Category Archives: R.I.P.

R.I.P. Actress Grace Lee Whitney

RIP Star Trek’s Grace Lee Whitney

Grace Lee Whitney, who played Captain Kirk’s yeoman Janice Rand on the first season of the classic show, has died aged 85.

She was one of the sexiest women on TV, and probably the sexiest woman in SF TV. It was no surprise that Charlie X fell for her. We all did.

Rest in peace.

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R.I.P. Writer Don Mankiewicz

Don Mankiewicz dies at 93; novelist and Oscar-nominated screenwriter

Of the illustrious Mankiewicz writing dynasty (so to speak).

He wrote the pilot for Ironside, wrote for Marcus Welby, M.D., and an episode of Star Trek.

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R.I.P. Suzanne Crough

Partridge Family Daughter Suzanne Crough Dies at 52

Suzanne Crough, the youngest star of The Partridge Family, died Monday at her home in Nevada, TMZ reports. She was 52.

The Partridge Family was must-watch TV back in my day.

Rest in peace.

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R.I.P. Voice Artist Robert Rietti

RIP 007 voice artist Robert Rietti

Someone who did many voices we never even knew wasn’t the voice of the actor!

British TV fans should note that he did episodes of Space: 1999, UFO, The Prisoner, The Avengers, and Secret Agent (aka Danger Man), and many more, according to his extensive list of credits at IMDB.

Rest in peace.

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R.I.P Artist Herb Trimpe

“Incredible Hulk,” “G.I. Joe” Artist Herb Trimpe Passes Away at Age 75

With a career that spanned more than 45 years, Trimpe worked on a wide variety of the comic industry’s most recognizable characters, notably an era-defining seven-year run on “The Incredible Hulk” in the 1970s. That run included “The Incredible Hulk” #181, which marked the debut of Wolverine; plus the first appearances of Hulk supporting characters including Jim Wilson and Doc Samson, both of whom Trimpe co-created with writer Roy Thomas. In 2014, a page of original art from “The Incredible Hulk” #180, depicting the first cameo appearance of Wolverine, sold for a record-tying $657,250 at auction.

Back in my day, Herb Trimpe = Hulk.

Rest in peace.

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R.I.P. Singer Percy Sledge

R&B singer Percy Sledge dies at 73

Ah, what a song.

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R.I.P. Writer Gunter Grass

Gunter Grass, Nobel Prize winner, dies aged 87

Grass, who is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), a seminal text in European magic realism, died on April 13, in the German city of Lübeck. He was a novelist, poet, essayist, dramatist, sculptor and graphic artist but his reputation was tarnished by his admission he had served in Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS.

The Tin Drum was a satire of those, like his parents, who were seduced by Nazi ideas and the novel was decried as blasphemous pornography and banned in numerous dictatorships.

I cannot think of a higher praise for a writer’s work than to be banned by dictators.

And guess what? Anyone who calls for a book to be banned is a dictator.

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R.I.P. Satiric Genius Stan Freberg

Stan Freberg, master of comedy parodies and commercials, dies at 88

Freberg later said the cancellation led him to concentrate on advertising work. He formed his own company, Freberg Ltd. (but not very), whose motto was Ars gratia pecuniae (Art for money’s sake.)

One of his most memorable early spots was a 1956 radio commercial for Contadina Foods, a small San Jose-based tomato-paste maker that was taking on the giant Hunt’s company.

Freberg came up with a jingle — “Who puts eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can?” — and sales of Contadina tomato paste increased dramatically within weeks.

Later dubbed “the father of the funny commercial” by Advertising Age, he won more than 20 Clio Awards for his television and radio spots.

Freberg later promoted such varied products as Sunsweet pitted prunes (“Today the pits, tomorrow the wrinkles; Sunsweet marches on!”) and Heinz’s Great American Soups, for which he created a lavish Busby Berkeley-style production number with a tap-dancing Ann Miller atop a giant can of chicken gumbo soup.

After the break, some samples of his magnificent precendent-setting work.

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R.I.P. Evangelist Robert Schuller

Wow. Easter Week.

I had to take a break to sort out my thinking about him.

There are critical things I could write about him. Instead, I will confess that I watched him many times and sometimes even looked forward to it.

He was a creative thinker and he appealed to me.

Rest in peace.

Previously here and elsewhere:

I Began To Wonder
The Long Tail Of Value
When One Thousand Means Over Fifty Thousand

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R.I.P. Inventor Gary Dahl

Gary Dahl, Inventor of the Pet Rock, Dies at 78

It was a craze to rival the Hula-Hoop, and even less explicable. For a mere three dollars and 95 cents, a consumer could buy … a rock — a plain, ordinary, egg-shaped rock of the kind one could dig up in almost any backyard.

The wonder of it was, for a few frenzied months in 1975, more than a million consumers did, becoming the proud if slightly abashed owners of Pet Rocks, the fad that Newsweek later called “one of the most ridiculously successful marketing schemes ever.”

Gary Dahl, the man behind that scheme — described variously as a marketing genius and a genial mountebank — died on March 23 at 78. A down-at-the-heels advertising copywriter when he hit on the idea, he originally meant it as a joke. But the concept of a “pet” that required no actual work and no real commitment resonated perfectly with the self-indulgent ’70s, and before long a cultural phenomenon was born.

It was as unbelievable now as it was back then when it happened.

Rest in peace.

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