Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lucy In The Sky

Lucy Vodden, once upon a time Miss Lucy O’Donnell, has passed away at the age of 46.

Lucy Vodden

Way back in 1967, the 4-year-old Lucy was the subject of a drawing by a 4-year-old Julian Lennon. The picture was to become the inspiration for the classic Beatles tune “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.

It was revealed in 2007 that Vodden was the eponymous Lucy, and it was also revealed at the time that she was suffering from the autoimmune disease lupus.

Ms. Vodden passed away on September 22, after suffering a severe infection.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Farewell to Henry Gibson

On the 14th, as the world stood stunned by the death of Patrick Swayze, another worthy yet less-celebrated celebrity also sadly shuffled off the mortal coil.

James Bateman, a.k.a. Henry Gibson, has passed away just one week before his 74th birthday.

Henry Gibson

Gaining popularity in the 70s on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In and a cult following in the 80s as leader of the Illinois Nazis in The Blues Brothers, Gibson went on to create many memorable characters, most recently the eccentric Judge Clark Brown in Boston Legal.

Drama nerds may be inclined to wonder if Gibson’s chosen moniker was a reference to playwright Henrik Ibsen. And yes, it was.

And an entirely appropriate name it was, too. While mainly known for comedy, Gibson always managed to bring a dramatic gravity to even the lightest of roles, grounding the story and greatly improving everything he was in.

The world of television just got ever so slightly less interesting.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To Patrick Swayze, Thanks for Everything

After a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Patrick Swayze has died at the age of 57.

Patrick SwayzeWhether as a romantic lead, an action hero, a drag queen or a sleazy evangelist (remember Donnie Darko? He was ace in that) Swayze has always been a compelling presence onscreen. We and Hollywood are all the poorer for his passing.

It was first announced way back in March 2008 that Swayze had been diagnosed with cancer, and at that time the prognosis looked to be very short. The fact that he lasted another 18 months is a testament to his strength and the support of this family.

Of course it took about five seconds for tasteless jokes to start popping up on Twitter and, without trying to speak ill of the recently deceased, my favourites were these:

Ghost 2 is now in production ... and "nobody puts baby in a coffin."

Too soon, people. Too soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Now you’ll need to ask the other Leyland brother

Mike Leyland, one half of the legendary Leyland brothers, has passed away at the age of 68.The Leyland Brothers

From 1976 until 1984, Mike (right) and his brother Mal were co-hosts of the iconic travel documentary show Ask The Leyland Brothers. They would travel around Australia in response to viewer questions, and shot the whole thing on Super 8. You just don’t see TV like that anymore.

And who could forget that amazing theme? If by some miracle you have, please remind yourself here.

You’ll have it stuck in your head for days, I promise.

Farewell, Mike. It was a pleasure travelling with you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vale Ray Barrett

Veteran Australian actor Ray Barrett has died at the age of 82.

Ray BarrettInternationally known as “that guy who was in that movie … you know …”, Barrett was an inspiration to a generation of Australian actors.

And he appeared in Doctor Who, way back before it was cool.


Dead Pool 2009 – August Update

Once again I’m very late with the monthly update and once again I have no excuses. I throw myself upon the mercy of the internet.

John HughesOn the 6th we bid a very fond farewell to cinema legend John Hughes. Passing away aged just 59, Hughes brought us the legendary Ferris Bueller and showed us just how pretty Molly Ringwald could look in pink (reasonably pretty, it turns out).

And of course Home Alone. But we forgive him for that last one.

Les Paul On the 13th music technology pioneer Les Paul passed away at the very respectable age of 94. He leaves behind a huge legacy including  multitrack recording, the famous Gibson guitar and well-earned 6 points for Debbie who had the foresight to tip him.

The 15th saw the death of nuclear physicist Louis Rosen, the “father” of the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center and one of pioneers of particle accelerator technology. That’s the second time I’ve used the word “pioneer”. Think I can go for three?

Edward Goldsmith On the 21st we lost Edward Goldsmith, a professional hippy and founder of the British Green party. An environmentalist long before it was fashionable we have Goldsmith to thank for the idea of the self-sustaining biosphere and therefore (in a sense) the movie Biodome. But we choose not to hold that against him.

Also on the 21st Dean Turner, bass player of Geelong rock band Magic Dirt, died of a rare form of tissue cancer at the age of 37.

Ted Kennedy The 25th saw the death of Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy. Unlike his older brothers John and Robert, Ted managed to avoid assassination. Opinions are divided as to whether he achieved much else. Hmmm. Too soon?

Finally, on the 28th we farewelled Adam Goldstein, a.k.a DJ AM, at the age of 36. While the official cause of death was an overdose of pain medication, speculation is rife that it was suicide. We eagerly wait the numerous albums he apparently had in the can prior to his death à la 2Pac and Michael Jackson.

And that’s it for August. As mention, 6 points are awarded to Debbie for the prescient tip of the late, great Les Paul.

The scoreboard looks like this …

Ty 64
Benn 64
Eliza 50
Rob 50
Russell 50
Debbie 6

… and we’ll see you all next month!