The RIP Celebrities Thread - Page 68 - Wrestling Forum: WWE, AEW, New Japan, Indy Wrestling, Women of Wrestling Forums

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post #671 of 704 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 10:38 PM
 
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post #672 of 704 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 11:04 AM
 
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

RIP to Ashley Massaro (39), and Grumpy Cat (7)

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post #673 of 704 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 04:45 AM
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

Wasn't sure if sporting legends are posted in this thread but RIP to a true legend of F1 Niki Lauda aged 70

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48345660
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post #674 of 704 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 08:52 PM
 
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

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Dr. John, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, New Orleans music legend dies at 77



NEW ORLEANS — Dr. John, the pianist, singer and songwriter known worldwide as an ambassador for New Orleans music, honored with six Grammy Awards and selection to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died Thursday. He was 77.

His family confirms he died of a heart attack.

Dr. John, whose real name was Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, had minimized his public appearances in recent years, leading to concerns about his health. In 2017, he was honored by the New Orleans City Council and at a special birthday event, but he cancelled shows later that year at Tipitina’s and in New York. His performance at the 2017 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival would also turn out to be his last, as he was not booked at the fest for 2018 or 2019.

A six-time Grammy Award winning pianist, performer and 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. John was among the best-known New Orleans musicians of his generation, though greatly influenced by music greats and so-called "piano professors" of a previous era. His music brought a New Orleans sound to the world and his colorful persona, wardrobe, “fonkified” vocabulary and stream of consciousness ramblings made him one of a kind. “I am traumaticalized,” he famously told Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose in December 2005 after touring the city for a post-Hurricane Katrina story. It was just one of the many mangled expressions and Dr. John-isms that endeared him to fans worldwide.

A native of New Orleans' Third Ward, Dr. John performed for more than 60 years, first as a guitarist and session musician on recordings by fellow music greats Professor Longhair, Art Neville and Frankie Ford. He was also a session musician in Los Angeles, where he played piano and guitar on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones.

Rebennack’s early music interests were nurtured by his father’s side business of repairing sound systems at the family appliance store. Young "Mac" formed his first bands at Jesuit High School, but dropped out and instead learned the music business from such greats as Earl King, Huey “Piano” Smith and James Booker. It was a wild time and a rough life, playing in strip clubs and the seedier side of town. He even had part of his finger nearly shot off in a brawl. Hooked on drugs, Rebennack was sent to a federal prison program for drug addicts in Fort Worth, Texas. When he was released in 1965, he headed west for Los Angeles.

While on the West Coast, and at the urging of producer Harold Battiste, Rebennack adopted the persona of Dr. John the Nite Tripper. Originally the stage name was supposed to go to vocalist and friend Ronnie Barron. "I never liked front men," he told New Orleans Advocate music writer Keith Spera in 2011. "I never felt any different after I became one. The idea of what front men become is kinda obnoxious." Rebennack also said he never thought his gravelly, New Orleans voice was that of a singer’s. "I said, 'Whaddya mean me? I can't sing,' " Rebennack told Spera. "And he said, 'Look, if Bob Dylan and Sonny and Cher can sing, you can sing.' I thought it would be a one-off deal and then I'd go back to producing records. It didn't happen."

His breakout album, 1968’s Gris Gris, introduced the voodoo-based character and his funky, mystical style of rock and rhythm and blues to a worldwide audience. He became a cult figure famous for performances filled with feathers, magic dust, candles and live snakes. In 2012, Rolling Stone named "Gris-Gris," which included his song “I Walk on Gilded Splinters,” one of the 500 best albums of all time, calling it a “swamp-funk classic" that blended "New Orleans R&B, voodoo chants and chemical inspiration.”

His career exploded with 1973's "In the Right Place," produced by Allen Toussaint and featuring the Meters on backup. It introduced his hits "Right Place Wrong Time" and "Such a Night." The Meters also backed him on 1974's "Desitively Bonnaroo." His versions of the New Orleans classics "Iko Iko," "Tipitina" and "Big Chief" also became favorites.

Dr. John had a heroin habit throughout the 1980s but in interviews had said he was sober since 1989. That same year he won a Grammy for "Makin' Whoopee," his collaboration with Rickie Lee Jones which won a Grammy. He won more Grammys in 1992 for "Goin' Back to New Orleans," in 1996 for "SRV Shuffle" and more awards in 2000 and 2008.

