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January 2001


by The Grim ~V~eeper

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

Death Poll 2001 has now begun. We have 20 players this year,
who have picked 139 different celebs. Everyone's picks can be found at the
Death Poll page. Hopefully, we'll get more than two hits this time around.

The final point totals in DEATH POLL 2000:

1. Twins, Flying V: 23 points (for Charles Schultz)
2. Tarqness: 21 points (for Walter Matthau)
3. All other players: zip

Evil regards to Twins, that Viking fan
(masochist) and to that Flying V guy whose being I inhabit when the mood strikes. They both shall be first to have their names inscribed into the imaginary yet coveted Esther Rolle Memorial Trophy. That is the only prize to Death Poll 2000, other than bragging rights (s evillaff).

Death Poll 2001, however, actually HAS prizes based in reality. Yes, I said prizes. Not only will the winner receive a full roll of Mentos ( the "Chewy Mint", there is an additionial "mystery" prize that will be announced at a later date, so keep your bleary eyes on this column...

Before we review the lastest bunch of stiffs, yours ghouly would like to give a bony-fingered salute to the state of Texas, who has broken its own record for executions in a year. The Lone Star state had 40 in 2000, eclipsing its own record of 37. Texas leads the nation in captial punishment with 235 since the Supreme Court lifted the national death penalty in 1976. Of those, 148 have been performed since President-elect George W. "Kill'em a lot!" Bush took office in January 1995. He wasn't fooling me with that "Pro-Life" nonsense {s evillaff}.

Well, the final month of the Millenium was an active one, and January has started off with a "Judge Bone" bang...

(The lead stories...)

Jason Robards, the veteran stage and screen actor who won back-to-back Oscars for All the President's Men and Julia, died Dec. 26 after battling cancer. He was 78. (Not to mention his memorable roles as Drunken Writer in Bright Lights, Big City, and Grouchy-Ass Dad in House Without a Christmas Tree)

Werner Klemperer, the German-born actor best known as the bumbling Nazi Col. Klink in the 1960s television sitcom Hogan's Heroes, died on Dec. 7 at the age of 80. Born in Cologne to a Jewish family who fled the Nazis in the 1930, Klemperer came to the United States in 1933 with his father, famed conductor Otto Klemperer. He was often typecast as fumbling, ridiculous Nazis of the sort that eventually led to his long-running role as Klink in Hogan's Heroes, which ran on CBS from 1965 to 1971. Klemperer, who received Emmy nominations in each of the show's six seasons, won his supporting actor awards in 1968 and 1969. (and whoever said "Ho-o-o-o-gan!" to themselves when hearing about this raise their hands)

Veteran actor
Billy Barty, shown at his "Billy Barty Foundation" in Studio City, Calif., in this May 22, 1986 photo, died Dec. 24. Barty, a 3-foot-10 actor whose career spanned seven decades, died of heart failure. He was 76. (The famous midget death streak is now at two months in a row)

Ray Walston, who played the lovable extraterrestrial Uncle Martin on the 1960s TV sitcom My Favorite Martian and the devil in Damn Yankees, died Monday, Jan. 1, 2001 of apparent natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 86. (Aloha, Mr. Hand)

(A few old jock straps bought it, and some young ones as well...)

Chris Antley
, who rode Charismatic to victory in the 1999 Kentucky Derby and just missed winning the Triple Crown, was found dead at his home in Pasadena, CA on Dec. 2 with a blow to the head. Chris Antley won 3,480 career races in his career. He was 34.

Lou Groza
, the Cleveland Browns' Hall of Fame kicker and lineman affectionately known as "The Toe", died Nov. 29 of an apparent heart attack in Cleveland. He was 76 (Oddly, 76 was his jersey number).

Joe Gilliam Jr.
, who was one of the first black quarterbacks to start an NFL game but fell into drug addiction and spent two years living under a bridge in a cardboard box, dead at 49, on Dec. 26 in Nashville.

Bekzat Sattarkhanov, shown exchanging blows with USA's Ricardo Juarez during their 57 kg boxing final at the XXVII Summer Games in Sydney on Oct. 1, 2000, was killed in a New Year's Eve car accident. He was 20 years old.

(Family members of more famous, or infamous, people had a hard month...)

John Hadley Nicanor "Jack" Hemingway, eldest son of Ernest Hemingway, died Dec. 8. He was 77. As a toddler he accompanied his father to Paris cafes and bookstores, meeting the likes of James Joyce and Ezra Pound. His godmother was Gertrude Stein. Family members decided Friday to remove Hemingway from life support systems after complications from heart surgery in New York City. As a father himself he saw two of his daughters become well-known actresses. And he experienced great loss when one died of a drug overdose (otherwise known as extreme stupidity).

John Jay, the great-great-great-grandson of the man who became the fifth president of the Continental Congress and George Washington's first Supreme Court Chief Justice, died Dec 7. But this John Jay plowed a very different path. Jay made 34 feature-length ski movies, starting in 1939, when skiing was in its infancy. Named one of the 100 most influential skiers of all time by Ski magazine, Jay died of cancer in Encinitas, CA. He was 84.

