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  1. #2551
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    Yes, they were great songs

    RIP Perhaps his tombstone should read "dead guys don't cry !!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^RIP. Songs of my youth.....

  2. #2552
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    NASHVILLE — George Hamilton IV, the 50-year "Grand Ole Opry" star known as the "International Ambassador of Country Music," died Wednesday at a Nashville hospital. Hamilton was 77 and had suffered a heart attack Saturday.

    In a business populated by brash and outlandish stars, Hamilton traded on subtlety, gentility and decency. In the liner notes of his 1968 RCA album, "The Gentle Country Sound of George Hamilton IV," he wrote of a "quiet, beautiful musical revolution in the world of country music."

    "This revolutionary grew up in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, went to college for four years, doesn't dig saloons and is happily married," he wrote. "Do I have to sing honky-tonk songs about slippin' around and wear a rhinestone-studded cowboy suit to be real?"

    Hamilton burst onto the national music scene in 1956 with the million-selling "A Rose and a Baby Ruth," a John Loudermilk-penned song that rose to No. 6 on the all-genre Billboard Top 100 chart. He scored two more Top 40 hits before becoming what "Definitive Country" encyclopedia contributor Lesley-Anne Peake called "the first pop artist to switch to country."

    "This was a radical move for an established pop singer, at a time when rock 'n' roll was at its height and many country stars were trying to 'go pop,'" Peake wrote.

    For Hamilton, his 1959 entry into country music was a natural transition. He grew up in North Carolina, listening to "Opry" stars Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Jimmy Dickens and Eddy Arnold. He joined the "Opry" himself in February 1960, and Chet Atkins signed him to RCA Victor as a country artist. He notched his first Top 10 country hit in 1960, with "Before This Day Ends," and repeated that success with "Three Steps to the Phone (Millions of Miles)" and "If You Don't Know I Ain't Gonna Tell You." But his biggest hit came in 1963, with "Abilene," a loping tribute to a Kansas town and a four-week No. 1 country single.

    Hamilton became infatuated with folk singer-songwriters, and in 1965 he became the first American recording artist to record a hit written by poetic Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. His 1966 "Steel Rail Blues" album featured songs penned by folk-leaning writers Lightfoot, Phil Ochs and John Hartford, and Hamilton became the most popular country music singer in Canada. He hosted a Canadian television show for six years and he recorded albums that crossed genres and borders. His 1967 version of "Urge For Going" also made him the first artist to record a song written by Joni Mitchell.

    "George is a student and a good listener," Gordon Lightfoot told Deke Dickerson, in a conversation recounted in the liner notes to the three-disc Bear Family Records collection "George Hamilton IV: My North Country Home." "He's just a kind, generous person. I just love the way that George did all my songs."

    Hamilton was the rare country star to actively support progressive politicians in the 1960s, and his abiding Christian faith led was the bedrock of his belief in civil rights and racial equality. In 1968, he and wife Tink attended Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy's speech at Vanderbilt's Memorial Gym. Kennedy was late for the speech, and event organizer John Seigenthaler asked Mr. Hamilton to entertain the assembled crowd.

    "He said, 'Well, it just happens I have my guitar in my trunk,'" Seigenthaler told a Vanderbilt Hustler reporter. Hamilton played for 45 minutes, and he considered "opening" for Kennedy a highlight of his musical career.

    Hamilton's relaxed, literate songs took him across the world. He toured extensively in Europe and studied the European roots of Nashville-based country music.

    "This music we call American country music had its cradle days in the British Isles," he told The Tennessean in 2012. "It had its childhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it came of age in Nashville."

    Hamilton played a starring role in London's "International Festival of Country Music" in 1969, and he and Bill Anderson helped persuade the Country Music Association to present a Nashville version of that International Festival: The music city festival came to be known as Fan Fair and is now branded as the CMA Music Festival, Nashville's signature event. Hamilton also hosted numerous BBC television series.

    In 1973, Hamilton completed what Peake wrote was the "longest international concert tour in country music," performing 73 shows in three months. And in 1974, Hamilton became the first country artist to perform behind the Iron Curtain, playing in Czechoslovakia and in Russia. In the latter country, he lectured on the history of country music.

    Hamilton left the "Opry" for five years, beginning in 1971, and by the time of his 1976 return he was known as country music's "International Ambassador." He was a passionate advocate for country music, and for his deeply held faith, frequently performing as part of Dr. Billy Graham's Christian crusades.

    Hamilton's final Top 40 country hit came in 1973, but he remained vital as a touring artist and "Grand Ole Opry" attraction for the remainder of his years. In the new century, he often gave backstage tours at the Opry, providing visitors with firsthand stories about long-gone "Opry" stars Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb.

    "It's been a real honor to have been associated with the Opry for this period of time," he said in an official biography. "It's been my musical homeplace which I first started visiting as a teenager. Back then, I would regularly catch a Greyhound bus from North Carolina and dream of performing on the Opry."

    George Hamilton IV, 50-year Opry star, dies at age 77

  3. #2553
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    Geoffrey Perry

    WEST PALM BEACH — During World War II, Nazi radio propagandist “Lord Haw-Haw” tormented England, until British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent a commando team of German-born Brits to capture him.



