Archive for the ‘Obituaries – 2011’ Category

Sada Thompson’s Obituary

Friday, May 6th, 2011


Sada Thompson dies at 83; stage and TV actress known for playing matriarch on ‘Family’




The actress won an Emmy for her role as Kate Lawrence on the 1970s dramatic series set in Pasadena. She won a Tony for playing four roles, a mother and her daughters, in ‘Twigs.’


Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
May 6, 2011


Sada Thompson, a Tony Award-winning actress best known to TV viewers for her Emmy Award-winning role as the matriarch in the 1970s dramatic TV series “Family,” has died. She was 83.


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Arthur Laurent’s Obituary

Friday, May 6th, 2011


Arthur Laurents dies; playwright and Broadway director




Laurents, who won two Tony Awards, wrote the books for the classic Broadway musicals ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Gypsy.’ His screen credits include ‘The Way We Were’ and ‘Rope.’


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
May 6, 2011


Arthur Laurents, a Tony Award-winning playwright and director who wrote the books for the classic Broadway musicals “West Side Story” and “Gypsy” and later wrote the hit movies “The Way We Were” and “The Turning Point,” died Thursday. He was believed to be 93.


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Jackie Cooper’s Obituary

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011


Jackie Cooper dies at 88; child star in the 1930s




‘Our Gang’ alumnus Jackie Cooper evolved into a successful 1950s TV star, a top ’60s TV studio executive and an Emmy-winning director in the ’70s.


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
May 5, 2011


Jackie Cooper, whose tousled blond hair, pouty lower lip and ability to cry on camera helped make him one of the top child stars of the 1930s in films such as “Skippy” and “The Champ,” has died. He was 88.


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Yvette Vickers Obituary

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011


Yvette Vickers dies at 82; former actress and Playboy playmate




Vickers’ body was found by a neighbor in a mummified state that suggests she may have been dead for close to a year, police say. She appeared in 1950s B-movies such as ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.’


By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times
May 3, 2011


Yvette Vickers, an actress best known as the femme fatale in two late 1950s cult horror films, “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” and “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” was found dead Wednesday at her Benedict Canyon home. She was 82.


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Arthur Marx Obituary

Friday, April 15th, 2011


Arthur Marx dies at 89; writer son of Groucho


Arthur Marx


Arthur Marx went his own way with his career, becoming a TV writer, playwright and celebrity biographer; but his favorite, recurring subject was his famous father.


By Elaine Woo
Los Angeles Times
April 15, 2011


Arthur Marx, a veteran television writer, playwright, celebrity biographer and memoirist who wrote extensively about an often fractious life with his father, comedic legend Groucho Marx, has died. He was 89 and died of natural causes Thursday at his Los Angeles home, said his son, Andy.


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Sidney Lumet Obituary

Saturday, April 9th, 2011


Sidney Lumet dies at 86; prolific ‘actor’s director’ steered clear of Hollywood




Sidney Lumet, a four-time Oscar nominee, was known for guiding strong performances in films such as ’12 Angry Men,’ ‘Network’ and ‘Dog Day Afternoon.’ Lumet directed more than 40 films in his long career, many of them in his hometown of New York.


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
April 9, 2011


Sidney Lumet, the prolific, four-time Oscar-nominated director known for guiding strong performances in classic films such as “12 Angry Men,” “Dog Day Afternoon” and “Network,” died Saturday. He was 86.


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Farley Granger Obituary

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011


Farley Granger dies at 85; handsome leading man best known for roles in Hitchcock films



He began his acting career as a teenager and went on to star in such movies as ‘They Live by Night’ and Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’ and ‘Strangers on a Train.’ He later appeared on Broadway and in a range of TV roles.


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
March 30, 2011


Farley Granger, a handsome young leading man during Hollywood’s post-World War II era who was best known for his starring roles in the Alfred Hitchcock suspense thrillers “Strangers on a Train” and “Rope,” has died. He was 85.


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Dorothy Young Obituary

Saturday, March 26th, 2011


Seabrook Resident Dorothy Young Dies at 103, Was Houdini’s Assistant


  Dorothy Young, Houdini’s last on-stage assistant, with the magician in 1926 as the “Radio Girl of 1950.” (Dorothy Young’s family)


The long-time Monmouth County (New Jersey) resident was one of the last people to have worked onstage with the escape artist Harry Houdini.


By Amy Byrne
March 25, 2011


She performed onstage with the legendary Harry Houdini, traveled the world ballroom dancing and appeared on a Barbara Walters’ special, but until her death on Monday, Dorothy Young had spent the last three years living quietly in Tinton Falls’ Seabrook Village.


