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The Mega Dead Celebrity Thread

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Ray Bradbury died today--he was 91. I had the pleasure of hearing me speak at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo back in my old college days, and he was hilarious and fascinating to listen to. I doubt we'll see another writer quite like him again.


I just finished up Fahrenheit 451 about a month ago. I throughly enjoyed it. Plus the fact that he wrote the book in the basement of my alma mater's library is pretty cool. Sad to hear that he passed away.

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As it turns out, my dad knows a lot more about this man than I do. From the bare-minimum context I started out with, I'd actually expected him to be a young guy with some wacky made-for-Youtube video, so I was glad to realize he lived a long, full life.


Anyway, the official video is awesomely hilarious, and nowhere near what I had been expecting.

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Rodney King found dead in his swimming pool


Los Angeles (CNN) -- Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, authorities and his fiancee said. He was 47.


Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy De Anda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said.


There were no preliminary signs of foul play, De Anda said, and no obvious injuries on King's body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, he said, and King's body would be autopsied.


Kelly -- who was a juror in King's lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994 -- told police King was an "avid swimmer," but that she was not, De Anda said. She reported the two had just had a conversation and she went inside, but came back out after hearing a splash and saw him at the bottom of the pool.


De Anda said he did not see any drug paraphernalia "or anything that would indicate that Mr. King was intoxicated" at the scene, but a toxicology screen would be performed.


King's beating after a high-speed car chase and its aftermath forever changed Los Angeles, its police department and the dialogue on race in America.


"I am saddened by the death of Rodney King," said Bernard Parks, a Los Angeles city councilman who served as LAPD chief from 1997 to 2002. "Although his beating will forever be thought of as one of the ugliest moments in the history of the city of Los Angeles and its police department, the victimization of Mr. King and the circumstances that followed created an atmosphere that allowed LAPD and the city to make historic disciplinary and community-based reforms that have made for a better police department and a better city as a whole."


"Rodney King was a symbol of civil rights and he represented the anti-police brutality and anti-racial profiling movement of our time," the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement. "It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct."



In later years, King had several more run-ins with the law, including a 90-day jail stint in 1996 for a hit-and-run involving his wife at the time. On the 20th anniversary of the beating in 2011, he was pulled over and ticketed for a minor traffic violation.


"The trouble that (people) see me in is a part of my life that I'm working on," he said in 2011. "I'll always have an issue when it comes to alcohol. My dad was an alcoholic. The addiction part is in my blood. What I've learned to do is arrest my addiction -- arrest it myself, so I don't get arrested."


In 2008, King appeared on the VH1 reality show "Celebrity Rehab." He also released a memoir, "The Riot Within," in which he describes his difficult upbringing and his reflections on the beating and its aftermath.

"He was a wonderful, sweet man," said Bob Forrest, a Los Angeles-based musician and drug counselor who worked with King on "Celebrity Rehab."


He said King struggled with his sobriety. "He and I would talk off and on. Sometimes he was doing great, sometimes not. He was always gracious, an honest and gentle soul."


"He was a wonderful, kind and gentle man," said Dr. Drew Pinsky of "Celebrity Rehab," who also appears on CNN sister network HLN. "He was at the center of a maelstrom and was able to maintain dignity and really keep his head high in a way that was an example for all of us."


The ranks of Los Angeles police are much more diverse than they were at the time of King's beating. Changes have also been made -- some compelled by the courts -- in the way certain neighborhoods are patrolled and how complaints are handled.


Sharpton said in his statement Sunday that he had recently spent time with King discussing the release of his book.

"Through all that he had gone through with his beating and personal demons, he was never one to not call for reconciliation and for his people to overcome and forgive," Sharpton said.


King said earlier this year he has forgiven the officers who beat him.


"Yes, I've forgiven them, because I've been forgiven many times," he said. "My country's been good to me ... This country is my house, it's the only home I know, so I have to be able to forgive -- for the future, for the younger generation coming behind me, so ... they can understand it and if a situation like that happened again, they could deal with it a lot easier."


Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/17/us/obit-rodney-king/index.html

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although Andy Griffith is best know today as "Andy Taylor" or "Matlock," I think he gave his best performance as "Lonesome Rhodes" (sort of a "Bizarro Andy Taylor") in A Face in the Crowd. He foreshadows the rise of media personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.


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Ernest Borgnine, like many character actors, had quite a varied career:


Academy Award winner for Marty



Capt. Quentin McHale in the hit TV series McHale's Navy



Dutch in The Wild Bunch



The Devil in The Devil's Rain


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  • 4 weeks later...

Tony Scott (director of Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cops II, Enemy of the State, The Taking of Pelham 123, Unstoppable, etc; and Ridley Scott's brother) committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. Very sad news, but I am somewhat interested in his reasons behind it.




EDIT: Apparently Scott had inoperable brain cancer, and from what I've heard, it is a very slow and painful death.

Edited by VinTheAttendant
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Reports are in that muppeteer Jerry Nelson died last night, after a long illness, aged 78.


If you want clarification, you'll know his voice from the Count, Gobo Fraggle, Floyd Pepper, the Trash Heap, Robin the Frog, Camilla (the chicken), etc.

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Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died Saturday, weeks after heart surgery and days after his 82nd birthday.


Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, and he radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind." He spent nearly three hours walking on the moon with fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.


Armstrong and hiw wife, Carol, married in 1999, made their home in the Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill, but he had largely stayed out of public view in recent years.


He spoke at Ohio State University during a February event honoring fellow astronaut John Glenn and the 50th anniversary of Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth. In May, Armstrong joined Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida to support the opening of The National Flight Academy, which aims to teach math and science to kids through an aviation-oriented camp.

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^This is really sad news as Armstrong made an acheivement that will always be in the history books. I'm surprised that this isn't on the news that much. A lot of people that I told that Neil Armstrong died, they said "WHAT! That was never on the news!"

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