Darlene Cates, who made her professional acting debut as Momma Grape in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, died on Sunday morning. Darlene’s sister, Sheri Cates Morgan, wrote in a Facebook post that she died unexpectedly in her sleep. She was 69.
If you had told me early this morning that Bill Paxton, Mag the Mighty from Game of Thrones and Judge Joseph Wapner are taking the trip to the afterworld together, I’d tell you to stop eating edibles for breakfast, but that’s exactly what has happened. There goes another piece of my childhood.
TMZ says that Judge Wapner died this morning in L.A. He was 97. Judge Wapner was in the hospital last week with breathing problems. His condition got worse and so he was taken to his home and was put under hospice care.
Before Judge Judy, Judge Mablean, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Mathis and Judge Marilyn Milan, there was Judge Wapner! Judge Wapner served on the L.A. Superior Court from 1961-79, and in the 80s, he was cast as the star of television’s first arbitration-based reality court show, The People’s Court. Judge Wapner was on the show from 1981 to 1993. Where I lived as a kid, The People’s Court came on a little later, like at 4pm, so I used to watch it while doing my homework after school. Judge Wapner didn’t drag tricks as hard as Judge Judy does, but I still lived for him verbally slapping down messes in his court room. Judge Wapner (and the court room scenes from Dynasty) taught me how the justice system works!
The People’s Court was canceled in 1993 after ratings dropped to an all-time low. It was revamped in 1997, but Judge Wapner was not asked to star in it. He was replaced with Ed Koch and TMZ’s Harvey Levin was brought in to host. Judge Marilyn Milan is the current head judge of The People’s Court. In 2009, Judge Wapner made his grand return to the show to preside over one case.
Judge Wapner was married to his wife Mickey Wapner for 70 years and they had 3 children together.
Rest in peace, Judge Wapner. If the angels didn’t say, “one minute to Wapner,” one minute before Judge Wapner appeared at the gates, then they need to watch Rain Man again.
And now let’s end with a classic People’s Court clip featuring Judge Wapner, the show’s legendary theme song, 80s court room glamour, Doug Llewelyn’s luscious cloud of hair (either real of polyester) and talk of enemas.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Bill Paxton was at the NAACP Image Awards, looking good, and he has been working on his show Training Day, but this morning, his family dropped eighty hundred tons of sad and shock on the world by saying that he has died at the way-too-young age of 61. Bill’s family said in a statement that he died of complications from surgery. TMZ heard that Bill went through heart surgery and had a fatal stroke afterward.
“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery. A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.”
It seems like Bill Paxton was in absolutely everything. He was in Terminator, Commando, Aliens, Predator 2, the masterpiece Boxing Helena, Tombstone, Apollo 13, True Lies, a couple of Spy Kids movies, and of course Titanic and Twister. Bill, and Lance Henriksen, are also the only two actors who hold the high honor of being killed by a Terminator, an Alien and a Predator in a movie.
On TV, Bill was in all 5 seasons of Big Love, and he was nominated for an Emmy in 2014 for playing Randall McCoy in Hatfields & McCoys. Like I said above, Bill starred with Justin Cornwell on CBS’ Training Day. Bill’s 22-year-old son James Paxton, who is also an actor, recently worked with his dad on an episode.
Even though Bill seemed to be everything, many 80s children, like myself, probably consider his greatest role to be the total douche brother in the 80s cinematic jewel of perfection Weird Science. Bill was one of the best parts of that perfect, perfect movie. Bless the person who made this “Best of Chet” video for YouTube.
Bill is survived by his wife of 30 years Louise Newbury and their two children, James and Lydia Paxton.
Rest in peace, Bill Paxton. I’d like to think that as soon as Bill got through the gates of heaven, you said, “How ’bout a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray, buttweeds!”
Jamie Lynn Spears’ 8-Year-Old Daughter Is Reportedly In Critical Condition After An ATV Accident (UPDATE)
Last night, TMZ delivered eighty-five layers of awfulness when they reported that Maddie Aldridge, the 8-year-old daughter of Brit Brit’s little sister Jamie Lynn Spears, is in a bad, bad way after she was involved in an ATV accident. Maddie was reportedly on a hunting trip yesterday when the ATV she was riding in flipped over into a pond. TMZ’s sources say that Maddie was underwater for several minutes and was unconscious. She was airlifted to a hospital in New Orleans, LA. Jamie Lynn wasn’t with her daughter at the time of the accident. The sources also say that Maddie is in critical, but stable, but condition.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Emmanuelle Riva, who had the distinction of being the oldest Best Actress nominee in Oscar history, passed away in a Paris clinic on January 27th, after a long illness. She was 89.
On her Wikipedia page, it says Paulette Germaine Riva (“Emmanuelle” was a nom de guerre) was born in 1927 in Cheniménil, France. Originally a seamstress, she moved to Paris at the age of 26 to pursue her dream of an acting career. In 1957, she made her television debut in the French series, Énigmes de l’histoire, and then never had to sew for anybody else again in her life! Her appearance in the important French film in 1959, Hiroshima mon amour, was considered her breakout role.
Emmanuelle was 85-years-young when she was nominated for Best Actress in 2012 for her role in the film, Amour. Emmanuelle played a stroke victim whose husband cares for her in the last years of her life. That role won her a BAFTA award as well as an Oscar nomination. (She had really good luck with projects with “amour” in the title, huh?) A beloved figure of French stage and cinema, was proof that age matters very little when it comes to success.
Emmanuelle’s only competition for oldest Oscar nominee overall in history was Titanic’s 87-year- old Gloria Stuart, who was nominated in 1997 for Best Supporting Actress.
Emmanuelle was still working as of last year, having filmed a movie in Iceland. French president Francois Hollande noted in a statement that she “deeply marked French cinema” and “created intense emotion in all the roles she played.”
Rest in peace, Emmanuelle.
It’s official: this year’s Oscars needs to be one 3-hour-long In Memoriam. The winners can pick up their statues in the parking lot.
The Hollywood Reporter says that another great is now gone. John Hurt died at the age of 77. It’s not known what John died of, but in 2015, he announced that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. John went through treatment and later in 2015, he said that his cancer was in remission.
Sir John was in a million classics and was memorable in all of them. He was in The Elephant Man, Alien, three Harry Potter movies, The Black Cauldron, Dogville, V for Vendetta, Snowpiercer, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (“Why did you have to mention that one?” – Sir John, probably) and on and on and on. Recently, he played the priest that Jackie Kennedy has a deep talk with in Jackie. During his long career, he got two Oscar nominations (one for The Elephant Man and the other for Midnight Express). And on TV, Sir John was the War Doctor in Doctor Who.
Sir John once joked that he’s died so many times in movies that he probably holds the record.
“I don’t think anybody has died in films as often as I have. I think I’m probably in The Guinness Book of World Records.”
And on John Hurt’s YouTube page is a video titled The Many Deaths of John Hurt and it’s filled with 40 of his most famous death scenes. I hope the alien baby that popped out of his chest in Spaceballs greets Sir John at the gates of heaven with another rendition of Hello, Mah Baby, Hello, Mah Honey.
Rest in peace, Sir John Hurt. I will never forget the flawless Sharpie brows and impeccable rouge game you worked in I, Claudius.
Pics: Wenn.com, BBC