The statue "Spring Wind" stands outside North Scott Junior High School in Eldridge. The North Scott School District has been reviewing safety measures since Aug. 31, when a junior high student pointed a loaded gun at a teacher and pulled the trigger but had left the safety on.
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus meet Diana Hernandez-Flores of Davenport and her one-day-old baby Natalia Guadalupe at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, Monday. Genesis and UnityPoint Health have released their list of most popular baby names for 2018. The list includes Jackson, Charlotte and Olivia.
A wet Thursday to all. At least it's not snow. Rain is expected to fall on the Quad-Cities throughout the day with winds gusting up to 35 mph. This afternoon and early evening a few thunderstorms are possible as a cold front moves through the area.
Here are the weather details from the National Weather Service.
1. Wind, rain and warmer
Rain is likely before noon with a chance of rain and thunderstorms between noon and 5 p.m., then rain is likely with a possible thunderstorm after 5 p.m. The high will be near 54 degrees. It will be breezy with a southeast wind between 15 to 20 mph gusting as high as 30 mph. The chance of precipitation is 100 percent with new rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Rain is likely before 9 p.m with a chance of rain and thunderstorms between 9 p.m. and midnight. Skies will be mostly cloudy with a low around 32 degrees. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent with new precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible with higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Friday will see a slight chance of rain after noon, mixing with snow after 4 p.m. Skies will be cloudy and breezy with a high near 38 degrees and west winds gusting as high as 25 mph. The chance of precipitation is 20 percent.
Before hitting the road today, check out these links.
2. Lawyer for 12-year-old charged with attempted murder says public details could 'come back and haunt him'
Court hearings and filings will remain open to the public but media coverage will be partially limited during the trial of a 12-year-old boy accused of attempting to kill a social studies teacher at an Eldridge middle school, a Scott County judge ruled Wednesday.
Identifiable photographs and names of those under 18, including witnesses, are not allowed to be published or broadcast under the judge’s decision. The order comes after the boy’s attorneys filed motions last week asking the court to bar members of the public and restrict access to certain information.
The boy, whom the Quad-City Times has so far chosen not to publicly identify, is accused of trying to shoot a teacher in the face with a .22 caliber Smith & Wesson at North Scott Junior High School in August. He has been charged with attempted murder, carrying weapons on school grounds and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon.
He has remained in juvenile detention for four months, and his bond has been set at $50,000 cash. Read more.
3. Analog Arcade Bar to open Moline location on New Year's Eve
The crew behind Analog Arcade Bar are coming through with their promise to open a second location in Moline by the end of the year. The owners of the downtown Davenport arcade bar announced in September they would open another Analog in the two-level building at 1405 5th Ave., Moline. It formerly housed The Venue and been vacant for two years.
The new Analog is slated to open at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, or New Year’s Eve, co-owner Dan Bush confirmed.
“We’ve been working until midnight every night to make sure we’d be open,” Bush said. “We’ll be open.”
The building is twice as big as the original Analog.
The new digs will be filled with about 80 games, including pinball machines, old-school arcade games as well as interactive games such as six-person electronic trivia game. Read more.
4. Stars we lost in 2018
Take look back at some of the celebrities who are no longer with us.
FILE - In this March 28, 1977 file photo, William Goldman accepts his Oscar at Academy Awards in Los Angeles, for screenplay from other medium for "All The President's Men." Goldman, the Oscar-winning screenplay writer of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “All the President’s Men” William Goldman died, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. He was 87. (AP Photo, File)
William Goldman, Oscar winner for 'Butch Cassidy,' has died
NEW YORK (AP) — William Goldman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and Hollywood wise man who won Academy Awards for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "All the President's Men" and summed up the mystery of making a box office hit by declaring "Nobody knows anything," has died. He was 87.
Goldman's daughter, Jenny, said her father died early Friday in New York due to complications from colon cancer and pneumonia. "So much of what's he's written can express who he was and what he was about," she said, adding that the last few weeks, while Goldman was ailing, revealed just how many people considered him family.
Goldman, who also converted his novels "Marathon Man," ''Magic" and "The Princess Bride" into screenplays, clearly knew more than most about what the audience wanted, despite his famous and oft-repeated proclamation. He penned a litany of box-office hits, was an in-demand script doctor and carved some of the most indelible phrases in cinema history into the American consciousness.
Goldman made political history by coining the phrase "follow the money" in his script for "All the President's Men," adapted from the book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the Watergate political scandal. The film starred Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein. Standing in the shadows, Hal Holbrook was the mystery man code-named Deep Throat who helped the reporters pursue the evidence. His advice, "Follow the money," became so widely quoted that few people realized it was never said during the actual scandal.
A confirmed New Yorker, Goldman declined to work in Hollywood. Instead, he would fly to Los Angeles for two-day conferences with directors and producers, then return home to fashion a script, which he did with amazing speed. In his 1985 book, "Adventures in the Screen Trade," he expressed disdain for an industry that elaborately produced and tested a movie, only to see it dismissed by the public during its first weekend in theaters.
"Nobody knows anything," he wrote.
In the book, Goldman also summed up to the screenwriter's low stature in Hollywood. "In terms of authority, screenwriters rank somewhere between the man who guards the studio gate and the man who runs the studio (this week)," wrote Goldman.
But for a generation of screenwriters, including Aaron Sorkin, Goldman was a mentor.
"He was the dean of American screenwriters and generations of filmmakers will continue to walk in the footprints he laid," Sorkin said in a statement. "He wrote so many unforgettable movies, so many thunderous novels and works of non-fiction, and while I'll always wish he'd written one more, I'll always be grateful for what he's left us."
Goldman launched his writing career after receiving a master's degree in English from Columbia University in 1956. Weary of academia, he declined the chance to earn a Ph.D., choosing instead to write the novel "The Temple of Gold" in 10 days. Knopf agreed to publish it.
"If the book had not been taken," he told an interviewer, "I would have gone into advertising ... or something."
Instead, he wrote other novels, including "Soldier in the Rain," which became a movie starring Steve McQueen. Goldman also co-authored a play and a musical with his older brother, James, but both failed on Broadway. (James Goldman would later write the historical play "The Lion in Winter," which he converted to film, winning the 1968 Oscar for best adapted screenplay.)
William Goldman had come to screenwriting by accident after actor Cliff Robertson read one of his books, "No Way to Treat a Lady," and thought it was a film treatment. After he hired the young writer to fashion a script from a short story, Goldman rushed out to buy a book on screen writing. Robertson rejected the script but found Goldman a job working on a screenplay for a British thriller. After that he adapted his novel "Harper" for a 1966 film starring Paul Newman as a private eye.
He broke through in 1969 with the blockbuster "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," starring Newman and Redford. Based on the exploits of the real-life "Hole in the Wall" gang of bank robbers, the movie began a long association with Redford, who also appeared in "The Hot Rock," ''The Great Waldo Pepper" and "Indecent Proposal." Goldman's script set a then-record $400,000 (or about $2.9 million today).
Though the sum made Goldman a target in an industry that had long devalued screenwriters, the price proved worth it. "Butch Cassidy" was the year's biggest box office hit, grossing $102 million (or close to $700 million today).
"All the President's Men" (1976) further enhanced Goldman's reputation as a master screenwriter, though he initially had a low opinion of the project ("Politics were anathema at the box office, the material was talky, there was no action," he later wrote) and was even regretful afterward because of the production's headaches, including the use of multiple writers.
Other notable Goldman films included "The Stepford Wives," ''A Bridge Too Far" and "Misery." The latter, adapted from a Stephen King suspense novel, won the 1990 Oscar for Kathy Bates as lead actress.
In 1961 Goldman married Ilene Jones, a photographer, and they had two daughters, Jenny and Susanna. The couple divorced in 1991. Goldman passed away Friday in the Manhattan home of his partner, Susan Burden.
Born in Chicago on Aug. 12, 1931, Goldman grew up in the suburb of Highland Park. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1952 and served two years in the Army.
Goldman wrote more than 20 novels, some of them under pen names. "The Princess Bride," published in 1973, was presented as Goldman's abridgment of an older version by "S. Morgenstern." The scheme, he said, was liberating.
"I never had a writing experience like it. I went back and wrote the chapter about Bill Goldman being at the Beverly Hills Hotel and it all just came out. I never felt as strongly connected emotionally to any writing of mine in my life," Goldman once said. "It was totally new and satisfying and it came as such a contrast to the world I had been doing in the films that I wanted to be a novelist again."
The film grew into a cult classic, adding more phrases of Goldman's to the lexicon: "As you wish," ''Inconceivable!" and "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"
Despite all his success as a screenwriter, Goldman always considered himself a novelist and didn't rate his scripts as great artistic achievements.
"A screenplay is a piece of carpentry," he once said. "And except in the case of Ingmar Bergman, it's not an art, it's a craft."
Mrs. Oleson of 'Little House' Katherine MacGregor dead at 93
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Katherine MacGregor, who played petty, gossiping mother Harriet Oleson on TV's "Little House on the Prairie," has died, a representative said Wednesday. She was 93.
MacGregor died Tuesday at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement community in Los Angeles, said Tony Sears, who is acting as her attorney.
While her onscreen nasty daughter Nellie Oleson was the character viewers most loved to hate on the NBC series that ran from 1974 to 1983, her cruel, greedy mother Harriet Oleson was just as awful, never missing a chance at small-town social climbing or petty backbiting.
They stood in contrast to the warm, loving members of the Ingalls family, who were the show's focus and often the Olesons' targets.
William Shatner on Twitter Wednesday called MacGregor "deliciously wicked" on the show.
The California-born MacGregor began as a dancer in New York before shifting to acting, studying under legendary teacher Sanford Meisner.
Her screen career consisted of tiny film roles and TV guest spots before she landed on "Little House on the Prairie," the beloved TV series based on a beloved book series that author Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her childhood.
MacGregor would stay for the show's entire run along with actors Michael Landon, the show's star who died in 1991, and Melissa Gilbert, who played a young Laura Ingalls.
"She was outspoken and hilariously funny," Melissa Gilbert said on Instagram of MacGregor Wednesday. "A truly gifted actress as she was able to play a despicable character but with so much heart. Her Harriet Oleson was the woman our fans loved to hate. A perfect antagonist."
Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson, said Macgregor "had an extremely long and full life and is at peace ... we will all miss her."
Stan Lee, the creative dynamo who revolutionized the comic book and helped make billions for Hollywood by introducing human frailties in superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk, died Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. He was 95.
FILE - In this Friday, March 6, 2009 file photo, former NASCAR drivers Richard Petty, left, and David Pearson share a laugh during practice for the Kobalt 500 NASCAR Sprint CUp auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. NASCAR’s Silver Fox David Pearson has died at 83. Pearson was a three-time Cup champion and his 105 career victories trail only Richard Petty's 200 wins on NASCAR's all-time list. (AP Photo/Glenn Smith, File)
David Pearson, NASCAR's Silver Fox, has died at 83
David Pearson, the NASCAR pioneer known as "The Silver Fox" for his cunning craft and a longtime rivalry with Richard Petty, has died. He was 83.
The Wood Brothers Racing team said Pearson died Monday night in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he was born and lived most of his life. Details were not immediately available.
Pearson was one of NASCAR's first superstars along with Petty, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough, and they raced all over the country as the cornerstone during NASCAR's period of slow growth beyond a regional racing series. Pearson was a three-time Cup champion, his 105 career victories trail only Petty's 200 on NASCAR's all-time list, and he was inducted into the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Pearson's career paralleled Petty's and the two combined for 63 finishes in which they finished first and second to each other. Pearson won 33 of the battles.
"I have always been asked who my toughest competitor in my career was. The answer has always been David Pearson," Petty said late Monday night. "David and I battled each other for wins, most of the time finishing first or second to each other. It wasn't a rivalry, but more mutual respect. David is a Hall of Fame driver who made me better. He pushed me just as much as I pushed him on the track. We both became better for it."
Pearson beat Petty in the 1974 Firecracker 500 at Daytona International Speedway when Petty was glued to his bumper on the final lap. Pearson then let off the gas slightly as Petty dropped out of his wake, Petty pulled up alongside Pearson and passed him. With the finish line in sight, Pearson then used a slingshot pass out of the high banked final turn to zip past Petty and snatch the victory.
Two years later in the Daytona 500, Pearson and Petty collided near the finish line. Both cars slid into the grass, Petty was unable to restart his engine and Pearson got the win when he limped his damaged car across the finish line.
Pearson began on the short tracks of the Carolinas, graduated to NASCAR in 1960, and his championships came in the only three seasons — 1966, 1968 and 1969 — in which he competed in the entire NASCAR schedule.
Pearson won titles with the Cotton Owens and Holman-Moody teams, then moved to Wood Brothers Racing in the 1970s to form one of the greatest partnerships in the series' history. Pearson won 11 of 18 races driving the Woods' iconic No. 21 Ford in 1973.
Pearson last raced in the Cup series in 1986 but didn't officially retire until 1989, when recurrent back problems forced the issue.
"David Pearson's 105 NASCAR premier series victories and his classic rivalry in the 1960s and '70s with Richard Petty helped set the stage for NASCAR's transformation into a mainstream sport with national appeal," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France. "When he retired, he had three championships — and millions of fans. The man they called the "Silver Fox" was the gold standard for NASCAR excellence."
Pearson is survived by three sons, Larry, Ricky and Eddie, all of whom have been involved in NASCAR racing. His wife, Helen Ray, died in 1991. Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.
This undated image released by Rocky Schenck shows actor James Karen. Karen, a former TV pitchman who later worked with Buster Keaton and made memorable appearances in “Poltergeist” and “Return of the Living Dead,” died Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94. (Rocky Schenck via AP)
James Karen, 'Mr. Teague' of 'Poltergeist,' is dead at 94
NEW YORK (AP) — James Karen, a prolific and beloved character actor whose hundreds of credits included memorable appearances in "Poltergeist" and "The Return of the Living Dead," has died. He was 94.
Karen's friend Bruce Goldstein told The Associated Press that he died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He had been battling respiratory ailments.
Few actors had so long and diverse a career. He appeared in Elia Kazan's 1940s stage production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," which starred Marlon Brando. He befriended Buster Keaton in the 1950s and had a brief role in one of the silent star's most unusual projects, "Film," an experimental short written by Samuel Beckett.
He met Marilyn Monroe at the Actors Studio in New York and filmed a commercial with the Three Stooges. He was directed by Oliver Stone in "Wall Street" and David Lynch in "Mulholland Drive." His TV credits ranged from "Dallas" and "The Waltons" to "Seinfeld" and "The Larry Sanders Show."
Millions knew him as the friendly man with the glasses in TV ads for Pathmark. Others remembered him as the foreman in "Return of the Living Dead," the boss in "The China Syndrome" or the notorious Mr. Teague, the real estate developer who moves the headstones — but not the bodies — in "Poltergeist."
On Twitter, Kevin Smith, Gilbert Gottfried and Joe Mantegna were among those sharing tributes. His admirers also included George Clooney. When Clooney received a lifetime achievement award from The American Film Institute earlier this year, he spoke about Karen. He called him a "wonderful character actor" and remembered getting a call from his wife, Alba. She told Clooney that Karen was near death and wanted him to write his obituary.
"So I got out a bottle of booze — pen, paper — and I sat down and I spent the whole night writing about who I thought Jimmy was, his character, what he meant to us," Clooney said.
"A week goes by, then a month. That was four years ago. I called Alba and said, 'What the hell.' She said 'Yeah, Jimmy's doing fine. He just wanted to know what everyone thought about him while he was still alive. He got a bunch of people to do it.'"
Karen was born Jacob Karnovsky in Wilkes-Barres, Pennsylvania. He was interested in theater from an early age and, according to his friend Leonard Maltin, the movie critic, turned down a contract with MGM because he wanted to work on the stage.
