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Polar Blair's Den Remembers: 2011

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The Roster:
John Barry, Jean Bartel, Bad News Brown, Charlie Callas, Nate Dogg, John Dye, Herman Ernest, Anne Francis, David Frye, Jay Garner, Betty Garrett, Bruce Gordon, Michael Gough, Dorian Gray, Ronnie Hammond, Margie Hines, Ferlin Husky, Big Jack Johnson, Bill Justice, Aron Kincaid, Eddie Kirkland, Don Kirshner, Jack LaLanne, Len Lesser, Charlie Louvin, Kenneth Mars, Shawn McGrath, Gary Moore, David Nelson, Bobby Poe, Pete Postlethwaite, Johnny Preston, Gerry Rafferty, Peggy Rea, Bridgett Rollins, Jane Russell, Tura Satana, Maria Schneider, Eddie Serrato, George Shearing, Sargent Shriver, Joanne Siegel, Patricia Smith, Duke Snider, Mike Starr, Mark Tulin, Margaret Whiting, Doc Williams, Gary Winick, Peter Yates, Susannah York.

John Barry
Died: January 30, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 77.
Info: Best-known as a film composer for his work in the early James Bond films and, more specifically, "The James Bond Theme".
Cause of Death: Heart Attack.

Jean Bartel
Died: March 6, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress, Beauty Contestant.
Age: 87.
Info: Probably best-known as Miss America 1943.

Bad News Brown
Died: February 11, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 33.
Info: He was a black Canadian rapper and harmonica player.
Cause of Death: Beaten and Shot.

Charlie Callas
Died: January 27, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor, Comedian.
Age: 86.
Info: Mostly a stand-up comedian who specialized in rubbery facial expressions and sound effects.

Nate Dogg
Died: March 15, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 41.
Info: Hip-hop artist.
Cause of Death: Heart Failure.

John Dye
Died: January 10, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor.
Age: 47.
Info: He is best-known for his role as Andrew, the "Angel of Death" on TVs "Touched by an Angel".  This series and his character are so well-known that I'm surprised his death didn't garner real media attention.  Especially given the fact that he died so young.  Doesn't seem right.

Herman Ernest
Died: March 6, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 59.
Info: He was a funk and R&B drummer best-known for his long stint with Dr. John.
Cause of Death: Cancer.

Anne Francis

Died: January 2, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 80.
Info: TVs "Honey West" among many other roles including those in films, "The Blackboard Jungle" and "Forbidden Planet".
Cause of Death: Cancer.
Polar Blair's Den Link:  Television Department: Honey West.

David Frye
Died: January 24, 2011.
Occupation(s): Impressionist.
Age: 77.
Info: This man was incredible.  He could do impressions on the level of Rich Little and, in some cases, even better.  He focused on impressions of American politicians, notably Richard Nixon.  His appearances on TVs "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" launched his popularity to mainstream audiences.
Cause of Death: Cardiopulmonary Arrest.

Jay Garner
Died: January 21, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor.
Age: 82.
Info: A character actor.  You may not know him by name, but you've almost certainly seen him in something.
Cause of Death: Respiratory Failure.

Betty Garrett
Died: February 12, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 91.
Info: Accomplished actress, best-known for her role as Edna Babish the landlady on TVs "Laverne & Shirley".
Cause of Death; Aortic aneurysm.

Bruce Gordon
Died: January 20, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor.
Age: 94.
Info: Best-known for his role as real-life gangster Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti on the successful classic TV series, "The Untouchables".

Michael Gough
Died: March 17, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor.
Age: 94.
Info: Extremely accomplished actor, but probably best-known for playing Alfred the butler in the now-classic "Batman" films of 1989-1997.

Dorian Gray
Died: February 16, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 75.
Info: Italian actress.
Cause of Death: Suicide by Gunshot.

Ronnie Hammond
Died: March 14, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 60.
Info: Singer with the Atlanta Rhythm Section group.
Cause of Death: Heart Attack.