Mickey Mantle Jr. died of cancer Dec. 22, five years after the disease killed his father. He was 47. Mantle Jr. was the oldest of the Hall of Famer's four sons and the second to be stricken with cancer. The youngest Mantle son, Billy, had Hodgkin's disease before he died of a heart attack in 1994 at 36.

Randolph Apperson Hearst, the newspaper heir whose daughter Patricia was kidnapped by the revolutionary Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974, died Dec. 18 at a New York hospital after suffering a stroke. He was 85.

Joyce "Rocky" Flint, 64, the mother of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer who worked in the field of HIV and AIDS treatment in the Fresno area. One of Dahmer's lawyers, Gerald Boyle, said his client told him repeatedly that Flint was a great mother. "It was clear she bore no responsibility...She had to live with the idea that she was the mother of a monster, and it drove her crazy." Flint died of breast cancer, on Nov. 27th, in Fresno. (And my mom thought *I* was bad...)

(Let's play a death march for the musicians...Dec. 19th took its toll)

Pianist and humorist
Victor Borge, posing in his dressing room in this June 8, 1989 photo, died in his sleep Dec. 23, at the age of 91. (and the onslaught of "Victor Borge Live" CD commericals ensues on late-night TV.)

Roebuck "Pops" Staples
, who led his family vocal group, the Staple Singers, from gospel music into the forefront of socially conscious rhythm & blues and to the top of the pop music charts, died Dec. 19th in Chicago. He was 84.

Rob Buck
, 42, lead guitarist for the rock band 10,000 Maniacs died on Dec. 19th in Pittsburgh of complications from liver failure.

British singer and songwriter
Kirsty MacColl died after being struck by a speedboat while swimming in Mexico, Dec. 19th. She was 41. She may be best remembered for accompanying Shane MacGowan on the Pogues' 1987 hit "A Fairytale of New York."

Nick Massi
, 73, an original member of the vocal group the Four Seasons who handled bass vocals and vocal arrangements throughout the band's glory days, died on Dec.24th of cancer in West Orange, N.J. The Four Seasons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. (Um...he's one of these non-Frankie Valli guys shown on the album, my guess is the tall one)

Milt Hinton, a jazz bassist known for a big, rich tone and an unerring sense of rhythmic timing, and who also utilized a flair for photography to capture his colleagues at work throughout his 70-year career, died Dec. 19th at a hospital in New York's Queens after a long illness. He may have appeared on more records that anyone else in history.

(And if you were a female activist, well, it sucked to be you last month)

Gwendolyn Brooks
, who won a Pulitzer Prize for writing candid and compassionate poetry that delved into poverty, racism and drugs among black people, died Dec. 3 in Chicago. She was 83.

Marvel Cooke, a pioneering black journalist who crusaded for racial reform as a reporter and as a political activist, died of leukemia on Nov. 29 in New York. She was 97.

Florynce Rae Kennedy, a flamboyant lawyer who fought for civil rights and feminism with trademark flair, died on Dec. 26th. She was 84.

Juliet Garretson Hollister, 84, housewife who started an international educational group called Temple of Understanding, died on Nov. 26 at her home in Greenwich, Conn.

(and the miscellaneous)

Jose Greco
, the famed flamenco dancer and choreographer who founded the Jose Greco Spanish Dance Company, died Dec. 31 of heart failure. He was 82. (No relation to Tennessee Titan kicker Al Del Greco)

U.S. Sen.
Alan Cranston of California, who ended a 24-year Senate career in 1993 under the cloud of the savings and loan industry scandal, died Dec. 31 at age 86, at his home in Los Altos.

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They're the modern Stone Age fa-mi-ly
From the town of Bedrock
They're a page right out of his-tor-y...

Hoyt Curtin, music composer for Hanna-Barbera, whose credits cover a who's who of cartoon history, died Dec. 3 at a Thousand Oaks, CA hospital. He was 78.

Peggy McMartin Buckey, acquitted in the nation's most protracted criminal molestation case targeting her family's Manhattan Beach preschool, died Dec. 15, in Torrance, Calif. She was 74.

Stan Fox, whose racing career ended five years ago in a horrific crash at the Indianapolis 500, was killed in an auto accident in New Zealand on Dec. 18th. He was 48.

Ray Bell, the game officer who cared for Smokey Bear after the cub was rescued from a forest fire 50 years ago, died Dec. 21 of cancer at his home in Truth or Consequences, N.M. He was 89.

Thomas G. Yohe, 63, who helped give the post-baby boom generation jazzy mantras about multiplication and grammar as co-creator of television's Emmy-winning "Schoolhouse Rock" cartoons, had pancreatic cancer and died Dec. 26 in Norwalk, Conn.
Show excitement!
Or emotion!
Hallelujah... yea!!
Darn, that's the end.)

(and perhaps the most disturbing of all...)

William "Waving Willie" Spranger, a fixture on Route 206 who gained a measure of regional New Jersey fame by greeting motorists from a lawn chair for 60 years as they passed his home, died of a heart attack Dec. 10 after collapsing in his driveway. He was 80. Several flowers and a funeral wreath had been placed near the chair as a tribute. (and SHOCKING that no one had him in Death Poll 2000)

So, farewell until next month,

Celebrity Death Poll 2001 player's picks