His years in the theater led to a close bond with Keaton. In 1957, he and Keaton appeared together in a revival of the play "Merton of the Movies" and they remained friends until Keaton's death in 1966. Karen later hosted a Keaton documentary made by Kevin Brownlow and was among those sharing memories in "The Great Buster: A Celebration," a documentary by Peter Bogdanovich that was just released.
"Jim and Alba had a beautiful apartment in Los Angeles and he had a corner devoted to Buster memorabilia, including one of his hats," Goldstein told The Associated Press. "He would let me invite friends over and have them try on the hat."
FILE - In a Sept. 5, 2007 file photo, Bill Daily arrives for TV Land's 35th anniversary tribute to "The Bob Newhart Show," Wednesday, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Bill Daily, the comic sidekick to leading men on the sitcoms “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Bob Newhart Show,” has died. Family spokesman Steve Moyer said Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 that Daily died Tuesday of natural causes in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was 91. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Bill Daily, sidekick on hit 60s and 70s sitcoms, dies at 91
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bill Daily, the comic sidekick to leading men on the sitcoms "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Bob Newhart Show," has died, a family spokesman said Saturday.
Daily died of natural causes in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Tuesday, at his home where he had been living with his son, J. Patrick Daily, spokesman Steve Moyer told The Associated Press.
Daily was not a household name but he was a household face, familiar to many millions of baby-boomer viewers in the 1960s and '70s from two of the era's biggest shows.
He played Major Roger Healy in all five seasons of "I Dream of Jeannie" from 1965 to 1970. Healy was the astronaut partner to Larry Hagman's Major Anthony Nelson as both men tried to contain the antics of Jeannie, the childlike blond bombshell who lived in a bottle played by Barbara Eden.
Eden said on Twitter Friday night that Daily was "Our favorite zany astronaut."
"Billy was wonderful to work with," Eden said. "He was a funny, sweet man that kept us all on our toes. I'm so thankful to have known and worked with that rascal."
Just two years later he landed a very similar role and had an even longer run on "The Bob Newhart Show," playing aviator Howard Borden behind Newhart's psychologist Dr. Bob Hartley for 140 episodes between 1972 and 1978.
Newhart, now 89, said in a statement Saturday that he and Daily had been friends since both were trying to break into comedy in Chicago in the 1950s, and Daily was a clutch comedian that could make anything work on the sitcom.
"I called him our bullpen man. Whenever we were having trouble with a script on the show, we'd have Bill make an appearance," Newhart said. "He was one of the most positive people I ever knew, and we'll dearly miss him."
Daily saved scenes instead of stealing them like other sidekicks of the era. He specialized in support, upping the comic moments of his co-stars — his Newhart character was, fittingly, a co-pilot — with a goofy warmth.
Actor James Urbaniak called him the "king of affable vulnerability" on Twitter Friday.
But like all co-stars on long-running shows, he got occasional episodes of his own, including one where he stole the role of Jeannie's master from Hagman.
Daily was born in Des Moines, Iowa, but raised in Chicago, which he always considered his hometown. He said he was always a class clown despite losing his father while still a child.
Before acting, he tried to make it in show business as a jazz bass player, playing in a combo called "Jack and the Beanstalks." Appearing in variety shows drew him into standup comedy and then acting.
He landed one-off roles on the oddball shows of the early 1960s like "My Mother the Car" and "Bewitched," which brought him to the attention of the creators of "I Dream of Jeannie."
He said his work at first was derivative — and not very good.
"I was doing Bob Hope and Bing Crosby," Daily said in a 2003 interview with the Archive of American Television. "I was terrible. I think I was funny, but I didn't know what I was doing."
After "Jeannie" he returned to guest-starring roles, including one on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," before his old friend Newhart came seeking a sidekick.
On "The Bob Newhart Show," Daily's Howard Borden was the neighbor across the hall who always popped in looking to borrow or mooch something, like Kramer on "Seinfeld" two decades later.
He said the writers and his co-stars made the part a breeze.
"I just think the scripts were just written so beautifully," Daily said in the TV archive interview. "And Bob was a brilliant straight man, he'd just give you everything."
Daily later appeared on game shows and in reunion specials for his two shows, and in later years hung out with his co-stars on the nostalgia convention circuit.
In his last well-known role, he played a psychiatrist on the cult hit alien-puppet sitcom "Alf" from 1987 to 1989.
Daily was married three times. His third wife, Becky Daily, died in 2010 after 17 years of marriage.
He adopted two children, daughter Kimberly and son J. Patrick Daily. He had been living for several years in New Mexico with his son and son's wife Sharon.
At Bill Daily's request no funeral is planned. He just wanted his loved ones to have a party, which is tentatively planned for next year, the family said.
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 1971 file photo, actress Dinah Shore and Burt Reynolds appear together in Los Angeles. Reynolds, who starred in films including "Deliverance," "Boogie Nights," and the "Smokey and the Bandit" films, died at age 82, according to his agent.
Burt Reynolds, star of film, TV and tabloids, dead at 82
NEW YORK (AP) — Burt Reynolds, whose credits included acclaimed films such as "Deliverance" and commercial hits like "Smokey and the Bandit," has died.
The handsome film and television star died at age 82, according to his agent Todd Eisner. No other details were immediately available Thursday.
During a long, erratic career, Reynolds starred in the Oscar-winning film "Deliverance" in 1972 and the Oscar-nominated "Boogie Nights" in 1997. He also fronted such commercial favorites as "Smokey and the Bandit." And he had a hit TV show in the 1990s with "Evening Shade."
But he also had more than his share of flops and tabloid moments, including an acrimonious divorce from former TV star Loni Anderson and a nearly nude centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine.
FILE- In this Sept. 22, 1994, file photo, american playwright Neil Simon answers questions during an interview in Seattle, Wash. Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as "The Odd Couple," "Barefoot in the Park" and his "Brighton Beach" trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, died on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. He was 91. (AP Photo/Gary Stuart, File)
Gentle humor was the lifeblood of playwright Neil Simon
NEW YORK (AP) — When master playwright Neil Simon accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2006, he was visibly nervous. But his gentle humor was evident.
"It took me six years to write my first play," he said, recalling that he found the title for "Come Blow Your Horn" from one of his daughter's nursery rhyme books. He said it turned out to be "a so-so play" that was turned into "a so-so movie" with Frank Sinatra.
But it was successful enough that Simon considered calling his subsequent works "The Sheep's in the Meadow" and "The Cow's in the Corn."
"For the first time," he said, "I had money in the bank. Yes, sir, yes sir, three bags full!"
Simon, who died Sunday at 91, was a meticulous joke-smith, peppering his plays, especially the early ones, with one-liners and humorous situations that critics said sometimes came at the expense of character and believability.
No matter. For much of his career, audiences embraced his work, which often focused on middle-class, urban life, many of the plots drawn from his own personal experience. His characters battled depression, alcoholism and loneliness.
Simon's stage successes included "The Odd Couple," ''Barefoot in the Park," the "Brighton Beach" trilogy, "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," ''Last of the Red Hot Lovers," ''The Sunshine Boys," ''Plaza Suite," ''Chapter Two," ''Sweet Charity" and "Promises, Promises." Many of his plays were adapted into movies and one, "The Odd Couple," even became a popular television series.
For seven months in 1967, he had four productions running at the same time on Broadway: "Barefoot in the Park," ''The Odd Couple," ''Sweet Charity" and "The Star-Spangled Girl."
Simon's ability to recognize life's little annoyances — too many pillows piled on a sofa, being told as a kid you may not eat any more cookies — connected with audiences. A scene in "The Odd Couple" when Felix Unger passive-aggressively leaves a note on Oscar's pillow — "We're all out of Corn Flakes. F.U." — got huge laughs.
The loss of Simon was especially hard for playwrights and screenwriters. Randi Mayem Singer, who co-penned the film "Mrs. Doubtfire," mourned Simon as a "truly great American storyteller."
"If you write comedy, if you write period, you learned something from Neil Simon," Singer said.
Kristoffer Diaz, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, took to Twitter to remember an icon: "In a different life, I would have loved to have been my generation's Neil Simon. I'm sad that we don't have that kind of voice." And "Big Bang Theory" creator Bill Prady wrote that "there is no American comedy writer whose work isn't influenced by the rhythm and music of Neil Simon's words."
Simon was the recipient of four Tony Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, the Kennedy Center honors (1995) and, in 1983, he even had a Broadway theater named after him when the Alvin was rechristened the Neil Simon Theatre.
The bespectacled, mild-looking Simon (described in a New York Times magazine profile as looking like an accountant or librarian who dressed "just this side of drab") was a relentless writer — and rewriter.
"I am most alive and most fulfilled sitting alone in a room, hoping that those words forming on the paper in the Smith-Corona will be the first perfect play ever written in a single draft," Simon wrote in the introduction to one of the many anthologies of his plays.
Simon's own life figured most prominently in what became known as his "Brighton Beach" trilogy — "Brighton Beach Memoirs," ''Biloxi Blues" and "Broadway Bound" — which many consider his finest works. In them, Simon's alter ego, Eugene Morris Jerome, makes his way from childhood to the U.S. Army to finally, on the verge of adulthood, a budding career as a writer.
Simon originally started as a radio and TV writer with his older brother, Danny. Yet Simon grew dissatisfied with television writing and the network restrictions that accompanied it. Out of his frustration came "Come Blow Your Horn," which centered on two brothers (not unlike Danny and Neil Simon) trying to figure out what to do with their lives. The comedy ran for more than a year on Broadway.
But it was his second play, "Barefoot in the Park," that really put Simon on the map. Critically well-received, the 1963 comedy, directed by Mike Nichols, concerned the tribulations of a pair of newlyweds, played by Elizabeth Ashley and Robert Redford, who lived on the top floor of a New York brownstone.
Simon cemented that success two years later with "The Odd Couple," a comedy about bickering roommates: Oscar, a gruff, slovenly sportswriter, and Felix, a neat, fussy photographer. Walter Matthau, as Oscar, and Art Carney, as Felix, starred on Broadway, with Matthau and Jack Lemmon playing the roles in a successful movie version. Jack Klugman and Tony Randall appeared in the TV series, which ran on ABC from 1970 to 1975. A female stage version was done on Broadway in 1985, and a TV series revival was done in 2015 starring Matthew Perry.
Besides "Sweet Charity" (1966), which starred Gwen Verdon as a goodhearted dance-hall hostess, and "Promises, Promises" (1968), based on Billy Wilder's film "The Apartment," Simon wrote the books for several other musicals, including "Little Me" (1962), featuring a hardworking Sid Caesar in seven different roles, and "They're Playing Our Song" (1979), which had music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager.
Many of his plays were turned into films as well. Besides "The Odd Couple," he wrote the screenplays for movie versions of "Barefoot in the Park," ''The Sunshine Boys," ''The Prisoner of Second Avenue" and more.
Simon also wrote original screenplays, the best known being "The Goodbye Girl," starring Richard Dreyfuss as a struggling actor, and "The Heartbreak Kid," which featured Charles Grodin as a recently married man, lusting to drop his new wife for a blonde goddess played by Cybill Shepherd.
Simon was married five times, twice to the same woman. He is survived by his fourth wife, actress Elaine Joyce; two daughters, Ellen and Nancy; three grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
Simon's death also hit home for actor Matthew Broderick, who made his Broadway debut in Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs" in 1983 and also that year made his movie debut in Simon's "Max Dugan Returns."
"It was my great good fortune that my very first Broadway play was written by Neil Simon. He also wrote my first film. I owe him a career," Broderick wrote. "The theater has lost a brilliantly funny, unthinkably wonderful writer and even after all this time I feel I have lost a mentor, a father figure, a deep influence in my life and work."
FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2013 file photo, Robin Leach attends the Food Network's 20th birthday party in New York. Leach, whose voice crystalized the opulent 1980s on TV's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," has died, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Robin Leach of 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' dies
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Robin Leach, whose voice crystallized the opulent 1980s on TV's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," died Friday. He was 76
His son, Steven Leach, said he died in Las Vegas, where he made his home.
Leach had a stroke in November while on vacation in Mexico that led to a months-long recovery, much of which he spent at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio before returning to Las Vegas in June. His son said Leach suffered another stroke Monday.
"Champagne wishes and caviar dreams" was Leach's sign-off at the end of every episode of his syndicated show's decade-long run that began in 1984.
Celebrities and others took to social media to express condolences and share stories about their interactions with Leach.
"Saddened to hear the news that Robin Leach has passed away," Celine Dion tweeted. "He was a thoughtful and considerate man, and a great supporter of the entertainment scene in Las Vegas."
Magician Criss Angel tweeted that he met "Uncle Robin," as he affectionately referred to Leach, in 2004 and became fast friends.
"There will never be another," he wrote.
Leach covered the excesses and sometimes gaudy style of the 1980s, a time before oil billionaires, titans of industry and Wall Street traders gave way to sneaker-wearing tech execs as the world's richest people.
Leach appeared occasionally on the show, but he and his unmistakable English-accent narrated throughout, taking wishful viewers on tours of mansions with diamond-crusted chandeliers, yachts with Jacuzzis, and champagne that ran to four figures. It was much like rap videos would do in future decades.
Leach and producer Al Masini coined the catchphrase and conceived the show.
"He asked me if I could get magnates T. Boone Pickens or Sam Walton to do the show," Leach told The Huffington Post in 2016. "In my naivete, I said, 'Of course.' And thus, 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.'"
Leach said in later years that someone still shouted "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" at him almost daily. He was constantly parodied, and like other distinctive voices of the age like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Howard Cosell, everyone had a Leach impression.
"Saturday Night Live" consistently satirized him through the years, with Harry Shearer as a subdued Leach hosting "Lifestyles of the Relatives of the Rich and Famous" in the 1980s, and Dana Carvey as a brash, shouting Leach on "Weekend Update" in the 1990s.
"Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" was the core of Leach's career that spanned six decades and included stints with CNN, People magazine, Entertainment Tonight and the Daily Mail, where he began as a writer in Britain at 18.
"It is essentially the first reality show that's ever been on television," Steven Leach said Friday, referring to his father's famous show. "He was unique in the fact that he got celebrities to open their houses for him."
In the mid-1970s, Robin Leach tried out TV as a regular contributor to "AM Los Angeles" with hosts Regis Philbin and Sarah Purcell, and found his calling. He became a regular on television's morning news and entertainment shows, practicing a sort of tabloid journalism that was more celebratory and light-hearted than tawdry. He often became friends with the celebrities he covered.
Then, in 1984, he landed "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and gained his own fame. The gaudy show became wildly popular but never with critics.
"They wrote that television had reached an all-time-low," Leach told The Huffington Post. "But I looked at the ratings every Monday morning, and I was rubbing my hands with glee."
He was also an executive producer and occasional writer on the show, and hosted a brief spinoff, "Runaway with the Rich and Famous."
In 1999, Leach went to Las Vegas to work with celebrity chefs at the Venetian casino-resort, and made the move permanent, becoming a fixture in the city as he covered the destination's entertainment and lifestyles for America Online and his own website. He also wrote for the Las Vegas Sun and, most recently, for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
He made frequent appearances on the celebrity reality TV circuit, hosting VH-1's "The Surreal Life: Fame Games" and appearing on the celebrity editions of "Wife Swap" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."
He was among the founders of the Food Network, selling his equity for a big payday when the channel took off.
Steven Leach said he wants people to remember his father, who loved Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, for his generosity and honesty.
"I think his passion and his excitement was to see people succeed and not take credit for it at all," he said. "If I were to give you my phone right now, 95 percent of all the texts, they are all exactly like what you are seeing on social media: 'I can't tell you how much he helped me early on.'"
Married once and divorced, Leach spent much of his later years in the company of his three sons, Steven, Rick and Greg, and several grandchildren.
"There is this image of a guy in a hot tub, drinking champagne with two buxom blondes," Leach told the Las Vegas Sun in 2011. "But that is not the real me. I am a father, and I am a grandfather, too."
FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2008, file photo, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., celebrates in Miami after winning the Florida Republican presidential primary. Aide says senator, war hero and GOP presidential candidate McCain died Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. He was 81. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
For McCain, a life of courage, politics came down to 1 vote
WASHINGTON (AP) — For John McCain, a lifetime of courage, contradictions and contrarianism came down to one vote, in the middle of the night, in the twilight of his career.
The fate of President Donald Trump's long effort to repeal Barack Obama's health care law hung in the balance as a Senate roll call dragged on past 1 a.m. on a July night in 2017.
Then came McCain — 80 years old, recently diagnosed with brain cancer, his face still scarred from surgery, striding with purpose toward the well of the Senate.
The Arizona Republican raised his right arm, paused for dramatic effect and flashed a determined thumbs-down, drawing gasps from both sides of the aisle.
Trump's health care bill was dead. McCain's lifelong reputation as free thinker, never to be intimidated, was very much alive.
It was the capstone of a political career that had taken McCain from the House to the Senate to the Republican presidential nomination, but never to his ultimate goal, the White House.
McCain, who faced down his captors in a Vietnamese prison of war camp and later turned his trademark defiance into a political asset, died Saturday. He was 81.
With his irascible grin and fighter-pilot moxie, McCain won election to the House from Arizona twice and the Senate six times. But twice he was thwarted in his quest for the presidency. His upstart bid for president in 2000 took flight in New Hampshire only to be quickly flattened in South Carolina.
Eight years later, he fought back from the brink of defeat to win the GOP nomination, only to be overpowered by Democrat Obama in the general election. McCain had chosen a little-known Alaska governor as his running mate for that race, and in the process helped turn Sarah Palin into a political celebrity.
After losing to Obama in an electoral landslide, McCain returned to the Senate determined not to be defined by a failed presidential campaign in which his reputation as a maverick had faded. In the politics of the moment and in national political debate over the decades, McCain energetically advanced his ideas and punched back hard at critics — Trump not least among them.
Scion of a decorated military family, McCain embraced his role as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, pushing for aggressive U.S. military intervention overseas and eager to contribute to "defeating the forces of radical Islam that want to destroy America."
Asked how he wanted to be remembered, McCain said simply: "That I made a major contribution to the defense of the nation."
Taking a long look back in his valedictory memoir, "The Restless Wave," McCain wrote of the world he inhabited: "I hate to leave it. But I don't have a complaint. Not one. It's been quite a ride. I've known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make a peace. ... I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times."
Throughout his decades in Congress, McCain played his role with trademark verve, at one hearing dismissing a protester by calling out, "Get out of here, you low-life scum."
McCain stuck by the party's 2016 presidential nominee, Trump, at times seemingly through gritted teeth — until the release a month before the election of a lewd audio in which Trump said he could kiss and grab women. Declaring that the breaking point, McCain withdrew his support and said he would write in "some good conservative Republican who's qualified to be president."
He had largely held his tongue earlier in the campaign when Trump questioned McCain's status as a war hero by saying: "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."
McCain, with unusual restraint, said that was offensive to veterans, but "the best thing to do is put it behind us and move forward."
But by the time McCain cast his vote against the GOP health bill, six months into Trump's presidency, the two men were openly at odds. Trump railed against McCain publicly over the vote, and McCain remarked that he no longer listened to what Trump had to say because "there's no point in it."
Unafraid of contradictions, McCain himself had campaigned against Obama's health care law, but voted against its repeal because Republicans had flouted what he called the "old way of legislating," with full-fledged debate, amendments and committee hearings on the final bill.
In his final months, McCain did not go quietly, frequently jabbing at Trump and his policies from the remove of his Hidden Valley family retreat in Arizona. He opposed the president's nominee for CIA director because of her past role in overseeing torture, scolded Trump for alienating U.S. allies at an international summit, labeled the administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy "an affront to the decency of the American people" and denounced the Trump-Vladimir Putin summit in Helsinki as a "tragic mistake" in which Trump put on "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory."
On Aug. 13, Trump signed into law a $716 billion defense policy bill named in honor of the senator. Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act in a ceremony at a military base in New York — without one mention of McCain.
Over a 31-year career in the Senate, McCain became a standard-bearer for reforming campaign donations. He railed against pork-barrel spending for legislators' pet projects and cultivated a reputation as a deficit hawk and an independent voice. He even attacked senators' own perks of office, such as free, up-close parking spots at Washington airports.
But faced with a tough GOP challenge for his Senate seat in 2010, McCain disowned chapters in his past and turned to the right on a number of hot-button issues, including gays in the military, immigration and climate change.
When the Supreme Court in 2010 overturned the campaign finance restrictions that he had worked so hard to enact, McCain said he was disappointed, but he seemed resigned to their demise.
"I don't think there's much that can be done, to tell you the truth," he said. "It is what it is."
After surviving the 2010 election, McCain wasn't about to roll over on any number of other issues. During a long and heated 2011 debate in Congress over the federal debt, McCain dismissed conservatives' arguments against raising the government's borrowing limit as "bizarro" and foolish. In a 2014 hearing, he lit into Secretary of State John Kerry for "talking strongly and carrying a very small stick — in fact, a twig" on foreign policy.
Obama's vice president, Joe Biden, offered his own summation for a senator whom he described as "quixotic."
"I think John's legacy is that he never quits," Biden said in a 2015 interview.
Over a lifetime in politics, McCain's anti-authoritarian streak was both his greatest asset and Achilles' heel.
Often disinclined to follow the herd, McCain achieved his biggest legislative successes when making alliances with Democrats. He also piled up a full repertoire of over-the-top wisecracks, and had enough flare-ups with colleagues to cement a reputation as a hothead. Some questioned whether he had the right temperament to be president.
McCain's challenge always was to strike the right balance, offering himself both as a rabble-rouser and a reliable Republican standard-bearer.
John Sidney McCain III's history as a Vietnam POW for 5½ years after being shot out of the sky at age 31 was a powerful part of his back story as the son and grandson of four-star admirals.
When his Vietnamese captors offered him early release as a propaganda ploy, McCain refused to play along.
"Now it will be very bad for you, Mac Kane," they told him, and they were true to their word.
McCain returned home from his years as a POW on crutches and unable to lift his arms. Never again could he raise them above his head.
He once said he'd "never known a prisoner of war who felt he could fully explain the experience to anyone who had not shared it."
Indeed, he seemed more at ease joking about his incarceration than analyzing it.
More than once he quipped after a distasteful experience: "That's the most fun I've had since my last interrogation."
In his darkest hour in Vietnam, McCain's will was broken and he signed a confession that said, "I am a black criminal and I have performed deeds of an air pirate."
For all of that, though, McCain defied his guards. To his captors, just as to his superiors back at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, he was exasperating.
"He had to carry a different burden than most of us and he handled it beautifully," Orson Swindle, a former POW cellmate, once said. "He didn't need any coping mechanism; that's just built into him."
Even in prison, McCain played to the bleachers, shouting obscenities at his captors loudly enough to bolster the spirits of fellow captives. Appointed by the POWs to act as camp "entertainment officer," a "room chaplain" and a "communications officer," McCain imparted comic relief, literary tutorials, news of the day, even religious sustenance.
Bud Day, a former cellmate and Medal of Honor recipient, said McCain's POW experience "took some great iron and turned him into steel."
McCain once said that Vietnam "wasn't a turning point in me as to what type of person I am, but it was a bit of a turning point in me appreciating the value of serving a cause greater than your self-interest."
It taught him, he said, "that if you put your country first, that everything will be OK."
Still, a predilection for what McCain described as "quick tempers, adventurous spirits, and love for the country's uniform" was encoded in the family DNA.
His father and grandfather, the Navy's first father-and-son set of four-star admirals, had set such a low standard for behavior at the Naval Academy that John Sidney McCain III's self-described "four-year course of insubordination and rebellion" got little more than a yawn from his family.
Speaking of his father, McCain once pronounced himself "little short of astonished by the old man's reckless disregard for the rules."
And yet for all the raucous tales of misconduct, the midshipmen of the McCain family abided by the school's honor code not to lie, cheat or steal.
McCain's Vietnam experience gave him new confidence in himself and his judgment. But it did not tame his wild side, and his first marriage was a casualty. McCain blamed the failure of the marriage on "my own selfishness and immaturity" and has called it "my greatest moral failing."
One month after divorcing his first wife, Carol, McCain married Cindy Hensley, 17 years his junior.
McCain's war story made him a celebrity in Washington. When he became the Navy's liaison to the Senate, he quickly established friendships with some of the younger senators, who would stop by his office, put their feet up, and chew over the events of the day. The experience opened McCain's eyes to the impact that politicians could have, and to the notion that he could be one of them.
His marriage to Cindy, the daughter of a wealthy beer distributor in Arizona, helped clear the path forward. In one day, McCain signed his Navy discharge papers and flew west with his new wife to his new life. By 1982, he'd been elected to the House and four years later to an open Senate seat. He and Cindy had four children, to add to the three from his first marriage. Their youngest child was adopted from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh.
McCain set about establishing a conservative voting record and a reputation as a tightwad with taxpayer dollars. But just months into his Senate career, he made what he called "the worst mistake of his life." He participated in two meetings with banking regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, a friend, campaign contributor, constituent and savings and loan financier who was later convicted of securities fraud.
The S&L situation simmered for a few years, but eventually boiled over, and McCain got burned.
As the industry collapsed, McCain was tagged as one of the Keating Five — five senators who, to varying degrees, were accused of trying to get regulators to ease up on Keating. McCain was cited for lesser involvement than the others by the Senate ethics committee, which faulted his "poor judgment."
But to have his honor questioned, he said, was in some ways worse than the torture he endured in Vietnam. He spent years trying to live down the taint.
Another move McCain would eventually say he regretted came earlier in his career as a lawmaker when in 1983 he voted against establishing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday. In doing so he followed the political tradition of Arizona, which was the last state to recognize the holiday for the slain civil rights leader.
In the 1990s, McCain shouldered another wrenching issue, the long effort to account for American soldiers still missing from the war and to normalize relations with Vietnam.
"People don't remember how ugly the POW-MIA issue was," former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey, a fellow Vietnam veteran, later recalled, crediting McCain for standing up to significant opposition. "I heard people scream in his face, holding him responsible for the deaths of POWs."
Few politicians matched McCain's success as an author. His 1999 release "Faith Of My Fathers" was a million-seller that was highly praised and helped launch his run for president in 2000. His most recent best-seller and planned farewell, "The Restless Wave," came out in May 2018.
FILE- In this Sept. 15, 2014 file photo, Charlotte Rae arrives at the 2014 PALEYFEST Fall TV Previews - "The Facts of Life" Reunion in Beverly Hills, Calif. A spokesman for Rae, who played a wise and caring housemother to a brood of teenage girls on the long-running sitcom "The Facts of Life," says the actress has died. She was 92. Spokesman Harlan Boll said Rae died Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, at her Los Angeles home. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
'Facts of Life' star Charlotte Rae dies at 92
LOS ANGELES — Charlotte Rae, who played a wise and patient housemother to a brood of teenage girls on the long-running sitcom "The Facts of Life" during a career that encompassed many other TV roles as well as stage and film appearances, has died. She was 92.
Rae died at her Los Angeles home Sunday with her family at her side, said her publicist, Harlan Boll. A cause of death was not immediately available, but Rae was diagnosed last year with bone cancer after beating pancreatic cancer, Boll said.
She originated the character of Mrs. Garrett in 1978 during the first season of NBC's comedy "Diff'rent Strokes," then took Mrs. Garrett with her for the spinoff "Facts," which premiered the following season.
Initially set at a girls' boarding school, that NBC series ran for nine seasons. Rae left after its seventh year, however, explaining later, "I needed some time for the rest of my life."
The "Facts" role came to Rae after years of theater and television performances. She earned an Emmy nomination for the part, and she was a two-time Tony nominee for her work on Broadway.
Her last feature film credit was "Ricki and the Flash" with Meryl Streep in 2015. That same year she released her autobiography "The Facts of My Life," co-written by her son Larry Strauss.
Mindy Cohn and Kim Fields, who played members of Mrs. Garrett's brood, recalled her lovingly.
"She was my champion, a teacher, a proud example of the tenacity and perseverance needed to live as a creative, along with your talent and gifts. i love you char," Cohn, who played Natalie, posted on Instagram.
"Sorry, no words at the moment just love and tears... and yeah, smiles," tweeted Fields, who portrayed Tootie.
Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald tweeted: "She was so sweet, funny, wise, lovely, and brilliant. She will be so missed. Rest In Peace Sweet Charlotte Rae."
Todd Bridges, who was on "Diff'rent Strokes," said on Twitter that she was beloved by all her colleagues and that the show "would not have been the same without you."
Edna Garrett provided kind if sometimes wry counsel to her "Facts of Life" charges (which, besides Cohn and Fields, included Lisa Whelchel, Nancy McKeon and Molly Ringwald) on a series that was praised for dealing with such sensitive issues of teenhood as sex, drug use, eating disorders and peer pressure.
"I wanted to bring in as much humanity as possible, as well as the humor," Rae told The Associated Press early in the show's run. "I don't want her to be Polly Perfect, because she must have human failings and make mistakes."
Her own life was marked by tragedy, Rae told the AP in a 2015 interview. She said the "most devastating thing" she faced was her son Andy Strauss' diagnosis of autism at a time when there was far less understanding of or attention to the disorder. Andy died in his mid-40s of a heart attack in 1999.
Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, on April 22, 1926, she had studied drama at Northwestern University, then moved to New York where, despite early plans to be a "serious" actress, she quickly found work doing satirical sketches in Greenwich Village clubs.
It was there that Broadway producers, who frequented such bistros, discovered her, leading to her first Broadway musical, called "Three Wishes for Jamie," in 1952. A few years later, she originated the role of Mammy Yokum in the Broadway musical "Li'l Abner."
Rae made numerous TV appearances in 1950s drama anthologies including "The U.S. Steel Hour," ''Playhouse 90" and "Armstrong Circle Theater," sharing the black-and-white screen with such actors as Zero Mostel, Art Carney and Gertrude Berg.
In 1961 she became a semi-regular on the New York-based cop sitcom "Car 54, Where Are You?" as the wife of the NYPD officer played by future "Munsters" grandpa Al Lewis.
She received Tony nominations in 1966 for "Pickwick" and in 1969 for "Morning, Noon and Night."
In the early 1970s, Rae moved to Los Angeles with her then-husband, composer and music editor John Strauss, and their sons Andy and Larry. There she was cast in the short-lived Norman Lear sitcom "Hot L Baltimore" and a similarly unsuccessful variety show hosted by Rich Little before scoring "Diff'rent Strokes," on which Mrs. Garrett was the family's housekeeper.
Rae stayed busy with film and stage appearances, including 1971's "Bananas" from Woody Allen and 1979's "Hair." Other credits included the 2008 comedy "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" and the 2012 thriller "Love Sick Love."
In 2005, at age 79, she appeared in a new comedy, "Leading Ladies," at Ford's Theater in Washington.
In 2013, Rae went public with an account of why her marriage to Strauss had ended in the mid-1970s after a quarter-century. She said he disclosed to her he was bisexual and wanted an open marriage. Strauss died in 2011.
In addition to son Larry, she is survived by sister Miriam Guten and three grandchildren.
In this March 15, 2005 file photo, Pop star Michael Jackson leaves the Santa Barbara County Courthouse with his father, Joe, in Santa Maria, Calif., following a day of testimony in Jackson's trial on charges of child molestation. Joe Jackson, the patriarch of America's most famous musical clan has died, says a family source on Wednesday, June 27. He was 89. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)
Jackson family patriarch dies at 89
NEW YORK (AP) — Joseph Jackson, the strong, fearsome patriarch of the musical Jackson family, has died, according to a person close to the family.
The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the topic publicly, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he died but had no additional information. He was 89.
The stage dad of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and their talented siblings took his family from poverty in Gary, Indiana, and launched a musical dynasty.
Five of his boys — Michael, Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Jackie — made the clan an instant sensation with the arrival of the Jackson 5 in 1969.
