Charms Leprechaun)

Producer/voice actress Sylvia Anderson (“Thunderbirds”)

Actor Eddie Applegate (“The Patty Duke Show”)

r2d2Actor Kenny Baker (Star Wars’ R2D2  )

Lennie Baker of Sha-Na-Na

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Film & TV Car Customizer George Barris

Actress Patricia Barry

Actor Brian Bedford

Last of the Vaudevillians, Irving Benson

Actress Maggie Blye

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The incredible David Bowie

Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca

30’s child star Bobby Breen

Animation producer Al Brodax (The Beatles’…

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