Monthly Archives: February 2006
June 4, 1924 – February 27, 2006
was an American television actor, best known for his roles as lame sidekick "Chester Goode" from 1955 to 1964 on TV’s first ‘adult Western’ Gunsmoke, as Marshal Sam McCloud on the NBC police drama McCloud, which ran from 1970 to 1977, and as the protagonist of Steven Spielberg’s Duel.
Weaver died of cancer on February 27, 2006.
He was born in Joplin, Missouri of part Cherokee Native American ancestry, and from boyhood wished to be an actor. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he studied drama and also was a track star, setting records in several events. He served as pilot in the United States Navy during the Second World War. In 1945, he married Gerry Stowell, with whom he had three children. In 1948, he tried out for the US Olympic team to compete in the decathlon. After he failed to make the team, his college friend Lonny Chapman convinced him to come to New York City to break into acting.
His first role on Broadway came as understudy to Chapman as Turk Fisher in Come Back, Little Sheba. He eventually took over the role from Chapman in the national touring company. Solidifying his choice to become an actor, Weaver enrolled in The Actors Studio, where he met Shelley Winters. During this time–the start of his acting career–he supported his family by doing a number of odd jobs, including selling vacuum cleaners, tricycles and women’s hosiery.
In 1952, Winters aided him in getting a contract from Universal Studios. He made his film debut that same year in the movie The Redhead from Wyoming. Over the next three years, he played roles in a series of movies, but still had to work odd jobs to support his family. It was while delivering flowers for one of these jobs that he heard he had landed his biggest break — the role of "Chester" on the new television series Gunsmoke — the highest-rated and longest-running series in TV history 1955 to 1975. He received an Emmy Award in 1959 for Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series.
From 1967 to 1969, he appeared on the television show Gentle Ben as Tom Wedloe.
He began appearing on the series McCloud in 1970, for which he received two Emmy Award nominations: in 1974, he was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series and in 1975, for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series. His frequent use of the affirming Southernism, "There you go", became a catchphrase for the show.
From 1973 to 1975, he was president of the Screen Actors Guild. In 1978, he played the trail boss R.J. Poteet in the television miniseries Centennial on the episode titled "The Longhorns". Dennis Weaver has appeared in many acclaimed television films. In 1980, he played Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was unjustly imprisoned for the Lincoln assassination, in The Ordeal Of Doctor Mudd. In 1983, he played a real estate agent addicted to cocaine in Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction. Weaver received probably the best reviews of his career when he starred in the 1987 film Bluffing It, in which he played a man who is illiterate.
In February 2002, he appeared on the animated series The Simpsons (episode DABF07, "The Lastest Gun in the West") as the voice of aging Hollywood cowboy legend Buck McCoy.
For his contribution to the television industry, Dennis Weaver has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6822 Hollywood Blvd, and on the Dodge City (KS) Trail of Fame. In 1981, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Weaver has been a vegetarian and student of yoga and meditation since the 1960s. He is also renowned as an environmentalist, promoting alternate fuels such as hydrogen and wind power though an educational organization he founded, The Institute of Ecolonomics.
Jesse Donald "Don" Knotts (July 21, 1924 – February 24, 2006)
was an American actor. He was born in Morgantown, West Virginia to Elsie L. Moore and William Jesse Knotts, whose ancestors had been in America since the 17th century. He served in World War II as an entertainer and received the World War II Victory Medal.
Knotts died on February 24, 2006 of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California. The Los Angeles Times reports that Knotts suffered from lung cancer.
Don Knotts graduated from West Virginia University in 1948 with a degree in theater. After being a regular performer in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow from 1953 to 1955, he gained additional exposure in 1956 on Steve Allen’s variety show. He is remembered for appearing in Allen’s mock "Man in the Street" interviews, always as a man obviously very nervous about being on camera. This fidgety, high-strung characterization would serve him well throughout his career.