Over the following decades, millions would listen to recordings by the Jacksons, and Michael would become one of the most popular entertainers in history before his death in 2009.
This undated image released by History shows Richard Harrison from "Pawn Stars." Harrison's son Rick posted on Facebook, Monday, June 25, 2018, that his father died. He said his father was surrounded by family over the weekend. The Navy veteran opened the Gold & Silver Pawn store in Las Vegas with his son, Rick. The TV show premiered in 2009 and features the Harrisons interacting with customers who are trying to sell or pawn objects. (History via AP)
'Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison, known as 'The Old Man,' dies
LAS VEGAS (AP) — "Pawn Stars" patriarch, Richard Benjamin Harrison, who was known as "The Old Man," has died at age 77.
Gold & Silver Pawn's Facebook page posted Monday that Harrison was surrounded by "loving family" this past weekend and died peacefully.
The post said that fans would remember Harrison as a "sometimes grumpy (always loving, however), often wisecracking, and voice of absolute reason" on the History Channel reality show.
The Navy veteran opened the Gold & Silver Pawn store in Las Vegas with his son, Rick. "Pawn Stars" premiered in 2009 and features the Harrisons interacting with customers who are trying to sell or pawn objects that often are unusual or have historic value.
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 1966 file photo, actor Clint Walker appears on the set of "The Dirty Dozen" in Morkyate, Bedfordshire, England. Walker, who played the title character in the early TV western “Cheyenne,” died Monday, May 21, 2018, of congestive heart failure at a hospital in Grass Valley, Calif. He was 91. (AP Photo, File)
Clint Walker, star of TV's 'Cheyenne,' dies at age 91
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clint Walker, the towering, strapping actor who handed down justice as the title character in the early TV western "Cheyenne," has died, his daughter said Tuesday.
Walker died Monday of congestive heart failure at a hospital in his longtime home of Grass Valley, California at age 91, his daughter, Valerie Walker, told The Associated Press.
"He was a warrior, he was fighting to the end," said Valerie Walker, a retired commercial pilot who was among the first women to fly for a major airline.
Clint Walker, whose film credits included "The Ten Commandments" and "The Dirty Dozen," wandered the West after the Civil War as the solitary adventurer Cheyenne Bodie in "Cheyenne," which ran for seven seasons on ABC starting in 1955.
Born Norman Eugene Walker in Hartford, Illinois, he later changed his name in both public and private life to the more cowboyish Clint.
He worked on Great Lakes cargo ships and Mississippi river boats and in Texas oil fields before becoming an armed security guard at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
There, many Hollywood stars, including actor Van Johnson, saw the 6-foot-6, ruggedly handsome Walker and encouraged him to give the movies a try, which Walker said he did after realizing the money would be better and the bullets would be fake.
He soon found himself under consideration for his first role in "The Ten Commandments," starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. He had a meeting with the film's legendary director Cecil B. DeMille, but was late after stopping to help a woman change a tire and feared he'd blown his shot.
"He just exuded power," Walker said of DeMille in a 2012 interview for the archive of the television academy. "He looked me up and down and said, 'You're late young man.'" "I thought 'oh no, my career is over before it even started.'"
Walker explained why he was late and said Demille responded "Yes, I know all about it, that was my secretary."
Walker was cast as the captain of the pharaoh's guard in the movie that came out in 1956.
He beat out several big names for the role of "Cheyenne," but speculated that it was because he was already under contract for much cheaper than the other actors would demand to Warner Bros., which produced the show.
Based roughly on a 1947 movie, "Cheyenne" began as an hour-long program that originally was alternated with two other Westerns. The only one of the three programs to survive, it made Walker a star, although a restless one.
He abandoned the role in 1958 in a contract dispute, and Ty Hardin was brought in briefly to replace him. He soon returned under better terms, and remained through the show's seven-season run.
Walker's most memorable big-screen appearance came in 1967's "The Dirty Dozen," whose all-star cast included Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson. In it, Marvin baits the much-larger Walker into attacking him then throws him to the ground in a training demonstration to his World War II crew.
He appeared in many other movies including the westerns "Fort Dobbs," ''Yellowstone Kelly" and "Gold of the Seven Saints" and in the Doris Day and Rock Hudson film "Send Me No Flowers" in 1964. He most recently lent his voice to 1998's "Small Soldiers."
Walker nearly died in 1971 when a ski pole pierced his heart in California's Sierra Nevada.
"They rushed me to a hospital where two doctors pronounced me dead," he recalled in 1987. "No pulse, no heartbeat; I was clinically dead." A third doctor detected life, and an operation saved him.
He would fully recover, and go on to live another 47 years.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 30 years Susan Cavallari Walker.
In this July 26, 2016 file photo, American author and journalist Tom Wolfe, Jr. appears in his living room during an interview about his latest book, "The Kingdom of Speech," in New York. Wolfe died at a New York City hospital. He was 88. Additional details were not immediately available. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
Tom Wolfe, pioneering 'New Journalist,' dead at 88
Tom Wolfe, the white-suited wizard of "New Journalism" who exuberantly chronicled American culture from the Merry Pranksters through the space race before turning his satiric wit to such novels as "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "A Man in Full," has died. He was 88.
Wolfe's agent Lynn Nesbit told The Associated Press that Wolfe died in a New York City hospital. Additional details were not immediately available.
The "new journalism" reporter and novelist insisted that the only way to tell a great story was to go out and report it. His writing style was rife with exclamation points, italics and improbable words.
Among his acclaimed books were "The Right Stuff" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities," a satire of Manhattan-style power and justice that became one of the best-selling books of the '80s.
In this Oct. 3, 2000 file photo, actress Margot Kidder, who dated former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, arrives for his funeral at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, Quebec. Kidder, who starred as Lois Lane in the “Superman” film franchise of the late 1970s and early 1980s, has died. Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston, Montana posted a notice on its website saying Kidder died Sunday, May 13, 2918, at her home there. She was 69. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
Margot Kidder, Lois Lane in the 'Superman' franchise, dies
LIVINGSTON, Mont. — Margot Kidder, who starred as Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the "Superman" film franchise of the late 1970s and early 1980s, has died.
Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston, Montana, posted a notice on its website saying Kidder died Sunday at her home there. She was 69.
No further details were given and messages left with Kidder's representatives were not immediately returned.
"Superman" was a superhero blockbuster two decades before comic book movies became the norm at the top of the box office.
Both Kidder and Reeve, who played Superman, were relative unknowns when they got their leading parts, and neither saw many major roles afterward. Reeve died in 2004.
The Canadian-born Kidder also appeared in 1975's "The Great Waldo Pepper" with Robert Redford and 1978's "The Amityville Horror."
FILE- In this June 11, 2008 file photo, actor Verne Troyer poses on the press line at the premiere of the feature film "The Love Guru" in Los Angeles. Troyer from the “Austin Powers” movie franchise has died. A statement provided by Troyer’s representatives that was also posted to his Instagram and Facebook accounts says the 49-year-old actor died Saturday, April 21, 2018. No cause or place of death was given, but the statement discusses depression and suicide, and Troyer had publicly discussed struggling with alcohol addiction. He lived in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)
Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from 'Austin Powers' films, has died
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Verne Troyer, who played Dr. Evil's small, silent sidekick "Mini-Me" in the "Austin Powers" movie franchise, has died. He was 49.
A statement provided by Troyer's representatives that was also posted to his Instagram and Facebook accounts said the actor died Saturday.
No cause of death was given, but the statement describes Troyer as a "fighter" who was unable to overcome a recent bout of adversity then goes on to discuss depression and suicide.
"Over the years he's struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much," the statement said. "Depression and suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it's never too late to reach out to someone for help."
Troyer became a celebrity and pop-culture phenomenon after starring alongside Mike Myers as "Mini-Me," the tiny, hairless clone of villain Dr. Evil in two of the three "Austin Powers" films.
"Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him," Myers said in a statement. "It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed."
Troyer appeared in 1999's "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and 2002's "Austin Powers in Goldmember," in which "Mini-Me" switches sides and becomes a miniature version of Powers. Both hero and villain were played by Myers, who also put Troyer in his 2008 film "The Love Guru."
He also played the banker goblin Griphook in 2001's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and appeared on dozens of TV shows including "Boston Public," ''Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "MADtv."
Troyer was born in 1969 in Sturgis, Michigan with achondroplasia, a genetic condition that kept him less than 3 feet tall.
"Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he'd be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined," the statement said. "He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude. . . He also touched more people's hearts than he will ever know."
Troyer was baptized surrounded by his family during his recent struggles, the statement said. No place of death was given, but he lived in Los Angeles.
Actress Marlee Matlin was among those who paid tribute on Twitter, posting a picture of him and saying he worked with her to raise money for free hearing aids for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
"So sad to read of the passing of Verne Troyer," Matlin tweeted, saying Troyer had a "lovely smile with a caring and big heart."
FILE - In this March 27, 2013, file photo, Bruno Sammartino sits in front of pictures, panitings and trophies highlighting his storied career as a wrestler and weightlifter, at his home in his North Hills, Pa., home. Bruno Sammartino, professional wrestling's "Living Legend" and one of its longest-reigning champions, has died. Sammartino was 82. Family friend and former wrestling announcer Christoper Crusie saids Sammartino died Wednesday morning, April 18, 2018, and had been hospitalized for two months. (Andrew Russell/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP, File)
Professional wrestling Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino dies at 82
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bruno Sammartino, professional wrestling's "Living Legend" and one of its longest-reigning champions, has died. Sammartino was 82.
Family friend and former wrestling announcer Christopher Cruise said Sammartino died Wednesday morning and had been hospitalized for two months.
Sammartino was wrestling's biggest box office draw in the 1960s and 1970s and held the World Wide Wrestling Federation championship for more than 11 years (4,040 days) over two title runs.
He was born in Italy and his family immigrated when he was a child to Pittsburgh, where he learned how to become a pro wrestler.
The promotion now known as WWE said Sammartino sold out Madison Square Garden , known as the mecca of professional wrestling, 187 times over his career.
Sammartino and WWE had a bitter falling out in the late 1980s that lasted until the company's greatest star accepted his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2013. He was inducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger .
Sammartino defeated Buddy Rogers in just 48 seconds to become the second-ever WWE Champion in front of nearly 20,000 fans on May 17, 1963 at the old Madison Square Garden. He held the title until 1971. His second reign began in 1973 and it lasted until he was pinned by "Superstar" Billy Graham in 1977. Sammartino became a broadcaster for the company in the 1980s and later became outspoken about the company's evolving philosophy that put the emphasis on entertainment.
Sammartino's family fled a Nazi invasion of his village in Italy and he hid with his mother in a mountain called Valla Rocca during the German occupation. They eventually joined his immigrant father in Pittsburgh in 1950.
He became a noted weightlifter and the WWE said he once bench-pressed 569 pounds in 1959 which was noticed by promoter Vincent J. McMahon. Sammartino's Italian heritage, brute strength and good-guy charisma helped make him an instant star in the northeast. He had rivalries with Killer Kowalski, Gorilla Monsoon and George "The Animal" Steele during his title runs and later wrestled famous grudge matches at Shea Stadium against Pedo Morales and Larry Zbyszko. Sammartino and Hulk Hogan are the biggest long-term box office draws in WWE history and two tagged together in the "Legend's" final match.
He was a broadcaster for several years in the 1980s and competed in a battle royal at the second WrestleMania in 1986. He was in his son David's corner for a bout at the first WrestleMania in 1985.
But Sammartino soon grew tired of promoter Vince McMahon's outlandish storylines that became more focused on sports entertainment than good wrestling and was outraged over the drug culture he said had permeated the industry.
He walked away in 1988 and finally returned in 2013 to accept his induction into the Hall of Fame when he became convinced WWE had cleaned up its act.
Paul Levesque, a top WWE executive better known in the ring as Triple H, helped the company make peace with Sammartino.
"Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man... A true friend...and one of the toughest people I've ever met . My thoughts are with his entire family," Levesque tweeted.
Olympic gold medalist and WWE star Kurt Angle, a Pittsburgh native, called Sammartino "a hometown hero ."
"I grew up watching Bruno. He was an amazing performer, who made his Pittsburgh natives proud. He was a champion's champion. I got to know Bruno in his latter years, after he retired from the then WWWF. He carried himself with dignity, and was always courteous to his fans. A true role model and hero," he wrote.
Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto said Sammartino was one of the city's greatest ambassadors .
"Bruno Sammartino was one of the greatest ambassadors the city of Pittsburgh ever had," he said. "Like so many of us, his immigrant family moved here to build a new life, and through his uncommon strength and surprising grace he embodied the spirit of Pittsburgh on the world stage. Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are of sitting in the basement with my grandfather on Saturday mornings and watching Bruno wrestle."
FILE - In this May 19, 1988, file photo, Harry Anderson poses after a press conference in New York. Authorities said, Monday, April 16, 2018, that actor Harry Anderson of "Night Court" comedy series fame died in North Carolina. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Quirky 'Night Court' actor Harry Anderson dies at age 65
Harry Anderson, the actor best known for playing an off-the-wall judge working the night shift of a Manhattan court room in the television comedy series "Night Court," was found dead in his North Carolina home Monday.
Anderson was 65.
A statement from the Asheville Police Department said officers responded to a call from Anderson's home early Monday and found him dead. The statement said foul play is not suspected.
On "Night Court," Anderson played Judge Harry T. Stone, a young jurist who professed his love for singer Mel Torme, actress Jean Harlow, magic tricks and his collection of art-deco ties.
He also starred in the series "Dave's World" and appeared on "Cheers" as con man Harry "The Hat" Gittes.
Anderson prided himself on being a magician as well as actor.
"I got into magic when I was a child," he told The Associated Press in 1987. "Unlike most kids, I stayed with it. My high school teachers were always asking me what I was going to do. It made me what I am today — available for weekend employment, parties and bar mitzvahs."
Anderson, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on Oct. 14, 1952. He grew up in New York and moved to Oregon when he was a teenager and said that's where he became a hippie.
"The Shakespeare Festival at Ashland, Oregon, seemed like a good place to open a magic store," he said. "At 18, I was ready for retirement. It didn't last long, but I was established as the magician. I worked the streets in San Francisco and I did magic and special effects at the festival."
Anderson learned the ropes as a street performer in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Austin, Texas, among other cities. When he made his first appearance on "Saturday Night Live," he was right off the street.
"'Cheers' was my first acting job, but it was basically the character I had developed on the street," he said. "That's how I made my living, hustling drinks in bars and quarters on the street."
"Night Court" ran on NBC from 1984 until 1992, and Anderson received three lead comedy actor Emmy nominations for his role. After the show ended, he was cast in the lead role in the CBS sitcom "Dave's World," which was based on the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry. That series ran from 1993 until 1997.
A People magazine story in 2002 said Anderson disappeared from Hollywood and resurfaced as the owner of a New Orleans magic shop.
"I am richer than Davy Crockett," Anderson said in the story. "I can settle back and do what I want to do. And what I want to do is card tricks and magic.' That includes magic shows for corporate clients ("Fifty-five minutes with applause," says Anderson) at $20,000 a pop.
According to the story, Anderson was disenchanted by the prospect of chasing acting roles into middle age. "I don't understand why guys have that Don Knotts syndrome of having to be out there." He sold his home in Pasadena, California, and moved back to New Orleans, where he had lived in the 1970s.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he moved to Asheville.
Anderson had two children from his first marriage to Leslie Pollack. His second wife, Elizabeth Morgan, is among his survivors. There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements Monday night.
FILE - In this May 15, 2006, file photo, retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey takes a break for a smoke outside New River Air Station's Staff NCO club in Jacksonville, N.C. Ermey, a former marine who made a career in Hollywood playing hard-nosed military men like Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," has died. His longtime manager Bill Rogin says he died Sunday morning, April 15, 2018, from pneumonia-related complications. He was 74. (Randy Davey/The Jacksonville Daily News via AP, File)
'Full Metal Jacket' actor R. Lee Ermey dies at 74
LOS ANGELES (AP) — R. Lee Ermey, a former Marine who made a career in Hollywood playing hard-nosed military men like Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," has died.
