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In Memoriam: Celebrity Deaths

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On 12/6/2019 at 10:29 PM, opus said:

It took me a minute, but I knew that I had seen the name many times-- reading the obit, now I know. He was Rachael's dad, Dr. Green on Friends ! Geez, he really portrayed a dick pretty much every time he appeared-- if he wasn't yelling at her for something, he was yelling at Ross for something ! I bet he was probably a nice guy in real life, though 🙂  And the obit mentioned him being on The Edge of Night- man, that's going back a few years. I don't remember anything about that soap ( my babysitter used to watch it) except the way the the announcer did the into, "THE EDGE of NIGHT ! " in a very spooky voice. But I was probably 6 or 7, so it must have seemed scarier ! Funny, the things you remember.

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5 hours ago, willco said:

It took me a minute, but I knew that I had seen the name many times-- reading the obit, now I know. He was Rachael's dad, Dr. Green on Friends ! Geez, he really portrayed a dick pretty much every time he appeared-- if he wasn't yelling at her for something, he was yelling at Ross for something ! I bet he was probably a nice guy in real life, though 🙂  And the obit mentioned him being on The Edge of Night- man, that's going back a few years. I don't remember anything about that soap ( my babysitter used to watch it) except the way the the announcer did the into, "THE EDGE of NIGHT ! " in a very spooky voice. But I was probably 6 or 7, so it must have seemed scarier ! Funny, the things you remember.

Lori Loughlin was on The Edge of Night too, when she was a teenager, maybe early 20’s (her character, Jody Travis, was introduced as a teenager).

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On 12/6/2019 at 4:03 PM, MikaelaArsenault said:

Robert Walker, Jr., played Charlie X, the title character in the second episode of Star Trek and the first written by D.C. Fontana, who died earlier last week.  

The Deadline obituary features him as Charlie: an intense, committed and authentic performance that immediately established the show's dramatic creds. This obituary features a more recent picture. 

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While we first saw Ron Leibman in Norma Rae, for us he was always the mob lawyer in S5 (House Counsel) of Law & Order, with Jessica Walter playing his wife. One of our favorite episodes. 

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1 hour ago, Brookside said:

Of course there were no drugs involved, right?

We won't know for a few weeks. If it's medical I hope the family speaks up.

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56 minutes ago, Popples said:

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Mr. Spinney worked until just last year doing that character despite the very taxing physical requirements of being wholly encased  in a costume while holding up the head like the Statue of Liberty the entire time- yet did so not just on Sesame Street but many other venues and even such exotic places as The People's Republic of China! 

   Yes, Mr. Spinney definitely gave heart to this naive yet always curious and eager to learn character who could have easily been considered an annoying joke! I can't help but think that despite the hardships of enacting Big Bird, Mr. Spinney considered depicting him a calling (rather than the mere means to earn a living) not just to entertain but to guide generations of young people! 

 I liked that when he was invited to visit MisterRoger's Neighborhood, he refused Mr. Roger's initial plea to divest himself on Big Bird's costume oncamera to explain the process-  saying he promised his late friend and colleague Jim Henson, he'd NEVER do that to shatter the young people's illusions. However; he DID compromise enough to have Big Bird visit the Neighborhood of Make-Believe where Big Bird, a wonderful part of our collective imagination,   fit right in! 

 Of course, it also needs to be mentioned that Mr. Spinney's other main character was Oscar the Grouch who he admitted was based on a NYC colorfully sarcastic cabbie that Mr. Spinney subtracted the f-bombs from the vocabulary for the kids' sake- yet even here, he gave this outwardly unsympathetic character heart to help give voice to those who felt cranky (and even ugly) for a variety of reasons and was NOT without his own redemptive qualities. 

Yes, when I saw him on the 50th Anniversary Special, I thought Mr. Spinney seemed a bit shaky even for the age of 85 but he DID get to participate as an honored guest who'd helped build so much of the show from its earliest days when it seemed possible that it may have wound up being been an experiment that truly went nowhere and filed away as a curious footnote in programming history. 

