Archive for the Cremated Category

Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon

Posted in Cremated with tags , on July 8, 2019 by Cade

fosse_verdon1June 23, 1927 – September 23, 1987
January 13, 1925 – October 18, 2000

Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon first met in 1955 on the original Broadway production of Damn Yankees. Fosse had found his way to Broadway via military variety shows and a brief stint in Hollywood. He had just come off the success of choreographing his first major show, The Pajama Game, when he was hired to do the same for Yankees. Verdon – already a Tony-winning dancer and featured actress – was given the chance at her first lead in the Adler/Ross musical comedy. The success of Yankees and the instant personal connection between star and choreographer led to one of the more intriguing and volatile partnerships in theatre history. Continue reading

Peter Lawford

Posted in Cremated, Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , , , on April 1, 2019 by Cade

lawford1September 7, 1923 – December 24, 1984

Peter Sydney Ernest Lawford was a successful actor, to be sure. The English actor dutifully rose through the Hollywood ranks, eventually landing lead or supporting roles in hits like Easter Parade and Royal Wedding. He appeared on television throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and his later career found him not only appearing in popular movies like Exodus and The Longest Day but also acting as producer on a number of films. It was, however, his off-screen life that garnered by far the most attention. Continue reading

Margaret Hamilton

Posted in Cremated with tags , , on January 14, 2019 by Cade

December 9, 1902 – May 16, 1985

Movie stars play leading roles. Actors play characters. The success of an actor generally hinges upon his or her ability to play a wide-range of characters well. Good characters. Funny characters. Eccentric characters. Evil characters. These characters often differ vastly from the person portraying them. Character actor Margaret Hamilton’s defining role could not have been more different than her real-life nature. In order for her parents to let her pursue acting professionally, Hamilton had to attend college first. She studied teaching – a passion she carried with her throughout her life – and then jumped into acting. She made a number of movies in Hollywood in the 1930s, but it was a 1939 film that would cement her in film history. Continue reading

Tom Petty

Posted in Cremated with tags , , , on March 3, 2018 by Cade

petty1
October 20, 1950 – October 02, 2017

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

“Wildflowers”  – Tom Petty

Thomas Earl Petty was rock and roll’s everyman. Whether fronting the eponymous Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, jangling along with his friends as a member of the Traveling Wilburys or simply selling millions of albums as a solo artist, Petty’s 40-year career was nothing short of legendary. Petty won 3 Grammys and worked with everybody who was anybody in music. Continue reading

Dr. Seuss

Posted in Cremated with tags , on February 7, 2017 by Cade

seuss1March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991

Theodor Seuss Geisel…was a writer of books.
And he wrote of wubwuzzles and bumblers and jooks.
Fancy made-up creations with stars and striped hats.
There were cats in those hats and little Who acrobats.
He made foxes in sockses, a grinch and a turtle.
With names like the Lorax and Horton and Yertle.
Fish of all colors and beetles that battled
In puddles in bottles on poodles with paddles.
Dr. Seuss gave us oodles of tales to adore.
And he made ham and eggs much more green than before.
More than 70 works, beloved and clever.
A talent so rare, it should go on forever.
Except when it can’t.
Because, sometimes, cancer. Continue reading

Robin Williams

Posted in Cremated with tags on July 31, 2015 by Cade

williams1July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

Sometimes, it’s just completely outside the realm of possibility that a star that shines so bright can be extinguished. Such is the case with Robin Williams, one of the most talented and popular entertainers in the world for more than 30 years. As someone who grew up in the 1980’s, I could never have imagined a world that didn’t contain some form of Robin. From his star-making role as the titular Orkan on ABC’s Mork and Mindy to his Academy Award winning (dramatic) turn in Good Will Hunting, Williams was always there…always larger-than-life…always great.

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Janis Joplin

Posted in Cremated with tags , , , on July 8, 2015 by Cade

joplin1January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970

“The Queen of Psychedelic Soul”

Janis Lyn Joplin worked her way through the 1960’s Haight-Ashbury scene with her Blues-influenced power-rock voice. Her love for Blues standards helped her make a name for herself in San Francisco and her native Texas. She was asked to join the psychedelic rock band Big Brother and Holding Company which, with Janis on lead vocals, collectively impressed the crowd at 1967’s Monterrey Pop Festival. Record labels came calling and Janis spent the next year on the road and in the studio with Big Brother. Audiences and critics couldn’t get enough of her unique power as a performer. Her public persona surpassed the band and she quickly went solo. During her brief time on top of the music world, she recorded dozens of songs including hits like “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Mercedes Benz.”

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Amy Winehouse

Posted in Cremated with tags , , , on June 4, 2014 by Cade


winehouse1September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011

<insert “Rehab” joke here>

An eclectic and immensely talented singer, Amy Jade Winehouse stormed onto the British music scene in 2003 with her debut album, Frank. But, it was her sophomore effort, 2006’s Back to Black that made her an international sensation. Combining old-school genres like jazz and soul with her distinctive style and sultry voice, Amy blew through the Grammys that year collecting five awards. Her singles “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good” were Billboard chart mainstays for months. As troubled as she was talented, Winehouse struggled with drugs and alcohol throughout her career. Add to this her meteoric rise to stardom and (allegedly) poor grasp on moderation and self-control…well, you know where this is going or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Continue reading

Wilt Chamberlain

Posted in Cremated with tags , on March 18, 2014 by Cade

wilt1August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999

Whether referred to as “Wilt the Stilt” (a name he hated) or “The Big Dipper” (a name he liked) or any of the numerous other nicknames he had, Wilton Norman Chamberlain could be called one, simple word: “Dominant.”

The 7′ 1″ basketball superstar literally changed the way the game was played. Because of Wilt, offensive goaltending became a no-no. Because of Wilt, dunking a free throw from a standing position (yes, he could do that) became a no-no. Because of Wilt, inbounding the ball OVER the backboard to a dunking big man became a no-no. He forced rule changes so that others could keep him in check. In his collegiate debut for the Kansas Jayhawks, Chamberlain scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds. And that was just the beginning. Continue reading

George Harrison

Posted in Cremated with tags , , , , on October 26, 2013 by Cade

harrison1February 25, 1943 – November 29, 2001

In 1958, at the age of 15, George Harrison auditioned – for the second time – for a band made up of local lads from his native Liverpool. Two years later, the band was known as The Beatles. Three years after that, they were launched into international stardom and the rest was, quite literally, history. George was the lead guitar player for the group and developed into a significant songwriter over his 12 years with the band. His songs and instrumental work began to expand to include Eastern influences – specifically Indian music, culture and religion. By the time The Beatles broke up in 1970, Harrison was on course for a very successful solo career. Continue reading