    William Joyce aka Lord Haw Haw

    Geoffrey Howard Perry, who led the expedition, later wrote a memoir, appeared in documentaries, and lived quietly in Palm Beach County for a quarter century before his death last week.
    Perry died at 92 on Sept. 14 at a retirement home in Elstree, north of London.
    He’d sold his home in Palm Beach Polo in Wellington in 2006, but continued to alternate between Palm Beach County and England before moving to the retirement home two years ago, his son Nick said via email from London.
    “He and my mother loved it there and their friends so much,” Nick Perry said.
    He said that “William Joyce made the first of his infamous broadcasts from Radio Hamburg on September 18th 1939 – and exactly 75 years to the day later, the funeral took place of the English army officer who captured him.”
    Joyce, an Irish-American fascist, had lived in England since the 1920s but fled to Germany just before World War II broke out and was recruited to broadcast back to to Britain. He opened his screeds with “Germany calling, Germany calling, Germany calling.”
    The nickname, also given to other British propagandists, might have referred either to his upper crust accent, his nasal delivery, or his contemptuous laugh, according to historical sources.
    Perry once had been Jewish schoolboy Horst Pinschewer; he fled to England and later changed his name. Near the end of the war, a special unit called Tforce was sent in to take Radio Hamburg. In early May 1945, Perry read an Allied forces broadcast using a microphone Lord Haw Haw had used days earlier.
    Two days afer that, in the German forest, not far from the Danish border, Perry and his team stumbled across Joyce, who made the mistake of asking for help in English.
    ”I shot him in the bum,” Perry told National Geographic for its documentary, Churchill’s German Army. “It was one shot. I’d asked him if he was by any chance Lord Haw Haw. His hand went to his pocket as if to pull out a gun – so I fired.”
    After his capture, Joyce was flown back to Britain, In 1946, he became the last person in Britain to be executed for treason.
    Perry later had a highly successful publishing career before retiring in 1992. In 2002, he wrote his memoir, “When Life Becomes History.”
    Perry’s wife Helen died in 2001. He’s survived by his son Nick, of London, and Stephen, who lives in South Africa.

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    Palm Beach Polo Club in Wellington, very high probability I built his pool. Did more then 2/3rds the pools in that community over 20 years ago.

  5. #2555
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    Emmy winner Polly Bergen passed away at the age of 84 on Saturday at her home in Southbury, Connecticut.



    The actress' publicist Judy Katz revealed Bergen had died, but did not disclose a cause of death, The Associated Press reports. However, it's known that due to more than 50 years of smoking, she did suffer from emphysema and other issues.

    Bergen won an Emmy Award for her performance as Helen Morgan in Playhouse 90 back in 1958 and would be nominated for a second Emmy for War and Remembrance.

    In addition to acting on television, she also appeared on stage and in films and even released her own music. She got to make her feature film debut alongside Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin at just 20 years of age in At War With the Army. The trio performed so well together, they went on to film The Stooge and That's My Boy.

    Bergen said that success to her was "when you feel what you've done fulfills yourself, makes you happy and makes people around you happy."

    She is likely remembered for her more recent roles in Desperate Housewives and The Sopranos.

    Bergen struggled after starring with Martin and Lewis as she was unable to find roles she truly enjoyed, according to The New York Times. There were, however, two exceptions, the original Cape Fear and The Caretakers.

    Polly Bergen, Emmy-winning actress, dies at 84 | TheCelebrityCafe.com

  6. #2556
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    Audrey Long, Film Noir Star of the 1940s, Dies at 92
    7:15 PM PST 09/22/2014 by Mike Barnes



    Audrey Long, who starred opposite John Wayne in the 1944 Western Tall in the Saddle and in a pair of film noir favorites directed by Anthony Mann and Robert Wise three years later, has died. She was 92.

    Long, who was married to Leslie Charteris, the author of The Saint adventure books, from 1952 until his death in 1993, died Sept. 19 after a long illness, according to Ian Dickerson of the website LeslieCharteris.com .

    With her husband (played by Steve Brodie), Long's character fled from the cops and a crook (Raymond Burr) in Mann’s 1947 crime thriller Desperate. Also in May of that year, she was seen in theaters as the rich San Francisco sister of Claire Trevor who is fooled into marrying the evil and duplicitous character played by Lawrence Tierney in Born to Kill, directed by Wise.

    The hazel-eyed Long also appeared in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend (1944), Wise’s A Game of Death (1945), Pan-Americana (1945), Perilous Holiday (1946), The Adventures of Gallant Bess (1948), Song of My Heart (1948), Post Office Investigator (1949), Insurance Investigator (1951) and Indian Uprising (1952) before she retired from acting.

    Long was a native of Orlando; her father, a U.S. Navy chaplain, moved his family around the country. Eventually, she graduated from high school in Los Gatos, Calif., and received a scholarship to Max Reinhardt’s drama school in Hollywood.

    While still a teenager, she was signed by Warner Bros. and made her screen debut in an uncredited role in The Male Animal (1942), starring Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland.

    She had a small role on Broadway in 1943 opposite Stella Adler and Gregory Peck in Sons and Soldiers and then signed a movie contract with RKO, for which she appeared in A Night of Adventure (1944) alongside Tom Conway, who would later play Simon Templar — aka The Saint — on an NBC Radio series.

    Roger Moore famously starred as the sophisticated “modern-day Robin Hood” in an ITV series in the 1960s; George Sanders (Conway's brother) played the Saint in several movies in the 1930s and ’40s; and Val Kilmer portrayed Templar in a 1997 film directed by Phillip Noyce.

  7. #2557
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    For those of you who haven't seen it, The US version of The Vanishing is mostly notable for Jeff Bridges talking in a silly voice, which completely pulled the rug from under any hopes of tension. As an exercise in bad Jeff Bridges acting, it's on a par with Starman and True Grit.