Following Hurricane Katrina, he also released a benefit album, Sippiana Hericane, which was nominated for a Grammy. He became active in coastal restoration causes and was a vocal critic of the slow hurricane recovery but said music would be key to the city's rebirth. “Music is a healing force. A vital thing,” he told Rose in 2006, shortly after the storm. “The Indian music, the church music, the Mardi Gras music, the second-line from the corner . . . our culture does not exist without the music. Music is what people have to get their head out of their head.” As for his own head, and his feelings about the government response, he told Rose he was “More balanced than those who are too optimistical or too pessimistical. I'm a realist. But I'm also pissed off in some sort of way.”

Dr. John won a Grammy in 2013 for his album, "Locked Down,” with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. His 2014 album, "Ske-Dat-De-Dat...The Spirit of Satch" paid tribute to Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. Rebennack claimed Armstrong came to him in a dream and inspired the album. It featured performances of Armstrong songs by Rebennack and friends Bonnie Raitt, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, James Andrews and Ledisi. In December, Dr. John and fellow New Orleans music star Cyril Neville were among the Louie Award recipients at the Armstrong House Museum in New York.

In 2013, he and Toussaint were awarded honorary doctorates by Tulane University, and performed at a memorable commencement ceremony which also featured an appearance by the Dalai Lama. In 2014, he performed at the French Quarter Festival for the first time since 1987. He also performed locally at the Voodoo Music Experience in recent years.

A 2016 tribute album and concert, “The Musical Mojo of Dr. John” featured a who’s who of music greats performing some of Dr. John’s best known songs, including Bruce Springsteen, Widespread Panic, Mavis Staples and John Fogerty.

Dr. John’s distinctive voice, one of the most recognizable in all of music, was featured over the years on everything from the theme song to the PBS children’s show "Curious George" to the Disney film "The Princess and the Frog" and the well-known jingle for Popeye’s (“Love that Chicken”). He was even the inspiration for the Muppets character Dr. Teeth. He is also featured on the soundtrack for the 2016 remake of Disney’s animated film "The Jungle Book."

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
The man was just iconic. That voice. RIP Dr. John

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post #675 of 704 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 10:00 PM
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

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Originally Posted by 2 Ton 21 View Post
The man was just iconic. That voice. RIP Dr. John

Saw Dr. John perform in San Francisco on October 27, 2007.

Tremendous voice.

RIP.
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post #676 of 704 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 04:30 AM
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

http://www.apnews.com/a05dc1bad5774b049fdaf254ef909206

Quote:
“Romeo and Juliet” director Franco Zeffirelli dies at 96
By COLLEEN BARRY
yesterday

FILE - Franco Zeffirelli, seen in New York, in this Oct. 31, 1974 file photo. Italian film director Franzo Zeffirelli has died in Rome at the age of 96. Zefffirelli's son Luciano said his father died at home on Saturday at noon. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey, File)

ROME (AP) — Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, who delighted audiences around the world with his romantic vision and extravagant productions, most famously captured in his cinematic “Romeo and Juliet” and the miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth,” died Saturday at 96.

While Zeffirelli was most popularly known for his films, his name was also inextricably linked to the theater and opera. He produced classics for the world’s most famous opera houses, from Milan’s venerable La Scala to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and plays for London and Italian stages.

Zeffirelli’s son Luciano said his father died at home in Rome.

“He had suffered for a while, but he left in a peaceful way,” he said.

Zeffirelli made it his mission to make culture accessible to the masses, often seeking inspiration in Shakespeare and other literary greats for his films, and producing operas aimed at TV audiences. Claiming no favorites, Zeffirelli once likened himself to a sultan with a harem of three: film, theater and opera.

“I am not a film director. I am a director who uses different instruments to express his dreams and his stories — to make people dream,” Zeffirelli told The Associated Press in a 2006 interview.

From his out-of-wedlock birth on the outskirts of Florence on Feb. 12, 1923, Zeffirelli rose to be one of Italy’s most prolific directors, working with such opera greats as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Maria Callas, as well as Hollywood stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Mel Gibson, Cher and Judi Dench.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was “profoundly moved by the death of Zeffirelli, who was an Italian ambassador of cinema, art and beauty.”

Throughout his career, Zeffirelli took risks — and his audacity paid off at the box office. His screen success in America was a rarity among Italian filmmakers.

He was one of the few Italian directors close to the Vatican, and the church turned to Zeffirelli’s theatrical touch for live telecasts of the 1978 papal installation and the 1983 Holy Year opening ceremonies in St. Peter’s Basilica. Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi also tapped him to direct a few high-profile events.

