You might not recognize Jerry Nelson‘s name, but you’re probably more familiar with “Sesame Street”’s the Count, Amazing Mumford and Snuffalupagus, or Statler (half of the heckling duo of Statler and Waldorf), Floyd Pepper (the mustachioed guitar player in the Muppet Show house band), Lew Zealand (that guy who chucks fish), Gobo Fraggle, Robin the Frog, or maybe even Emmet Otter. Though he may never have had roles as iconic to the Muppets as some of his colleagues, his long, long history with the group touches almost everything they’ve ever done. He passed away yesterday after a long period of declining health, at the age of seventy-eight.
And that’s certainly a good enough reason to collect a few videos of his characters and share them. Read more…
Sad news to report this afternoon: Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who was the first man to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 82, confirms NBC. Armstrong had heart surgery just two weeks ago and celebrated his birthday only days ago. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, and famously said that day’s events were “one giant leap for mankind.” A statement from his family reads, “The next time you walk out on a clear night and see the moon smiling, think of Neil and give him a wink.” [NBC]
After the jump, a rare interview with Armstrong from 1970 and video of those first few steps on the moon. Keep reading »
Ernest Borgnine, the hefty Hollywood actor who went from bad guy roles to Oscar stardom to TV comedy, died today at age 95 in Los Angeles, the APreports. The former Navy serviceman started by playing villains in Hollywood movies, but avoided typecasting by snagging the Oscar-winning lead in Marty in 1955. “The Oscar made me a star, and I’m grateful,” he said. “But I feel had I not won the Oscar I wouldn’t have gotten into the messes I did in my personal life.” Read more…
UPDATE (Sunday, 3:45 p.m. EST): TMZ is now reporting that Whitney Houston was found in her room’s bathtub and that it’s possible she drowned? Sources also say prescription drugs were found in the room and that Houston took Xanax before performances; only an autopsy will be able to reveal if she died via drowning, overdose, or some other cause. An autopsy is scheduled for today, but an official cause of death won’t be available until the toxicology report is complete.
Seriously sad news to report: the Associated Press is reporting that singer Whitney Houston died today at the age of 48. She is survived by her daughter Bobbi Kristina (with ex husband Bobby Brown). The singer was photographed leaving a pre-Grammy party on Thursday night looking potentially intoxicated. Houston, of course, battled drug addiction in the past, although there is no word on her cause of death. In May 2011, Houston’s representative said that the singer had checked into rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. She had recently been seen out and about with former boyfriend Ray J. [TMZ, Dlisted, CNN]
More updated info after the jump… Keep reading »
Joe Paterno, the “winningest coach in college football,” who was forced to retire from his position as head coach of Penn State’s football team following the Jerry Sandusky/child rape scandal, has died at the age of 85. Paterno announced he had lung cancer just days after leaving his post at Penn State and his health deteriorated quickly. Some will remember him for his winning record and deep commitment to his school and team; others won’t be able to forget how he allowed that allegiance to a game and institution take precedence over the lives of innocent children. Both would likely agree that his passing comes too soon. He is survived by his wife Sue, five children, and 17 grandchildren. [CBS News, NBC Sports]
I was saddened yesterday to learn of the death of Dwight Arrington Myers, better known as the illustrious Heavy D of Heavy D & the Boyz. He collapsed yesterday outside his Beverly Hills home, reportedly due to respiratory issues, and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he passed away. The self-proclaimed “overweight lover” of hip-hop rose to fame in the late ’80s and continued to maintain a sizable fan base through the ’90s. Just last month, he performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards, his first live performance in 15 years. He was also known for his uplifting and insightful Twitter stream, which really shows just how much he genuinely loved life. Rest in peace, Heavy D. Here are 10 of his best tweets, beginning with his optimistic final message.
Some of us were lucky enough to see Amy Winehouse perform live before she passed this weekend at the age of 27. Fewer of us were lucky enough to see her when she was really at her best, before drug and alcohol addiction started to chip away at her ability to channel her truly extraordinary talent. In 2007, Winehouse performed on “Live on the BBC” and this video of that session is 51 minutes of her being just fantastic. (FYI, the volume is sort of low up until the 6:31 mark.) [Dangerous Minds
] Keep reading »
On Wednesday night, Amy Winehouse’s goddaughter and protege Dionne Bromfield performed at the iTunes Festival and Amy accompanied her to the show. She also danced alongside Bromfield as she performed, though she didn’t sing, making this Amy’s last time on stage before her untimely death today at age 27.
Our thoughts are with Amy’s family and friends. [Buzzfeed
] Keep reading »
Extremely sad news out of the UK today: singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home at the age of 27. Though the cause of her death is unknown at this time, Winehouse had a well-documented history of alcohol and drug abuse, going to treatment as recently as May. Last month, she canceled her European tour after a breakdown on stage in Serbia, and a statement on her website read: “Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen.” Earlier this week, she attended an event with her goddaughter, but sources had told various media outlets that Winehouse was “drinking herself to death.”
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