George Carlin, Grammy-Winning Comedian, Dies at 71

Monday, June 23, 2008
The Associated Press as told to Foxnews
 

A great comedian, Carlin will definitely be missed.  He took comedy and pushed the button a little further but that was what so great about him…..flagranny2

                                                                                                             

Los Angeles, Calif. – George Carlin, the dean of counterculture comedians whose biting insights on life and language were immortalized in his “Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV” routine, died of heart failure Sunday. He was 71.      

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

“He was a genius and I will miss him dearly,” Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.

Carlin’s jokes constantly pushed accepted boundaries of comedy and language, particularly with his routine on the “Seven Words” — all of which are more or taboo on broadcast TV and radio to this day. When he uttered all seven at a show in Milwaukee in 1972, he was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, freed on $150 bail — and typically unapologetic on his release.

A Wisconsin judge dismissed the case, saying the language was indecent but citing free speech and the lack of any disturbance.

When the words were later played on a New York radio station, they resulted in a Supreme Court ruling in 1978 upholding the government’s authority to sanction stations for broadcasting offensive language during hours when children might be listening.

“So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I’m perversely kind of proud of,” he told The Associated Press earlier this year.

Carlin served as host of the first epidsode of “Saturday Night Live” in 1975 and appeared some 130 times on “The Tonight Show.”

He produced 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, a couple of TV shows and appeared in several movies. Carlin hosted the first broadcast of “Saturday Night Live” and noted on his Web site that he was “loaded on cocaine all week long.”

He won four Grammy Awards, each for best spoken comedy album, and was nominated for five Emmy awards. On Tuesday, it was announced that Carlin was being awarded the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

When asked about the fallout from the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson’s breast-baring “wardrobe malfunction,” Carlin told the AP, “What are we, surprised?”

“There’s an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body,” he said. “It’s reflected in these prohibitions and these taboos that we have.”

Carlin was born May 12, 1937 and grew up in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan, raised by a single mother. After dropping out of high school in the ninth grade, he joined the Air Force in 1954. He received three court-martials and numerous disciplinary punishments, according to his official Web site.

While in the Air Force he started working as an off-base disc jockey at a radio station in Shreveport, La., and after receiving a general discharge in 1957, took an announcing job at WEZE in Boston.

“Fired after three months for driving mobile news van to New York to buy pot,” his Web site says.

From there he went on to a job on the night shift as a deejay at a radio station in Forth Worth, Texas. Carlin also worked variety of temporary jobs including a carnival organist and a marketing director for a peanut brittle.

In 1960, he left with a Texas radio buddy, Jack Burns, for Hollywood to pursue a nightclub career as comedy team Burns & Carlin. He left with $300, but his first break came just months later when the duo appeared on the Tonight Show with Jack Paar. r Carlin said he hoped to would emulate his childhood hero, Danny Kaye, the kindly, rubber-faced comedian who ruled over the decade that Carlin grew up in — the 1950s — with a clever but gentle humor reflective of its times.

Only problem was, it didn’t work for him.

“I was doing superficial comedy entertaining people who didn’t really care: Businessmen, people in nightclubs, conservative people. And I had been doing that for the better part of 10 years when it finally dawned on me that I was in the wrong place doing the wrong things for the wrong people,” Carlin reflected recently as he prepared for his 14th HBO special, “It’s Bad For Ya.”

Eventually Carlin lost the buttoned-up look, favoring the beard, ponytail and all-black attire for which he came to be known.

But even with his decidedly adult-comedy bent, Carlin never lost his childlike sense of mischief, even voicing kid-friendly projects like episodes of the TV show “Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends” and the spacey Volkswagen bus Fillmore in the 2006 Pixar hit “Cars.”

Carlin’s first wife, Brenda, died in 1997. He is survived by wife Sally Wade; daughter Kelly Carlin McCall; son-in-law Bob McCall; brother Patrick Carlin; and sister-in-law Marlene Carlin.

Advertisements

Breaking News >> Actor Charlton Heston Has Died, Family Members Say

Sunday, April 06, 2008
Associated Press

Charlton Heston Dead at 84

 

Charlton HestonLOS ANGELES  —  Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing “Ben-Hur” and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the ’50s and ’60s, has died. He was 84.

Heston spokesman Bill Powers says the actor died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia was at his side.

Heston revealed in 2002 that he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease, saying, “I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure.”

With his large, muscular build, well-boned face and sonorous voice, Heston proved the ideal star during the period when Hollywood was filling movie screens with panoramas depicting the religious and historical past. “I have a face that belongs in another century,” he often remarked.

For Full Article [ continue ]

“I considered Heston one of my favorite actors especially in Ben Hur and Birdman of Alcatraz.   He was an actor who will be truly missed.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family…..flagranny2”

UPDATE: Death of Heath Ledger

Friday, January 25, 2008

The headline reads: Private Viewing of Heath Ledger’s Body Set for Friday; Mary-Kate Olsen Report Deniedhowever the article corrects  a couple of initial statements thought to be true. 

Untruths:
1 – A NYPD spokesman told Foxnews.com the report regarding frantic phone calls Olsen received from  the masseuse, Diana Wolozin, is as he stated “The report is unfounded and untrue.”  The police did say the masseuse spent 9 minutes making 3 calls to MKO before dialing 911 and again after the paramedics arrived.

2 – The police also stated earlier on Fox News that there were prescription drugs found but they were not strewn around as originally reported.

“As far as I’m concerned the masseuse left her brain, if she even had one, some place else as why in the world would anyone in their right mind not call 911 immediately.  First she knocked on his door then tried to call his cell phone and still after no answer she sets up her massage table and tried to wake Ledger and that’s when she realized something was wrong.  That’s when she called MKO asking her what to do, HELLO!!, with Olsen in California what did she think she could do so it wasn’t until 9 minutes later that Wolozin dialed 911….flagranny2” 

According to what the police can find Wolozin was no registered as a licensed therapist in New York as they are all required to be CPR qualified and the 911 operator had to instruct Wolozin CPR procedure.

For timeline of what took place and information regarding Ledger’s family and funeral continue

For info on his background see Heath Ledger

“Gone much too soon.  My thoughts are with his family and friends and especially his little Matilda”…..flagranny2