Before I even knew what a psychologist was (and before a couple psychologists dumped me as a patient), I watched Dr. Joyce Brothers on TV. Even though I really didn't know what she was talking about, I was into her and it was mostly because of her gorgeous hair flip. And now Dr. Joyce Brothers is in heaven.
The Los Angeles Times says that the pop culture icon and one of the most famous psychologists in the world died today in NYC at the age of 85. Dr. Joyce Brothers' publicist passed the news to the media, but didn't give a cause of death.
Dr. Joyce Brothers became famous in 1955 when she was the first woman to win the grand prize on the television game show The $64,000 Question. After that, she regularly showed up on TV shows to give advice and that led to getting her own column in Good Housekeeping. Dr. Joyce Brothers also played herself in an episode of Melrose Place and an episode of The Love Beat.
Dr. Joyce Brothers married Milton Brothers (an internist, not a board game maker) in 1949 and they stayed together until his death in 1989. Dr. Joyce Brothers is survived by her daughter, her sister, her four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Dr. Joyce Brothers' death reminds me that most things were better in the 80s. In the 80s and 90s we had Dr. Joyce Brothers and now we have Dr. Phil's stupid ass. Come back, Dr. Joyce Brothers. Come back!
Dim all the lights in Genoa City, because the matriarch of The Young and the Restless and soap opera legend, Jeanne Cooper, died today at the age of 84. Jeanne has been sick in a bad way recently and was in out of the hospital. No cause of death was given. Jeanne's son, Corbin Bernsen of L.A. Law, said on Facebook today that his sister was at her side when their mother floated off to heaven.
Wasn't sure how I would have to say these words so I opt for simplicity at least to begin...
My mother passed away this morning just a short time ago, peaceful with my sister by her side, in her sleep. I was going to visit this afternoon, thought I had time. Reminder to self - time is a precious thing. I too am at peace however. I said my goodbyes several times over during the last few weeks. I'll go one last time now for a gentle kiss a final farewell for this lifetime. She has been a blaze her entire life, that beacon, that boxer I spoke of earlier. She went the full twelve rounds and by unanimous decision... won! And while her light finally gave into the wind that gives flight to all our journeys, there will always be a glimmer left behind by what she stood for. I will speak about that more in coming days, months I suppose.
I will certainly dedicate what remains of my life to continue her purpose of honesty, equality, humility, empathy and love. So many of you have said your prayers for her and right now, today, I can say the best way to honor her is to inhabit your lives with those things she stood for. I would ask that closer friends respectfully give us some time to find our family's path in this transition, and please limit calls, emails and the rest for a couple of days. As always, your outpouring of love here on this page, is not only welcomed to continue but truly appreciated and comforting. I asked my sister what time she passed exactly, and she told me (not to important for public record) but I was working out and just happened to pick out a song for my final moments on the treadmill - "Everlasting Light" by the Black Keys. Oh what a wonder it all is... what a magnificence!
Jeanne Cooper started playing Katherine Chancellor on Y&R in 1973 and she never stopped. She won a Daytime Emmy for Lead Actress in 2008 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
Rest in peace, Mrs. Chancellor... We'll all honor your memory today by barging into the office of that (really hot) tramp Jill Abbott #1:
And we'll continue to honor your memory by slapping down that bitch Jill Abbott #3:
(Pic via Gina Colombo)
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening's mother Margaret Ruth Groening (née Wiggum) died peacefully in her sleep on April 22nd in Portland. Margaret was the inspiration for Marge Simpson and I did not know this, but Matt named most of The Simpsons characters after members of his own family. Margaret's obit reads like The Simpsons family tree.
Homer is the name of Matt's father and Lisa and Maggie are the name of his sisters. Bart is an anagram of Brat and is supposedly based on Matt. His brother Mark didn't make the cut. Even Patty was the name of one of Matt's relatives. It makes me sad knowing that Patty died earlier this year. Because if she was anything like her character, I would've liked to bitch about life with her while trying to pick up pieces at the gay bar.
Rest in peace, real-life Marge Simpson.
The memory of me freak dancing to a Kriss Kross song at my junior high school dance is now dead, because Chris Kelly of Kriss Kross has floated, backwards of course, off to heaven. Chris was only 34 years old.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that Chris was found unresponsive at his home in Atlanta this afternoon. The paramedics took him to the Atlanta Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Chris' cause of death is not known right now and there's not a lot of details beyond that. The Medical Examiner's Office says that an autopsy will be done tomorrow morning.
Chris and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith were discovered by Jermaine Dupri in 1990 at a mall in Atlanta. Jermaine helped them get a record deal and two years later their first album came out. They toured with Michael Jackson and their album's biggest hit "Jump" went to #1 in the US. After their third album came out, they separated for a second and tried to do their own thing. The last I heard, they were planning a comeback.
I'm wearing sweats right now, so the front pretty much looks the same as the back, but I'm still going to wear them backwards in honor of Mac Daddy. RIP.
And we'll never jump again.
This is not the way I wanted to start my Monday... Chrissy Amphlett, the former lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls, died at her home in NYC on Sunday at the young age of 53. Chrissy was diagnosed with MS in 1998 and in 2011, she announced that she was battling breast cancer. Chrissy was working on new music in NYC while getting medical treatments. Chrissy's husband, former Divinyls drummer Charley Drayton, and her cousin, Australian pop icon Little Pattie, were with her when she died. Chrissy's family released this statement to the Herald Sun:
"Our beloved Chrissy peacefully made her transition this morning. Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity. She passed gently, in her sleep, surrounded by close friends and family, including husband of fourteen years, musician Charley Drayton, her sister, Leigh, nephew, Matt, and cousin Patricia Thompson.