But Zeffirelli was best known outside Italy for his colorful, softly-focused romantic films. His 1968 “Romeo and Juliet” brought Shakespeare’s famous story to a new and appreciative generation, and his 1973 “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” told the life of St. Francis in parables.

“Romeo and Juliet” set box-office records in the United States, though it was made with two unknown actors, Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. The film, which cost $1.5 million, grossed $52 million and became one of the most successful Shakespearian movies ever.

A year earlier, he directed Taylor and Burton in Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” leaving his distinctive mark on world cinema.

In the 1970s, Zeffirelli’s focus shifted from the romantic to the spiritual. His 1977 made-for-television “Life of Jesus” became an instant classic with its portrayal of a Christ who seemed authentic and relevant. Shown around the world, the film earned more than $300 million.

Where Zeffirelli worked, controversy was never far away. In 1978, he threatened to leave Italy for good because of harsh attacks against him and his art by Italian leftists, who saw Zeffirelli as an exponent of Hollywood.

On the other hand, piqued by American criticism of his 1981 movie “Endless Love,” starring Brooke Shields, Zeffirelli said he might never make another film in the U.S. The movie, as he predicted, was a box office success.

In his 2006 autobiography, Zeffirelli recounted how his mother attended her husband’s funeral pregnant with another man’s child. Unable to give the baby either her name or his father’s, she tried to name him Zeffiretti, after an aria in Mozart’s “Idomeneo.” But a typographical error made it Zeffirelli, making him “the only person in the world with Zeffirelli as a name, thanks to my mother’s folly.”

His mother died of tuberculosis when he was 6, and Zeffirelli went to live with his father’s cousin, whom he affectionately called Zia (Aunt) Lide.

Living in Zia Lide’s house and getting weekly visits from his father, Zeffirelli developed the passions that would shape his life. The first was for opera, after seeing Wagner’s “Walkuere” at age 8 or 9 in Florence. The second was a love of English culture and literature, after his father started him on thrice-weekly English lessons.

His experiences with the British expatriate community under fascism, and their staunch disbelief that they would be victimized by Benito Mussolini’s regime, were at the heart of the semi-autobiographical 1991 film “Tea with Mussolini.”

He remained ever an Anglophile, and was particularly proud when Britain gave him an honorary knighthood in 2004.

As a youth, Zeffirelli served with the partisans during World War II. He later acted as an interpreter for British troops. Then the lifelong bachelor turned to acting at 20 when he joined an experimental troupe in Florence.

Zeffirelli reportedly said in his autobiography that he considered himself a homosexual instead of using the term gay, a word he detested.

After a short-lived acting career, Zeffirelli worked with Luchino Visconti’s theatrical company in Rome, where he showed a flair for dramatic staging techniques in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Troilus and Cressida.” He later served as assistant director under Italian film masters Michelangelo Antonioni and Vittorio De Sica.

In 1950, he began a long and fruitful association with lyric theater, working as a director, set designer and costumist, and bringing new life to works by his personal favorites: Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi. Over the next decade, he staged dozens of operas, romantic melodramas and contemporary works in Italian and other European theaters, eventually earning a reputation as one of the world’s best directors of musical theater.

Both La Scala and New York’s Metropolitan Opera later hosted Zeffirelli’s classic staging of “La Boheme,” which was shown on American television in 1982.

His first film effort in 1958, a comedy he wrote called “Camping,” had limited success.

Zeffirelli returned to prose theater in 1961 with an innovative interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet” at London’s Old Vic. British critics termed it “revolutionary,” and the director used it as the basis of frequent later productions and the 1968 film.

When Zeffirelli decided to do “La Traviata” on film, he had already worked his stage version of the opera into a classic, performed at La Scala with soprano Maria Callas. He had been planning the film since 1950, he said.

“In the last 30 years, I’ve done everything a lyric theater artist can do,” Zeffirelli wrote as the film was released in 1983. “This work is the one that crowns all my hopes and gratifies all my ambitions.”

The film, with Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo in the lead roles, found near-unanimous critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic and received Oscar nominations for costuming, scenography and artistic direction.

Zeffirelli worked on a new staging of La Traviata as his last project, which will open the 2019 Opera Festival on June 21 at the Verona Arena.

“We’ll pay him a final tribute with one of his most loved operas,” said artistic director Cecilia Gasdia. “He’ll be with us.”

Zeffirelli often turned his talents toward his native city. In 1983, he wrote a historical portrait of Florence during the 15th and 16th centuries. During the disastrous 1966 Florence floods, Zeffirelli produced a well-received documentary on the damage done to the city and its art.