Margie Hines
Died: February 4, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 101.
Info: She was the voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl in cartoons spanning the years 1938-1943 (Betty Boop wrapped up in 1939).  Hines isn't the most popular actress to have done the voice of Boop and Olive; that would be Mae Questel.  She did, however, do the voicework between Questel's stints.  Hines was married to the voice of Popeye, Jack Mercer, from 1939 to the early 1940s until they divorced.
Cause of Death: Natural Causes.

Ferlin Husky
Died: March 17, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 85.
Info: Country artist.
Cause of Death: Heart Failure.

Big Jack Johnson
Died: March 14, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 70.
Info: Blues guy.  Did a lot of great stuff with Big Jack Johnson & the Oilers.

Bill Justice
Died: February 10, 2011.
Occupation(s): Animator.
Age: 97.
Info: A Disney animator.  He did a ton of work in animation, but has probably received the most acclaim for the work he did in the "Bambi" feature and the "Chip 'n' Dale" shorts.
Cause of Death: Natural Causes.

Aron Kincaid
Died: January 6, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor, Artist.
Age: 70.
Info:  Film and TV actor, model, voice actor and artist.  Best-known for his roles in 1960s beach movies and the voice of Killer Croc in "Batman: The Animated Series".
Cause of Death: Heart Failure.
Polar Blair's Den Link:  Actors Department: Aron Kincaid.

Eddie Kirkland
Died: February 27, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 88.
Info: Blues guitarist best-known for his solo work and stint with John Lee Hooker (1949-1962).
Cause of Death: Car Accident.

Don Kirshner
Died: January 17, 2011.
Occupation(s): Music Manager/Producer/Publisher
Age: 76.
Info:  The "Man With the Golden Ear".  Had a great impact on pop music, especially in the 1960s by assembling groups such as The Monkees and The Archies.  He later hosted the popular music show, "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" from 1972 to 1981.
Cause of Death: Heart Failure.

Jack LaLanne
Died: January 24, 2011.
Occupation(s): Fitness Expert.
Age: 96.
Info: Jack LaLanne was the first real "health guru", opened the first real "health club", and had a very long-running TV exercise program, "The Jack LaLanne Show" (1951-1985).  Health was his life, and he lived a good, long one!
Cause of Death: Pneumonia.

Len Lesser
Died: February 16, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor.
Age: 88.
Info: Best-known for playing Uncle Leo on TVs "Seinfeld".
Cause of Death: Cancer.

Charlie Louvin
Died: January 26, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 83.
Info: A well-known country musician and member of the Louvin Brothers.
Cause of Death: Pancreatic Cancer.

Kenneth Mars
Died: February 12, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor.
Age: 75.
Info: Very popular character actor in film and television.  Was a recurring guest on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour".  One of my favorite things is his role in the film, "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again", a rather substantial part.
Cause of Death: Pancreatic Cancer.

Shawn McGrath
Died: January 26, 2011.
Occupation(s): Wrestler.
Age: 34.
Info: Best known as Shawn Osborne, professional wrestler for WWE.
Cause of Death: Suicide.

Gary Moore
Died: February 6, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 58.
Info:  Legendary blues-rock guitarist.  Leader of the first Skid Row, member of Thin Lizzy, and successful solo artist.
Cause of Death: ? Died in his sleep.

David Nelson
Died: January 11, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor, Producer.
Age: 74.
Info: Child-turned-adult actor who played himself on the innovative family sitcom, "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet".  He pretty much kept a low profile after the series ended, but did act and produce sporadically since that time.  David is the older brother of actor/singer Ricky Nelson.
Cause of Death: Cancer.

Bobby Poe
Died: January 22, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 77.
Info: He was an early rock 'n' roller in the genre of rockabilly.
Cause of Death: Blood Clot.

Pete Postlethwaite
Died: January 2, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actor.
Age: 64.
Info: He is another who I'm surprised didn't receive more media attention when he passed.  Pete had very big parts in major American films.
Cause of Death: Cancer.

Johnny Preston
Died: March 4, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 71.
Info: Popular singer of early rock.  Best-known for hit, "Running Bear".
Cause of Death: Heart Failure.