Chrissy's light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity; she always lived it to the fullest. With her force of character and vocal strength she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women. Best remembered as the lead singer of the ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Divinyls, last month she was named one of Australia's top ten singers of all time. Chrissy expressed hope that her worldwide hit I Touch Myself would remind women to perform annual breast examinations. Chrissy was a true pioneer and a treasure to all whose lives her music and spirit touched."
I was 11 or 12 the first time I heard "I Touch Myself." My drunk tia played it at one of our family gatherings. She blasted it on some wonky boombox, sashayed to the middle of the living room and danced to it as my abuelita muttered "cochina" to herself in the corner. I have Chrissy Amphlett to thank for that beautiful memory.
And here's my other favorite Divinyls song:
Rest in peace, Chrissy Amphlett.
The Scooby Doo Gang has given Jonathan Winters a ride all the way up to heaven, because he died last night at the age of 87. TMZ says that Jonathan was surrounded by his family when he died of natural causes at his home in Montecito, CA.
Long before American Idol and the acting category on Star Search (remember that shit?), Jonathan entered a talent contest in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio and won. After that, he got a job as a radio personality and that eventually led him to NYC to do stand-up, which led him to many TV appearances where he played all sorts of characters including Maude Frickert. Jonathan was in a million TV shows and movies including It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Davis Rules, The Flinstones, The Twilight Zone and The Smurfs movies. Children from the 70s and 80s best know him from Scooby Doo and as Mork & Mindy's kid, Mearth.
And now Jonathan Winters is destroying gas stations in heaven.
Rest in peace, Mearth.
The forever Queen of the Mickey Mouse Club and America's sweetheart Annette Funicello floated up to heaven today at the age of 70. Extra says that Annette's children and husband Glenn Holt were with her when she was taken off of life support at a hospital in Bakersfield, CA. Annette's family said that she had been in a MS coma for years.
Long before Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Brit Brit and Xtina existed, Mickey Mouse dropped a pair of mouse ears on Annette Funicello's head when she became one of the first Mouseketeers at the age of 12. After the Mickey Mouse Club, Annette put on a two piece and didn't take it off for years, because she made musical beach movie after musical beach movie with her main boo Frankie Avalon. In 1992, Annette announced that she had multiple sclerosis, because she wanted to shoot down the rumors that she had a hard time walking due to alcoholism. Annette wrote an autobiography a couple of years later and it was turned into a made-for-TV movie starring Eva La Rue. And Annette was in an episode of Full House. I was going to say that was probably the highlight of Annette's career, but I don't think she had a scene with Kimmy Gibler.
Rest in peace, Annette. Let's all swallow a spoonful of Skippy in honor of Annette.
Just a couple of days after Roger Ebert announced that his cancer came back and he's taking a "leave of presence," The Chicago Sun-Times reports that he passed away at the age of 70. Roger Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2007 and four years later he lost his ability to talk and eat when doctors removed part of his lower jaw, but that didn't stop him doing what he loved and he kept reviewing movies almost until the end. Here's what Roger said a few years ago about death. A dust storm is coming your way, so grab your crying cloth:
"I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear.
I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris."
And now he's in a screening room in heaven, fighting with Gene Siskel. Rest in peace, Roger Ebert.
Shain Gandee, one of the cast members on MTV's redneck version of Jersey Shore called Buckwild, was found dead in a vehicle this morning in Sissonville, West Virginia. Shain and his uncle David Gandee were declared missing yesterday when they didn't come home from a four-wheeling trip.
WCHS-TV says that Shain and David were last seen at Larry's Bar in Sissonville at 3 in the morning on Sunday. They told everyone at the bar they were going four-wheeling in Shain's Ford Bronco, but they didn't say which area they were going to. Shain and David's family called 911 and reported them missing after not hearing from them all day Sunday.
The Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper said this morning a person riding a four-wheeler drove by a vehicle and noticed three dead bodies in it. Police confirmed that two of the bodies were Shain and his Uncle David. The name of the third person found dead was not released.
Not that he can, but County Commissioner Carper didn't say what police think they all died from. But I guess it's not hard to figure out knowing that they all went four-wheeling at 3am after partying at Larry's Bar. For some reason, this story makes me think about The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia and I can't believe all of them are still alive (I think).
RIP Shain and Uncle David.
Harry Potter's Uncle Vernon floated up to the great big Pie in the Sky yesterday at the age of 65. Richard Griffiths died at the University Hospital Coventry from complications after heart surgery.
Before playing Uncle Vernon in all the Harry Potter movies, Richard played the carrot-loving Uncle Monty in Withnail and I and Dr. Meinheimer in The Naked Gun 2 1/2 (his greatest achievement, I know). Richard was also in The History Boys, one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Hugo and Sleepy Hollow. Daniel Radcliffe, who was the Harry to his Uncle Vernon and who also worked with him in the stage revival of Equus, had a few words to say to the BBC about Richard:
"Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. I was proud to know him."
I know that Richard Griffiths was an award-winning, respected and seriously accomplished actor, but since I'm trash, my first thought after hearing this news was, "He got to see Harry Potter's peen up close and on stage!"
Rest in peace, Richard Griffiths.