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The Mega Dead Celebrity Thread

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A sad day for classic rock fans...




Little is known at this point about the death on Sunday (July 24) of Dan Peek, co-founder of the band America, who left the group in 1977 and then continued on as a somewhat reclusive Christian pop artist.


The home page of Peek's official web site includes a simple note saying that "Dan went to Heaven on July 24," along with a video of Peek performing the 1974 America hit "Lonely People." No other information was offered.


He was 60 years old and, by all accounts, living with his wife Catherine in the Cayman Islands and was "semi-retired," according to America bandmate Dewey Bunnell.


Bunnell and Gerry Beckley have both paid tribute to him with notes on the duo's own web site. Bunnell writes that, "I am so sorry to learn of Dan's passings. Dan, along with Gerry (Beckley) & myself, formed the band America as teenagers after being great friends in high school during the late 60's. It was a joyous time for the three of us, full of excitement and laughter. We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined. Dan was an equal and integral part of that early history, and I have never forgotten the good times we spent making that music and learning about life together."


He goes on to say that, "Although we eventually went our separate ways, his contributions to the music of America have always been present and will last forever. This news brings great sadness. My sincere condolences go out to his wife, Catherine, and the entire Peek family. May Dan rest in peace, and his memory be cherished forever."

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  • 1 month later...

Sad...but she definitely lived a full life. RIP.




Frances Bay. You may not remember her name, but she was a Hollywood actress who probably won your heart as (usually) the loveable grandmother.


In 1996, she played Adam Sandler's grandmother in Happy Gilmore. Years before that, she played grandma to The Fonz on Happy Days. She also had a memorable small role on Seinfeld where she played an old lady who Jerry Seinfeld mugs for a loaf of rye bread (even if you are not a fan of the show, the clip is hilarious).


She also appeared on a number of other hit shows including The Jeffersons, Matlock, and Who's the Boss. So, even if you don't remember her name, there is a good chance that you have seen Frances Bay somewhere at sometime and you may not have even known it!


Bay passed away at a Los Angeles hospital following complications of pneumonia. She was 92 years old.


Do you remember Frances Bay in any memorable television shows?


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Arch West, Who Helped Create Doritos Corn Chips, Is Dead at 97


Mr. West, who died on Sept. 20 at the age of 97, was a leader of the team at Frito-Lay that developed Doritos corn chips, a Southwestern-inspired alternative to the traditional salted potato or corn chip.


Though the company, Frito-Lay North America, declines to give Mr. West full credit for the chip — “as a company, there’s never one person to invent or is the father or mother of a given product,” said Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman — others do.


“He widely gets the credit for Doritos,” Andrew F. Smith, the author of the Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006), said in an interview.


Today, Doritos are Frito-Lay’s second-best seller, after Lays Potato Chips, both nationally and around the world, with total sales of nearly $5 billion annually.


Mr. West died at a hospital near his home in Dallas, his daughter, Jana Hacker, said. By her account, her father got the idea for Doritos in the early 1960s when he was vice president of marketing for what was then the Frito Company. (It is now a division of PepsiCo.) The family, while on vacation in San Diego, stopped at “a little shack restaurant where these people were making a fried corn chip,” she said.


The chip’s tangy taste captured her father’s attention. Back in Dallas, after Frito merged with the H. W. Lay Company, he promoted the Doritos’ production, which began in 1964, using corn tortillas cut into triangles and seasoned with cheese and chili flavorings.


“The ’50s were very boring and bland in terms of snack foods, so this was a taste sensation,” Mr. Smith said. “It came out at just the right time, when Mexican-American food was breaking out of the Southwest and increasingly becoming national cuisine.” In 1962, Glen W. Bell Jr. had opened in Downey, Calif., the first of what would become an international chain of Taco Bell restaurants.


The flavorings associated with Doritos “were Mexican-ish,” Mr. Smith said. “No one in Mexico would have consumed such a product, unless they were catering to American tourists.” Still, he added, “Doritos have been popular for almost half a century, so it’s been an incredible invention.”


Archibald Clark West was born in Indianapolis on Sept. 8, 1914, to James and Jessie West. After graduating from Franklin College, near Indianapolis, he served as a gunnery officer in the Navy during World War II. Before joining Frito in 1960, he had worked in advertising in New York.


Besides his daughter, Mr. West is survived by three sons, Jack, Richard and Greg; 12 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. His wife of 50 years, the former Charlotte Thomson, died last year.


When their ashes are buried together on Saturday, their daughter said, “We’re going to let everyone toss in a Dorito.”




Arch West died September 20 of natural causes at a Dallas hospital. He was 97.

His remains were cremated, and the family plans to bury the urn inside a burial box at a local cemetery on Saturday.

The family requested that friends and relatives who attend the graveside service be allowed to toss Doritos around the box as a tribute.

“He would think it is hilarious,” said his daughter Jana Hacker, a resident of the Dallas area. “The cemetery does not mind because they are biodegradable.”


Doritos were first introduced in Southern California in 1964 and nationally in 1966, said Frito-Lay spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez.

West, a marketing executive for the Frito-Lay, as eager to produce a salty snack chip after sampling a crunchy, “tortilla-type chip” at the roadside stand while on vacation in Southern California in the early 1960s, Hacker said. “The company didn’t really like the idea, but Dad managed to direct some (research and development) money into the project,” Hacker said.


The rest is crunchy, tangy history.


Doritos is the second-best selling chip of Frito-Lay’s brands, behind Lay’s potato chips, nationally and internationally.

Global sales of Doritos were about $5 billion in 2010, Gonzalez said.


West retired from Frito-Lay in 1971.


Hacker said her father’s favorite flavors were Cool Ranch and Toasted Corn Chips.



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First of all, I'm not suprised Steve Jobs died as one of my relatives died recently with pancreatic cancer, he looked fine one day, died another day. Though, he was a great visionary though he did do some awful things like make everything in China and ask Apple employees why they should still work there. Though, what I found interesting was 2 HUGE news stories today in Cupertino with Steve Jobs' death and the shooting. (Steve Jobs' death is big in Cupertino since that is where HQ is) And it just happened that I live in Cupertino near Apple HQ and the 2nd shooting from Shareef Allman. Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.

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