Knotts is best known for his role as Deputy Barney Fife on the American television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, a portrayal that earned him five Emmy Awards. After leaving the series in 1965, Knotts starred in a series of film comedies: The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968) and The Love God? (1969).
In the 1970s, Knotts and Tim Conway starred together in a series of slapstick movies. The best-known examples of these slapstick movies were the 1975 feature film for Disney, The Apple Dumpling Gang, and its 1979 sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.
Knotts returned to series television in the late 1970s, appearing as landlord Ralph Furley on Three’s Company starring John Ritter, after Audra Lindley and Norman Fell left the show to star in a short-lived spinoff series ("The Ropers"). Knotts remained on the show from 1979 until it ended in 1984. in 1989, Knotts was given a recurring role as pesky neighbor Les Calhoun on Matlock, which starred his old friend and star Andy Griffith. He enjoyed this role until 1992. He also appeared with Griffith in the 1986 made for television movie Return to Mayberry, where he reprised his role as "Barney Fife".
In 1998, Knotts began a recent career comeback as the mysterious TV repairman in Pleasantville (1998) and as the voice of Mayor Turkey Lurkey in Disney’s big film Chicken Little in 2005 (his first Disney movie since 1979).
In addition to his work in film and television, in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Knotts served as the spokesman for Dodge trucks and was featured prominently in a series of memorable print ads and dealer brochures.
Knotts died on February 24, 2006 of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California. The Los Angeles Times reports that Knotts suffered from lung cancer.
MY TWO CENTS:
Don Knotts is a national treasure, one of the most naturally gifted comic actors the world has ever seen. Here are my favorite movies and television shows he has appeared in.
Search for Tomorrow (cast member from 1953-1955)
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) Gus (1976)
The Andy Griffith Show (cast member from 1960-1965)
Three’s Company (cast member from 1979-1984)
AMERICAN IDOL NEWS
The fifth season of Fox’s American Idol finally began in earnest this week, with Tuesday and Wednesday’s first performance shows culminating in last night’s live results show that eliminated the four American Idol 5 semifinalists (two male, two female) who had received the fewest votes from home viewers.
After watching Tuesday’s American Idol 5 broadcast that featured the twelve female semifinalists performing, Idol viewers decided that the American Idol journey had ended for Becky O’Donohue and Stevie Scott.
O’Donohue, 25-year-old from Dobbs Ferry, NY who found herself at the center of a mini-media controversy after reports that she had previously modeled for Maxim magazine surfaced on Wednesday (after viewer voting for the women’s Tuesday performance show had already closed), had entertained viewers with Patti Smith’s "Because The Night." "I think you’re going to be a very successful model," American Idol judge Simon Cowell snarked at O’Donohue after show host Ryan Seacrest announced her elimination.
Scott, a 19-year-old from Fair Oaks, CA, had chosen to sing Josh Grobin’s "To Where You Are."
On the men’s side, Bobby Bennett and Patrick Hall found themselves eliminated as a result of the viewer voting from Wednesday’s broadcast of the twelve male semifinalists’ performances. Bennett, a 19-year-old from Denver, CO, had sung Barry Manilow’s "Copacabana" while Hall, a 27-year-old from Gravette, AR, had opted to sing Melissa Etheridge’s "Come To My Window."
According to Seacrest, American Idol viewers cast nearly 40 million votes for last night’s results show.
Next week, the ten remaining female semifinalists (Paris Bennett, Ayla Brown, Heather Cox, Brenna Gethers, Mandisa Hundley, Kinnik Sky, Melissa McGhee, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, and Lisa Tucker) will take the stage once again, singing during a special 90-minute American Idol broadcast on Tuesday, February 28 at 8PM ET/PT.
Then it’s once again men’s night, with the ten remaining male semifinalists (Kevin Covais, Bucky Covington, Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Will Makar, Gedeon McKinney, Jose "Sway" Penala, David Radford, Elliott Yamin, and Ace Young) taking to the stage in another special 90-minute American Idol broadcast on Wednesday, March 1 at 8PM ET/PT.