    “The Vanishing” director George Sluizer dies at 82
    September 23, 2014 - 13:11 AMT



    PanARMENIAN.Net - George Sluizer, who directed two versions of the thriller The Vanishing — one a Dutch-French production, the other American and each with a different ending — has died. He was 82, The Hollywood Reporter said.
    Sluizer, a native of the Netherlands who also helmed River Phoenix’s final film, Dark Blood, died Saturday, Sept 20 in Amsterdam, his wife told the Dutch news site NL Times.
    Sluizer’s first crack at The Vanishing — the story of a man who is obsessed with finding out what happened to his wife after she’s abducted at a roadside oasis — was for a mostly French-language film titled Spoorloos in 1988 in which he worked off a screenplay by Tim Krabbe, adapted from his novel, The Golden Egg.
    Stanley Kubrick once told Sluizer The Vanishing was “the most horrifying film I’ve ever seen.” Fox’s 1993 version by Sluizer starred Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock as the couple and Jeff Bridges as the abductor. The original’s shocking ending was changed, and Roger Ebert, in his review, called it “a textbook exercise in the trashing of a nearly perfect film, conducted oddly enough under the auspices of the man who directed it.”
    Phoenix was just 23 and Dark Blood was about 80 percent finished when he died in October 1993 of a drug overdose. Sluizer chose to finish the movie after being told by doctors in 2007 that he didn’t have long to live after he suffered an aneurysm, and the film premiered in 2012 at the Netherlands Film Festival. It was released stateside by Lionsgate last year.
    In Dark Blood, Phoenix plays a widower who lives in the desert and holds a Hollywood couple hostage.
    Sluizer, who wrote, produced and directed documentaries to start his career, also helmed such films as Twice a Woman (1979), Crimetime (1996), The Commissioner (1998) starring John Hurt and The Stone Raft (2002).
    Sluizer’s 1961 short film De Lage landen (The Low Lands) won a prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, and he served as production manager on Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo (1982).

  8. #2558
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    Don Keefer, Who Was Turned Into a Jack-in-the-Box on 'The Twilight Zone,' Dies at 98
    9:39 AM PST 09/25/2014 by Mike Barnes



    Don Keefer, a versatile character actor for six decades who starred in the original 1949 Broadway production of Death of a Salesman and made an indelible impression as “a bad man, a very bad man” on The Twilight Zone, has died. He was 98.

    Keefer, a founding member of the legendary Actors Studio in New York, died Sept. 7 of natural causes in his Sherman Oaks home, his son, Don M. Keefer, told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Keefer is perhaps best known to audiences as the terrorized, Perry Como-starved man who can't help but think “bad thoughts” during his birthday party and thus is transformed by a petulant 6-year-old (Billy Mumy) into a macabre jack-in-the-box with a dunce cap in the disturbing 1961 Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life.” (Cloris Leachman plays the boy's mom.)

    As Bernard, the Loman family’s young next-door neighbor, Keefer was the last surviving castmember of the original Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Lee J. Cobb. He then reprised the role for his movie debut in the 1951 film version, which Miller detested.

    Keefer played the scientist who woke up Woody Allen in Sleeper (1973), was Carrie Snodgress’ father in the screen adaptation of John Updike’s Rabbit, Run (1970) and appeared as the school janitor confronted with a monster in a box in a segment of Stephen King’s Creepshow (1982).

    Keefer’s final onscreen appearance came when he portrayed a homeless panhandler on the courthouse steps in the 1997 box-office hit Liar, Liar. He improvised his two scenes with star Jim Carrey, and at the end of his weekend of work, Keefer was escorted off the set by director Tom Shadyac amid applause by the cast and crew, his son recalled.

    Keefer also appeared with Humphrey Bogart in 1954’s The Caine Mutiny (co-starring Fred MacMurray as the character Lieutenant Keefer); opposite Ronald Reagan and future wife Nancy Davis in Hellcats of The Navy (1957); with Carl Reiner and Alan Arkin in The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966); with Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (1969); and with Redford and Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were (1973).

    Keefer also held his own with some big names in the 1940s and ’50s on Broadway: Helen Hayes in Harriet, Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen and Jose Ferrer in Othello (he played Iago's henchman Roderigo) and Zero Mostel in Kazan’s Flight Into Egypt.

    Moving to Hollywood from New York in the mid-1950s with his wife, the late actress Catherine McLeod, Keefer also starred in an acclaimed stage version of John Hersey’s The Child Buyer and in the John Houseman productions of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and Antigone at UCLA in the ’60s.

    In the 1970s and ’80s, Keefer created and performed the titular role in An Evening With Anton Chekhov, a one-man show based on the writer's early comedic works, at such venues as the Fringe Theater Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. That led to an invitation to visit Stanislavski’s Moscow Arts Theater as part of a State Department-sponsored cultural exchange program during the Cold War.

    A native of Highspire, Pa., Keefer was a regular on the short-lived 1960-61 Desilu CBS series Angel, featuring French starlet Annie Fargue; had fun as a beatnik musician on The Jack Benny Show; was Mission Control Director Cromwell on an episode of Star Trek; and appeared in multiple installments of Gunsmoke (twice with his wife), Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Andy Griffith Show.

    He guest-starred on dozens of other series, including Have Gun, Will — Travel, Bonanza, The Real McCoys, Bewitched, The Munsters, Mission: Impossible, Starsky and Hutch, Ben Casey, The F.B.I., Columbo, ER and Highway to Heaven.

    Actor Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and his sister, Mary McCarthy — author of the 1963 best-selling novel The Group — served as best man and matron of honor at the Keefers’ 1950 wedding, and actor Montgomery Clift was there too, as a guest.