RIP, Mr. Spinney (and condolences to all your loved ones) and say hello for all of us to Mr. Looper. ... Hooper! 

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2 hours ago, BetterButter said:

I'm a little (okay, a lot) too old for Sesame Street, but it occurred to me that today is the taping of the Kennedy Center Honors.  Sesame Street is an honoree, the first TV show to have that distinction.  I'm sure they will honor Mr. Spinney during the show.

And FYI, the Honors will be on next Sunday, the 15th, instead of the usual day after Christmas. 

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Started sobbing when Mom showed me the news on Facebook. She immediately got annoyed and pointed out that he was old and also nobody I knew personally.

I don't care. I grew up with Big Bird. Even when the show paid attention to Elmo he was still the number one character to me. 

I know he lived a long life and part of me has dreading this ever since he retired. But why did it have to be NOW? Dammit.

Miss you, Bird. And a loving "scram" to you, dear Oscar.

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23 minutes ago, MikaelaArsenault said:

For those who don't like to clink on links that aren't clear as to what the article is about, that's about the death of René Auberjonois, who died today at age 79 of metastatic lung cancer:
 

Quote

René Auberjonois worked constantly as a character actor in several golden ages, from the dynamic theater of the 1960s to the cinema renaissance of the 1970s to the prime period of network television in the 1980s and '90s — and each generation knew him for something different.

For film fans of the 1970s, he was Father John Mulcahy, the military chaplain who played straight man to the doctors’ antics in “M.A.S.H.” It was his first significant film role and the first of several for director Robert Altman.

For sitcom watchers of the 1980s, he was Clayton Runnymede Endicott III, the hopelessly highbrow chief of staff at a governor’s mansion on “Benson,” the ABC series whose title character was a butler played by Robert Guillaume.

And for sci-fi fans of the 1990s and convention-goers ever since, he was Odo, the shape-shifting Changeling and head of space-station security on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

“I am all of those characters, and I love that,” Auberjonois said in a 2011 interview with the “Star Trek” website. “I also run into people, and they think I’m their cousin or their dry cleaner. I love that, too.”

Sounds like he had the perfect attitude for a character actor.  I knew him from the MASH and Benson roles primarily, but had seen him in numerous other things as well -- 228 screen credits to his name!

Edited by Bastet
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6 minutes ago, Bastet said:

For those who don't like to clink on links that aren't clear as to what the article is about, that's about the death of René Auberjonois, who died today at age 79 of metastatic lung cancer:
 

Sounds like he had the perfect attitude for a character actor.  I knew him from the MASH and Benson roles primarily, but had seen him in numerous other things as well -- 228 credits to his name!

I can post some more articles.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ren-auberjonois-dead-star-trek-benson-actor-dies-at-79-1260677

https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/benson-star-trek-actor-rene-auberjonois-has-died-at-79/

Edited by MikaelaArsenault
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5 minutes ago, legaleagle53 said:

DAMMIT, 2019! What are you trying to do, give 2016 a run for its money during your last month?  Lay off already!

2 minutes ago, VCRTracking said:

Damn, what a day.

Especially three deaths all in one day today...

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42 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

She immediately got annoyed and pointed out that he was old and also nobody I knew personally.

I think it makes sense. Big Bird and Oscar are a major and important part of millions of childhoods and Carol brought them to life. The puppets are still a part of Sesame Street but losing Carol makes so many of us feel like we're losing Big Bird and Oscar. Through Big Bird Carol helped so many children understand and process grief when Mr. Hooper died. Through Oscar Carol helped so many children understand that it's ok to be grumpy and to cherish things that matter to you even if they're just trash to everyone else (with a legendary song to drive it home). It's totally fine for people to hear the news, say "oh, well, rest in peace" and put it out of their minds. It's also totally fine for people to feel a loss even though many/most only know the man as Big Bird or Oscar.

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Oh fuck, Rene Auberjonois was the voice of Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid. What a day indeed.

