Actress Elaine Stritch passed away today at age 89. An outspoken Broadway star, Tony Award nominee, style icon, and Jack Donaghy’s mom on “30 Rock,” Elaine was a woman who was never afraid to say what she felt. One of her most legendary roles was as an aging society woman in Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company,” in which she brought the house down with her performance of the darkly humorous song “The Ladies Who Lunch.” For years, Elaine glamorously lived at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan. She was a fixture of New York City, and in 2003, the New York Landmarks Conservancy declared her a Living Landmark. She died at her home in Birmingham, Michigan. [New York Times, People]
We don’t usually write a whole lot about sports news on The Frisky, but an exception must be made for legendary baseball player Tony Gwynn, who passed away today after a four-year battle with cancer. He was 54. As a diehard San Diego Padres fan throughout my childhood and early teenage years, the right fielder’s life-size poster decorated my bedroom wall. Gwynn was one of the best and most consistent hitters in baseball history, and was the National League batting champion eight times. He played in 15 All-Star Games and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2010, he announced he had salivary cancer, which he attributed to years of chewing tobacco. Known to fans as Mr. Padre, Gwynn turned down opportunities for more money in favor of playing and staying in San Diego for his entire 20-year career. He was awesome and will be missed. [ABC News]
Fashion designer L’Wren Scott, known for her gorgeous red carpet dresses, was found dead today in her New York City apartment, hanged in an apparent suicide. The 47-year-old designer was discovered by her assistant this morning. Police did not suspect foul play, a source said, but the Medical Examiner’s Office will still ultimately determine a cause of death. No suicide note was found. Scott was also known for being Mick Jagger’s longtime girlfriend. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family. [NY Daily News] [Photo: Getty Images]
“Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Sept. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.” – Reno Gazette-Journal
How could anyone write a scathing and public obituary showing such distain for a parent? For me, it was a natural “normal” process for ending and celebrating the death of someone who camouflaged themselves as a mother.
There are no words or expressions to adequately describe the sense of freedom I felt upon a phone call from my brother singing “Ding Dong, the witch is dead.” Keep reading »
If you were alive in the ’90s and liked poetry, chances are you liked slam poetry. Or at least went to a slam poetry performance, even if you didn’t like it. My first exposure to slam poetry was during a creative writing class at summer camp when I was 14; we watched the PBS series “The United States Of Poetry.” One poet in particular stood out: Maggie Estep. Her slam poem from “The United States Of Poetry,” called “I’m An Emotional Idiot,” was unlike any of the Emily Dickinson or e.e. cummings poems that bored me in school. She was brave, bold, opinionated, and stomped the streets of New York City with more attitude that I assumed a mousy poetess could ever have. Throughout the ’90s. Estep appeared on MTV’s “Spoken Word Unplugged” (yeah, that was actually a thing) and “Beavis And Butthead,” HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam,” and performed at Lollapalooza and Woodstock. She recorded two spoken word albums and wrote seven books. The A.V. Club reports through the blog East Village Grieve that Maggie Estep died on Monday at age 50. I was sad not to have seen more of her work during her living years. But I hope that Estep knew during her life that she was an inspiration to at least one teenage girl with lots of feelings. [AV Club, MaggieEstep.com]
Utterly heartbreaking news to report: actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Academy Award for his role in “Capote,” was found dead in his New York City apartment today, allegedly from a drug overdose. According to investigators, he was found with a syringe in his arms and an envelope believed to contain heroin. Hoffman had struggled with drug addition in the past and last year, he checked himself into rehab for heroin addiction. Hoffman was 46 years old and is survived by his partner, Mimi, and three children. [NY Post]
Hoffman’s family released the following statement about the actor’s untimely death:
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”
The amazing, incomparable Pete Seeger passed away today at the age of 94. Here he is singing “Quite Early Morning.” What a life. [USA Today]
Amidst the plethora of ’90s-era sitcom dads, “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air”’s Uncle Phil was my favorite. This no nonsense uncle was educated, wise, and delivered punishments with a sense of humor. With a household of children varying in age and personality type, he never played favorites and was fiercely protective of each and every kid. To Will, Phil may have been “Uncle,” but to Uncle Phil, Will was a son. Keep reading »
TMZ is reporting that “Fast and the Furious” star Paul Walker, 40, died in a car accident in Santa Clarita, California, earlier today. Multiple sources have told TMZ that Walker and a companion were driving in a Porsche together, when the driver lost control and hit a tree or light post, and the car burst into flames, killing both passengers. It’s unclear who was driving at the time of the accident.
Authorities told CBS News in Los Angeles that a crash did occur at 3:30 p.m. in the area, and two people were killed, though their identities were not released.
UPDATE: Representatives for Walker have confirmed to multiple news outlets that the actor has died. Walker’s verified Twitter account also confirmed the news. A photo from the scene of the crash has been released (inset — larger photo at the link.) Keep reading »