Remembrance

Tom Bosley, 1927-2010: American Dad

Tom Bosley, a TV fixture as the Cunningham paterfamilias on Happy Days, died today at age 83.

There are two types of TV dads: those who play somebody’s dad, and those who make you feel as if they could be—almost, in some way, as if they are—your dad. Bosley was the latter. His Howard Cunningham, hardware-store owner and ’50s dad, …

Barbara Billingsley Dies At 94

Barbara Billingsley, best known as Cleaver family matriarch June in Leave It to Beaver, has died at age 94. Through June Cleaver, Billngsley created one of that handful of TV characters who we’ve come to know not just as people but as symbols of the ideas and social threads of an entire generation: in her case, the notions of …

Greg Giraldo Dies at 44

Greg Giraldo, whose sharp and searing standup was familiar to fans of Comedy Central and Last Comic Standing, died Wednesday from the effects of a prescription drug overdose. Giraldo, a former lawyer, brought an intelligent and combative style to Comedy Central’s roasts as well as the panel of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and other …

Mystery Science Theater 2010: Riffer Madness!

The other Thursday, as people walked in early to one of the 500 theaters where the RiffTrax demolition of Reefer Madness was scheduled to play, they found one of those pre-show movie trivia games in progress on-screen. “MOVIE MISTAKES,” one card read. “Furry Vengeance was classified as a movie on the Internet Movie Database.” And: “We

David Wolper, Roots Producer, 1928-2010

David Wolper, a prolific film and TV producer who brought miniseries The Thorn Birds and most notably Roots to TV, died Tuesday at age 82. (In addition to his TV projects, he produced movies including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and L.A. Confidential.) In the above clip, he attributes the success of Roots in part to the fact …

Mitch Miller, TV Singalong Host, Dies at 99

Mitch Miller, the goateed bandleader who hosted NBC’s Sing Along with Mitch in the early 1960s, died Saturday at age 99. Miller’s music and his show were before my time, but I’ve always found the phenomenon of his show fascinating from the archival footage. Partly because Sing Along with Mitch was, in a way, before its own time.

His …

CBS, NPR Journalist Daniel Schorr Dies at 93

Daniel Schorr, a broadcast journalist with a career in reporting and commentary spanning more than half a century, has died at age 93. I, like many who came to admire him in recent years, knew him best from his comments and interviews on NPR. But he was a giant of TV journalism who began his career with CBS News in the Murrow years of …

Harvey Pekar, RIP

Another loss for Cleveland: Harvey Pekar, the storyteller and jazz critic whose rants and tales of daily life were realized in the American Splendor series of comic books, has died at age 70. TV fans of a certain age—and maybe even under a certain age—will remember him as one of David Letterman’s most notorious regular guests of …

Rue McClanahan, 1934-2010

Actress Rue McClanahan died this morning, reportedly of a stroke, at age 76. McClanahan had a wide and varied career on stage, in film and on television, but she’s most widely remembered for playing the vivacious and bodaciously lusty senior Blanche Devereaux in the sitcom The Golden Girls. With just the right blend of sass, sashay and …

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