“I feel more like a Florentine than an Italian,” Zeffirelli once said. “A citizen of a Florence that was once the capital of Western civilization.”

Accused by some of heavy-handedness in his staging techniques, Zeffirelli fought frequent verbal battles with others in Italian theater.

“Zeffirelli doesn’t realize that an empty stage can be more dramatic than a stage full of junk,” Carmelo Bene, an avant-garde Italian director and actor, once said.

It was a criticism that some reserved for his lavish production of “Aida” to open La Scala’s 2006-7 season — his first return to the Milan opera house in a dozen years and the fifth “Aida” of his career. The production was a popular success, but may be remembered more for the turbulent exit of the lead tenor, Roberto Alagna, after being booed.

“I’m 83 and I’ve really been working like mad since I was a kid. I’ve done everything, but I never really feel that I have said everything I have to say,” Zeffirelli told The Associated Press shortly before the opening of “Aida.”

Zeffirelli had trouble with his balance after contracting an infection during hip surgery in 1999, but didn’t let that slow him down.

“I always have to cling on this or that to walk ... but the mind is absolutely intact,” he said in the AP interview.

___

Giada Zampano contributed from Rome.

___

This story corrects that the film “Romeo and Juliet” was made in 1968, not 1978, and that Zeffiretti is from Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” not from his “Cosi fan tutte.”
Rest in Peace.



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post #677 of 704 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 12:10 AM
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

Full article with the link: http://www.cnn.com/2019/06/17/entert...ies/index.html

Quote:
Fashion icon and artist Gloria Vanderbilt dies at 95

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

Updated 3:36 PM ET, Mon June 17, 2019

(CNN)Gloria Vanderbilt died Monday morning, according to her son, CNN's Anderson Cooper. The fashion designer, artist and socialite was 95.

She died in her Manhattan home with friends and family at her side.

"Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms," Cooper said in a statement. "She was a painter, a writer and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend.

"She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they'd tell you: She was the youngest person they knew -- the coolest and most modern."

Vanderbilt was diagnosed with an advanced form of stomach cancer earlier this month, Cooper said.

In the spotlight from the start

Born in New York in 1924, Gloria Laura Morgan Vanderbilt grew up in France. Her father, financier Reginald Vanderbilt, the heir to a railroad fortune, died when she was a baby.

Gloria was the focus of media attention at an early age, dubbed "the poor little rich girl" amid an intense custody battle between her mother and her father's wealthy sister, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Though her aunt prevailed in court proceedings, young Gloria didn't know her well. She considered her nanny, Dodo, her mother figure.

"As a teenager she tried to avoid the spotlight, but reporters and cameramen followed her everywhere," Cooper said. "She was determined to make something of her life, determined to make a name for herself, and find the love she so desperately needed."

Modeling was an early interest, and at 15 she was photographed for Harper's Bazaar, the first of many appearances as a fashion model. She'd go on to appear in Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines and to pose for renowned photographers, such as Richard Avedon.

When she was 17, she married Hollywood agent Pat DiCicco in 1941, against her Aunt Gertrude's wishes. She'd later concede she knew it was a mistake at the time.

At 21, she took control of a $4.3 million trust fund her father had left her. She divorced DiCicco two months later and promptly remarried -- this time, to conductor Leopold Stokowski, who was 63 at the time.

"I knew him for a week and married three weeks later," she told Cooper during an interview.

Asked if her friends thought it was weird that she had fallen for a man four decades her senior, she said, "Didn't matter to me."

An artist at heart

With Stokowski, she began pursuing her passions, beginning with her artwork, which she first put on exhibit in 1948. She had two sons with Stokowski: Leopold Stokowski was born in 1950, Christopher Stokowski in 1952.

In 1954, she made her stage debut in a production of the romantic drama, "The Swan," at the Pocono Playhouse in Mountainhome, Pennsylvania. She published a book of poetry the following year, the same year she divorced Stokowski.

She found love again in Hollywood with director and producer Sidney Lumet, who would earn multiple Academy Award nominations for films, including "12 Angry Men," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Network."

The two married in 1956. Following their divorce in August 1963, Vanderbilt married for a final time on Christmas Eve of that year. With writer Wyatt Cooper, she had two more sons: Carter Cooper in 1965 and Anderson Cooper in 1967.