Ermey's longtime manager Bill Rogin says he died Sunday morning from pneumonia-related complications. He was 74.
The Kanas native was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his memorable performance in "Full Metal Jacket," in which he immortalized lines such as: "What is your major malfunction?"
His co-stars Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio tweeted their condolences Sunday evening.
"#SemperFidelis Always faithful. Always loyal. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light," Modine wrote, quoting the Dylan Thomas poem. "RIP amigo. PVT. Joker."
Vincent D'Onofrio added: "Ermey was the real deal. The knowledge of him passing brings back wonderful memories of our time together."
Born Ronald Lee Ermey in 1944, Ermey served 11 years in the Marine Corps and spent 14 months in Vietnam and then in Okinawa, Japan, where he became staff sergeant. His first film credit was as a helicopter pilot in Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now," which was quickly followed by a part in "The Boys in Company C" as a drill instructor.
He raked in more than 60 credits in film and television across his long career in the industry, often playing authority figures in everything from "Se7en" to "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake.
The part he would become most well-known for, in "Full Metal Jacket," wasn't even originally his. Ermey had been brought on as a technical consultant for the 1987 film, but he had his eyes on the role of the brutal gunnery sergeant and filmed his own audition tape of him yelling out insults while tennis balls flew at him. An impressed Kubrick gave him the role.
Kubrick told Rolling Stone that 50 percent of Ermey's dialogue in the film was his own.
"In the course of hiring the marine recruits, we interviewed hundreds of guys. We lined them all up and did an improvisation of the first meeting with the drill instructor. They didn't know what he was going to say, and we could see how they reacted. Lee came up with, I don't know, 150 pages of insults," Kubrick said.
According to Kubrick, Ermey also had a terrible car accident one night in the middle of production and was out for four and half months with broken ribs.
Ermey would also go on to voice the little green army man Sarge in the "Toy Story" films. He also played track and field coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman in "Prefontaine," General Kramer in "Toy Soldiers" and Mayor Tilman in "Mississippi Burning."
Ermey also hosted the History Channel series "Mail Call" and "Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey" and was a board member for the National Rifle Association, as well as a spokesman for Glock.
"He will be greatly missed by all of us," Rogin said. "It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for."
Rogin says that while his characters were often hard and principled, the real Ermey was a family man and a kind and gentle soul who supported the men and women who serve.
In this Sept. 10, 2010, photo, Chuck McCann Motorcycle Charity Associates presents its 4th annual Leather Meets Lace event benefiting Iraq Star Foundation and Heroes Night Out at the Playboy Mansion Los Angeles. Actor and comedian McCann, who recorded the famous line "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!" has died. He was 83. His publicist Edward Lozzi says McCann died Sunday, April 9. 2018, of congestive heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital. (Rachel Worth/Lozzi Media Services via AP)
Prolific voice actor and comedian Chuck McCann dies at 83
LOS ANGELES — Chuck McCann, the zany comic who hosted a children's television show in the 1960s before branching out as a character actor in films and TV, died Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 83.
McCann died Sunday of congestive heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital, according to his publicist Edward Lozzi.
McCann was born Sept. 2, 1934 in Brooklyn. He became a household name in New York when he took over a variety show, entertaining a generation of children with light-hearted humor and puppets.
In 1968, McCann appeared in his first major film: "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." He expanded his work into animation acting and created the voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, who cried "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!" in commercials for General Mills.
He moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s and made guest appearances on shows including "Little House on the Prairie," ''Bonanza," and "Columbo."
McCann was a prolific voice actor, lending his voice to characters such as Mayor Grafton on "The Garfield Show," Ducksworth in "DuckTales: Remastered," and Heff Heffalump in Disney's "The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh."
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Fanning, and two daughters.
FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela and wife Winnie, walk hand in hand, raising their clenched fists upon his release from Victor prison, Cape Town, 27 years in detention. South African state broadcaster SABC said Monday April 2, 2018, that anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died. (AP Photo)
Anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's state broadcaster says Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, prominent anti-apartheid activist and the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, has died. She was 81.
Madikizela-Mandela was married to Nelson Mandela from 1958 to 1996. Mandela was imprisoned throughout most of their marriage and Madikizela-Mandela's own activism against the apartheid regime led to her being imprisoned for months and years under house arrest.
Her political activism was marred by a kidnapping and assault conviction in 1991, for which she was fined. She faced these allegations again during the 1997 hearings before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a panel that investigated apartheid-era crimes.
As a parliamentarian after South Africa's first all-race elections, she was convicted of fraud. Still, she was widely venerated in South Africa for her role in fighting white minority rule.
FILE - In this May 2, 1999, file photo, New York Mets Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, left, talks with former Mets player Rusty Staub in the dugout prior to a game between the 1969 Mets and the National League All-Stars during a 30th anniversary celebration, at New York's Shea Stadium. Staub, who became a huge hit with baseball fans in two countries during an All-Star career that spanned 23 major league seasons, died Thursday, March 29, 2018, in Florida. He was 73.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
Rusty Staub, slugger who played 23 seasons, dies at 73
NEW YORK — Rusty Staub was a huge hit on both sides of the border.
Instantly recognizable for his fiery orange hair and gregarious personality, the outfielder who charmed baseball fans in the United States and Canada during an All-Star career that spanned 23 major league seasons died Thursday. He was 73.
Staub died after an illness in a hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida, hours before the start of the baseball season, the New York Mets said in a statement. The team learned of his death from friends of Staub who were with him at the hospital, a spokesman added.
Affectionately dubbed "Le Grand Orange," Staub was a six-time All-Star and the only player in major league history to have at least 500 hits with four teams. Popular with fans and teammates in two countries, he was most adored in New York and Montreal.
"He could be as tough as hell and as soft as a mushroom," said Mets teammate and close friend Keith Hernandez, who choked back tears as he spoke about Staub at Citi Field before New York hosted the St. Louis Cardinals.
A savvy, reliable slugger with left-handed power and a discerning eye, Staub played from 1963 to 1985 and finished 284 hits shy of 3,000. He had 3½ great seasons with the Detroit Tigers and batted .300 for the Texas Rangers in 1980.
He broke into the majors as a teenager with Houston, lasted into his 40s with the Mets as a pinch-hitter deluxe and spent decades doing charity work in the New York area.
"There wasn't a cause he didn't champion," the Mets said.
Staub, who would have turned 74 on Sunday, survived a 2015 heart attack on a flight home from Ireland. Years earlier, the gourmet cook owned and operated a pair of popular restaurants in Manhattan that bore his name. He also authored a children's book titled "Hello, Mr. Met!"
"What a unique personality he was. I never met anyone like him," former Mets pitcher Ron Darling said . "He was a renaissance kind of man."
The Mets saluted Staub on the stadium video board before Thursday's season opener. The number 10 he wore during some of his time with the team (he also wore No. 4) was painted in white on the back of the pitcher's mound.
"Rusty was a superb ambassador for our sport and a generous individual known for community efforts," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
Staub was the first star for the expansion Montreal Expos in 1969, embraced by French-Canadian fans at Parc Jarry who appreciated that he learned their language.
He made three straight All-Star teams with Montreal and hit a career-high 30 home runs for the last-place Expos in 1970. Though he spent only three full seasons in Montreal, plus a 38-game reunion in 1979, his No. 10 became the first uniform jersey retired by the club in 1993.
Long after the Expos moved to Washington and were renamed the Nationals before the 2005 season, he remains one of the most beloved players in franchise history.
"He gave his heart and soul to the franchise and to the city of Montreal. He immersed himself in the city's culture as much as any Expo and the fans loved him for it," Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame director of operations Scott Crawford said in a statement. "We'll miss Le Grande Orange, but we'll never forget him."
Staub was traded to the Mets in 1972 and one year later helped lead them to a surprising National League pennant. Spurred by a now-famous rallying cry from reliever Tug McGraw — "Ya Gotta Believe!" — the Mets upset heavily favored Cincinnati, with Staub socking three home runs in the first four games of their best-of-five NL playoff.
Staub separated his right shoulder when he crashed hard into the outfield wall to make a fantastic catch in the 11th inning of Game 4. He sat out Tom Seaver's decisive win in Game 5 and missed the World Series opener against Oakland, yet returned to the lineup the following game.
Barely able to make weak, underhand throws during the Series, he still batted .423 with a home run, two doubles and six RBIs as New York lost in seven games. In all, Staub hit .341 with 11 RBIs in his only postseason, a clutch and gritty performance that endeared him to Mets fans forever.
In 1975, he became the first Mets player to drive in 100 runs in a season, setting a club record with 105 that wasn't broken until 1990.
New York traded Staub to Detroit in December 1975 and he made his final All-Star team with the Tigers in 1976. He had 121 RBIs and finished fifth in AL MVP voting in '78, becoming the first major leaguer to play all 162 games in a season at designated hitter.
Staub re-signed with the Mets before the 1981 season and was a player-coach for them in '82. Late in his career, often sporting black batting gloves and choking way up on the bat, he became one of baseball's best pinch-hitters, tying an NL record in 1983 with eight consecutive pinch-hits and equaling a major league mark with 25 pinch-hit RBIs.
His final season was 1985, one year before the Mets won the World Series. After spending nine seasons with New York, he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in '86 and when he was honored at Shea Stadium, smiling ex-teammates such as Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry wore long, orange wigs for the on-field ceremony.
"Rusty was good at everything," Darling said. "He just had a connectivity to people."
Staub was known for his uncanny ability to spot opponents tipping pitches, and he kept their specific tendencies written down in a little red book.
Hernandez told an endearing story about asking Staub for the book but being told he hadn't earned it. When he retired, Staub gave his friend the book as a gift — and Hernandez said he still has it at home.
"It was quite extraordinary," Hernandez said.
Staub worked as an announcer on Mets television broadcasts from 1986-95. He was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Only 11 days after his heart attack — Staub was revived by doctors and nurses on the plane as it made an unscheduled return to Ireland — he threw out the first pitch at Citi Field before a Mets playoff victory in 2015.
"It's a little mind-boggling that I'm here, considering what went down," Staub told MLB.com that night. "I mean, I was tap dancing in front of Saint Peter. He could have taken me easily. But maybe he had some more good for me to do. You know, I do some pretty good work. And I don't know how much time I've got. So I guess I better hurry up."
The next April, he was on hand again to help raise the NL championship banner.
At the end of his distinguished career, Staub founded the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund. In a statement, the charity said he "worked tirelessly" on behalf of the families of "New York City's fallen heroes."
The organization said "due to his vision and his leadership" it has provided more than $140 million to the families of first responders killed in the line of duty.
"He cared about each and every family and they felt the same way about him. Rusty started more than just a charity — he started a family," said Stephen Dannhauser, chairman of Answer the Call: the New York Police and Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund. "While many admire Rusty for his impressive record as a baseball player, it is his work off the field that truly made him one of the greats."
Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Mets players and coaches donated their entire salaries from their first game back, about $450,000, to Staub's foundation.
Staub also helped serve meals to thousands of the hungry and homeless at food pantries across New York City through Catholic Charities, with funds from his annual golf tournament and wine auction dinner.
"Rusty helped children, the poor, the elderly and then there was his pride and joy The New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund," the Mets said.
Hernandez said Staub was in intensive care for a couple of months. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he was among those who visited Staub during spring training and had reason to hope he would recover.
Alderson said he has an autographed Staub jersey that he bought at an auction mostly out of respect for the person he was, rather than the player.
"A class act all the way," longtime Mets fan Stephen Rosina said at Citi Field. "A humanitarian. ... It was just wonderful to root for him."
Born and raised in New Orleans, Daniel Joseph Staub was called Rusty because of his bright red hair. He made his major league debut with the Houston Colt .45s in 1963, eight days after his 19th birthday, and led the NL with 44 doubles in 1967 for the renamed Astros, earning his first All-Star selection.
Playing mostly right field and some first base, too, Staub retired with a .279 career average, 292 home runs and 1,466 RBIs.
He reached 500 hits with the Astros, Expos, Mets and Tigers, and joins Ty Cobb, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield as the only players to homer in the majors before age 20 and after 40 .
"You would sit on the bench with him and you would get a tutorial on how to play the game, the history of the game," Darling said. "He changed Keith's life and he certainly changed mine."
Staub had a .362 career on-base percentage. He drew 1,255 walks and struck out only 888 times in 9,720 at-bats over 2,951 games, 13th-most in big league history.
He appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot seven times, never receiving more than 7.9 percent of the vote. He dropped off after getting 3.8 percent in 1997.
He is survived by brother Chuck and sisters Sue Tully and Sally Johnson.
FILE - In this Oct. 22, 1981, file photo, Jamie Farr, from front left, plugs his ears as cast members of the "M.A.S.H." television series cast Harry Morgan, Loretta Swit, William Christopher and, from back from left, Mike Farrell, Alan Alda and David Ogden Stiers celebrate during a party on the set of the popular CBS program in Los Angeles. Stiers a prolific actor best known for playing a surgeon on the television series "M.A.S.H." has died, the actor's agent Mitchell Stubbs confirmed Saturday night, March 4, 2018, in an email. He was 75. (AP Photo/Huynh, File)
'M.A.S.H.' actor David Ogden Stiers dies at age 75
LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Ogden Stiers, a prolific actor best known for playing a surgeon on the "M.A.S.H." television series, has died. He was 75.
The actor's agent Mitchell Stubbs confirmed Saturday night in an email that Stiers died after battling bladder cancer.
No additional details were provided, but Stubbs' agency tweeted that Stiers died at his home in Newport, Oregon, on Saturday.
In addition to playing the aristocratic Maj. Charles Winchester III on "M.A.S.H." beginning in its sixth season, replacing Larry Linville after he left the series. Stiers' character, while arrogant, also showed an empathy and wit his predecessor lacked.
Stiers did voice acting in several Disney animated films, voicing the character Cogsworth in "Beauty and the Beast" and played characters in "Lilo & Stitch" and "Pocahontas." He was also the voice of an announcer in George Lucas' 1971 feature directorial debut, "THX 1138."
Stiers received two Emmy nominations for his work on "M.A.S.H."
He had more than 150 film and television credits, including appearances on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and several Perry Mason television movies.
FILE - In this May 6, 1954, file photo, British athlete Roger Bannister breaks the tape to become the first man ever to break the four minute barrier in the mile at Iffly Field in Oxford, England. Bannister, the first runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile, has died. He was 88. Bannister’s family said in a statement that he died peacefully on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Oxford “surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them.” (AP Photo/File)
Roger Bannister, who broke the 4-minute mile, dies at 88
LONDON — Roger Bannister, who as a lanky medical student at Oxford in 1954 electrified the sports world and lifted postwar England's spirits when he became the first athlete to run a mile in under 4 minutes, has died at 88.
Bannister died Saturday in Oxford, the city where he accomplished the feat many had thought impossible. He had been slowed in recent years by Parkinson's disease and, before that, an ankle shattered in a 1975 auto accident.
On a typically cool, wet and blustery English day in May nearly 64 years ago, Bannister put on his spikes and ran four laps around a cinder track in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds, for one of the defining sporting achievements of the 20th century.
The image of the young Bannister — head tilted back, eyes closed and mouth agape as he strained across the finishing tape — captured the public's imagination, made him a global celebrity and boosted the morale of Britons still suffering through austerity measures.
Bannister soon retired from competition and went on to a long and distinguished career in medicine, and his mark was broken over and over again, with the world record for the mile now at 3:43.13. But he was a national hero to the end.
Prime Minister Theresa May saluted Bannister as a "British sporting icon whose achievements were an inspiration to us all."
While he will forever be remembered for his running, Bannister said he considered his contributions to neurology more satisfying.
"I wouldn't claim to have made any great discoveries, but at any rate I satisfactorily inched forward in our knowledge of a particular aspect of medicine," he said. "I'm far more content with that than I am about any of the running I did earlier."
Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF, the international sports governing body, said Bannister's death was a "day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics."
"There is not a single athlete of my generation who was not inspired by Roger and his achievements both on and off the track," Coe tweeted.
On the day he made history, May 6, 1954, Bannister looked up at the white-and-red English flag whipping in the wind atop a church and figured he would have to call off the attempt. But then, shortly after 6 p.m., the wind subsided, and the race was on.
With two friends running with him as pacesetters, Bannister churned around Oxford's Iffley Road track, his long arms and legs pumping, his lungs gasping for air. He put on a furious kick over the final 300 yards and nearly collapsed as he crossed the finish line.
The announcer read out the time:
The rest was drowned out by the roar of the crowd. The 3 was all that mattered.
Bannister followed up his milestone a few months later by beating Australia's John Landy in the "Miracle Mile" or "Mile of the Century" at the Empire Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, with both men clocked at under 4 minutes. Bannister regarded that as his greatest race because it came against his fiercest rival.
"It's amazing that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have broken the 4-minute mile," Bannister said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2012.
Bannister was born on March 23, 1929, in the London borough of Harrow. At the outbreak of World War II, the family moved to the city of Bath, where Bannister sometimes ran to and from school.
His passion for running took off in 1945 when his father took him to a track meet at London's White City Stadium, built to host the 1908 Olympics. He resolved to take up running seriously at Oxford.
At the 1952 Helsinki Games, Bannister was considered the favorite for the gold in the 1,500 meters — the shorter metric-mile distance run in the Olympics. But the organizers added an extra round of heats, meaning he would have to run on three consecutive days. With his rhythm thrown off, Bannister finished fourth.
Criticized by the British press and disappointed in his own performance, he decided to keep running, dedicating himself to beating the 4-minute mile.
At the time, Bannister was a full-time medical student and had to juggle his studies with his training. By modern standards, his daily half-hour workout was remarkably light.
Sweden's Gunder Hagg came tantalizingly close to breaking the 4-minute mile in 1945, when he ran 4:01.4. But time and again, runners came up short. Hagg's record was still the time to beat nine years later.
Bannister was undaunted.
"There was no logic in my mind that if you can run a mile in 4 minutes, 1 and 2/5ths, you can't run it in 3:59," he said. "I knew enough medicine and physiology to know it wasn't a physical barrier, but I think it had become a psychological barrier."
Bannister, Landy and American miler Wes Santee were all threatening to break the mark.
"As it became clear that somebody was going to do it, I felt that I would prefer it to be me," Bannister said.
He also wanted to deliver something special for his country.
"I thought it would be right for Britain to try to get this," he said in 2012. "There was a feeling of patriotism. Our new queen had been crowned the year before, Everest had been climbed in 1953."
The record lasted just 46 days. Landy ran 3:57.9.
The current record has been held by Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj since 1999.
Bannister was chosen Sports Illustrated's first Sportsman of the Year in 1954.
Later, as chairman of Britain's Sports Council from 1971 to 1974, he developed the first test for anabolic steroids. In 2012, he edited the ninth edition of a textbook on nervous-system disease.
He said his most treasured trophy was the lifetime achievement award he received in 2005 from the American Academy of Neurology. He was knighted for his medical work in 1975.
Late in life, he walked with crutches inside his home and used a wheelchair outdoors.
Bannister married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist, in 1955. They had two sons and two daughters and lived in a modest home minutes from the track where he made history.
FILE - In this Dec. 10, 1955 file photo, actress Nanette Fabray poses as she leaves Mt. Sinai hospital in New York. Fabray, the vivacious, award-winning star of the stage, film and television, has died at age 97. Fabray's son, Dr. Jamie MacDougall, tells The Associated Press his mother died Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at her home in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. (AP Photo/File)
Nanette Fabray, star of stage, screen and TV, dies at 97
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nanette Fabray, the vivacious actress, singer and dancer who became a star in Broadway musicals, on television as Sid Caesar's comic foil and in such hit movies as "The Band Wagon," has died at age 97.
Fabray died Thursday at her home in Palos Verdes Estates, her son, Dr. Jamie MacDougall, told The Associated Press. He said the cause was old age.
"She was an extraordinary woman. Many people referred to her as a force of nature and you could feel it when she walked into the room," her son said Friday. "She just exuded warmth, wit, charm, love, and she touched so many people in so many ways. I hope all of us can look back on our lives and be able to say that at the end of our lives."
Fabray was just 3 when she launched her career as Vaudeville singer-dancer Baby Nanette.
She went on to star on Broadway in such musicals as "Bloomer Girl," ''High Button Shoes" and "Mr. President," playing first lady to Robert Ryan's commander-in-chief.
"Love Life," a 1948 show with songs by Alan Jay Lerner and Kurt Weill, won her a Tony in 1949 as best actress in a musical. "Mr. President" brought her a second nomination.
After another musical, "Make a Wish," MGM brought her to Hollywood to co-star with Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse and Jack Buchanan in the 1953 film "The Band Wagon."
The Comden and Green musical, satirizing artistic pretentiousness vs. old-fashioned show business, features such classic numbers as "That's Entertainment" and "Triplets," in which Fabray, Astaire and Buchanan dress up as babies.
"Unfortunately, I was coming in when big musicals were going out," Fabray would say later. "So the buildup didn't go anywhere except to lead me back to New York."
Back on the East Coast, she found her biggest audience as a co-star in the pioneering television show "Caesar's Hour," which brought her three Emmy awards.
She won them despite a hearing disability that had plagued her from childhood into her late 40s.
"In school I would try my best but I would fail course after course," she said in a 1967 interview. "I thought I wasn't very bright, but actually that wasn't it at all. I just wasn't hearing."
She managed to get by in adulthood by making her family and friends speak up.
Finally, her husband, screen writer-director Ranald MacDougall, persuaded her to get a hearing aid. She wore it offstage and on and talked openly about her disability on behalf of organizations concerned with hearing loss.
In 1967 she underwent surgery that gave her normal hearing for the first time in her life.
"She had such an amazing life professionally, but I think if she could say what she wanted to be remembered for it would be more for her humanitarian work," said her son. "She was very instrumental in advocating for the rights of the deaf and hearing impaired."
In addition to "Caesar's Hour," Fabray appeared in such popular 1950s television anthologies as "Playhouse 90" and "The Alcoa Hour."
Other TV appearances included "Laramie," ''Burke's Law," ''The Girl From U.N.C.L.E" AND "Love, American Style."
Later TV roles included that of Bonnie Franklin's mother in the hit 1980s sitcom "One Day at a Time."
And in the 1990s Fabray played mother to Shelley Fabares, her real-life niece, in the hit sitcom "Coach."
Fabares herself had begun her career as a child actress, playing Donna Reed's daughter in the long-running "The Donna Reed Show" of the 1950s and '60s.
Born Ruby Bernadette Nanette Fabares in San Diego on Oct. 27, 1920, Fabray changed the spelling of her last name to match the way it was pronounced.
After launching her career in Vaudeville, she studied drama and voice for several years before winning the role of the lady in waiting to Bette Davis' queen in her first film, 1939's "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex."
She went to New York soon after with the Hollywood revue, "Meet the People," remaining there to become one of Broadway's most versatile stars.
"High Button Shoes," was one of her best-known Broadway shows, and a New York Times review of the time singled out Fabray in particular, saying she "sings the principal songs with a good voice and in a jaunty manner."
The show also featured a complex, lengthy dance scene choreographed by Jerome Robbins that parodied Mack Sennett silent film comedies. The Times described it as "swift and insane, like a jiggly old film," calling it an inspired bit of animated entertainment.
Fabray's first marriage, to TV executive David Tebet, ended in divorce.
In 1957 she married MacDougall, whose writing credits include the 1963 Elizabeth Taylor film "Cleopatra." He died in 1973.
Their only child survives her.
He said Friday that memorial services would be private.
FILE - In this Oct 26, 1994 file photo, Evangelist Billy Graham begins his sermon in Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died. Spokesman Mark DeMoss says Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. He was 99. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Evangelist Billy Graham dies at age 99; reached millions
The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died.
Spokesman Mark DeMoss says Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday morning. He was 99.
Graham reached more than 200 million through his appearances and millions more through his pioneering use of television and radio. Unlike many traditional evangelists, he abandoned narrow fundamentalism to engage broader society.
FILE - In this Dec. 10, 1965, file photo, the comedy team of Marty Allen, left, and Steve Rossi, now making their first film on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles. Allen's spokeswoman Candi Cazau says he died Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, of complications from pneumonia. His wife and performing partner Karon Kate Blackwell was by his side. He was 95. (AP Photo/David F. Smith, File)
Comedian Marty Allen dies in Las Vegas at 95
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Marty Allen, the baby-faced, bug-eyed comedian with wild black hair who was a staple of TV variety shows, game shows and talk shows for decades, died Monday night. He was 95.
Allen died in Las Vegas of complications from pneumonia with his wife and performing partner of the last three decades Karon Kate Blackwell by his side, Allen's spokeswoman Candi Cazau told The Associated press.
Allen, known for his greeting and catchphrase "hello dere," was a living link late in life to a generation of long-dead superstars with whom he shared a stage, including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne and Elvis Presley
He first found fame as half of the duo Allen & Rossi with partner Steve Rossi, who died in 2014. Allen & Rossi appeared 44 times on "The Ed Sullivan Show," including the episodes where the Beatles performed and most of America watched.
"Everyone remembers those shows with The Beatles, and they were great, but we appeared on all the shows," Allen said in 2014. "There wasn't a talk show on TV that didn't want Allen & Rossi."
The duo appeared regularly on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson" and "The Merv Griffin Show." They also toured comedy clubs nationwide, headlined shows at major Las Vegas casinos and released a series of hit albums until their amicable breakup in 1968.
Allen then took on a series of serious roles on daytime television and made-for-TV movies, and was a regular on "The Hollywood Squares" and other celebrity-themed game shows.
He was a regular entertainer on the Las Vegas Strip for much of his life, and tributes from there poured in Monday night.
"We have lost another iconic Las Vegas entertainer, Marty Allen," Las Vegas magician Lance Burton tweeted. "What a funny man who brought joy to millions of people for 95 years."
Ventriloquist and Strip luminary Terry Fator tweeted that "Las Vegas and show business lost a legend tonight.... and I lost a friend."
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried tweeted, "Farewell to one of the funniest people onstage and off.
Allen was born in Pittsburgh and served in Italy in the Army Air Corps in World War II, earning a Soldier's medal for valor.
He was married to Lorraine 'Frenchy' Allen from 1960 until she died in 1976.
Then in 1984 he married Blackwell, a singer-songwriter who became his performing partner in his last decades and acted as the goofy Allen's "straight man" just as Rossi did half a century earlier.
He kept making crowds laugh into his mid-90s.
"It's unbelievable to be 94 years old," Marty Allen told a New York audience in 2016. "My wife says, 'What do you want for your birthday?' I told her, 'An antique.' So she framed my birth certificate."
FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2013 file photo, Daryle Singletary performs at a tribute to George Jones in Nashville, Tenn. Singletary, who sang songs like "I Let Her Lie" and "Too Much Fun," died Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at his home in Lebanon, Tenn. He was 46. The cause of death is pending. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File)
Country singer Daryle Singletary dies at age 46
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country singer Daryle Singletary, who sang songs like "I Let Her Lie" and "Too Much Fun," has died.
A publicist says Singletary died at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee on Monday at 46.
The cause of death is pending. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
Some of his other songs include "Amen Kind of Love" and "The Note." He sang with George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam and more.
Singletary was born in Cairo, Georgia and was among a wave of country traditionalists in the late 1990s.
His is survived by his wife, Holly; two sons, Jonah and Mercer; two daughters, Nora and Charlotte, as well as his parents and siblings.
MIAMI (AP) — Family members say crooner Vic Damone has died in Florida at the age of 89.
Damone’s mellow baritone brought him million-selling records and sustained a half-century career in recordings, movies and nightclub, concert and television appearances. Frank Sinatra once said he had “the best pipes in the business.”
Victoria Damone told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday that her father died Sunday at a Miami Beach hospital from complications of a respiratory illness. Damone had been living in retirement in Palm Beach with his fifth wife, Rena Rowan, who died in November 2016.
Damone’s hit singles included “Again,” ″You’re Breaking My Heart,” ″My Heart Cries for You,” ″On the Street Where You Live” and, in 1957, the title song of the Cary Grant film “An Affair to Remember.”
This image released by FX shows Mickey Jones as Rodney "Hot Rod" Dunham in a scene from "Justified." Jones, 76, a native of Houston, Texas, native, who worked steadily in TV and film since the 1970s, died early Wednesday of the effects of a long illness. The illness was not disclosed. (Prashant Gupta/FX via AP)
'Justified,' 'Home Improvement' actor Mickey Jones dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mickey Jones, a veteran character actor who played Rodney "Hot Rod" Dunham on "Justified" and construction worker Pete on the 1990s sitcom "Home Improvement," has died. He was 76.
Jones died early Wednesday morning of the effects of a long illness, said his publicist, Cherry Hepburn. The illness and where he died were not immediately disclosed.
A native of Houston, Texas, Jones worked steadily in TV from the 1970s, with appearances on shows including "Baywatch" and "T.J. Hooker" and, more recently, "Growing Up Fisher" with J.K. Simmons and "Newsreaders" with Kumail Nanjiani
On the big screen, Jones was seen in "Sling Blade," ''Tin Cup" and "Starman."
His "Home Improvement" role harkened back to his roots in entertainment: Pete was part of a company band, using an ad hoc drum set made up of empty plastic fuel cans and with screwdrivers as sticks.
Jones, however, was a real-deal musician. In the 1960s and '70s, he was a drummer with Trini Lopez, Bob Dylan, Johnny Rivers and The First Edition with Kenny Rogers.
Jones' 2007 autobiography, "That Would Be Me: Rock & Roll Survivor To Hollywood Actor," drew the first part of its title from the catchphrase his character was known for on Tim Allen's "Home Improvement."
FILE - In this July 26, 2010 file photo, actor John Mahoney arrives at the premiere of "Flipped" in Los Angeles. Mahoney’s longtime manager, Paul Martino, said Mahoney died Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Chicago after a brief hospitalization. The cause of death was not immediately announced. He was 77. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
John Mahoney, who played cranky dad on 'Frasier,' dies at 77
LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Mahoney, who as the cranky, blue-collar dad in "Frasier" played counterpoint to pompous sons Frasier and Niles, has died. Mahoney was 77.
The actor died Sunday in Chicago after a brief hospitalization, Paul Martino, his manager for more than 30 years, said Monday. The cause of death was not immediately provided.
In "Frasier," the hit "Cheers" spinoff that aired from 1993 to 2004, Mahoney played Martin Crane, a disabled ex-policeman who parked himself in a battered old armchair in Frasier's chic Seattle living room.
Kelsey Grammer's Frasier and David Hyde Pierce's Niles, both psychiatrists with lofty views of their own intellect, squabbled constantly with their dad but, when needed, the family closed ranks.
Martin's beloved dog, Eddie, also took up residence to annoy the fussy Frasier.
Mahoney, a British native who made Chicago his home town, was a two-time Emmy nominee for "Frasier," won a 1986 Tony Award for "The House of Blue Leaves," and worked steadily in movies.
John Cusack, who appeared with Mahoney is the 1989 film "Say Anything," tweeted that he was a great actor and a "lovely kind human — any time you saw him you left feeling better."
Mahoney's recent TV credits included a recurring role as Betty White's love interest on "Hot in Cleveland" and a 2015 guest appearance on "Foyle's War." On the big screen, he was in "The American President," ''Eight Men Out" and "Tin Men," with 2007's "Dan in Real Life" starring Steve Carell among his last movie credits.
The actor was born in 1940 in Blackpool, England, during World War II. That's where his pregnant mother had been evacuated for safety from Nazi attacks, but the family soon returned to its home in Manchester.
