Sunday 23 Oct 2016

Celebrity Deaths 2016
Matt Seinberg

It's amazing how many celebrities have died so far in 2016. I've decided to look at some of them and tell you what they meant to me. This list is not complete by any means, so please don't be offended if someone you liked isn't on my list.

David Bowie and Prince shocked.

David Bowie (David Jones), I remember hearing "Major Tom" and thinking, who is this fellow? That song just blew my mind and I loved playing it on the radio.

Prince (Rogers Nelson), his "Little Red Corvette" is still my favourite, of all his songs, along with "Sugarwalls," by Sheena Easton. Come on, who wouldn't like her Sugarwalls?

Doris Roberts: I'll always remember her as Marie Barone on "Everyone Loves Raymond." If I had a busy body mother like that, I would have moved to a galaxy far, far away. She was funny though.

Patty Duke: Growing up, I loved watching the "Patty Duke Show" only because "they" were cute teenage girls. I also liked the late Martin Schallert as her father. He was very wise and had a great voice.

Loss of a great comic mind in Gary Shandling

Garry Shandling: Who can forget "It's Garry Shandling's Show" on Showtime, and "The Larry Sanders Show" on HBO? The man was funny and knew what the audience wanted. He often broke down the fourth wall between performer and audience, which many performers can't do.

George Kennedy: This big tough man had a funny side that was unbelievable. He co-starred, with Leslie Neilson, in "The Naked Gun" movies and with Clint Eastwood, too. My favourite line he delivered was in "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot." He said this to a little boy, "Kid, go fuck a duck." I thought that was the most hilarious line in the movie. I also remember him in author Arthur Hailey's "Airport" movie as the chief engineer of the airline.

Paul Kantner was a founding member of the 1960's group Jefferson Airplane. He was a songwriter, guitarist and singer with the band that pioneered psychedelic music. I still get chills when I hear "White Rabbit."

Glenn Frey was yet another shock.

 Glenn Frey one of the founding members of the rock band The Eagles, Frey had a huge influence on 1970s rock and roll with such songs as, "Lyin' Eyes," "Take It Easy," and "Smugglers Blues." I still enjoy most of their songs, but if I hear "Hotel California," written by Don Felder, Don Henley and Frey, one more time, I’ll insane.

Abe Vigoda, the running joke on the Internet was that Vigoda was so old he must be dead. When he really did die on 26 January 2016, no one believed it at first. Vigoda had his most remembered roles on "Barney Miller," as Detective Phil Fish, and in "The Godfather" as Sal Tessio, who betrayed the Corleone Family. He was told, "It's not personal, it's only business." I love that movie.

Dan Haggerty was the ultimate mountain man in the television show "Grizzly Adams." Who wasn't jealous of a man whose best friend was a bear? He also had a great beard.

Richard Libertini, you knew his face, but could never remember his name. He played Chevy Chase's editor in the "Fletch" movies and appeared in "The Night They Raided Minsky's," "Don't Drink the Water" and "Catch 22." He was a very funny man that used his face to convey the humor.

Pat Harrington gave us 60 years of great character roles.

Pat Harrington was best known as the leering handy man Dwayne Schneider, on the CBS sitcom, "One Day At a Time." Before hitting it big with Bonnie Franklin, he had recurring roles on TV shows including “Make Room for Daddy” (1953), “Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law” (1971) and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (1964). On the latter show, Harrington portrayed his popular character, Guido Panzini. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Harrington had a recurring role on “The Tonight Show with Steve Allen” and “The Steve Allen Plymouth Show,” ran head-to-head against “Ed Sullivan,” on ABC Television. Before show business, Harrington earned a graduate degree in political philosophy from Fordham University, in New York City.

We remember Robert Stigwood as the producer for the soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever," the movie that launched John Travolta and The Bee Gees into the stratosphere of stardom. That music helped shape the sound of the Disco Era, which exploded into everyone's home on the radio. I was on my college radio station at the time, and tried mixing some of the tracks together on broadcast turntables, which were different from disco club turntables. It just never sounded the same.

Since we're only a third through the year, more deaths will occur. Maybe I'll have the heart to talk about them as well.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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