Young, 103, who died March 20, is thought to have been the last surviving person to share a stage with the renowned escape artist Houdini.  She joined his troupe as an assistant in 1925 when she was 17-years-old and quickly became known as the “Radio Girl of 1950,” emerging during the act from a large radio and performing a dance routine.   


“Houdini told me that he chose me from the more the 1,000 girls who showed up that day because, unlike all of them—I was a quiet, little girl sitting all the way in the back—and because I was shorter that he was,” Young told a gathering of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution in 2008, according to a release from Seabrook.


Young, the daughter of a Methodist minister, toured for a year with Houdini and left just two months before his death in October 1926. She married Robert Perkins and had a child shortly after, and Perkins died 13 years later.


According to her son, Robert Perkins, Jr., who is 83, Young befriended the matinee idol and silent film star Richard Bennett—who is also Perkins’ godfather—and made her way into some Broadway and film roles, including the Fred Astaire film Flying Down to Rio.


Young formed a dance act with Gilbert Kiamie, a New York businessman and the son of a wealthy silk lingerie magnate, according to a report by the Associated Press, and they gained international prominence for a Latin dance they created known as the rumbalero. They later married and remained together until Kiamie died in 1992.


Young moved to Allenhurst and later, Little Silver, according to Perkins, who attended Markham Place School in Little Silver and graduated from Red Bank High School in 1944.


Both Perkins and Kiamie entered the military during the Second World War and Young volunteered with the Standards Agency at Fort Monmouth, according to the Seabrook release.


Young moved to Ocean Grove where she lived for many years working on the oil painting that became her creative outlet of choice for the rest of her life. She also wrote two novels based on her professional experiences.


Perkins said his mother had many creative talents—dancing, acting, painting—but “couldn’t carry a tune.”


Young became a benefactor of the Jersey Shore Medical Center where she established a chapel in honor of her parents. She also became a donor of Drew University in Madison and helped create the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts at the university. Her donations also made possible the rebuilding of Youth Temple in Ocean Grove in 1977, according to the Seabrook release.


Young attended many performances at Drew and one her last was a commemoration of Houdini’s death in October 2008 that featured an inner circle of the magician’s enthusiasts and historians.


In 2005, Young appeared in the documentary Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery and was featured on a Barbara Walters special on television about centegenarians in 2008.


Perkins said he moved up from Naples, FL to live with his mother in Seabrook three years ago when it became evident she could no longer live on her own.


He said his mother’s early exposure to travel with Houdini’s show gave her a taste of a world very different from her beginnings as the daughter of a Methodist minister.


“She liked that sort of life,” he said.


Aside from Perkins, Young is survived by four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.


A memorial service will be held for Young on April 16 at 4 p.m. at St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Ocean Grove, according to Perkins.



Elizabeth Taylor Obituary

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011


Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79; legendary actress



Elizabeth Taylor, star of stage and screen who married multiple times, became a successful businesswoman and helped to pioneer the fight against AIDS, dies of congestive heart failure.


By Elaine Woo
Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2011


Elizabeth Taylor, the glamorous queen of American movie stardom, whose achievements as an actress were often overshadowed by her rapturous looks and real-life dramas, has died. She was 79.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Elizabeth Taylor



Eddie Brandt’s Obituary

Thursday, March 10th, 2011


Eddie Brandt dies at 90; Hollywood’s go-to guy for film history, memorabilia




Eddie Brandt’s North Hollywood video store, which holds treasures of film history, has long served as an unofficial Hollywood research library run by his family. Brandt was also a composer and animation writer who performed on TV with Spade Cooley and wrote for Hanna-Barbera.


By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times
March 10, 2011


Eddie Brandt’s obsession with the movies was evident in his North Hollywood home, which he transformed into an indoor-outdoor theater by installing a film projector on a tiny loft with windows and pointing it toward his yard.



Saturday night was movie night at Brandt’s, starting in the early 1970s. Cinema buffs — including the host — screened 16-millimeter films, viewing them through oversized windows or while sitting outside.



Every day had also been movie day for Brandt since his North Hollywood thrift shop evolved into a movie memorabilia store after he bought his first warehouse of film collectibles in 1972.



He turned the business into Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee, building a collection of videos and film history so vast that it functions as an unofficial Hollywood research library.



Brandt, who was also a composer and animation writer, died Feb. 20 of colon cancer at his North Hollywood home, said his son, Donovan. He was 90.


Click her to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Eddie Brandt