    Keefer’s survivors include two other sons, John and Thomas, and grandchildren Bryson and Samantha.

    Don Keefer, Who Was Turned Into a Jack-in-the-Box on 'The Twilight Zone,' Dies at 98

  9. #2559
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    Don Keefer, Who Was Turned Into a Jack-in-the-Box on 'The Twilight Zone,' Dies at 98
    Would it be correct say that he has now become "Don-In-The-Box" ?

  10. #2560
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    Broadway Veteran Michael McCarty Dies at 68
    12:00 AM PST 09/27/2014 by THR staff



    The actor was in the original cast of 'Amadeus' and appeared in 'E.R.' and 'The Legend of Bagger Vance'


    Character actor and Broadway veteran Michael McCarty has died. He was 68.

    McCarty died of heart failure Friday, after collapsing several days earlier and falling unconscious. He was in Santa Barbara to appear in a production of Amadeus. He previously performed the show on Broadway with its original cast.

    McCarty's extensive film credits included small roles in The Legend of Bagger Vance, Casper, and Dudley Do-Right. On television he appeared on ER, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Murder One and Any Day Now. He also appeared in more than 200 TV commercials.

    On Broadway, McCarty was part of productions of To Be Or Not To Be, Mary Poppins, Oklahoma!, Sweeney Todd , the Tony-winning revival of 42nd Street, and many other titles.

    He is survived by an ex-wife, who flew to Santa Barbara to be with him.

  11. #2561
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    Chloe founder Gaby Aghion dies aged 93
    The woman who co-founded French fashion house Chlo passed away on September 27
    BY BIBBY SOWRAY | 29 SEPTEMBER 2014



    Aghion established Chlo in 1952 alongside her business partner Jacques Lenoir as an antidote to the stiff, formal couture outfits that had become popular. She was credited with pioneering the introduction of luxury ready-to-wear and bridging the gap between made-to-measure and ready-to-wear. Many couturiers, such as Hubert de Givenchy, quickly followed her lead by introducing 'off the peg' collections.

    Egypt-born Aghion remained involved with Chlo until 1985, when the brand was bought by Swiss luxury group Richemont, and was responsible for bringing in designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Maxime de la Falaise and Grard Pipart to helm design. She rarely missed a Chlo fashion show, even after she had sold her business interests, with current Chlo chairman and chief executive officer Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye noting to WWD that among Aghion's last wishes was that her death should not overshadow Chlo's spring/summer 2015 show at Paris Fashion Week, which took place the day after her passing.

    Clare Waight Keller, Chlo's current creative director, dedicated the show to Aghion, exalting her "free spirit and independent resolve" in the show notes.
    In 2013 Aghion received the Legion of Honour, France's highest decoration, for her contribution to the country's fashion industry.
    Past designers to have helmed Chlo have been quick to praise the woman who pioneered the evolution of a fashion house that did not share the name of its founder.

    "She helped me in a way to become what I am now - and that you will never forget. I think she had a happy life," said Lagerfeld, who became lead designer at the brand in 1966 and went on to log 26 years with the house, over two seperate stints, and now helms Chanel, Fendi and his own eponymous brand.

    Hannah McGibbon, who headed the brand from 2008 to 2011, said: "She was such a modern and feminine woman. She was always so warm, with a fantastic sparkle in her eye. She had a great eye for what was right. You really had a sense she was tuning into everything that was around her. I had a strong sense of wanting her approval at the end of every show." While Martine Sitbon, Chlo's designer from 1987 to 1992, commented on her "passion for the house and a true love for fashion."

  12. #2562
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    For those of you who haven't seen it, The US version of The Vanishing is mostly notable for Jeff Bridges talking in a silly voice, which completely pulled the rug from under any hopes of tension. As an exercise in bad Jeff Bridges acting, it's on a par with Starman and True Grit.
    I am happy to agree with you on the first two Harry but must disagree about True Grit.
    The Wayne original is one of my all time favourites and I could not see anyone doing it justice in a re-make. Bridges and the girl who played Maddy managed it with consumate acting skill. I would never have believed it, but having watched both versions recently, I have to say it was a job well done. Nothing could come close to the original, but Bridges did the old boy proud.
    PS keep up the good work with the obits.
    Heart of Gold and a Knob of butter.

  13. #2563
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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    For those of you who haven't seen it, The US version of The Vanishing is mostly notable for Jeff Bridges talking in a silly voice, which completely pulled the rug from under any hopes of tension. As an exercise in bad Jeff Bridges acting, it's on a par with Starman and True Grit.
    I am happy to agree with you on the first two Harry but must disagree about True Grit.
    The Wayne original is one of my all time favourites and I could not see anyone doing it justice in a re-make. Bridges and the girl who played Maddy managed it with consumate acting skill. I would never have believed it, but having watched both versions recently, I have to say it was a job well done. Nothing could come close to the original, but Bridges did the old boy proud.
    PS keep up the good work with the obits.
    Opinions are like arseholes, everyone's got one, but I just came away with the overbearing feeling that the only place I'd seen more ham was my local butchers.


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    George Shuba, a Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder who grasped the hand of African American ballplayer Jackie Robinson in a memorable gesture of interracial solidarity while they were minor league teammates in 1946, died Sept. 29 at his home in Youngstown, Ohio. He was 89.

    His son, Michael Shuba, confirmed the death but declined to specify a cause.

    Mr. Shuba, who was nicknamed “Shotgun” for the way he hit line drives all over the field like buckshot, was a part-time player with the Dodgers for seven seasons in the 1940s and 1950s.

