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 This Mortal Coil 
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Postby Macc » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:11 pm


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Legendary anchorman Cronkite dead at 92

Former CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite, whose authoritative delivery of the news during turbulent times made him "the most trusted man in America", has died, CBS reports. He was 92.

Cronkite died in New York after an illness. His family issued a statement weeks ago that Cronkite had been suffering for some years with cerebrovascular disease and was not expected to recuperate, CBS said.

Cronkite joined CBS as a television correspondent in 1950. He anchored the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981.

His stirring reports on everything from the assassination of President John F Kennedy to the Apollo space program and the Vietnam War often had as much impact as the events themselves.

Every night for nearly 20 years, millions of Americans tuned in to hear the day's major events as reported by Cronkite, whose avuncular manner and deep voice made his show the top-rated news program from 1969 until he retired in 1981.

But when he retired in 1981, Mr Cronkite said he always felt uncomfortable in his role as anchorman.

"I've always been a little uncomfortable with the role of the anchor person, and the sort of prominence that that injects a journalist into," he said.

"I'm not sure that's good for journalism generally, for any single figure to be of that importance and I would like to think that that would not go on."

Cronkite, famous for signing off his newscasts with "And that's the way it is," inspired the nickname "Uncle Walter".

United States President Barack Obama has paid tribute to Mr Cronkite saying he was a voice of certainty in an uncertain world.


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Postby Macc » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:51 pm


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Guitar hero Les Paul dies

Legendary guitarist and inventor Les Paul, who pioneered designs of electric guitars, has died of complications from pneumonia at a New York hospital, his lawyer says. He was 94.

Attorney Michael Braunstein says Paul died at the White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.

He added that Paul had been "in and out of the hospital" for about two months and had battled a number of illnesses.

"At 94, it's hard to fight a lot of stuff," he said.

"He's a historical person. He certainly has left his mark here on Earth and had many, many friends."

Paul had been a dominant force in the music business since World War II.

He and wife Mary Ford enjoyed a string of hits in the 1940s and 1950s that included Mockin' Bird Hill and How High The Moon.

A passionate tinkerer, he created one of the first solid-body electric guitars in 1941 and went on to pioneer multi-track recording.

Paul played a key role in the birth of rock 'n' roll in the early 1950s when he teamed up with Gibson Guitar Corp to help design a sleek model that bears his name.

An instant success, its basic structure has barely changed over the decades.

Despite arthritis and hearing problems, Paul remained an indefatigable musician, playing regularly at a New York jazz club into his 90s.

Paul is survived by three sons, a daughter and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Guitarists and music industry figures have mourned Paul's passing.

"My friend and mentor Les Paul died today at 94. He was one of the most stellar human beings I've ever known," former Guns 'N' Roses guitarist Slash said.

"Les Paul was truly a 'one of a kind.' We owe many of his inventions that made the rock 'n' roll sound of today to him, and he was the founding father of modern music," said blues guitarist BB King.

"Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed. He was the original guitar hero, and the kindest of souls," said guitarist Joe Satriani.

Gibson Guitar president Dave Berryman paid tribute to the "father of the electric guitar".

"He was not only one of the world's greatest innovators but a legend who created, inspired and contributed to the success of musicians around the world," he said.

Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, says Paul will always be remembered with "great fondness".

"Les Paul was a musical mastermind whose innovations in electric guitar and recorded music are unparalleled," he said.

"His magnetic charm and sunny disposition matched his incredible skill set and he will always be remembered with great fondness, humility and respect."


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Postby Macc » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:10 pm


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Actor Ray Barrett dies

Award-winning actor Ray Barrett has died from a brain haemorrhage in hospital on Queensland's Gold Coast.

The 82-year-old was admitted this morning and died a short time later.

The actor suffered from chronic low-blood pressure which led to several falls including one this morning.

His long career included numerous Australian film, stage and television productions.

Barrett was one of the popular leading men on British television in the 1960s, including an appearance in Doctor Who in 1965.

He also provided the voice of John Tracy in the popular series Thunderbirds.

He appeared alongside fellow acting icons John Hargreaves and Graham Kennedy in the screen adaptation of John Williamson's play Don's Party and won an AFI Award for best actor for his role in director Fred Schepisi's The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith.