After that, another two men and two women will be eliminated on the American Idol 5 live results show airing Thursday, March 2 at 8PM ET/PT.
WEST WING NEWS
This is the promo for the next West Wing on March 12,2006.
A NUCLEAR SCARE LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD – After the near disaster at the San Andreo nuclear plant, the polls come back with surprising results for the candidates. Meanwhile, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is forced to consider putting US troops on the ground to keep peace in Central Asia.
THIS IS THE PROMO FOR NEXT WEEKS EPISODE
John Spencer News
"The West Wing" used an Air Force honor guard for the funeral of character Leo McGarry, whose portrayer John Spencer died of a heart attack in December.
A military newspaper said the episode featuring the funeral of White House Chief of Staff McGarry will air April 16 on NBC, the New York Post reported.
An Air Force color guard was used because the fictional character was an Air Force veteran, the Post said.
MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
"Because I’m tired of it. Year, after year, after year, after year, having to choose between the lesser of who cares. Of trying to get myself excited about a candidate who can speak in complete sentences. Of setting the bar so low I can hardly look at it. They say a good man can’t get elected. Well, I don’t believe that." -Leo Mcgarry
July 31, 1919 – February 20, 2006
was an American sportscaster, well-known as the longtime "voice" of the Boston Red Sox
Born in Green River, Wyoming, Gowdy made his broadcasting debut in 1944 in Cheyenne, Wyoming in a high school football game. His distinctive play-by-play style during his subsequent broadcasts of baseball and basketball in Oklahoma City earned him a chance with the New York Yankees and Mel Allen in 1949. In 1951 Gowdy became lead announcer for the Red Sox, a position he held for the next 15 years.
Gowdy’s numerous network television assignments, first for ABC and later for NBC and CBS, ran a wide range of sports, earning him the somewhat derisive nickname of the "broadcaster of everything". He called play-by-play for professional and collegiate football, covering the American Football League throughout its ten-year reign and continuing as a lead announcer after the AFL’s merger with the National Football League in 1970. Over the course of a career that stretched into the 1980s, he also covered Major League Baseball and college basketball; called 13 World Series, 16 baseball All-Star Games, 9 Super Bowls, 14 Rose Bowls, 8 Olympic Games and 24 NCAA Final Fours; and hosted ABC’s long-running American Sportsman series.
In 1970 Gowdy became the first sportscaster to receive the George Foster Peabody Award. He was given the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, the Pete Rozelle Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a lifetime achievement Emmy in 1992, and was selected to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1995. Gowdy was president of the Basketball Hall of Fame for several years, and that institution’s Curt Gowdy Award (presented annually to outstanding basketball writers and broadcasters) is named after him.
In 1963 Gowdy purchased WCCM and WCCM-FM in Lawrence, Massachusetts, later changing the FM station’s calls to WCGY. Gowdy also owned several radio stations in Wyoming, before selling his broadcast interests in 1994.
Gowdy died on February 20, 2006, after a long battle with leukemia in Palm Beach, Florida.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS
Grey’s Anatomy is a dramatic story about a group of new surgical interns fighting it out and figuring it out in one of the country’s most competitive residency programs. The group of five all battle the job, each other and life on a daily basis. Despite the cut-throat atmosphere and relentless stress the five manage to form friendships and grow with each other. They are all young, sexually charged and motivated.
Despite this thread of similarity, all five interns are unique. Meredith, a quietly ambitious doctor is the daughter of a famous surgeon. She hides the fact that her mother is ailing from Alzhimer’s and it eats her up. Christina is the definition of ‘motivated’ and ‘mean’, constantly vying for the top spot amonst the group. Isobel a self-conscious girl from a small town grew up poor and put herself through med school with her modeling, which becomes a source of embarrasment. George is the goofy guy next door who desperately wants the attention of the girls but is hopelessly awkward in their presence. Alex, although handsom, is as arrogant as they come and gives new meaning to the phrase ‘God Complex’.