14 minutes ago, scarynikki12 said:

I think it makes sense. Big Bird and Oscar are a major and important part of millions of childhoods and Carol brought them to life. The puppets are still a part of Sesame Street but losing Carol makes so many of us feel like we're losing Big Bird and Oscar. Through Big Bird Carol helped so many children understand and process grief when Mr. Hooper died. Through Oscar Carol helped so many children understand that it's ok to be grumpy and to cherish things that matter to you even if they're just trash to everyone else (with a legendary song to drive it home). It's totally fine for people to hear the news, say "oh, well, rest in peace" and put it out of their minds. It's also totally fine for people to feel a loss even though many/most only know the man as Big Bird or Oscar.

Oh definitely. I don't think my mom meant to be so dismissive, I just tend to be more emotional than her.

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My high school took us to San Francisco to see "Tartuffe" in 1967, where Rene Auberjonois and Michael Learned were starring at the American Conservatory Theater. It was my first live production.  I was entranced.

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36 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

Oh fuck, Rene Auberjonois was the voice of Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid. What a day indeed.

Oh, I forgot about that :(.

I also remember him from a couple episodes of "Frasier". He played a mentor of Frasier's. 

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Panache, a sort of Musketeer/Cyrano TV movie, was my introduction to Rene Auberjonois. I was so happy when he turned up on Benson and DS9.

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I was just coming here to post about Rene Auberjonois.  I think the first role I ever saw him in was as Father Kudos in 1976's disaster movie spoof 'The Big Bus'.  I've also never forgotten when the cast of 'Star Trek: DS9' was on Larry King and Rene instructed Larry on how to pronounce his name correctly.  It's funny the little things you remember. 

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2 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Started sobbing when Mom showed me the news on Facebook. She immediately got annoyed and pointed out that he was old and also nobody I knew personally.

I don't care. I grew up with Big Bird. Even when the show paid attention to Elmo he was still the number one character to me. 

I know he lived a long life and part of me has dreading this ever since he retired. But why did it have to be NOW? Dammit.

Miss you, Bird. And a loving "scram" to you, dear Oscar.

I also grew up with Sesame Street and this is so sad even if it wasn't a big shock like Jim Henson. Oscar was important because he provided the lemon in the lemonade. His character kept Sesame Street from being too cutesy.

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2 hours ago, Silver Raven said:

My high school took us to San Francisco to see "Tartuffe" in 1967, where Rene Auberjonois and Michael Learned were starring at the American Conservatory Theater. It was my first live production.  I was entranced.

I'm so jealous!  I don't think I ever saw him onstage, but since I've seen tons of theatre, I'd have to look through my programs.

My first indelible impression of him was in Eyes of Laura Mars and I've continued to be a fan since then.  His death saddens me. 

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I really can't add anything else to what has already been said about Caroll Spinney. What a talent. In fact, the very first movie I saw in the theatre was Sesame Street: Follow That Bird. My beloved grandma took me to see it way back in 1985. As an adult, I read his excellent memoir. Everyone should read it.

As for Rene Auberjonois, he was the embodiment of a character actor. One of my favorite roles of his was that of a jewel thief who was also a master of disguises in an episode of Starsky & Hutch. May they both RIP. 😢

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I swear I am no psychic, but just a couple of days ago out of nowhere a thought hit me that went something like, "I bet we have a rash of celebs dying in December". Why I thought that, I have no idea-- maybe because it seems like it's been a while since anyone famous passed ( even though, if you look back, that's not really true.) Maybe it's because there always seems to be a celeb death close to Christmas, but geez, it's still 2 1/2 weeks away ! Although Rene wasn't Tom Hanks famous or anything, I remember him being in quite a lot in the 80's and 90's, probably because that last name is so unique.

Although I never watched Sesame Street very much, you just about had to have lived in a cave not to know Big Bird or Oscar ! Very sad for many people.

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If any of you are Audible subscribers, Rene Auberjonois IS Aloysius Pendergast.  I can't imagine anyone else reading the novels.