In a 2015 interview with The Associated Press, Mahoney recounted memories of huddling in an air raid shelter and playing among bombed-out houses. The accounts his four older sisters shared with him, he said, included tucking him into a baby carriage outfitted with a shield against feared gas attacks.
One sister, who moved to the Midwest after marrying a U.S. sailor, was responsible for Mahoney's decision to make his life in America. He visited Chicago as a college student and fell in love with it.
"The lake, the skyline, the museums, the symphony, the lyric opera," he said in extolling the city in 2015. Add in reliably friendly Midwesterners, Mahoney said, and it's "my favorite place in the world."
"I give up nothing (professionally) by being in Chicago," said Mahoney, who at the time was preparing to begin rehearsal on a Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of "The Herd."
The theater canceled Monday's scheduled performance in honor of Mahoney, according to an outgoing phone message that said he had been an ensemble member since 1979.
"John's impact on this institution, on Chicago theater and the world of arts and entertainment are great and will endure," the theater said.
FILE- In an undated file photo, The Temptations singing group is pictured. From left are; Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin and Glenn Beonard. Back row from left, Richard Street and Dennis Edwards. Edwards, a former member of the famed Motown group has died. He was 74. Rosiland Triche Roberts, his longtime booking agent, says Edwards died Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 in Chicago after a long illness.(AP Photo/Lennox McLendon_File)
Dennis Edwards, Temptations singer for 2 decades, dies at 74
DETROIT (AP) — Dennis Edwards, a Grammy-winning former member of the famed Motown group The Temptations, has died. He was 74.
Edwards died Thursday in Chicago after a long illness, said Rosiland Triche Roberts, his longtime booking agent.
Edwards replaced founding member David Ruffin in 1968, and his soulful, passionate voice defined the group for years. A member on and off for about two decades, he was part of the lineup that released hits "Ball of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)," ''Cloud Nine" and the chart-topping "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone."
He possessed a "voice for the ages," with great range, energy and artistry, Paul Riser, a Motown arranger and musician who worked with Edwards during the label's Detroit heyday and on subsequent projects, told The Associated Press. "That voice was just flat-out outstanding — very well-defined."
Edwards was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of The Temptations in 1989.
In the 1990s, a federal judge barred him from performing under his former band's name. Otis Williams, the band's lone original member, sued Edwards for trademark infringement after he had used variations that included "The New Temptations." He was allowed to use "The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards," and performed under that name for nearly two decades, according to Roberts.
"He is now at peace, and our love and prayers go out to his family," Williams said in a statement Friday. "At this moment and always, we acknowledge his extraordinary contribution to The Temptations legacy, which lives on in the music."
Motown star Smokey Robinson said in a statement that he was saddened "that another Motown soldier is gone."
"Rest in Peace my brother," he said. "You were a great talent."
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Edwards lived near St. Louis with his wife, Brenda. He would have turned 75 on Saturday.
Mark Salling, one of the stars of the Fox musical comedy “Glee,” has died at age 35.
Salling’s lawyer, Michael J. Proctor, tells The Associated Press the actor died Tuesday. His death comes weeks before the actor was scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on child pornography charges.
Proctor did not reveal the cause of death.
Salling pleaded guilty in December to possession of child pornography. Prosecutors say a search of Salling’s computer found more than 50,000 images of child porn.
He was scheduled to be sentenced March 7.
He played bad-boy Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the long-running show, which concluded in 2015.
File-This March 27, 1957, file photo shows Best supporting Oscar winners Dorothy Malone and Anthony Quinn posing at the Academy Awards in Hollywood, Calif. Malone, who won hearts of 1960s television viewers as the long-suffering mother in the nighttime soap "Peyton Place," has died. Her daughter Mimi Vanderstraaten says Malone died Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, from natural causes in her hometown of Dallas. She was 93. (AP Photo, File)
Oscar winner Dorothy Malone, mom on 'Peyton Place,' has died
DALLAS (AP) — Actress Dorothy Malone, who won hearts of 1960s television viewers as the long-suffering mother in the nighttime soap "Peyton Place," died Friday in her hometown of Dallas at age 93.
Malone died in an assisted living center from natural causes days before her 94th birthday, said her daughter, Mimi Vanderstraaten.
After 11 years of mostly roles as loving sweethearts and wives, the brunette actress decided she needed to gamble on her career instead of playing it safe. She fired her agent, hired a publicist, dyed her hair blonde and sought a new image.
"I came up with a conviction that most of the winners in this business became stars overnight by playing shady dames with sex appeal," she recalled in 1967. She welcomed the offer for "Written on the Wind," in which she played an alcoholic nymphomaniac who tries to steal Rock Hudson from his wife, Lauren Bacall.
"And I've been unfaithful or drunk or oversexed almost ever since— on the screen, of course," she added.
When Jack Lemmon announced her as the winner of the 1956 Academy Award for best actress in a supporting role for the performance, she rushed to the stage of the Pantages Theatre and gave the longest speech of the evening. Even when Lemmon pointed to his watch, she continued undeterred, thanking "the Screen Actors and the Screen Extras guilds because we've had a lot of ups and downs together."
Malone's career waned after she reached 40, but she achieved her widest popularity with "Peyton Place," the 1964-69 ABC series based on Grace Metalious' steamy novel which became a hit 1957 movie starring Lana Turner. Malone assumed the Turner role as Constance Mackenzie, the bookshop operator who harbored a dark secret about the birth of her daughter Allison, played by the 19-year-old Mia Farrow.
ABC took a gamble on "Peyton Place," scheduling what was essentially a soap opera in prime time three times a week. It proved to be a ratings winner, winning new prominence for Malone and making stars of Farrow, Ryan O'Neal and Barbara Parkins.
"RIP Dorothy Malone, my beautiful TV mom for two amazing years," Farrow posted on Twitter.
Malone was offered a salary of $10,000 a week, huge money at the time. She settled for $7,000 with the proviso that she could leave the set at 5 p.m. so she could spend time with her young daughters, Mimi and Diane. She had been divorced from their father, a dashing Frenchman, Jacques Bergerac.
He had been discovered in France by Ginger Rogers, who married him and helped sponsor his acting career. They divorced, and he wooed and wedded Dorothy Malone in 1959. The marriage lasted five years and ended in a bitter court battle over custody of the daughters. "I wish Ginger had warned me what he was like," she lamented.
Malone married three times — two and a half by her calculation. Her second marriage, to stock broker Robert Tomarkin in 1969, was annulled after six weeks, Vanderstraaten said. A marriage in 1971 to motel chain executive Huston Bell also ended in divorce.
"I don't have very good luck in men," she admitted. "I had a tendency to endow a man qualities he did not possess." When a reporter suggested that she was well fixed because of the "Peyton Place" money, she replied: "Don't you believe it. I had a husband who took me to the cleaners. The day after we were married he was on the phone selling off my stuff."
When she was born in Chicago on Jan. 30, 1925, her name was Dorothy Eloise Maloney (it was changed to Malone in Hollywood "because it sounded too much like baloney," she said). When she was 3-months-old, her father — a telephone company auditor — moved the family to Dallas where she was raised in a strict Catholic household.
"As a child I lived by the rules," she said in 1967, "repeating them over and over, abiding by them before I fully understood their full meaning."
In 1942, an RKO talent scout saw her in a play at Southern Methodist University and recommended her for a studio contract. Her first three movie roles were walk-ons with no lines; her later roles were not much improvement. A move to Warner Bros. in 1945 provided greater opportunity.
In her first film at Warners, "The Big Sleep," she was cast as a bookshop clerk who is questioned by Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart). She closes the shop, lets her hair down, takes off her glasses and seduces the private eye in a shelter from a thunderstorm. Her other films at the studio were less provocative. They included "Night and Day," ''One Sunday Afternoon," ''Colorado Territory," ''Young at Heart" and "Battle Cry."
Free of her Warner Bros. contract, Malone was cast by Universal in "Written on the Wind," which she later termed "the most fun picture I ever made." Important films followed: "Man of a Thousand Faces" as the wife of Lon Chaney (James Cagney); "Too Much, Too Soon" as Diana Barrymore, the alcoholic daughter of John Barrymore (Errol Flynn); "The Last Sunset," a western with Kirk Douglas and Rock Hudson.
None of the roles matched her Marylee Hadley in "Written on the Wind," and she welcomed the offer of "Peyton Place."
"At the time, doing television was considered professional death," she remarked in 1981. "However, I knew the series was going to be good, and I didn't have to prove myself as a star."
After the series ended, she appeared in TV movies, including "Murder in Peyton Place" (1977) and "Peyton Place — The Next Generation" (1985).
With her feature career virtually ended, she moved to Dallas to take care of her parents. After they died, she continued living in Dallas, making occasional returns to Hollywood and forays into dinner theaters. In 1992 she was again in a top feature, playing an aging lesbian murderer in the Sharon Stone-Michael Douglas sex thriller, "Basic Instinct." It was her final on-screen role.
Funeral arrangements were pending Friday. Besides Vanderstraaten, Malone is survived by a brother, retired U.S. District Judge Robert B. Maloney, and another daughter, Diane Thompson, all of Dallas.
FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008 file photo, Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan performs during the European Border Breakers awards, or EBBA awards, in Cannes, southern France. O'Riordan, lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, has died. She was 46, it was announced on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Bruno Bebert, File)
Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dead at 46
LONDON (AP) — Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, died suddenly on Monday. She was 46.
O'Riordan died in London, where she was recording, publicist Lindsey Holmes said. The cause of death wasn't immediately available.
Holmes said the singer's family is "devastated" by the news.
Formed in Limerick, Ireland, The Cranberries became international stars in the 1990s with hits including "Zombie" and "Linger" that fused the alternative rock edge with poppy tunefulness.
The band split up in 2003 but reunited several years later. The Cranberries released the acoustic album "Something Else" in 2017 and had been due to tour Europe and North America. The tour was cut short because O'Riordan was suffering from back problems.
In 2014, O'Riordan was accused of assaulting three police officers and a flight attendant during a flight from New York to Ireland. She pleaded guilty and was fined 6,000 euros ($6,600).
This undated photo released by Disney, shows Disney Mouseketeer Doreen Tracey. Tracey, a former child star who played one of the original cute-as-a-button Mouseketeers on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the 1950s, died from pneumonia on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif., following a two-year battle with cancer, according to Disney publicist Howard Green. She was 74. (Disney via AP)
Doreen Tracey, an original Disney Mouseketeer, dies at 74
NEW YORK (AP) — Doreen Tracey, a former child star who played one of the original cute-as-a-button Mouseketeers on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the 1950s, has died, according to Disney publicist Howard Green. She was 74.
Tracey died from pneumonia Wednesday at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, following a two-year battle with cancer.
Tracey maintained ties to Disney and show business throughout her life, appearing in the film "Westward Ho the Wagons!" and touring with the Mouseketeers. She later served as a publicist to musician Frank Zappa and worked at Warner Bros.
It was the pig-tailed Tracey and her talented co-stars — including Annette Funicello — who appeared on television in black hats with ears following the anthem "M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E ..." on ABC's "The Mickey Mouse Club." Millions of kids raced home from school to watch in wonder as the bouncy Mouseketeers announced themselves at the top of the show.
"The Mickey Mouse Club" was the brainchild of Walt Disney during the flowering of his company's fortunes in the mid-1950s. To help finance the Disneyland park, he agreed to supply ABC with TV shows. One was designed for children in the pre-dinner hour.
The hour-long show proved a sensation with its Oct. 3, 1955, debut. It flourished for two seasons, then was reduced to a half-hour for two more. Tracey stayed for its four-year run.
The black-and-white series was syndicated in 1962-65. The 1990s version of "The Mickey Mouse Club" launched the careers of singers Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and actors Keri Russell and Ryan Gosling.
Born in London on April 3, 1943, to parents who worked in vaudeville, Tracey arrived in the United States when she was 4 and learned to sing and dance. She nabbed a spot on "The Mickey Mouse Club" when she was 12.
Lorraine Santoli, a former executive at Disney who wrote "The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book," said Tracey remained close to her Disney roots, maintaining long-time friendships with her fellow Mouseketeers.
Tracey strained her relationship with Disney by posing for a men's magazine in 1976 with nothing on except her mouse ears and later wearing nothing but an open trench coat in front of Disney Studios. Still, she often appeared at Mickey Mouse Club reunion shows at Disneyland and at Disney conventions, last celebrating the show's 60th anniversary in 2015.
Tracey is survived by her son, Bradley, and two grandchildren, Gavin, 9, and Autumn, 12.
Take one look at the Kuno Struck mansion, and you'd probably not guess that it's in central Davenport.
With its style of architecture, stone-and-red brick facade and gables with ball toppers, the looming structure looks more like something you'd expect to find in France or England or on some old-money estate on the East Coast.
But, no, the Struck mansion is definitely in Davenport, hiding out in the trees next to what used to be the former Marycrest College campus, just east of the Putnam Museum.
Retired Quad-City Times columnist Bill Wundram wrote about the home in 1958 when he was the Sunday editor of the Times-Democrat. The article was one in his series of "Magnificent Mansions of the Quad-Cities."
He described its rooms — the grand central staircase in the foyer, the stone fireplace in the massive living room, the honeycomb ceiling in the dining room and the curved walls with arched, colored glass windows in the solarium.
Patterned cloth wallpaper covered the walls and some of the ceilings and just about every room had leaded glass windows, most with some colored glass as well, he reported.
Those features still exist and on Oct. 8, when Realtor Rich Bassford listed the property for sale with photos posted online, he began getting inquiries from all over the country.
"We have had so much interest," Bassford, owner of Re/Max Elite Homes, Moline, said on Wednesday. "Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Georgia. In fact, there was a guy going to fly in today from Ohio. And we had a crew from Florida that wanted to film two scenes for a horror movie here."
Pictures of the home received 88,000 "shares" and "likes" in four days when they were posted on the "For the Love of Old Homes" Facebook page, he said.
And then just like that — in little more than a week — Bassford had an offer from a Quad-City area buyer. The asking price was $300,000 because, obviously, the place needs work. Some walls and ceilings have water damage, the grounds are overgrown and everywhere there is a need for fix-up.
But what architecture, what history.
Long-time Quad-Citians may remember the mansion from its former lives — as a private home with lavish parties, a meeting place for the former Marycrest College, and as a show home for the Tri-City Symphony Orchestra, now the Quad-City Symphony.
The home was built during 1910-11 by Dr. Kuno Struck and his wife, Norma Petersen Struck, daughter of Max D. Petersen, the oldest son of the founder of Petersen's Department Store, a forerunner of the present Von Maur chain, according to Quad-City Times archives.
It was designed by Walter Kruse and Rudolph J. Clausen; the latter was the son of Davenport's most prominent 19th century architect, Frederick J. Clausen.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
Although Struck was a medical doctor, he practiced only a short time after his marriage, instead devoting his time to extensive travel, according to a biography included in the national register nomination. He also was a vice-president of the former Davenport Bank & Trust Co.
After Struck's death at the age of 63 in 1947, his wife and daughter, Dorothy, continued to live in the house, along with Dorothy's husband. A gardener and chauffeur also lived on the grounds, according to the "Magnificent Mansion" article. (The car was a Lincoln Continental limousine.)
Those were the years — the mid '50s to mid '60s — of the lavish parties, with musicians playing on the terrace in the summer and a pianist at the Steinway grand piano inside, according to the late Shirley Davis, writing in the Times.
The home eventually was sold out of the family and in 1978 it was acquired by Marycrest College, whose leaders planned to use it for offices and as a community gathering place that could be rented for weddings, receptions and meetings.
In 1984, a bevy of interior designers made over the home as a Decorators' Show House fundraiser for the symphony.
In 2002, the then-Marycrest International University closed due to declining enrollment, and the campus was purchased by Quad-City developer Chris Ales. His company redeveloped the campus into Marycrest Senior Living but the Struck mansion was not part of that.
In 2005, Ales sold the home to Marlene and Donald Talbot. It is now being sold by a holding company. The house comes with a three-car-plus garage and 3.2 acres of land.
