Friday, March 2, 2012

The Golem's Top 25 Deaths of 2011: Addendum

Honorable Mention: Jack LaLanne, Norma Zimmer, Harmon Killebrew (left), James Arness, Jack Kervorkian, Betty Ford, David Frye, John Barry, Bert Schneider, Cynthia Myers

Dishonorable Mention: Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-Il, Muammar Gaddafi, Sir Jimmy Saville

...and the Rest: John Dye, Bruce Gordon, Susannah York, Anne Francis, Jane Russell, Frank Buckles, Eugene Fodor, Betty Garrett, Peggy Rae, Michael Gough, William Campbell, Marian Mercer, Phoebe Snow, Gil Scott-Heron, Sada Thompson, Barbara Stuart, Alice Playten, Patricia Merbreier, Ryan Dunn, Don Diamond, Clarence Clemons, Bob Banner, Roy Skelton, Leonard B. Stern, Sam Denoff, Dick Williams, Shrek , G.D. Spradlin, Donna Christianello, Mike Flanagan, Nickolas Ashford, Jerry Leiber, Bubba Smith, Dolores Hope, Frances Bay, Cliff Robertson, Sue Mengers, George Baker, Charles Napier, Patrice O'Neal, Ken Russell, Judy Lewis, Alan Fudge, Anne McCaffrey, Charlie Lea, Leonard Stone, Christopher Hitchens, David Nelson, Michael Sarrazin, Pete Postlethwaite, Len Lesser, Tura Satana, Maria Schneider,  Kaye Stevens, Cheetah

The Golem's Top 25 Deaths of 2011 (Part 5 of 5)

 5. Gene Colan
Legendary comic artist who hit in big at Marvel during its silver age boom. Colan's artwork had a unique, almost film-noir style - in sharp contrast to other artists at the time who openly imitated Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko. Colan was good at just about everything, but he was definitive on Daredevil, Howard the Duck, and Tomb of Dracula.

 4. Nicholas Courtney
Played "The Brigadier" throughout Doctor Who's Pertwee-era, and on-and-off throughout the remainder of the show's original run. The camaraderie his character shared with the title protagonist elevated Doctor Who to classic status.

 3. Harry Morgan
When he assumed the role of Colonel Potter on TV's M*A*S*H - during it's fourth season - he kept the show going great for almost a decade as one of it's most beloved characters. Was equally memorable as a comedic sidekick to Jack Webb on the 60's version of Dragnet.

 2. Elisabeth Sladen 
Doctor Who has had many companions in its decades-long history, but only Elisabeth (as Sarah-Jane Smith) was sufficiently beloved to warrant two spin-off series. She is the "Doctor's sidekick" with which all others will forever be compared.

 1. Steve Jobs
Co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc. (and later Pixar Animation Studios.) The products introduced during his second term as Apple CEO (iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPad, etc...) redefined the role of technology throughout the world - and will continue to influence the industry for generations to come.

Tomorrow: "And the rest..." featuring honorable and dishonorable mentions.

The Golem's Top 25 Deaths of 2011 (Part 4 of 5)

10. Amy Winehouse
Super-talented soul singer with a powerful voice. Terrible tragedy that she died at age 27.

9. Sidney Lumet
Extraordinary (Philadelphia-born) film director. 12 Angry Men, Serpico, The Verdict, Dog Day Afternoon, and many others.

8. Elizabeth Taylor (left)
She was a movie STAR - but also a fine actress in her day. Check out Suddenly Last Summer and BUtterfield 8 as evidence.

7. Charlie Callas
Hysterically funny comic - most notable for his talk-show spots in the 60s and 70s.

6. Dennis Ritchie
Co-creator of the C programming language (and father of all the 'curly brace' languages - like Java - that followed) and a little thing called the Unix operating system.

The Golem's Top 25 Deaths of 2011 (Part 3 of 5)

15. Randy Savage 
Pro-wrestler extraordinaire. Entertaining (and often funny) in the WWF during the 80's wrestling boom. He was savvy enough to walk away from the game at his peak.

14. Peter Falk (left)
Best known for TV's Columbo; was also an accomplished actor in film (...with two Academy Award nominations.)

13. Bil Keane 
Family Circus creator and cartoonist. He once responded to a fan letter written by me and my sister with a hand-written reply - complete with original sketches in the margins. (And of course I don't have it anymore.)

12. Kenneth Mars
Excellent in The Producers and Young Frankenstein, although his occasional appearances on Fernwood 2 Night were my favorite. I do believe he was good in everything I ever saw him do.

11. David Croft
Writer/producer of beloved British comedies -  a few of which ('Allo 'Allo, Dad's Army, and especially Are You Being Served?) are all-time favorites.

The Golem's Top 25 Deaths of 2011 (Part 2 of 5)

20. Alan Sues
One of the funniest of the talented cast of Laugh-In.

19. Jackie Cooper (left)
Former Little Rascal; demonstrated greatness in The Champ, and other roles throughout his decades-long career.

18. Don Kirshner
The villain of The Monkees story, although he was responsible for much of the band's early success.  His Rock Concert was a TV favorite.

17. Sherwood Schwartz
Creator of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch - two shows I watched almost to the point of total recall in the 1970s.
16. Andy Rooney
His "tell it like it is" commentaries on 60 Minutes were frequently amusing, and always worth watching.

The Golem's Top 25 Deaths of 2011 (Part 1 of 5)

Eleanor Mondale
25. Eleanor Mondale (left)
Daughter of Vice-President Walter Mondale. Was a big fan of hers when she was a regular E! Network hostess in the 1990s. Curiously, an attractive Democrat.

24. Joe Frazier
Fond memories of watching Philly-based Joe win the title from Muhammad Ali back when title fights still meant something (and aired on network television - for free.)

23. Dwayne McDuffie
Comics pioneer; founder of Milestone (Static Shock, Icon, and others) in the 90s. His comics were an inspiration to me.

22. Jeff Conaway
You might prefer to remember Conaway from his 1970s Taxi and Grease heyday. He was equally entertaining in recent years on several "get sober/lose weight" reality shows; but it ended badly.

21. Jerry Robinson
Another comics pioneer. He was, at one time, the definitive Batman artist, and will always be the creator of The Joker.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Golem Universe: A Retrospective

The people, places and events that shaped a blog.

Play me off, Keyboard Cat.