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February 2001


by The Grim ~V~eeper

Greetings, everyone...and welcome to this edition of
Celebrity Cemetary, the Grim ~V~eeper's Obituary Page.

This dark little corner of HOTP is intended to cover all the famous deaths through the year, in support of the Death Poll 2001 game. No player points in January, but I smell death in the air...heh heh heh...

Here's the latest from the SICKTICKER at ...

Mary Bono goes under the knife to have abdominal mass removed... Billy Graham misses Presidential inauguration due to minor brain surgery... Steve Irwin receives 12 stiches from being bit by crocodile...Chuck Norris is quitting Walker, Texas Ranger... Ted Williams underwent heart surgery, and is slowly recovering... Neil Sedaka leaves hospital after a sucessfull angioplasty... Ronald Reagan recuperating from hip replacement... Princess Margaret admitted for possible stroke... Bill Clinton had cancerous growth removed from back... Dudley Moore going through diapers like newborn quints... Candlelight vigil being held...Kurt Cobain is still dead...

Before we review the lastest bunch of stiffs, yours ghouly would like to give a bony-thumbs up to . This is the real deal, Neal. It's got actual photos of dead celebs. And is NOT for the squeamish. Everyone from Abe Lincoln to Marilyn Monroe to Tupac Shakur is represented, sometimes in grisly living color. Go ahead ... take a peek. I DARE you {s evillaff}

January's death toll didn't have any huge names, but there were some bizarre coinkydinks. For example, Arena Football, the red-headed step-child of pro sports, made the obituary news with this:

Jan 15: Dennis Fitzgerald, a former defensive coordinator of the Albany Firebirds, died of cancer at age 64. He was the third former assistant in the Arena Football League to die of the disease within a month. Former Arizona Rattlers line coach Tinker Ratliff, 51, died of cancer Jan 1, and former Iowa Barnstormers coach George Asleson, 66, also died of cancer Dec 20.

What many people don't realize is that there is an even more horrid football league, which contains athletes who can only hope to make the big city lights of Arena football. No, it's not the XFL; its simply known as Arena2. Not to be outdone, this franchise checked in with its own casualty:

Jan 20: Lineman Breon Thomas of the Jacksonville Tomcats of Arena2 passed on due to complications from diabetes. He was 23.

Speaking of odd sports, check out the simlarities with these two from the world of bullfighting:

Jan 15:
Spain's bullfighting community mourned the death of one of its most respected bullfighters. Julio Robles, a matador who was left crippled by a bull a decade ago, left us at age 49.

Jan 23: Francisco "Curro" Rivera
, one of Mexico's most famous bullfighters, died of a heart attack while practicing his craft. He was also 49. Rivera, who retired eight years ago, had planned to return to the ring this year.

The odd parallels continue from the world of medicine:

Jan 11: Dr. Dorothy M. Horstmann, 89, an epidemiologist, virologist, polio pioneer, and the first woman appointed as a professor at the Yale
School of Medicine, passed away while battling Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Horstmann died just as the World Health Organization was on the verge of eradicating polio, and four days after the death of Dr. Joseph L. Melnick of Houston, another polio pioneer with whom she worked and wrote scholarly papers.

Jan 7: Dr. Joseph L. Melnick, a founder of modern virology, a pioneer in polio research and a leader in environmental science. Dr. Melnick died in Houston, where he worked for more than 40 years at the Baylor
College of Medicine. He was 86. Conincidentally, the cause was Alzheimer's disease.

Jan 18: Charles Merieux, a French scientist who combined his medical knowledge with industrial savvy to develop one of the world's leading vaccine laboratory. Ill for more than a year, Merieux died in Lyon, the city of his birth. He was 94. In his 60-year career, Merieux worked with some of the leading scientists in the world, including Jonas Salk. Under Merieux's leadership, his family firm mass produced immunizations used broadly in the 1950s to fight polio.

L.A. radio had some "dead air" in January...

Jan 20: Deirdre O'Donoghue, 53, longtime host of the syndicated radio program "Breakfast With the Beatles," a two-hour Sunday morning program devoted to the legendary British band. O'Donoghue was found dead in her Santa Monica, CA home by police officers who responded to a report that she had missed a broadcast and had not returned phone calls.

Jan 25: Dick Whittinghill fulfilled his last daily sign-off on Jan 23: "Now if you'll excuse me . . . I'm walking out the door." Whittinghill died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles two days later. He was 87 and had suffered from a variety of problems associated with old age. Whittinghill was the top-rated and highest-paid disc jockey in Southern CA for years. He earned his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was immortalized in the Hollywood Wax Museum.

...and finally, the Maple Leaf flies at half-staff with these casualities from the Great White North, eh?

Jan 14: Jim Coleman, the dean of Canadian sports writers whose newspaper career began 70 years ago, died at 89 in Vancouver, B.C. A member of the Order of Canada, Coleman was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. That year, he was named Canadian racing's Man of the year.

Jan 17: Veteran Canadian stage, film and television actor Al Waxman died during heart surgery at a Toronto hospital. He was 65. He played a police chief in the series "Cagney and Lacey," and was involved in more than a thousand British productions as either an actor or director in TV, film, radio and theater.