Listed at $1.14 million, the house at 4877 Woodland Drive in Bettendorf is the most expensive on this year's Fall Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Quad-City Builders and Remodelers Association.
What makes one house cost more than another is a function of size, materials and location, and the home by Windmiller Design Build in the new development called The Woodlands has all three in spades.
The home contains 2,800 square feet on the main level and 3,712 on the lower-level walkout. The reason is that the area underneath the four-car garage is included.
The lower level has a southern exposure with full-sized windows and was designed and constructed so that with a minimum of fuss, one could remove walls and turn the area under the garage into another four-stall space for a car collection, a workshop or some other special use.
"We think this is pretty unique," builder Craig Windmiller said.
As for materials, there are custom-built cabinets and quartz countertops in the kitchen, bathrooms that amount to luxury spas, abundant windows and floors made of hardwood and tile, with carpet confined mainly to the bedrooms.
Quartz was chosen for the countertops because it is "the new thing now," replacing granite, Windmiller said. It is slightly more expensive than granite and is a little easier to maintain, he said.
The Woodlands also includes 49 townhomes; one of these and a second single-family home also will be on the parade. The townhomes are two-stories with 1,788 square feet of finished space with two-car garages. Snow removal and lawn care will be provided.
The townhome at 4470 Slate Creek Drive is listed at $270,200 and the home at 4617 Cottage Lane is listed at $507,900.
Outside materials of the Woodland Lane home include stone and a rough-textured synthetic stucco, with a slate porch stepping up to the 8-foot front door made of Douglas fir.
Inside the foyer and to your left is an office with one wall entirely taken up with built-in bookshelves and a window seat. Another wall is red brick.
Down the hall is the master suite with bath, closet (larger than many homes' bedrooms and including clothes rods, hooks, drawers, shelves and shoe racks) and a laundry.
"We find that a lot of people like the laundry next to the master," Windmiller said.
The living area of the great room has a vaulted ceiling, fireplace with built-ins and more windows than one can count at first glance.
Around to the right is a kitchen, all white and shiny chrome with multi-colored accents of gray in the herringbone-patterned marble backsplash. The dishwasher, refrigerator and pantry are hidden behind doors, and the island is 5 feet wide by 12 feet long.
A dining area opens to a 16- by 16-foot covered deck made out of composite materials.
Down the hall is a guest bedroom with its own bath and walk-in closet, a half-bath and a large mud room opening to the garage.
Downstairs, the home is set up as the Windmiller workspace with a reception area, individual offices and a full bath.
Two of the offices are designated as bedrooms, and the rest of the space can be reconfigured according to an owner's wishes — a bar with pub table, a large rec room, a craft room, an exercise room ... even that showroom garage.
Pittsburgh natives Steve and Terri Hammer moved to Davenport for their jobs in 2015, renting a two-floor downtown apartment in the former Davenport Bank Building.
As empty-nesters, they fell in love with the Mississippi River and the downtown, but, as Steve says, "there was no place to buy downtown."
So, they expanded their search.
Driving up Bridge Avenue on his way to work at Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Steve noticed an 1800s house for sale. He was especially intrigued by its carriage house on the side. The couple decided to take a look.
What they found was the John Forrest house, built in 1872 by one of Davenport's earliest settlers who also built three major commercial blocks downtown, one that is now apartments at 3rd and Brady streets.
The Forrest home had been vacant for about two years, and its most recent use had been as an office building with 11 different spaces. Tenants included a beauty shop, chiropractor, real estate and the office of Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Despite this change in use and some neglect, both the inside and outside of the building were in decent shape.
The Hammers bought the home and on July 4, 2017, began a full scale restoration-rehab, hiring Bill Rowand, who has done extensive restoration work, particularly in Rock Island.
Major decisions included how to reconfigure the floor plan for their single-family use, and what to do with the south side of the house fronting East River Drive. A historical drawing shows the house originally had three separate areas on this side — a four-window bay in the middle with small porches on either side.
But around the time of World War I, these separate areas were made into one large veranda with a single roof, according to an architectural survey done by the city of Davenport in the early 1980s. The veranda later was enclosed in glass to make a sunroom running the entire width of the house.
The couple decided to keep the single roof, but reopen two of the three sections, revealing the four-window bay in the middle, while building a new porch on the east corner, and an enclosed sunroom on the west corner.
They purchased new beadboard for the porch ceiling, new pillars and Trek composite planks for the floor. They also chose an overall color scheme for the home of tan, accented by spruce green, dark red and yellow.
A tour of the inside
Walk in the front door, and you enter the old part of the house. Ahead is an Italiante-style walnut staircase and to your left is a large parlor-dining room.
A jaw-dropping feature of this room is the curved wall and curved crown molding next to the four-window bay. Steve is quick to say that the house has several examples of this kind of craftsmanship.
The original wood floor contains areas where boards are laid at angles to each other, creating patterns.
Beyond this parlor-dining room is a dramatically modern kitchen-family room that gets part of its drama from its finishes and part from its view.
The family portion of the room is the enclosed space of the sunroom, a side wall contains quoins (wood squares) that originally were outside. The dominant feature is a 5-foot by 10-foot picture window that looks out onto the Mississippi River, framed by evergreen trees. This is the dramatic view.
The dramatic finishes include a ceramic tile floor, a five-sided granite topped island, black stainless steel Kitchen Aid appliances and a backsplash made of wavy subway tile, accented with a band of glass in black, gray, silver and brown. The cabinets are gray, shaker-style with silver hardware. One of the cabinets features three doors of bubble glass.
Rounding out the home's first floor layout is a large pantry, a large laundry room, an office and a half-bath tucked under the staircase.
Upstairs there are three bedrooms and two baths. One of the bedrooms is the master suite consisting of the bedroom, a sitting room with a white Italiante-style marble fireplace and round-topped windows overlooking the Mississippi River and "her" bathroom.
The "her" bathroom is mainly black and white — white cabinets, black granite countertops, black and white tile floor and a white subway tile shower with a decorative band of multi-colored glass.
Elsewhere upstairs is the "his" bathroom, dominated by browns tones.
The carriage house — the feature that piqued Steve's interest — is still undergoing renovation, although the couple has installed a new, remote-opening garage door that is similar in style to the original sliding doors.
Above is the hay mow. You just don't find amenities like that anymore.
You may have driven by it — the large, towered mansion on the corner of Rock Island's 20th Street and 7th Avenue.
On Mother's Day, May 13, you'll have a chance to see what's inside.
The home built in the late 1880s and operated as the Victorian Inn bed-and-breakfast since 1989 will be open for tours, along with five others in the city's Broadway Historic District.
The three-story, cone-shaped tower identifies the inn owned by David and Barbara Parker as a Queen Anne style home, and there is a lot to see on the outside. Four porches, a cornice that also serves the utilitarian purpose of cradling the home's gutters and various styles of decorative shingles.
But be sure to allow plenty of time for the inside, too, because in addition to the "bones" of the home, furnishings and accessories also demand attention: Their daughter's wedding dress on a mannequin. A plate collection. Paintings by David's grandmother.
The home has been in the Parker family since 1944 when Paul and Ruth Parker bought the home when David was in third grade.
Some 40 years later when Paul died, David and Barbara came over to ready the home for sale. But "the more we cleaned, the less we wanted to sell," David said.
The Parkers finally decided they'd like the house for themselves and their family, and moved in during 1982, making it a bed-and-breakfast seven years later once their children were grown.
The couple has greatly enjoyed their guests over the years . "It's a very good use for this big house," Barbara said.
Some people stop on their way to somewhere else, but for most, the Quad-Cities is their destination. Some come specifically for the St. Patrick's Day Parade, while two couples have stayed at the inn more than 60 times over the years because they enjoy the area so much.
The home contains 2,500 square feet on each floor, but it didn't start out that large. The original home — the front — was less than half as large as today.
The bigger back addition was built in 1905. The owners at the time also added a central furnace — the home previously was heated by its seven fireplaces — electricity and indoor plumbing, meaning bathrooms and running water.
"The addition really drug this home into the modern era," David said. "It was really cutting edge."
If you go on the Mother's Day tour, you may wonder about the three stained glass windows in the home's tower, one featuring a large peacock and the other various Victorian-era designs.
These windows measuring three feet by five feet are not original to the home, but were made by Barbara Parker to add another splash of beauty to their home. The Parkers keep a light on in the tower at night so that the windows are visible for the simple enjoyment of people passing by.
CAMBRIDGE, Ill. — About an hour after midnight on Dec. 30, 1906, someone forced open a kitchen window with a broken lock in a house on North West Street, moved through the house and climbed upstairs.
On the second floor, this person entered a bedroom where Henry Anderson, a wealthy landowner of 45, his wife, Mary, 26, and their 8-month-old baby were sleeping.
Mary woke and screamed for her husband.
A shot rang out, and a 22 caliber bullet pierced Mary's left temple, killing her instantly. Anderson awoke, raced down the stairs and out the front door for help, because the telephone line to the house had been cut.
Anderson first told the Henry County Sheriff that he had seen two figures in the room, then later settled on something like a shadow disappearing through the door.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader and The Moline Dispatch reported the crime, and Chicago newspapers soon followed, in part because an inordinate number of deaths — murder and suicide — had rocked the small, quiet, law-abiding town in the early 1900s.
Upon investigation, it was determined that $17 had been taken from the pocket of Henry Anderson's trousers, which were hanging on a rocking chair. But "in plain sight on the dressing table lay an open jewelry box containing a gold watch and jewels to the value of several hundred dollars," according to an article in the Dec. 31, 1906, Chicago Tribune.
"A wallet under the man's pillow containing $105 was untouched, and no disorder was visible in the room."
The Anderson crime was never solved. Despite several suspects, a $1,000 reward put up by the family and extensive work by both county law enforcement and investigators with the St. Paul office of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, no charges were ever brought.
Possible suspects; peace for Mary
The unresolved case is a puzzle that Patty Herges has been carrying around in her head for the past 40 years, ever since she and her husband, Geno, moved into the house where Mary was killed and made it their home, raising their two children there.
At this point, Patty doesn't expect the riddle will be solved unless, somehow, Mary herself would reveal her killer.
"I believe that there are spirits, and I believe Mary's spirit is in this house," Patty said one recent day, sitting on a sofa in the front parlor, heavy lace curtains on the windows. "If she would appear, she could let us know who killed her."
Patty's personal theory is that the man who broke in only wanted to steal from the Andersons and did not mean to kill Mary. Perhaps she recognized him and he didn't want to be caught, so he silenced her.
Through the years, Patty has collected information about the case, including newspaper clippings and notes from the Pinkerton agency. Several suspects emerged:
• The husband. A surviving spouse is always a prime suspect, with jealousy and various disagreements as the prime motives.
After the murder, the Chicago Sunday Record-Herald reported that Henry had been "driven insane by the shock of the crime and is a violent maniac."
"Husband is mad; may lose mind," read a headline in the Jan. 1 Moline Daily Dispatch.
"Henry Anderson raving maniac as result of wife's murder. Mystery as deep as ever. Authorities fail to throw slightest light on the shocking tragedy. Coroner's jury adjourns till Thursday. People divided over cause. Murder stirs Cambridge residents to rough-and-tumble encounter. Reward to be offered."
Yes, the residents of Cambridge had their own ideas as to who the murderer might be and they shared those ideas with newspapers that printed them.
"General opinion in Cambridge and the more valuable opinions of the detectives at work on the case exonerate the husband," according to the Chicago Sunday Record-Herald article published Jan. 13, 1907.
"When there is domestic trouble, a small town like Cambridge is pretty likely to have some inkling of it, but Anderson is said to have been devoted to and considerate of his wife."
The Chicago Tribune reported that the couple's married life was happy and that Mary's sister, a Mrs. William Whitney, had declared "that no love affair of girlhood days could furnish a motive."
• An Unnamed Suspect. Because the perpetrator entered the house through a window with a broken lock, suspicion fell on people who were familiar with the house, such as a young man whose father had installed the couple's furnace.
The day after the murder, this suspect left on a train and eventually ended up in an Aberdeen, South Dakota, prison for stealing. Suspicion about this young man was so strong that the Pinkerton detective agency made arrangements with the prison superintendent to enter the prison undercover, hoping to get the suspect to talk.
In making the request, the Pinkerton agency offered a possible motive, "We learned that young Unnamed Suspect, on the day of the murder, saw Mr. Anderson carrying in his pocket a large roll of currency, and we have reason to believe that he intended to get possession of this money while the owner and his wife were asleep and that as he approached the bed Mrs. Anderson awoke and in the dim light in the room identified the Unnamed Suspect, fearing the results, fired the fatal bullet."
The request was granted and the agency went undercover but, evidently, nothing concrete came of it.
•Henry's older brother, John, who "was wayward," according to the Sunday Record-Herald article.
"Many years ago he committed forgery. He was arrested and locked up in the county jail. While he was locked up some one — some say it was his sister — slipped saws into his cell and John escaped.
"He fled to Canada; but the officers followed and captured him. While they were bringing him back and before they had reached the United States border, John again escaped, and from that day to this has been at large."
Meantime, the men's father died, and Henry inherited the bulk of his property.
"John had a wife and child for whom, it is said, Henry did little or nothing," according to the Record-Herald. "They say in Cambridge that this wife and child had a hard struggle for respectable existence for years, and that it would have been only right for Henry to have tided them over the roughest places at least.
"And now Cambridge says that John Anderson was seen in the community before the murder.
"Could he have entered the house intending to force money from his brother or to kill Henry for the latter's neglect of John's wife and child and been forced to kill Henry's wife because she awakened first?"
The conjecture was left unanswered.
Despite that, Patty Herges has a sense of peace about Mary. She feels that Mary's spirit is a happy one "because we brought our children up in this house, (which) is what she wanted for herself."
A Quad-City Times reader wanted to know more about a portion of Fairmount Street just south of West Central Park Avenue that is brick. So "Ask the Times" columnist Roy Booker went searching for the answer.
BONUS 6: Jackson, Charlotte among top names for Q-C babies
Quad-City teachers and preschool staff, take note: You'll be wrangling a lot of little boys named Jackson in a few years. UnityPoint Health–Trinity and Genesis have announced the most popular baby names for 2018, and among them is Jackson for boys.
Jackson, with various spellings, was the 19th most popular name for boys nationally but easily No. 1 at Genesis BirthCenters with 25 boys given the name. It was the third time Jackson made the list since Genesis began tracking in 2006 (it was No. 1 in 2016 and 2014). At UnityPoint Health–Trinity Moline BirthPlace, the alternative spelling Jaxson topped the list; at its Bettendorf BirthPlace, Jackson was second, following Oliver. UnityPoint Health does not release the number of children given each name.
Liam was the most popular name for baby boys nationally and No. 2 at Genesis, with 20 boys given the name. It did not make the top five at UnityPoint Health BirthPlaces in the Quad-Cities, but was No. 2 across all UnityPoint Health system hospitals in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Trinity Moline Birthplace
Trinity Bettendorf Birthplace
UnityPoint Health system
As for girls, Charlotte and Isabella topped the list at Genesis BirthCenters for the second consecutive year, with 15 babies given each name at the Davenport and Silvis BirthCenters. Neither name made the top five at the UnityPoint BirthPlaces in Moline or Bettendorf, though Charlotte was the third most popular throughout the UnityPoint Health system. Nationally, Amelia/Emilia topped the list of popular baby names for the third straight year, according to babynames.com. At Genesis BirthCenters, Amelia was No. 3 with 13 baby girls this year.
Trinity Moline BirthPlace
Trinity Bettendorf BirthPlace
UnityPoint Health system
The top five girl names nationally in 2018, according to babynames.com, were Amelia (or Emilia), Charlotte, Aria, Violet and Aurora. For boys, it was Liam, Oliver, Henry, Declan and Grayson/Greyson).
Today's photo gallery: 200 images from 2018
Check out these 200 images from 2018 by Quad-City Times Photographer Kevin E. Schmidt.