Gerry Rafferty
Died: January 4, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 63.
Info: Member of rock group Stealer's Wheel and later a successful solo artist.  Had hits with "Stuck in the Middle With You" and "Baker Street".

Peggy Rea
Died: February 5, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 89.
Info: This was a heart-breaker when I heard it.  I just love Peggy Rea!  She's the funny "big ol' lady" from shows like "Grace Under Fire", "Step by Step", "The Waltons" and my favorite, "The Dukes of Hazzard" as Lulu Hogg!
Cause of Death: Heart Failure.

Bridgett Rollins
Died: February 12, 2011.
Occupation(s): Model.
Age: 54.
Info: She is best-known for being a Playboy Magazine model, most specifically the Playmate of the Month for May, 1975.
Cause of Death: Cancer.

Jane Russell
Died: February 28, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 89.
Info: Popular film actress, especially during the 1940s.
Cause of Death: Respiratory failure.

Tura Satana
Died: February 4, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 72.
Info: Best-known as villainess Varla in "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!".  She was a wild personality on and off camera.  I didn't know Tura personally, but I am friends with fellow "pussycat" Lori Williams.
Cause of Death: Heart Failure.

Maria Schneider
Died: February 3, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 58.
Info: Best-known for her role in "Last Tango in Paris".
Cause of Death: Cancer.

Eddie Serrato
Died: February 24, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 65.
Info: Drummer for the 60s group ? and the Mysterians, best-known for their hit, "96 Tears".
Cause of Death: Heart Attack.

George Shearing
Died: February 14, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 91.
Info: He was a jazz pianist whose popularity peaked in the 1950s and 60s.
Cause of Death: Heart failure.

Sargent Shriver
Died: January 18, 2011.
Occupation(s): Politician.
Age: 95.
Info: Maria Shriver's Dad; father-in-law of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.  First Director of the U.S. Peace Corps.  He had also been a French Ambassador.
Cause of Death: Alzheimer's Disease.

Joanne Siegel
Died: February 12, 2011.
Occupation(s): February 12, 2011.
Age: 93.
Info: She was the widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, and the model for the popular Lois Lane character.

Patricia Smith
Died: January 2, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 80.
Info: A character actress probably best-known for her role as Margaret Hoover on TVs "The Bob Newhart Show".  Smith was good but her character, a neighbor and friend of Bob's wife Emily, really didn't add anything important and was dropped early in the first season.  Hoover was created to give Emily someone to talk to, but Emily interacted so much with Bob's friends and colleagues that Hoover wasn't needed.  It was one of those cases of misplaced talent.  Fortunately, Smith had a lot of other work before and after.

Duke Snider
Died: February 27, 2011.
Occupation(s): Baseball Player.
Age: 84.
Info: One of the most famous American baseball players of all time.  A Baseball Hall of Famer.
Cause of Death: Natural Causes.

Mike Starr
Died: March 8, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 44.
Info: Best-known as the bassist for Alice in Chains.  Had a notorious history with drugs.
Cause of Death: Drugs?

Mark Tulin
Died: February 26, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 62.
Info: Bassist for popular 60s group The Electric Prunes and, to the surprise of many people, punker group The Smashing Pumpkins starting in 2009.
Cause of Death: Heart Attack.

Margaret Whiting
Died: January 10, 2011.
Occupation(s): Singer.
Age: 86.
Info: Successful pop singer of the 1940s and 50s.

Doc Williams
Died: January 31, 2011.
Occupation(s): Musician.
Age: 96.
Info: Influential early country musician.

Gary Winick
Died: February 27, 2011.
Occupation(s): Film Director.
Age: 49.
Info: An American film director behind many independent films that turned out to be hits including, "13 Going on 30" and "Letters to Juliet" among others.
Cause of Death: Pneumonia.

Peter Yates
Died: January 9, 2011.
Occupations(s): Film Director.
Age: 81.
Info: Successful British film director of classics like "Bullitt" and "Krull".

Susannah York
Died: January 15, 2011.
Occupation(s): Actress.
Age: 72.
Info: Film actress.
Cause of Death: Cancer.