Jumping into the wayback machine, Mr. Auberjonois was Dago Red, the priest in the original and absolute best movie M*A*S*H.  My friends and I cut classes to see the movie 5 times because the audience was laughing so hard we missed most of the dialogue.

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14 hours ago, ebk57 said:

'm a little (okay, a lot) too old for Sesame Street, but it occurred to me that today is the taping of the Kennedy Center Honors.  Sesame Street is an honoree, the first TV show to have that distinction.  I'm sure they will honor Mr. Spinney during the show

I saw this on the news:

"On red carpet at Kennedy Center Honors where Sesame Street cast are wearing yellow feathers in memory of ‘Big Bird’ Carroll Spinney."

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Edited by cynicat
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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

I'm sorry, guys, I have to do it:

Between that song and the scene of Big Bird saying good-bye to Snuffy in that movie, my heart hurts.

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No one could have voiced Louis the sadistic French Chef in The Little Mermaid better than Rene. He was perfect in a song ("Les Poissons") that had absolutely nothing to do with the main plot. 30 (!!!) years later, it still makes me laugh. ❤

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Rene Auberjonois? this one hurts!  Odo was always one of my favorites on DS9.

Armin Shimerman put it best:

It is with great heartache and loss I share with you the passing of dear,dear Rene Auberjonois.His last message to me was entitled "Don't forget..." I know that I,Kitty,and all that knew him will never forget.The world seems noticeably emptier now. I loved him.

— Armin Shimerman (@ShimermanArmin)

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3 hours ago, Lugal said:

Rene Auberjonois? this one hurts!  Odo was always one of my favorites on DS9.

Armin Shimerman put it best:

It is with great heartache and loss I share with you the passing of dear,dear Rene Auberjonois.His last message to me was entitled "Don't forget..." I know that I,Kitty,and all that knew him will never forget.The world seems noticeably emptier now. I loved him.

— Armin Shimerman (@ShimermanArmin)

What a beautiful tribute.

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From CNN: Pete Frates, One of the Men Who Popularized the Ice Bucket Challenge, Has Died

The cause, of course, was ALS—Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis—aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Ice Bucket Challenge, where participants were challenged to dump a bucket of ice over their heads, or make a donation to ALS research, was meant to raise funds to fight the disease & to bring awareness to it. Pete Frates, a former baseball player at Boston College, was only 34 when he died.

Edited by BW Manilowe · Reason: To add some info.
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On 12/8/2019 at 5:51 PM, Bastet said:

For those who don't like to clink on links that aren't clear as to what the article is about, that's about the death of René Auberjonois, who died today at age 79 of metastatic lung cancer:
 

Sounds like he had the perfect attitude for a character actor.  I knew him from the MASH and Benson roles primarily, but had seen him in numerous other things as well -- 228 screen credits to his name!

On 12/8/2019 at 5:52 PM, MikaelaArsenault said:

Just a suggestion @MikaelaArsenault: instead of just posting a link or multiple links, include a sentence or two summarizing what the article is about. It's not always easy to tell by the link and a summary will help people who are browsing while on a break at work determine if the story is OK to read at work.

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On 12/8/2019 at 3:25 PM, Silver Raven said:

My high school took us to San Francisco to see "Tartuffe" in 1967, where Rene Auberjonois and Michael Learned were starring at the American Conservatory Theater. It was my first live production.  I was entranced.

I am pretty sure I saw him play Shylock, opposite Michael Learned, in The Merchant of Venice a year or two later.

But the weirdest thing was when twenty years later, I had a child, and a friend gave me a book of post-pregnancy exercises, and the illustrations were pictures of Mr. Auberjonois and his wife!

He was really talented.

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From 8 News Now, Las Vegas: Trent Carlini, Considered the World’s Best Elvis Tribute Artist, and a Longtime Las Vegas Performer with This Act, Dead at Age 57

He performed in both his own Elvis tribute act & as Elvis in the long-running Legends in Concert show, which included tribute artists dedicated to a number of other musicians, from different genres, & not just Elvis tribute artists.

He apparently died, this past Sunday, in a Las Vegas hospital. The cause of death has not been announced.

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