    He was featured in writer Roger Kahn’s classic 1972 book “The Boys of Summer,” which chronicled the Dodgers during the era of Robinson, who in 1947 became the first African American major league player of the century.

    One year earlier, Robinson had broken another color barrier when he appeared in the minor leagues with the Dodgers’ Class AAA affiliate, the Montreal Royals. Mr. Shuba was his teammate.

    In spring training, several Southern teams kept the gates to their fields locked to prevent Robinson from playing in an integrated game.

    On April 18, 1946, the Royals were in Jersey City, N.J., for opening day of the minor league season. In the third inning, Robinson hit a three-run home run and began to circle the bases. Mr. Shuba, the next hitter, was waiting on deck.

    “When he hit the home run,” Mr. Shuba told the Associated Press in 1996, “everybody was looking to see if a white guy was going to shake his hand.”

    The Royals’ Mississippi-born manager, Clay Hopper, slapped Robinson on the back as he rounded third base. The two runners who crossed the plate ahead of Robinson did not wait to congratulate him. It was up to Mr. Shuba, then 21, to extend his hand to a jubilant Robinson in a moment captured by photographers and witnessed by more than 25,000 spectators.

    “It didn’t make any difference to me that Jack was black,” Mr. Shuba told the New York Times in 2006. “I was glad to have him on our team.”

    The handshake was seen as a gesture of acceptance, perhaps the first time on a professional baseball diamond that white and black teammates joined hands in solidarity. Robinson went on to lead the International League in hitting with Montreal and, the next season, took his historic place in the Dodgers’ lineup.

    Mr. Shuba played only 20 games with Robinson in 1946 before being sent to another minor league team in Alabama. They were reunited in 1948 and would play together off and on through 1955, when the Dodgers won their only World Series title in Brooklyn.

    George Shuba, teammate who shook Jackie Robinson

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    ^What a memorable photograph...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaitongBoy View Post
    ^What a memorable photograph...
    Must have had a few KKK boys spitting feathers.

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    Oct 1, 9:35 AM EDT

    MOCK, 1ST FEMALE PILOT TO CIRCLE GLOBE, DIES AT 88
    BY DAN SEWELL
    ASSOCIATED PRESS



    CINCINNATI (AP) -- The first female pilot to fly solo around the world has died. Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock was 88.

    Mock's grandson, Chris Flocken, said Wednesday that she died at her home in Quincy, Florida, on Tuesday after being in failing health for months.

    Mock flew her single-engine Cessna 180 "Spirit of Columbus" 23,000 miles in 29-plus days before landing in Ohio's capital city on April 17, 1964. On her trip, she made stops in Casablanca, Cairo and Calcutta.

    Dubbed "the flying housewife" at the time, the native of Newark, Ohio, was a suburban mother of three but also an experienced pilot who studied aeronautical engineering at Ohio State University.

    A life-sized statue of Mock was unveiled in April at Port Columbus airport.

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    Proper wrestling with bits of razor blade under the fingernails and stuff. Not like this rubbish they trot out now. And he actually was a ballet dancer!



    British wrestling legend Ricki Starr, who was a star on TV in the US during the 1950's and the UK during the 1960's and 1970's, passed away on September 20th after a short illness. He passed away in London, where he was living, and was 83.



    WWE posted the following on Starr:

    "WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of Ricki Starr, 83, a talented grappler most famous for his balletic moves in the ring and his nearly unbeaten streak in British wrestling promotions during the 1960s and 1970s.
    Our deepest condolences go out to Starr's family, friends and fans."



    Wrestling Legend Ricki Starr Passes Away, WWE Issues Statement, Hall Of Famer Comments - WrestlingInc.com

    With ballet slippers, a Starr was born
    By STEVE JOHNSON - SLAM! Wrestling

    When Greg Oliver and I conceived of The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: Heroes & Icons in 2007, Ricki Starr was one of the guys we targeted from the beginning. At the time, Starr was more than 40 years removed from his heyday as a star in North American wrestling circles. But he had never told the story of how he used a pair of ballet slippers to ascend from lowly opening matches in Texas gyms to the top rank of pop culture superstardom.

    Born Bernard Herman in St. Louis, Starr had a well-deserved reputation as the J.D. Salinger of wrestling; he achieved stunning success as a relatively young man and lived his life in comparative obscurity in London after retirement. "He disappeared off the face of the earth for a number of years," said Exotic Adrian Street, who wrestled him in Europe and retains ties to the British wrestling community.

    Our notebooks are brimming with interviews and observations from his relatives, high school friends, fellow ballet trainees, wrestlers, promoters, and others who encountered him during his life. A favorite is from George "Zebra Kid" Bollas: "Give Rickey Star my fondest, sexiest wishes. He's so cute, I wouldn't know if I should wrestle him or fu-- him. Ha ha." And we have a thick swath of correspondence from Starr to his manager Jack Pfefer that ranges from the mundane to the exotic to the erotic.

    But despite years of our letters, emails, messages and the generous intercession of intermediaries, we whiffed on Starr. Street explained that Starr also rejected overtures from his fellow combatants; he had become a spiritualist who divorced himself from his past. "He was never right in the head, quite honestly," Street quipped. In 2009, when an old classmate from Soldan-Blewett High School in St. Louis posted some information about him on the Internet, Starr asked him not to write about him any more. That part of his existence was concluded.

    With Starr's death after a brief illness Sept. 20 in London at 83, we'll never get his life history, but that's acceptable in a way. Our overriding goal in writing profiles for the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame series has been to explain who these wrestlers were, not just what they did, and Starr's devout introspection was one of his identifying traits. As he observed in a 1967 interview, "There is something lacking in my makeup that prevents me from winning true and lasting friendships. I guess I sub-consciously feel that I have a hard enough time getting on with myself without inflicting ‘me' on others."