He won the 2005 AFI Longford Life Achievement Award.

Barrett was better known in recent years for a string of television appearances in series, including Something in the Air, All Saints and White Collar Blue.


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Postby djmenow » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:52 pm


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Actor Patrick Swayze dead at 57 from pancreatic cancer.

BREAKING NEWS: ACTOR Patrick Swayze has died after a near two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, the publicist for the Dirty Dancing star has announced.

Swayze, 57, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2008.

His publicist Annett Wolf said the Dirty Dancing actor died on Monday with his family at his side.
Swayze was the hunky, super-fit actor who danced his way into viewers' hearts in Dirty Dancing and then broke them with Ghost.

``Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,'' said a statement released on Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf. No other details were given.

Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from a particularly deadly form of cancer.

He had kept working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting The Beast, an A&E cable television drama series for which he had already made the pilot.

It drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran in 2009, but A&E said it had reluctantly decided not to renew it for a second season.

Swayze said he opted not to use painkilling drugs while making The Beast because they would have taken the edge off his performance. He acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease.

When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was ``considerably more optimistic'' than that.

``I'd say five years is pretty wishful thinking,'' Swayze told ABC television's Barbara Walters in early 2009. ``Two years seems likely if you're going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I'd better get a fire under it.''

A three-time Golden Globe nominee, Swayze became a star with his performance as the misunderstood bad-boy Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing.

As the son of a choreographer who began his career in musical theatre, he seemed a natural to play the role.

A coming-of-age romance starring Jennifer Grey as an idealistic young woman on holiday with her family and Swayze as the resort's sexy (and much older) dance instructor, the film made great use of both his grace on his feet and his muscular physique.

It became an international phenomenon in the summer of 1987, spawning albums, an Oscar-winning hit song in (I've Had) the Time of My Life, stage productions and a sequel, 2004's Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, in which he made a cameo.

The 1990 film Ghost cemented his status as a screen favourite.

Swayze played a murdered man trying to communicate with his fiancee through a spirit played by Whoopi Goldberg.

He continued working even after it was disclosed he had the particularly deadly form of cancer.

He was married to Lisa Niemi for 34 years, but the couple did not have children.


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Postby HumphreyBBear » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:09 pm


RIP - Patrick.

Cancer is a bitch, and Pancreatic cancer is possibly the bitchiest.
I think he was in denial until the last few months.

Even though i don't rate him highly as an actor, he did some good stuff.

IMO: Best movie he was ever in: Red Dawn :ohyes:


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Postby SKaVeN » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:49 pm


Nah, Donnie Darko was the best one he was in by far!


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Postby locky1 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:37 pm


ONE of the great entertainers of Australian television, American-born funnyman Don Lane, has died in a Sydney nursing home at age 75.

The health of the TV legend had deterioratied in recent weeks. He suffered severe dementia and friends described his state as "saddening".

Lane had been forced to leave his Sydney apartment and was living in a care facility.

His manager, Jayne Ambrose, said Lane passed away earlier today.


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Postby SKaVeN » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:14 pm


Yeah, I was wondering what happened to him the other day. I can't recall hearing anything since news broke of his state of health. I remember seeing him as a guest on some late night show some months before that & being quite shocked at how frail he looked.

Don was the Yank we all loved to hate. Everyone used to say how he couldn't sing, he couldn't interview & he couldn't tell jokes but yet he managed to make a success of doing all three four(?) nights a week on national television. Even though that was all quite apparent to all at the best of times, The Don Lane Show a favourite when I was a kiddywink (especially during school holidays when I was allowed to stay up late & see the whole show). It was the only show I can remember seeing Bert on where he didn't annoy the hell out of me too.

RIP the "Lanky Yank".


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Postby bullwinkle » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:26 pm


Yeah, Don was pretty good. A bit delusional about his singing abilities, but the thing that I remember was he had a great respect for and appreciation of his audience. The thing he did at the end of his show "I love your smiley faces" used to annoy the shit out of me, for some reason. Vale, Don. They don't make 'em like that anymore.


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Postby Macc » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:34 pm


Very sad news. A true entertainer.

A comment on the ABC News site suggested that the late Graham Kennedy would have the last laugh at Don's expense by waiting at the Pearly Gates with the famous sign.

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