The team of doctors who ‘mentors’ this group is just as diverse and troublesome. Dr. Derek Shepherd is the hospital’s new super-star surgeon. He soon finds out that a one-night stand, Meredith, is one of the hospital’s new interns. Despite the hospital’s policy he decides to continue his relationship with Meredith. Shepherd’s success threatens Dr. Preston Burke, who views the hotshot doctor as an obstacle in his climb to the top of the hospital. Burke is an amazing surgeon that seems to thrive on this conflict. He’s ruthless with the new doctors but in the end wants to help them.
The interns get a good dose of tough love from their daily drill-master, Dr. Miranda Bailey the senior resident, AKA "the Nazi." She has a love for junk food and for snapping at interns. All the doctors report to the chief of surgery, Dr. Richard Webber who has cautioned the interns that some won’t make the cut in his program. At times, he has a hard time treating Meredith as ‘another intern’ considering he knew her as her mother’s daughter, a world renowned surgeon.
MY TWO CENTS:
I had seen previews for the show last year and they looked interesting. But quite by accident did I catch the first episode.
I used to watch ER on occasion and thought that it was a really good show. But with "Grey’s" i literally didn’t want to miss an episode.
This show works so well because its so realistic, so human and you relate so much to the characters – they’re learning, they’re making mistakes and living life where they have to soldier on because they have responsibilities. In 9 episodes it became (through ratings and polls) the most addictive TV show for years upon years.
And you may notice that ER was supposed to be finished. Done. Gone. For good. But 5 episodes into Grey’s second series and ER mysteriously shows up again with a new series. And low and behold its ratings are actually down from their last recorded numbers.
The show is funny, has lots of drama, unrealistic at times and then more than real at other times. The workings of a real hospital? I will leave that for you to decide. The drama of every day in the life of a surgical intern. Too much work, too little time, but these interns always find time for the personal stories of their patients and, this is where the shows true colors come shining through.
The humanness of physicians and the people they care for; the love and dedication it takes to help someone become well, and the sadness and gloom of a death. The open heart surgery in an elevator by a first year surgical intern is hard to believe, but somehow it works.
This is a TV show that works as well. The personalities ring true; we like them, we want them to succeed.
I look forward to watching this show every Sunday night, the perfect end to a weekend, light heartedly funny, yet emotionally charged.
MY FAVORITE QUOTE:
George (to Meredith): You don’t get to choose. I know you’ve been going through a bad time. I know you miss Shepard. And I know that your life has, admittedly, been pretty unpleasant these days. You get points for breathing in and out. You get to be a little selfish. But you don’t get to choose a dog over me… I’m George. I sleep down the hall from you. I buy your tampons. I have held your hand, every time you asked. I’ve earned the right to be seen. To be respected. To not have you think of me, as less than a dog that you got at the pound. So, I’m not moving out. Whether you like it or not, I’m staying.
AMERICAN IDOL 24 FINALIST
They come from Albemarle, N.C., and Sherman Oaks, Calif., Levittown, N.Y., and The Woodlands, Texas. And they all can sing a little bit. After five weeks of auditions and bad singers and cutdowns in Los Angeles, "American Idol" got around to naming the 24 semifinalists in this year’s competition on Wednesday night (Feb. 15). The 12 guys and 12 girls will begin singing for viewers next week, with the women performing Tuesday and the men on Wednesday.
That will go on for three weeks, with two people from each group going home in live results shows that will air on Thursdays. Then, finally, the show will move on to its final 12 and the process of picking the fifth American Idol.
Here’s a rundown of the 24 semifinalists.
Paris Bennett, 17, Fayetteville, Ga.; auditioned in Greensboro. Singing is in her blood: Grandmother Ann Nesby is a member of the gospel group Sounds of Blackness.
Ayla Brown, 17, Wrentham, Mass.; auditioned in Boston. In addition to singing, Brown is a talented basketball player and will attend Boston College next year on a hoops scholarship.