    So remaining unanswered will be questions such as why Starr bolted to Great Britain for good in 1963 or how he got interested in ballet in the first place. Still, there's a pretty extensive documentary record that tracks the development of Bernard Herman from the mat at the Young Men's Hebrew Association in St. Louis to the stage of Mr. Ed, the TV show about a talking horse. As longtime Northeast promoter Willie Gilzenberg put it: "I don't think there is a wrestler since Jimmy Londos who was able to crack as many outstanding magazines, TV interviews and bring out the best in audiences as Ricki has been able to."

    Starr was a natural fit for the combat arts; his father Joseph wrestled, boxed and refereed in Missouri and Illinois and was dubbed a "professional anguish artist" by the Alton (Ill.) Evening-Telegraph in 1937. Born in 1931, Bernard attended Soldan-Blewett High School in the Academy neighbourhood of St. Louis, leaving briefly in 1949 to work in the Kansas wheat fields so he could finance training as a boxer at Stillman's Gym in New York. A few sessions with serious pros such as Rocky Graziano convinced the undersized Herman to return to Missouri. "There is nothing so false as a boxer, a puppet for a manager. They prostitute their brains and bodies for peanuts," he said in a 1957 interview.

    In the meantime, he was developing a reputation as a solid middleweight amateur wrestler and all-around tough guy. Stanley Canter attended high school with Herman and wrestled with him at the YMHA. According to a story related by Canter's son Stan, Herman showed up at the Y one day an hour late and all ripped up. "Seems Bernard had flirted with some guy's girlfriend, and then found himself surrounded by the guy and about 4 of his buddies. Apparently, Bernard took them all on and was the last one standing." Herman was at the AAU nationals for three straight years, finishing fourth in 1950 after a loss to future pro Joe Scarpello and placing third in 1951 at 175 pounds. He was briefly at Purdue University in 1950-51, but there's no documentation that places him on the wrestling team.

    By then, he was developing other interests. In 1951, Herman turned to ballet, training on a scholarship at the Lalla Bauman School of Dance in St. Louis with Don Emmons, who'd make it big on Broadway, and Buddy Goldstein. They'd work out for five or six hours a night and then close out things at a bar across the street, said Goldstein, who thought Herman was consciously using ballet as a stepping stone to wrestling.

    "He was not very big but he was strong and he was agile. And using the techniques he learned in dancing, to use in his act. If it was a real fight, with some of those guys as big as he was fighting, I'm not sure it would have worked," Goldstein said. In fact, he was astonished when he later saw clips of Herman wrestling and performing as Starr. "His ballet techniques were really well done. I was surprised. He wasn't that great in ballet when we were all together."


    Starr would later say he tried without success to break in around St. Louis and had one match in East St. Louis, Ill, for $5 a night. But father Joe couldn't convince St. Louis promoter Sam Muchnick to give the pint-sized local a chance, so he head to Texas. After working on the undercards, he decided in 1954 to give ballet-style wrestling a whirl. In Amarillo, Texas, he put on purple ballet slippers and a matching leotard, and started executing the moves he learned with Goldstein.
    Though the routine smacked of effeminacy at a time when Gorgeous George was a national phenom, but Starr took a more comedic angle, pirouetting around opponents and delivering ballet-style kicks to strategic body parts. "As a straight man, I was lousy," he told the Los Angeles Times in 1961. "I'd always wanted to get into show business. I took up ballet because an actor advised me, 'You gotta be able to everything kid -- sing, dance, act.'" Starr remembered the lesson; he continued to pay for ballet lessons even as he started to ride a crest of mainstream publicity and box office success.

    Vincent J. McMahon inked him to a four-year contract on behalf of Capitol Wrestling, the forerunner of the WWE, and Starr broke a 22-year-old attendance mark in Washington, D.C., when he lost an outdoor match to Argentina Rocca in 1957. His mix of comedy, high spots and gamesmanship entertained the most hard-bitten critics. Even New York sports columnist Dan Parker, who loathed wrestling, loved Starr, calling him "an uncommonly gifted buffoon who is a combination of Nijinsky, [vaudevillian] Jimmy Savo and Jimmie Londos. ... There's nothing offensive about his routine."

    In short, he was fun to watch, said Ted Lewin, who wrestled on the New York scene at the same time. "If you don't have the huge body or the face that looks like a truck hit it or that blonde hair, you've got to have something," Lewin reflected. "He did have this ballet background plus it was well known that he could wrestle. It's a gimmick. He came up with this idea, he tried it, they bought it, they went for it. It's hard to believe they went for it, but they did."

    Starr's top years in the United States were from 1957 to 1962. Pfefer booked him around the country, from arena to arena, as Starr tossed miniature ballet slippers to fans who screamed like he was John, Paul, George and Ringo wrapped up in one. Starr trusted Pfefer to handpick opponents who would go along with his routine, and paid him 20 percent of his payday for his services. "Jack I don't know how much you ever took from your top boys but if it was 10%, 50%, or 80% I'm sure you were worth every penny of it," Starr wrote "Kosher Pickle," a.k.a. Pfefer, in November 1958. Still popping up on eBay every now and then is a 16-page promo booklet entitled, Wrestling Wrangles: Life Story of Ricki Starr. The Phil Wenz-authored promo piece contains pre-written features on Starr for entertainment, society, teen and sports newspaper and magazine editors. For instance, Starr was a wine connoisseur with a French Cote d'or Chablis as his prize. No kayfabe there, Street said years later. "He knew his wine. He taught me a lot about wine," the Exotic One said.