Vanderbilt found another avenue for her creativity in the years that followed. Tapping her artwork as a muse, she produced fashion and textile designs that would earn her the 1969 Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, before opening the door to a line of ready-to-wear garments in the mid-1970s.

Under her GV Ltd. brand, she'd go on to sell millions of pairs of jeans bearing her signature and trademark swan logo -- a nod to her first production as a thespian.

"If you were around in early 1980s it was pretty hard to miss the jeans she helped create, but that was her public face -- the one she learned to hide behind as a child," Anderson Cooper said. "Her private self, her real self -- that was more fascinating and more lovely than anything she showed the public."

Losing a son, finding solace in words

Tragedy struck the family in 1978 when Wyatt Cooper died on the operating table during open-heart surgery. The family took another blow a decade later when Carter Cooper, 23, jumped from the 14th-floor terrace of his parents' penthouse in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan. Carter had suffered with depression.

The following years were rough ones for Vanderbilt. On top of coping with the loss of a son, her lawyer and psychiatrist bilked her out of millions. She successfully sued them, but still had to sell her mansion in the Hamptons and five-story Manhattan penthouse to pay off her debts.

In 1995, she began working on a book, "A Mother's Story," which published in 1996. The book documented her grief after Carter's death. Despite her struggles, she always welcomed stories about her boy, she told People in a 2016 interview.

People "will start to talk about him and then say, 'Oh, I'm sorry,' and I say, 'No, I love to talk about him. More, more, more' -- because that brings him alive and it brings him closer and it means that he hasn't been forgotten," she told the magazine, Anderson Cooper by her side.

In his mother's obituary, Cooper lovingly described his mom as "the strongest person I've ever met, but she wasn't tough. She never developed a thick skin to protect herself from hurt. She wanted to feel it all. She wanted to feel life's pleasures, its pains as well.

"She trusted too freely, too completely and suffered tremendous losses, but she always pressed on, always worked hard, always believed the best was yet to come."



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post #678 of 704 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 10:05 PM
 
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...r-dead-842205/

Quote:
Leon Redbone, Cult Singer Who Helped Revive Ragtime, Dead at 69



Leon Redbone, the singer who built a career out of performing ragtime, vaudeville and American standards with a sly wink and an unmistakable, nasally voice, died Thursday. He was 69.

A statement on Redbone’s website confirmed his death, though it did so with a sweet bit of humor and joking that he was actually 127 years old.

“He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover and a simple tip of his hat,” his family said in a statement. “He’s interested to see what Blind Blake, Emmett and Jelly Roll have been up to in his absence, and has plans for a rousing singalong number with Sári Barabás. An eternity of pouring through texts in the Library of Ashurbanipal will be a welcome repose, perhaps followed by a shot or two of whiskey with Lee Morse, and some long overdue discussions with his favorite Uncle, Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites. To his fans, friends and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh behave yourselves. Thank you… and good evening everybody.'”

Often clad in a Panama hat and big, dark sunglasses, Redbone rose to prominence in the mid-Seventies, though he always had an air of mystery about him, famously refusing to answer questions about his age and background. He was reportedly born in Cyprus, but moved to Canada in the Sixties and began performing in Toronto nightclubs. He eventually hit the folk festival circuit, which is how he met Bob Dylan, who praised Redbone’s enigmatic aura in a 1974 interview with Rolling Stone.

“Leon interests me,” Dylan said. “I’ve heard he’s anywhere from 25 to 60, I’ve been [a foot and a half from him] and I can’t tell. But you gotta see him. He does old Jimmie Rodgers, then turns around and does a Robert Johnson.”

Redbone kept things characteristically strange when Rolling Stone profiled him several months later. When asked if his parents were musicians, Redbone joked that his father was the long-dead Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini and his mother was the 19th century Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind. When asked where the first place he ever played publicly was, Redbone threw on a W.C. Fields voice and cracked, “In a pool hall, but I wasn’t playing guitar, you see. I was playing pool.”

“The remarkable thing about Leon Redbone is that he’s so accurate in every aspect of his presentation – from his scat singing to his yodeling to his authentic nasally slurred vocals to the unerring accuracy of his Blind Blake-styled , ragtime-piano type of guitar playing,” Rolling Stone writer Steve Weitzman wrote in 1974.

Redbone soon notched a record deal with Warner Bros and released his debut album, On the Track, in 1975. The album offered up endearing takes on classics like “Ain’t Misbehavin,” “Lazybones” and “Some of These Days.” He would release two more albums on Warner, 1977’s Double Time and 1978’s Champagne Charlie. His 1981 album, From Branch to Branch (released via Atlantic) featured his sole Hot 100 hit, a rendition of Gary Tigerman’s “Seduced.”

