Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

R.I.P.s - maybe the last of the year ?

Jack Klugman (1922-2012), aged 90, the veteran actor (Juror Nr 5 in 12 ANGRY MEN) and star of tv's QUINCY and THE ODD COUPLE. Also striking in several movie roles, as the AA man in DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, and, right, Judy Garland's manager in I COULD GO SINGING in 1963 - he has a great scene when Judy turns up late for her London Palladium concert ...

Charles Durning (1923-2012), another veteran actor and WWII veteran (having landed at Omaha beach) who did not take up acting until his 40s and became a leading character player, best known perhaps for his roles in TOOTSIE and THE STING.

Gerry Anderson: Generations of British children grew up on Gerry's puppet shows: THUNDERBIRDS, STINGRAY etc. and those characters like Lady Penelope, Parker and Brains. "Thunderbirds are Go".

William Rees-Mogg, at 84 - the last of the gentlemen newspaper editors. He was editor of "The Times" from 1967 to 1981, and wrote that influential editorial on the Rolling Stones' drug trial in 1967. It was always a pleasure reading his later columns.

2 more musical talents:

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett - one of Britain's most versatile and talented composers and performers, died on Christmas Eve, aged 76. Over the course of a distinguished career he has been equally at home writing music for the concert hall and performing cabaret at the Algonquin Hotel; as enthusiastic about Cole Porter as Pierre Boulez. To a broad audience he is perhaps best known as a prolific writer of scores for film and television, including for MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL and FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD. He also accompanied jazz singers like Claire Martin and Mary Clere Haran and Cleo Laine.

Fontella Bass - aged 72, US soul and gospel singer whose biggest hit was "Rescue Me", which I remember buying back in 1965 when I was 19. Another of the great vocalists who departed this year.

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