Archive for May, 2013

Robert F. Kennedy

Posted in Arlington National Cemetery with tags , on May 23, 2013 by Cade

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November 20, 1925 — June 6, 1968

Robert Francis Kennedy was a U.S. Senator and the U.S. Attorney General under his brother, John’s, presidential administration.  Bobby was a leading figure in 1960’s American political and civil circles. He was instrumental in the civil rights movement of the day.  He was a Kennedy through and through, and held all the political aspirations that come with that.  Following the devastation of his older brother’s assassination, he ran for and was elected as Senator from New York. Continue reading

Etta James

Posted in Inglewood Park Cemetery with tags , , on May 22, 2013 by Cade

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January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012

Aaaat Laaaaaaaast….

The opening words of Etta James’ (born, Jamesetta Hawkins) classic ballad “At Last” are unmistakable. James was a prolific singer whose career covered and influenced nearly every genre imaginable. She won six Grammys, a host of other awards and was an 1993 inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Whether she was belting Jazz, R&B, Gospel or straight Blues, Etta was without equal. Continue reading

Carl Wilson

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , , on May 22, 2013 by Cade

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December 21, 1946 – February 6, 1998

Carl Wilson was a guitarist/songwriter/vocalist who skyrocketed to fame alongside brothers, Brian and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine as The Beach Boys.  Though a background singer for the early years of the band, Carl broke out with lead vocals on such hits as “God Only Knows” and “Good Vibrations.” He also became the defacto leader of the band after big brother, Brian, retired from touring.  Wilson’s career, though weighted heavily by it, was not confined to The Beach Boys, however.  He recorded a couple of solo albums in the 1980’s and was a common fixture in the studio, working with fellow superstars like Chicago and Elton John.

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Walter Matthau

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on May 22, 2013 by Cade

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October 1, 1920 – July 1, 2000

Walter John Matthow (NOT Matuschanskayasky – as he would often regale) was born in New York City to Jewish immigrant parents.  He was an Academy, BAFTA and Tony Award-winning actor who was known for curmudgeonly lovable characters.  The most famous of which was, of course, Oscar Madison opposite Jack Lemmon in both the stage and film versions of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. Matthau’s career was decorated and lengthy.  Starring in more than 60 films and more than a dozen Broadway productions, he built a resume of comedy and emotional performances that few can match.

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Christa McAuliffe

Posted in Calvary Cemetery (NH) with tags , , on May 16, 2013 by Cade

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September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986

Sometimes, fame doesn’t come until something truly awful happens.  In late 1985, people who paid attention to NASA’s space shuttle program knew who Sharon Christa McAuliffe was. The Concord, NH social studies teacher was the winner of the Teacher In Space Project.  The goal of the project was simple: train a teacher to travel with the space shuttle Challenger on a mission, conduct some experiments and teach lessons from orbit. Continue reading

Errol Flynn

Posted in Forest Lawn Glendale with tags , , on May 16, 2013 by Cade

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June 20, 1909 – October 14, 1959

I don’t throw the term “swashbuckler” around lightly.  But Errol Flynn was a swashbuckler if there ever was one.  The Australian-born star of  early Hollywood flicks such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Charge of the Light Brigade and Santa Fe Trail was known for his devil-may-care attitude and suave persona.   He famously womanized and drank and had contentious working relationships with a number of his female costars, most notably, Bette Davis, who used opportunities to hit Flynn on camera as opportunities to HIT him. Continue reading

Rodney Dangerfield

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on May 12, 2013 by Cade

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November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004

To the best of my knowledge, Jacob Rodney Cohen, known simply as Rodney Dangerfield, got no respect.  At least that’s what he told us over and over again. Dangerfield was a lovable actor/comedian whose bumbling roles in films like Caddyshack and Back to School embodied the public persona for which he was best known.  In the late 1960’s, Dangerfield’s comedy career started exploding with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show and The Dean Martin Show.He parlayed his over-the-top character into co-starring and starring film roles, television commercials and even, for reasons known only to God and himself, rap.

Seriously.

Seriously.

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Michael Landon

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags , on May 12, 2013 by Cade

landon1October 31, 1936 – July 1, 1991

Depending on when you grew up, Michael Landon has a different pop culture identity to you. For many, he was Joe Cartwright on the long-running ’60’s and ’70’s television series, Bonanza. In the ’70’s and early ’80’s, he was Charles “Pa” Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie.  Still to later audiences, Landon is remembered for playing angel-to-be, Michael, on Highway to Heaven.

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John Adams

Posted in United First Parish Church with tags , on May 12, 2013 by Cade

adams1October 30, 1735  – July 4, 1826

Up to this point, the entries here have been contemporary (20th century on) celebs.  It’s time to mix it up a bit.

John Adams was the 2nd President of the United States, the 1st Vice-President of the United States and a key figure in the American Revolutionary War, the creation of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  He also served in Europe as the U.S. Ambassador to Holland and Great Britain. He was a busy dude. Continue reading