Archive for Actors

Elaine Stritch

Posted in Memorial Park Cemetery (IL) with tags , on November 7, 2022 by Cade

February 2, 1925 – July 17, 2014

Widely considered one of the greatest performers in Broadway history, Elaine Stritch spent more than six decades on stages all around the world. She appeared in early classics like Pal Joey and William Inge’s Bus Stop, but found a major breakthrough in 1961 with her groundbreaking performance in Sail Away by Noël Coward. In 1970, she appeared in the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece Company, in which she originated the now-classic “The Ladies Who Lunch” which would become one of her signature songs. She was nominated for 5 Tony Awards throughout her career, winning once.

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Ed Asner

Posted in Sheffield Cemetery with tags , , on October 24, 2022 by Cade

November 15, 1929 – August 29, 2021

For 12 years, American TV audiences tuned in by the millions to delight in and be entertained by the curmudgeonly but loveable character, Lou Grant. Grant first appeared in the all-time classic sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show and was then given his own spin-off fittingly entitled Lou Grant. Ed Asner became a household name with his portrayal of the gruff but ultimately caring Grant. He won 5 of his 7 Emmy awards for the role, spanning both series. And he is one of only two actors to win Emmys for the SAME role in both a comedy and a drama.

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Susie Garrett

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (MI) with tags , on October 10, 2022 by Cade

December 29, 1929 – May 24, 2002

Susie Garrett was an actress and singer who grew up singing in jazz clubs in Detroit. In addition to singing, she enjoyed acting and appeared in a number of plays. By the 1980’s Susie’s younger sister, Marla Gibbs, had forged a career in television and was co-starring on the hit CBS sitcom, The Jeffersons. Garrett made a couple of walk-on appearances on the show and, in 1984, was offered a featured role on the new NBC show Punky Brewster.

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Harold Ramis

Posted in Shalom Memorial Park with tags , , , on September 19, 2022 by Cade

November 21, 1944 – February 24, 2014

Every so often, I come across a post that I dread writing. Usually it’s because it features the life – and death, naturally – of someone I regard very highly. This is one of those posts. At any given moment, if you ask me what my favorite movie is, somewhere north of 2/3 of the time my answer will be the 1984 classic Ghostbusters. The characters in that movie were giants to me as a kid and Egon Spengler was always, always my favorite. Egon was, of course, played by legendary actor/writer/director Harold Ramis…who also wrote the movie.

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George Peppard

Posted in Northview Cemetery with tags , on August 15, 2022 by Cade

October 1, 1928 – May 8, 1994

American pop culture in the 1980’s was chock-full of iconic catchphrases.

“Where’s the beef?”
“I pity the fool!”
“Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”
“I love it when a plan comes together.”

The latter is attributed to the character Col. John “Hannibal” Smith from the hit NBC action series, The A-Team. Hannibal, the snarky, cigar-chomping leader of the titular renegade commando unit, was played genially by veteran of the stage and screen, George Peppard.

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Ava Gardner

Posted in Sunset Memorial Park with tags , on June 20, 2022 by Cade

December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990

“She can’t sing, she can’t act, she can’t talk, she’s terrific!”
– Louis B. Mayer

In 1946, movie audiences were properly introduced to Hollywood’s newest femme fatale when Robert Siodmak’s The Killers opened. The film noir classic was the screen debut of Burt Lancaster…and it was the first time audiences really got to see and know Ava Gardner.

Discovered by a peripheral MGM talent scout thanks to her portrait being displayed in a New York City photo studio window, young Ava – who had never even thought about acting – suddenly found herself with a contract in hand in Los Angeles. She learned her trade with bit parts at MGM and worked with acting and dialect coaches to overcome her heavy North Carolina drawl. Five years of toiling in dozens of pictures and improving her talents finally led to a leading role in The Killers and audiences loved her.

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Paul Robeson

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags , , , on February 7, 2022 by Cade

April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976

Paul Leroy Robeson was a staggeringly talented singer and performer. His definitive baritone voice led to landmark performances in New York, London and around the world. He starred notably in original Broadway productions of All God’s Chillun Got Wings and The Emperor Jones (both by Eugene O’Neill) and appeared in 4 different versions of Jerome Kern‘s quintessential hit, Show Boat, including the 1936 film version, which made famous his rendition of “Ol’ Man River.” Continue reading

Kitty Carlisle

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags , on January 31, 2022 by Cade

carlisle1September 3, 1910 – April 17, 2007

If Kitty Carlisle’s legacy can’t be measured in quantity, it certainly can be measured in longevity. Her career spanned more than 70 years. The actress and singer spent her youth traipsing around Europe with her mother looking for a prince to marry. While she never found Prince Charming, she did get the chance to study at some of the top schools in Europe such as the Sorbonne in Paris and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Her return to the U.S. led to Broadway where she would appear in shows in 7 different decades. Continue reading

Judy Tyler

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags , on January 10, 2022 by Cade

tyler1
October 9, 1932 – July 3, 1957

On June 17, 1957, filming wrapped on Elvis Presley‘s new movie, Jailhouse Rock. Two weeks later, his young costar – an up-and-coming actress named Judy Tyler – was dead.

Tyler was born and raised in the New York City area. Encouraged by many in her entertainment-rich family, she began acting as a teen. She made regular appearances on the popular Howdy Doody television show and found work on Broadway. In 1955, she landed a starring role in Pipe Dream, a new musical from Broadway legends Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Continue reading

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags , , on December 6, 2021 by Cade

December 18, 1917 – February 4, 2005
October 27, 1922 – June 11, 2014

Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis was an actor, writer, director and activist whose career charged across the stage and screen through the turbulent middle half of the American 20th Century. Along with contemporaries like Sidney Poitier and Melvin Van Peeples, Davis forever altered how Black artists approached their roles and the stories they told.

Ruby Ann Wallace was an actress, poet, writer, journalist and activist whose seven decade career garnered a Drama Desk award, an Emmy, an Obie, a Screen Actors Guild award, and a Grammy. She was nominated for a Academy Award for her performance in the 2007 film American Gangster.

In 1946, Davis and Dee met on the Broadway production of Jeb. They were married shortly thereafter and their partnership would become legendary. Continue reading