    Fellow wrestlers appreciated Starr's ability to help them draw money and his conviviality outside the ring. "Ricki Starr was one hell of a wrestler. He could go. He was one hell of a competitor. He was one hell of a party man, too," Lou Thesz told Scott Teal's Whatever Happened to ...? in 1999. Nick Kozak knew him in Texas and said Starr had a definite party animal quality. "Ricky loved life. Ricky, he was funny to be with, he made you feel good. He was up, he was up all the time," Kozak said. "He was cool. We got along great." Though Starr never held any major championships, he didn't need to; his act was his drawing card and he kept on the move to prevent it from becoming stale in any one place. "If we run into places that aren't ready for us, we'll be killing the goose before it lays the golden egg. Right?" he wrote Pfefer in 1959.

    In the early 1960s, McMahon started using Buddy Rogers as his feature attraction, as Starr branched out into the entertainment world he coveted. He released a record called "Shooting Star" through RCA Victor and guest starred on the two episodes of Mr. Ed as a wrestler and a bashful beautician. He was so well received that Arthur Lubin, a CBS director, announced the Mister Ed Company was planning a TV series for the 1963-64 season with Starr as the star.

    And that's where the Starr trail became convoluted. With the help of Tony Rocco, Starr hooked up with Paul London Promotions in England and moved his talents to Europe for most of the rest of his career. "He was immense when he came over there at first," said Street. "He was a hell of a performer. I can't say I was in love with the guy. He could be a cocky bastard; mind you, he had a right to be because he was good." Starr used the airplane spin as his finisher to rave reviews. "This is no ponderous swing-round. It is fast and it is graceful," British wrestling commentator Kent Walton said in The Grappling Game. "You could almost imagine Ricki is on some opera-house stage holding aloft a seven-stone-six-swan-necked ballerina instead of a fifteen-stone massively muscled Pole."

    Starr had a couple of brief appearances in the States thereafter. Gulf Coast historian and ex-wrestler Michael Norris said Starr altered his style when he toured in 1972 and 1973. "Still did the acrobatic stuff and wore the ballerina slippers, but the feminine stuff was gone. He did very well in Amarillo and had a good run in the Gulf Coast as well. The ballerina stuff was legit, he was a trained dancer, but he was also a shooter," Norris said. Eventually, Starr changed into a Far Eastern gimmick, with a bald head, a top knot and a Fu Manchu mustache before he left wrestling in the late 1970s. Back in Europe, Starr headlined Gustl Kaiser's international tournaments, wrestling in Munich and Vienna before wrestling for English indy promotions, including one run by superstar Jackie Pallo, in the late 1970s.

    And there the story ends, largely because of Starr's withdrawal from the wrestling fraternity. For years, Internet message boards have been full of "Where is he now?" queries about Starr, only to find, disappointingly, that he didn't want to relive his life for other people. It's possible that the last sweetness of Starr's wrestling memories was drained years ago -- it was half-a-century since he hit his peak in the United States. Perhaps there were other personal reasons for his disengagement; his letters to Pfefer refer to a girlfriend named Miriam, who drops out of the very personal correspondence without explanation. It was left to Ken Sowden, a member of the committee of the British Wrestling Reunion in the United Kingdom, to disclose Starr's death, citing an email from Starr's son.

    In 2011, Greg Oliver talked with the late Billy Robinson about Starr. They were in England and Germany at the same time, counterparts in the ring because Starr was a showman while Robinson was all business. "Ricki and I were very, very close friends," Robinson recalled. "Don't know if he's alive or not. Tell him to get in touch with me."

  19. #2569
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    Singer and songwriter Lynsey De Paul has died at the age of 64, following a suspected brain haemorrhage.



    De Paul, who represented the UK in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Rock Bottom, had five top 20 UK chart hits, including 1972's Sugar Me.

    She became the first woman to win an Ivor Novello award for songwriting.

    "Although she was small in stature, she was very big in positive personality," said her agent Michael Joyce. "She was always so positive about everything."

    De Paul, who broke into the music scene in 1971, followed up her Sugar Me hit with Getting a Drag, reaching number 18 in the charts.

    De Paul had a long relationship with actor James Coburn

    Her 1973 hit Won't Somebody Dance With Me won her her first Ivor Novello award.

    A second Ivor Novello Award followed a year later for No Honestly, which was also the theme tune to the ITV comedy of the same name starring Pauline Collins and John Alderton.

    She also wrote the theme to Esther Rantzen's BBC One series Hearts Of Gold.

    Paying tribute, Rantzen, who also fronted the show, called her "a renaissance woman".

    "She could do everything - she could sing, she could compose, she was an immensely talented artist," she said.

    "She became a huge star but she was also a loyal and generous friend. It's an absolutely tragic loss."

    De Paul never married but was romantically linked to a string of well-known men including Sean Connery, Dudley Moore and Ringo Starr.

    An interview with the Mail in 2007 revealed she had five offers of marriage, including one from James Coburn and another from Chas Chandler, bassist with The Animals.

    BBC News - Singer Lynsey De Paul dies aged 64

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    Oh, and she also won Rear of the Year in 1985.


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    Ricki Starr sure was an odd one :


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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    Ricki Starr sure was an odd one :


    Thanks for that, I remember seeing him in the 60's I had forgotten how funny he was.

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    By "funny" you must mean gay correct? Only in the vernacular of the time it would have been termed "funny" or "odd". But definitely seems gay in ANY time.

