Wednesday, December 31, 2014
People We Lost in 2014
This year, we lost a lot of great people. I thought I'd take the time to remember some of these people and talk about what they're known for. Get it below the break.
Russell Johnson died on January 16. He was best known for playing the professor on Gilligan's Island. I don't know if anyone that reads this blog watches that show, but I do, so I felt I should give him some recognition. In addition to Gilligan, he was also known for appearing in The Twilight Zone episodes Back There and Execution, both of which involved time travel.
Arthur Rankin Jr.
Arthur Rankin Jr. died on January 30. With Jules Bass, he made all those stop motion Christmas specials millions grew up with. In addition to Christmas specials, some other notable Rankin/Bass works include the Easter special Here Comes Peter Cottontail, The Last Unicorn, and the original Thundercats TV series.
Shirley Temple died on February 10. She was a child star during the great depression. She began acting in 1932 at age 3 and found international fame in the 1934 film Bright Eyes, which was designed specifically for her talents. She retired from acting as an adult, and after that, she started a political career, which included her being the U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia. Unlike many former child stars, she never got involved in any scandals when she grew up.
Harold Ramis died on February 24. He was best known for co-writing and co-staring in Ghostbusters. In addition to Ghostbusters, he also wrote and directed Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Groundhog Day.
Mickey Rooney died on April 6 after a show business career that lasted nearly his entire life. He made a numerous films when he was a teenager, including Boys Town and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He was drafted for World War II, and after he returned, he was too old for juvenile roles but too short to be a movie star. He wasn't able to achieve as significant roles as before, but he didn't give up, and he's career rebounded with films like Requiem For Heavyweight, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and The Black Stallion. He also played Santa in 4 Christmas specials.
Ann B. Davis
Ann B. Davis died on June 1. She was best known for playing Alice on The Brady Bunch. She was also known for playing Schultzy on The Bob Cummings Show, for which she won 2 Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress. The Brady Bunch never got nominated for any awards because it got low ratings and was got bad reviews from critics, but viewers liked it, and after it was cancelled, it became more popular and is now Davis' most notable role.
Casey Kasem died on June 15. He was the original host of America's Top 40 and the original voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo. He retired in 2009, and was replaced as the host of Top 40 by Ryan Seacrest and as the voice of Shaggy by Matthew Lillard, although he voiced Shaggy's father on Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated.
Robin Williams died on August 11. He gained fame for playing Mork on Mork & Mindy. Mork first appeared in the Happy Days episode My Favorite Orkan. Mork was so popular, that he got his own show. After Mork & Mindy, he went on to have a successful career in film and comedy. Some of his most notable films include Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Hook, and Aladdin. I He returned to TV in 2013 in a CBS comedy series called The Crazy Ones, but it was cancelled after one season. If you think it was because he died, it wasn't. The plug was pulled it on May 10.
Joan Rivers died on September 4. She was known for her career in stand up comedy, which was known to be controversial. She was known to be self-deprecating towards celebrities and politicians. But nonetheless, people loved her style of comedy, and she will go down as one of the greatest comedians of all time.
Thomas Menino died on October 30. He's the only non-entertainer on this list, but he still deserves recognition. I'm not sure how many of you know who he is because he's a local figure, but still well known around where I'm from. He was the mayor of Boston from 1993-2013. He was Boston's longest serving mayor. I don't usually follow politics, but I do know that he did a lot for Boston. He will be missed.
Norman Bridwell died on December 12. He was best known for creating Clifford the Big Red Dog. Emily Elizabeth was named after his daughter. In addition to Clifford, some of his other books included The Witch Next Door and A Tiny Family.
Christine Cavanaugh died on December 22. She was known for voicing the title character in Babe, Chuckie on Rugrats, Gosaylyn Mallard in Darkwing Duck, and Dexter on Dexter's Laboratory. She retired from acting for personal reasons in 2001. She was replaced as Chuckie by Nancy Cartwright and Dexter by Candi Milo. The sequel to Babe was made before she retired, but she declined to to low salary, and was replaced by E.G. Daily.