Though Redbone never achieved huge commercial success, he developed a cult following thanks in part to frequent appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He also appeared in commercials for companies like Budweiser, Chevrolet, All laundry detergent and Ken-L Ration dog food, and sang the theme songs for Mr. Belvedere and Harry and the Hendersons.

Redbone continued to tour and record albums throughout the Eighties and Nineties, though his output slowed as he got older. In the 2003 film, Elf, he voiced Leon the Snowman and recorded a rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Zooey Deschanel that played over the film’s closing credits.

Redbone released his final studio album, Flying By, in 2014, and announced his retirement from music due to health concerns a year later. In 2015, Third Man Records issued a double-album compilation, A Long Way Home, that collected Redbone’s live and studio solo recordings, dating back to 1972.

“He’s just amazing,” Bonnie Raitt said of Redbone in 1974 before nodding to his enigmatic past. “He’s probably the best combination singer-guitarist I’ve heard in years. I’d like to know where he gets his stuff. I’d also like to find out how old he is.”
This happnened at the end of last month.

I liked Leon. He had the most distinct voice. I'm guessing I'm not the only one that was first exposed to him by this.



Or for younger WFers him from Elf where played Leon the Snowman...



...and his duet with Zooey Deschanel on the soundtrack.



Coincidentally he did a Christmas duet with the also recently passed Dr. John.



Sorry for talking about you when you're gone Leon.

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post #679 of 704 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:30 PM
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

RIP, Max Wright.



RIP, Billy Drago.

Played the role of Frank Nitti in Brian De Palma's film from David Mamet's screenplay, The Untouchables, to the proverbial hilt. The line regarding Sean Connery's character's fate, "...stuck Irish pig..." resonates forever thanks to Drago's reptilian delivery.

He was also deeply amusing on multiple planes in Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection as the villainous Ramon Cota.

His performance in Invasion U.S.A. was solid, too.

http://variety.com/2019/film/news/bi...es-1203254180/

Quote:
Billy Drago, ‘Untouchables’ Star, Dies at 73

By PAT SAPERSTEIN

Billy Drago, who often played harming but chilling gangster roles and appeared in Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables” and Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider,” died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. He was 73.

The character actor played Al Capone’s henchman Frank Nitti in 1987’s “The Untouchables.”

On TV series “Charmed,” he put his reptilian stare to good use as the demon Barbas in several episodes over five seasons.

Born William Eugene Burrows in Hugoton, Kan., his actor-director father was said to be of Native American origin. His mother’s family was of Romany extraction; he took their name Drago as his stage name. Starting out as a stuntman, he moved to New York and beginning his acting career.

Drago started acting in the late 1970s, appearing in films including “Cutter’s Way,” “No Other Love” and “Windwalker.” On television, he had guest roles in “Hill Street Blues,” “Moonlighting,” “Walker Texas Ranger,” “Trapper John, M.D.” and “The X-Files.”

Appearing in more than 100 films, he had roles in three Chuck Norris films including “Invasion U.S.A.,” “Hero and the Terror” and “Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection” as drug lord Ramon Cota.

Drago also appeared in Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World” music video in 2001 and as the mysterious stranger in Mike and the Mechanics’ “Silent Running (on Dangerous Ground).”

His later film roles included Gregg Araki’s “Mysterious Skin,” “The Hills Have Eyes” remake and “Children of the Corn: Genesis.”

Drago’s son Darren E. Burrows, who survives him, has appeared on TV shows including “Northern Exposure.”
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Re: The RIP Celebrities Thread

Loved Alf when I was a kid. Willie was great as his straight man. Apparently Max Wirght and the rest of the cast hated being on the show since the guy that voiced Alf was such an asshole and the set was a death trap. They were all very happy when it was canceled. He was good on Norm MacDonald's ABC sitcom too.

Norm posted about his passing.



Billy Dago was just awesome. Of course The Untouchables is his most memorable, but he had many great b, c, d movie roles and tv appearances. Brisco County Jr., Cynthia Rothrock kung fu flicks. His run on Charmed. Black Hand Kelly in Tremors 4. Just a great character actor.

Saw this really nice picture with his son Darren (good actor in his own right) and thought I'd post it.


When a man's heart is full of deceit,
it burns up, dies, and a dark shadow falls over his soul.

From the ashes of a once great man has risen a curse,
a wrong that must be righted.


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