Prior to the Emmy’s, producer Don Mischer tipped off one of our reporters that this year’s “In Memoriam” segment would be longer than usual, due to the never-ending onslaught of obituaries of this past summer. I watched and unlike my esteemed colleague, John Eggerton, didn’t feel like this segment ran long. I found it appropriate, although for her own emotional stability Sarah McLachlan really needs to write a song that can accompany a more joyful occasion.
I’m getting overemotional as I get older so I actually got teary toward the end of it: we lost so many of those people too young, including Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Ron Silver, Natasha Richardson, Michael Crichton, David Carradine, and Nora O’Brien. So many of them were brutally taken from us due to cancer and I want to note here that Hollywood has its own group working toward ending this complicated disease: Stand Up to Cancer, “an initiative created to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. By galvanizing the entertainment industry, SU2C creates awareness and builds broad public support for this effort.” There are plenty of other fund-raising groups involving cancer research, including Susan G. Komen for the Cure (breast), and Light the Night (leukemia and lymphoma). You can find a comprehensive list of organizations dedicated to raising money for cancer research here.
A total of 37 names crossed the In Memoriam list. Here they are:
Singer, dancer and actress Edie Adams, 81
50s sitcom star Gale Storm, 87
“Matinee idol of Hollywood’s Golden Age” Van Johnson, 92
Composer Neal Hefti, 85
Actor Patrick McGoohan, 80
Comedy writer and producer (All in the Family, Kate and Allie, Gimme a Break) Morton Lachman, 90
Actor (Streetcar Named Desire, Streets of San Francisco) Karl Malden, 97
Singer, actress and dancer (Catwoman in Batman TV series) Eartha Kitt, 81
Actor (Shawshank Redemption, The Majestic and 50 or so other films) James Whitmore, 87
ICM uber-agent Sam Cohn, 79
Comedian and actor (Laugh-In, Boston Legal) Henry Gibson, 73
Animator and Snoopy’s voice Bill Melendez, 91
Actor (Commissioner Gordon in Batman) Pat Hingle, 84
Actor (The Jeffersons) Paul Benedict, 70
Actor (Starsky and Hutch) Bernie Hamilton, 80
Actor, comedian, director, producer and chef (Blazing Saddles, History of the World, part I, Spaceballs) Dom Deluise, 75
Vanity Fair writer and author Dominick Dunne, 83
Actor (Hill Street Blues, Broadcast News) Robert Prosky, 77
Comedian Fred Travalena, 66
Journalist Irving R. Levine, 86
Broadway, film and television actor and activist Ron Silver, 62
NBC Universal executive Nora O’Brien, 44
Actress Natasha Richardson, 45
Actor (Kung Fu, Kill Bill)David Carradine, 72
Writer and producer (ER, Jurassic Park) Michael Crichton, 66
Actor (Maude, The Golden Girls) Bea Arthur, 86
Actor (Fantasy Island, Star Trek: Wrath of Kahn) Ricardo Montalban, 88
Tonight Show sidekick and pitchman Ed McMahon, 86
Variety columnist Army Archerd, 87
Comedy writer (M*A*S*H, Tootsie) Larry Gelbart, 81
movie star (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Hud, Cool Hand Luke, The Color of Money and 60 more films), philanthropist and race-car driver Paul Newman, 83
producer and “father of the Grammys” Pierre Cossette, 85
King of Pop Michael Jackson, 50
Actor and dancer (The Outsiders, Dirty Dancing, Road House, Red Dawn, Point Break, Ghost, etc.) Patrick Swayze, 57
CBS News and 60 Minutes creator and producer Don Hewitt, 86
Actress (Charlie’s Angels, The Burning Bed) Farrah Fawcett, 62
CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, 92
Damages’ Glenn Close, picking up her second win for Best Actress in a Drama, acknowledged these many departures as part of her classy, calm speech: “It is such a huge privilege to be in the community we’re all a part of. Looking at who we lost this past year, you think what a legacy we have. What power we have.”
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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