RIP, James Garner

OK, I can now say it: if I could have been any movie actor, I probably would have chosen James Garner.

From Garner’s comedies (Westerns et al and all the rom-coms) to his television shows, he gave his characters such depth and humanity, it was hard to see him as anything but the everyday man. Plus, he was so handsome he always got the girl, but usually through just being a great guy. What more could you want in a matinee hero? But he also had the real acting chops, which he displays so well in The Great Escape and The Americanization of Emily, his characters always seemed so authentic, like they were just reflections of the real man, and that’s no mean feat. He made everything look so easy.

Mr. Garner, thanks for the laughs and all the memories, you are already greatly missed.

RIP Elaine Stritch

One of the true Grande Dames has left the stage:

And now here’s Stritch doing the cast recording, with her own commentary:

She was harder on herself than she ever was on anyone else (and she was a ROYAL. PAIN. IN. THE. ASS), and maybe that’s why she is a Broadway Legend? I’ll go with yes.

There will be a curtain call in heaven tonight, and she will be missed.

(NYTimes covers her career so very well.)

RIP, Tommy Ramone

Oh, man, he was only 62. The Ramones are gonna have a re-union gig in heaven tonight.

I was lucky enough to see The Ramones live and the energy at those shows was just unlike anything I’ve ever experience before or since. The inestimable essayist and supreme stylist James Wolcott (of Vanity Fair) has a chapter in his book Lucking Out that is probably the best thing ever written about Punk in NYC in the ’70s. Highly recommended reading if you want to read about the influence of the Ramones. I assume Mr. Wolcott will blog about Tommy sometime soon, so keep an eye on him.

Anyway, I’m ordering good Scissorheads to bop about where’ere you happen to be today. Energy, people. It’s what the Ramones would want.

Variety has a run-down on Tommy Ramone’s career that’s pretty interesting reading.

RIP, Bob Hoskins

Oh, man, now I’m sure that there will never be a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, as Bob Hoskins has died at the age of 71 from pneumonia:

The gruff Londoner, who rose to fame in British gangster films in the 1980s and went on to have a long career as a Hollywood character actor, died in hospital on Tuesday night.

Hoskins, who was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for “Mona Lisa” in 1986, retired in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

He will be missed.

(Hat tip: Scissorhead B-4 who has a really nice piece up on Mr. Hoskins)

RIP, Mickey Rooney

I was not going to write about him (never saw any of his movies and didn’t like the man much when I saw him on talk shows), but then I got this tweet from my buddy Frank Chow who blogs here:

And the link goes to Breakfast at Tiffanys:

I think I’ll let Frank’s tweet speak for me, too. What a shame he never apologized.

RIP, David Brenner

Another great, funny man is at the two-drink minimum in the sky. I know he’s gonna knock’em dead, er, well, bring down the house.

Brenner was 78, and he continued working doing live shows until the end.

RIP, Harold Ramis

My Favorite Ghostbuster, Dr. Egon Spengler, will haunt my dreams tonight:

Harold Ramis has gone to that rewrite in the sky. He was 69 (way too young). Besides Ghostbusters, he wrote and directed Caddyshack and Groundhog Day amongst many other fine, fine comedies of my youth.

Here’s a nice tribute:

He will be missed.

RIP Bob Casale

Mr. Casale was one of the founders of the legendary new wave band Devo. He died today of a heart attack at the age of 61, which is way too young.

CNN has a full bio, he was a lot more than the Devo bass player, D-E-V-O is a finer obit accomplishment than most. He will be missed.

UPDATE: Mountjoy eulogizes Mr. Casale:

DonnieMountjoy: @Tengrain

Vale Bob Casale,
Devo’s talented string man.
(*doffs Energy Dome*)

#Devo #FreedomOfChoice #GirlUWant #HaikuMaster

RIP Sid Caesar

The man and the myth has gone on to the two-drink minimum in the sky. Caeser was 91, which is extra-innings no matter how you look at it.

I’m told that if there had never been a Sid Caesar that there never would have been a Saturday Night Live, and certainly the world would be a different place without the talents he found and cultivated: Neil Simon, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mel Tolkin, Lucille Kallen, Larry Gelbart, and Woody Allen. That alone is quite a legacy.

(CNN has a fitting tribute.)