Jan 13: Michael Cuccione played Jason "Q.T." McKnight on the MTV show "2gether," which poked fun at the boy band craze. Jason, 16, died in Vancouver, BC, from complications from Hodgkin's disease.

And here's the rest of this month's corpses, piled up in the usual categories:


Jan 5:
Character actress Nancy Parsons, 58, in LaCrosse, WI, after a long illness. Parsons was most memorable as arch-villainous Beulah Balbricker of the three "Porky's" high school romps.

Jan 11:
From lung cancer, Michael Williams, 65, a noted character and Shakespearean actor who performed frequently opposite his Oscar-winning wife, Dame Judi Dench. He performed great bit parts in British movies, such as Brian in Educating Rita.

Jan 26: Sandy Baron
, a veteran comedian and actor who often played appealingly schlocky characters in films and television, including a recurring role on TV's "Seinfeld," died of emphysema at a Van Nuys nursing home. He was 64.


Jan 10: Bryan Gregory, famous for his guitar playing on early records by the rock band known as the Cramps died at age 46, at the Anaheim, CA, Memorial Hospital. He had suffered a heart attack and never fully
(Gregory is that handsome, tow-headed lad with the crater face)

Jan 4: Les Brown, whose Band of Renown scored a No. 1 hit with "Sentimental Journey" during America’s big band era of the 1930s and ’40s, died of lung cancer. He was 88.

Jan 5: If ever a case could be made that a rock band was at the center of a political revolution, it could be made for Plastic People of the Universe. The seminal Czech group, formed by bass player, singer and
Milan Hlavsa in the late 1960s, became a rallying symbol for leading dissidents nearly a decade later. Hlavsa died of lung cancer in Prague, he was only 49.


Nate Fleming
Dan LawsonDec 28: A plane chartered by the Oklahoma State University men's basketball team to take players and support staff home after a Colorado game emitted a shrill noise before crashing in a fireball on the plains east of Denver, killing all 10 people aboard. Those lost were: Oklahoma State players Nate Fleming and Dan Lawson; sports information employee Will Hancock; director of basketball operations Pat Noyes; trainer Brian Luinstra; student manager Jared Weiberg; broadcast engineer Kendall Durfey; broadcaster Bill Teegins; pilot Denver Mills; and co-pilot Bjorn Falistrom.

Jan 22: Tommie Agee,
the center fielder who made two of the greatest catches in World Series history to help the New York Mets win their unexpected title in 1969, died a heart attack in New York. He was 58.

Jan 5: Affirmed,
the last horse to win the Triple Crown, was euthanized at Jonabell Farm in Lexington, KY, after months of leg problems. He was 26. The death of Affirmed leaves Seattle Slew as the only living Triple Crown winner.

Dec 26: Al McGuire,
the charismatic New Yorker who coached Marquette to the 1977 national championship and later brought his streetwise lingo to the broadcast booth, died of a blood disorder at 72.

Jan 9: Lowell Perry,
a star football player at Michigan in the 1950s who became the first black coach in the NFL after World War II, died at age 66 in Southfield, MI. Perry died of complications from cancer at Providence Hospital. After college Perry played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1956, a hip injury ended his career. The next year he was hired as a receivers coach for the Steelers. Then in 1966, CBS hired him as one of the first black broadcasters for NFL games.


Jan 9: William R. Hewlett, the surviving member of the duo who all but invented Silicon Valley in a Palo Alto garage 62 years ago, died Friday. He was 87. Hewlett died quietly in his sleep at his Palo Alto home, according to a statement from Hewlett-Packard Co. His stock in the company he founded made Hewlett one of America's wealthiest individuals, ranked last year by Forbes magazine at No. 26, with an estimated net worth of $9 billion. Technology followers all over the valley remarked that Hewlett's death signified the passing of the original generation of high-tech entrepreneurs. He received the National Medal of Science, America's highest scientific honor, in 1985.

Jan 17: Ted Mann, 84, who built the largest independent movie theater chain in the US and changed the name, amid protests, of Hollywood’s famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to Mann’s Chinese Theatre. Mann died at his Los Angeles home of complications from a stroke.


Jan 18: In Kinshasa, Congo, Laurent Kabila was welcomed as a liberator when he led an epic uprising that swept away his country's long-ruling dictator. But when he began to resemble the man he ousted, he faced a war that tore Congo apart. Kabila, who was 59, died after being wounded in a palace shooting -nearly 40 years to the day after the execution of his hero, Congo's first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba.

Jan 17:
Poet Gregory Corso, one of the circle of Beat poets that included Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, died in Robbinsdale, MN, following a battle with prostate cancer. He was 70.

Jan 5: Martin Konigsberg, the father of Woody Allen passed away at age 100. Daily News quoted the film maker as saying that a family doctor had told him his father "could pass a draft physical tomorrow." Konigsberg, who turned 100 on Dec. 25, was a former restaurant waiter and jewelry engraver.

And finally, the death that pleases me the most, the party responsible for stranding me in NYC for six hours....vengence is mine MOO HOO HOO HAA HAA!

TWA, the first airline to fly coast-to-coast, entered bankruptcy protection for the third time in a decade. As the company headed into bankruptcy with about $100 million in debts, it leaves approximately 21,000 employees and about 200 aircraft (and a Dome in Minnesota)

So, farewell until next month,

Celebrity Death Poll 2001 player's picks