Remembering some of my favorite stars who passed on this year. - December 2010
Dixie is the middle of three children. Her father owned several small retail stores. Early on, she dreamed of being an opera singer, but a botched tonsillectomy at age 7 spoiled any chances for that dream. Still, she sang regularly and studied classical music. She can play the piano, trumpet, and the harmonica...
“ Favorite role: Julia Sugarbaker - Designing Women ” - Natasha Bishop
A New York stage actress in the 1950s, McClanahan was plucked from the stage by Norman Lear
for roles on All in the Family
and later Maude
. For two years (1982 - 1984), she played "Aunt Fran" on Mama's Family
until her character was killed off and she joined the cast of Golden Girls. She hit her comedic stride as a sharp tongued oversexed Southern belle on The Golden Girls
“ Favorite role: Blanche Devereaux - The Golden Girls ” - Natasha Bishop
Leslie William Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and raised in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman), Northwest Territories. His mother, Mabel Elizabeth (Davies), was Welsh. His father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen, was a Danish-born Mountie and a strict disciplinarian. Leslie studied at the Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto before moving on to New York's Neighborhood Playhouse...
“ Favorite role: Frank Drebin - The Naked Gun ” - Natasha Bishop
“ Favorite films: Breakfast at Tiffany's,The Pink Panther, Victor/Victoria, ” - Natasha Bishop
Without a doubt Gary Coleman was THE child TV star of the late 1970s and early 1980s. A refreshingly confident little tyke with sparkling dark, saucer-like eyes and an ingratiating, take-on-anyone burst of personality, the boy charmed the pants right off of TV viewers the minute he was glimpsed in national commercials...
“ Favorite role: Arnold Jackson - Diff'rent Strokes ” - Natasha Bishop
With an amazing cinematic career of more than five decades, Dennis Hopper was a multi-talented and unconventional actor/director, regarded by many as one of the true "enfants terribles" of Hollywood. Hopper was born on May 17, 1936 in Dodge City, Kansas, to Marjorie Mae (Davis) and James Millard Hopper...
“ Favorite roles: Easy Rider - Billy, Hoosiers - Shooter, Speed - Howard Payne ” - Natasha Bishop
Corey Haim was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Judy Haim
, an Israeli-born data processor, and Bernie Haim
, a Canadian-born clothing sales representative. He has a sister, Carol, and a half-brother, Daniel. His family is Jewish. Haim broke into the film industry in 1984, playing a young child caught up in a family war in the movie Firstborn
“ Favorite role: Lucas - Lucas ” - Natasha Bishop
Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz, the eldest of three children of Helen (Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz, Jewish immigrants from Hungary. Curtis himself admits that while he had almost no formal education, he was a student of the "school of hard knocks" and learned from a young age that the only person who ever had his back was himself...
“ Favorite role: Some Like It Hot - Joe ” - Natasha Bishop
“ Favorite role: Happy Days - Howard Cunningham ” - Natasha Bishop
“ Favorite role: Gods and Monsters - Hanna ” - Natasha Bishop
was born on a dining room table on 4th Street in Santa Monica, California on July 4, 1910. Her early roles as a performing artist were in plays she produced in her home as a young girl. She was the star of her senior class play at Santa Monica High School in 1927. Attending the University of California...
“ Favorite role: Titanic - Rose ” - Natasha Bishop
“ Favorite role: Growing Pains - Boner ” - Natasha Bishop
A marvelously quirky and distinctive 4' 3" character actress, with a larger-than-life presence on film and TV, Zelda Rubinstein gave up a long and stable career in the medical field as a lab technician in order to strive for something more self-fulfilling as middle age settled in. At the age of 45, the feisty lady gave up the comfort of a stable paycheck and attempt an acting career...
“ Favorite role: Poltergeist - Tangina Barrons ” - Natasha Bishop
“ Favorite role: The Linkletter Show - Himself ” - Natasha Bishop
John Forysthe was born Jacob Lincoln Freund in Penns Grove, New Jersey, the son of Blanche Materson (Blohm) and Samuel Jeremiah Freund, a Wall Street businessman. He chose to pursue acting over the objections of his father. He did some work in radio soaps and on Broadway before signing a movie contract with Warner Bros...
“ Favorite roles: Charlie's Angels - Charles Townsend, Dynasty - Blake Carrington ” - Natasha Bishop