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2 items from 2014

10 Voice-Actor Deaths That Impacted The Simpsons

4 April 2014 11:04 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »


When a voice-actor passes away for any cartoon, the writers have three options: re-cast with a similar-sounding actor/actress; send the character on a “long vacation” until a decision can be made; or permanently retire said character(s) out of respect for the deceased. After being on the air for 25 years, The Simpsons have, unfortunately, seen their fair-share of voice-actors pass on. Very few of their “permanent” voices, but enough in-house- as well as special guests who voiced themselves and reoccurring characters- have passed that the writers have had to make those decisions.

Sixty-three voice-actors and actresses- three considered “regular cast” and the other 60 “special guest stars”- have been silenced over the last 25 years. Some of the more familiar guest stars you won’t see in this list include: Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, Gary Coleman, Linda McCartney, Tito Puente, Elizabeth Taylor, and Barry White. The ones listed within »

- The 'House

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‘Facts of Life,’ ‘Silver Spoons’ Co-Creator Ben Starr Dies at 92

20 January 2014 12:18 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Comedy writer Ben Starr, whose career stretched from radio through 1980s sitcoms, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 92.

Starr was a co-creator of NBC comedies “The Facts of Life” and “Silver Spoons.” During his long career, he wrote for TV comedies ranging from “All in the Family” to “Diff’rent Strokes” as well as “Mr. Ed,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Petticoat Junction,” “The Brady Bunch” and “Chico and the Man.”

Starr inadvertently helped create the famous catchphrase from “Diff’rent Strokes” — “Whatchu talking ’bout Willis?” The line as written in an early script for the show was “What are you talking about, Willis?” but after star Gary Coleman gave it his distinctive delivery, Starr knew it was a keeper.

Starr went on to create the spinoff “Facts of Life” with two other writers he met while working on “Diff’rent Strokes,” Martin Cohan and Howard Leeds. »

- Variety Staff

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