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    Even the announcer is trying to avoid stating the obvious, he's having a really difficult time avoiding offensive words when describing his moves and such, and boy does he hit & slap like a lady boy. It may be just his wrestling persona but he's really practiced at it.

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    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Jean-Claude-Duvalier, the self-proclaimed ‘‘president for life’’ of Haiti whose corrupt and brutal regime sparked a popular uprising that sent him into a 25-year exile, died Saturday of a heart attack, his attorney said.

    Reynold George said the 63-year-old ex-leader died at his home.

    Duvalier, looking somewhat frail, made a surprise return to Haiti in 2011, allowing victims of his regime to pursue legal claims against him and prompting some old allies to rally around him. Neither side gained much support, and the once-feared dictator known as ‘‘Baby Doc’’ spent his late years in relative obscurity in the leafy hills above the Haitian capital.

    Duvalier was the son of Francois ‘‘Papa Doc’’ Duvalier, a medical doctor-turned-dictator who promoted ‘‘Noirisme,’’ a movement that sought to highlight Haiti’s African roots over its European ones while uniting the black majority against a mulatto elite in a country divided by class and color.

    The regimes of both leaders tortured and killed political opponents and relied on a dreaded civilian militia known as the Tonton Macoutes.

    In 1971, Francois Duvalier suddenly died of an illness and named his son to succeed him. At 19, Jean-Claude Duvalier became the world’s youngest president.

    The son was regarded as a lackluster student at a prestigious private Catholic school in the capital but his teachers gave him passing grades anyway to avoid fury from the National Palace, according to ‘‘Written in Blood’’ a history of the country by Robert Debs Heinl and Nancy Gordon Heinl.

    Jean-Claude Duvalier ruled for 15 years, his administration seen as less violent and repressive than his father's. Echoes of press freedom and personal criticism, never tolerated under his father, emerged — sporadically — because of international pressure. Still, human rights groups documented abuses and political persecution. A trio of prisons known as the ‘‘Triangle of Death,’’ which included the much-feared Fort Dimanche for long-term inmates, symbolized the brutality of his regime.

    As president, he married the daughter of a wealthy coffee merchant, Michele Bennett, in 1980. The engagement caused a scandal among old Duvalierists, for she was a mulatto and the arrangement ran counter to the Noirisme movement Duvalier’s father espoused. The wedding was a lavish affair, complete with imported champagne, flowers and fireworks. The ceremony, reported to have cost $5 million, was carried live on television to the impoverished nation. After they exchanged vows, Michele ordered her tubby husband to go on a diet.

    Under Duvalier’s rule, Haiti saw widespread demographic changes. Peasants moved to the capital in search of work as factories popped up to meet the growing demand for cheap labor. Thousands of professionals fled a climate of repression for cities such as New York, Miami and Montreal.

    And aid began to flow from the United States and agencies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

    The tourists followed, some in search of a form of tropical hedonism that included booze, prostitution and Voodoo ceremonies for which the country became legendary. Tourism collapsed in the early 1980s after Florida doctors noted that an unusual number of AIDS cases were coming from Haitian emigres, even though the disease was believed to have been brought from the U.S.

    But it was corruption and human rights abuses that defined Duvalier rule.

    The National Palace became known for opulent parties as Michele took overseas shopping sprees to decorate and collect fur coats. Duvalier relished taking his presidential yacht out for a spin and racing about in sports cars.

    Under mounting pressure from the administration of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Duvalier made pretenses of improving the country’s human rights record by releasing political prisoners. Still, journalists and activists were jailed or exiled. Haitians without visas or money left by boarding flimsy boats in a desperate effort to reach Florida shores.

    The New York-based Human Rights Watch estimated that up to 30,000 Haitians were killed, many by execution, under the regime of the two Duvaliers.

    As Haiti’s living conditions deteriorated, Pope John-Paul II made a visit in 1983 and famously declared: ‘‘Things must change.’’

    Three years later, they did. A popular uprising swept across Haiti, and Duvalier and his wife boarded a U.S.-government C-141 for France.

    The couple divorced in 1993. Duvalier later became involved with Veronique Roy, who accompanied him on his 2011 return to Haiti.

    While in exile in France, Duvalier was never known to hold a job. He occasionally made public statements about his eagerness to return to Haiti. Supporters periodically marched on his behalf in the Haitian capital.

    On Jan. 16, 2011, Duvalier made his surprise return. He said he wanted to help in the reconstruction of Haiti, whose capital and outlying cities were heavily damaged in a magnitude-7.0 earthquake the year before. But many suspected he came back in an effort to reclaim money he had allegedly stashed. Others said he merely wanted to die in his homeland.

    More than 20 victims of his rule stepped forward to file charges that ranged from false imprisonment to torture. Human Rights Watch issued a report saying that Duvalier may not have directly participated in the torture and killings under his regime, but that there was enough evidence to prosecute him.

    Despite the occasional stay in the hospital, Duvalier seemed to enjoy his new life back home and was free to roam the capital. He was spotted attending government ceremonies, dining with friends in several high-end restaurants and avoided jail time. In 2013 he began renovating an old house that Roy said had been destroyed in the wake of his 1986 ouster.

    The efforts to prosecute him stumbled along. Duvalier stunned human rights observers and alleged victims of his regime in 2013 when he testified about his rule before an investigating judge. A year later, a judge overturned an earlier court decision and ruled that Duvalier could face crimes against humanity charges.

    But in the end the case stalled because officials did little to move it along.

    Duvalier and his wife Michele had two children, son Francois Nicolas ‘‘Nico’’ Duvalier and a daughter, Anya.

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