Heather Cox, 22, Jonesville, N.C.; auditioned in Denver. You can call her the Singing Accountant, as she was studying accounting before auditioning for "Idol."
Brenna Gethers, 25, Mt. Vernon, N.Y.; auditioned in Boston. She sparred with Simon Cowell during the Hollywood rounds, but Simon might not want to tick her off too much. She holds a black belt in Shotokan karate.
Mandisa, 29, Antioch, Tenn.; auditioned in Chicago. Mandisa has dropped her last name (Hundley) and forgiven Simon for his unkind comments about her weight early on.
Kinnik Sky, 28, Duluth, Ga.; auditioned in Greensboro. The last female to make the top 12, Sky has some acting experience as well, performing in theater productions in the Atlanta area.
Melissa McGhee, 21, Tampa; auditioned in Denver. FOX says she "embarked on her performing career" at the tender age of 4. She also describes herself as a romantic.
Katharine McPhee, 21, Sherman Oaks, Calif.; auditioned in San Francisco. Her mom’s a vocal coach, and she has training from the Boston Conservatory.
Becky O’Donohue, 25, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.; auditioned in Boston. If Ayla Brown needs someone to shoot hoops with, O’Donohue would be a good choice; she played Division I basketball at Niagara University.
Kellie Pickler, 19, Albemarle, N.C.; auditioned in Greensboro. Her country-girl background and singing style have invited comparisons to last year’s winner, Carrie Underwood.
Stevie Scott, 19, Fair Oaks, Calif.; auditioned in Denver. She’s been performing since age 10 and has recorded since 15. Scott also plays guitar and piano.
Lisa Tucker, 16, Anaheim, Calif.; auditioned in Denver. The high schooler was a member of the the Los Angeles cast of "The Lion King" musical.
Bobby Bennett, 19, Denver; auditioned in Denver. He’s been singing since age 7, though he has little formal training. Prior to auditioning for the show, he worked at Target.
Kevin Covais, 16, Levittown, N.Y.; auditioned in Boston. A high school junior, Covais is a member of the Chorale in New York’s Metropolitan Youth Orchestra.
Bucky Covington, 28, Rockingham, N.C.; auditioned in Greensboro. He’s been singing in bands since the age of 19 and also plays guitar.
Chris Daughtry, 26, McLeansville, N.C.; auditioned in Denver. Daughtry also plays guitar and has recorded an album with his band, Absent Element. He’s married and the stepfather to two kids.
Patrick Hall, 27, Gravette, Ark.; auditioned in Las Vegas. Hall is also married, and he’s been pursuing singing while working as a real estate manager.
Taylor Hicks, 29, Birmingham, Ala.; auditioned in Las Vegas. The prematurely gray Hicks showed some skills on the harmonica while awaiting word of his fate Wednesday.
Will Makar, 16, The Woodlands, Texas; auditioned in Austin. As a member of the Houston Children’s Chorus, he’s sung for two presidents, and he apparently also does a mean Chewbacca impression.
Gedeon McKinney, 17, Memphis; auditioned in Chicago. When he was too young to join his church choir, McKinney sang on the church steps. He attends a performing-arts high school in Memphis.
Jose "Sway" Penala, 28, South San Francisco, Calif.; auditioned in San Francisco. Prior to auditioning for "Idol," Sway was part of a group called 6th Day.
David Radford, 17, Crystal Lake, Ill.; auditioned in Chicago. The junior Rat Packer is a senior in high school and says he’s been singing for as long as he can remember.
Elliott Yamin, 27, Richmond, Va.; auditioned in Boston. Yamin says he gets his inspiration from his mom, who’s also a professional singer.
Ace Young, 25, Los Angeles; auditioned in Denver. Young grew up in Colorado, and he began performing locally at age 11.
AMERICAN IDOL 2006…….LET’S GET IT ON!!!!!