Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deaths in Threes

Arnold Stang

Arnold Stang, voice of several favorite cartoon animated figures including Top Cat has died at age 91. Stang was a staple for several animated features in the 1960’s and starred as comic relief in any number of movies with stars like Milton Berle and even Frank Sinatra. He was also the voice of one of Popeye’s sidekicks “Shorty”. He reportedly succumbed to complications from pneumonia in a Massachusetts Hospital on Sunday.
This writer remembers Stang best from his role in the film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World ” from 1963, which any of us “Boomers” saw more than once. As for Hanna-Barbera’s Top Cat, this was once of my favorite cartoons, but I never actually knew who did the voice of the too cool cat. Interestingly Arnold Stang starred in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first film Hercules In New York in 1970. Stang is survived by his wife JoAnne, to whom he was married for over 60 years, as well as their two children. We are sure he will be sorely missed, as it takes a special person to be the one behind such well loved characters.

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Connie Hines
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Actress Connie Hines, who played Wilbur's wife on the popular 1960s television show "Mister Ed" has died. She was 79. Her "Mister Ed" co-star Alan Young told the Los Angeles Times that Hines died Friday at her Beverly Hills home from complications of heart problems. Hines was best known for portraying Carol Post on the show that featured a talking horse. She wrote a book in 2007 entitled "Mister Ed and Me and More." Born in Massachusetts, Hines also appeared in the 1960 film "Thunder in Carolina" and such TV shows as "The Millionaire," "Johnny Ringo" and "Riverboat." Hines was married twice, the last to Lee Savin, an entertainment lawyer and producer. Savin died in 1995. A lovely woman who was, vicariously, a part of my childhood. I got to meet her in 1984 and she was as beautiful then as I remember in childhood fantasies.

Alaina Reed-Amini

Actress Alaina Reed-Amini, best known for her long-running roles as Olivia Robinson on the children's program "Sesame Street" and Rose Lee Holloway on the comedy "227," has died.
Reed-Amini lost a two-year battle with breast cancer at St. John's Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, on Thursday, according to reports.
Reed-Amini, who changed her named from Alaina Reed Hall after she married Tamim Amini in 2008, turned 63 last month. In 1976 she joined the cast of "Sesame Street" as Olivia, a professional photographer and the kid sister of Gordon the teacher. She left the program in 1988 for a role on the NBC sitcom "227."
The actress married her "227" co-star Kevin Peter Hall in 1988. With art imitating life, their characters were married in the final season of the show in 1990. Hall died in 1991 from complications from the AIDS virus that he acquired through a blood transfusion.
Her stage credits include productions of "Chicago" and "Hair." She also appeared in the inspirational one-woman show "Alaina at the Bijou."
Her movie credits include "Cruel Intentions" and "Death Becomes Her." She guest-starred on television shows such as "ER," "NYPD Blue," "The Drew Carey Show" and "Ally McBeal."
Reed-Amini is survived by her husband and two children from her marriage to Hall.
Sorry to see her pass. Who didn't have Olivia in some way as a part of their past? Those who watched Sesame Street as a kid, and those who had kids who watched the show. Say hey to Jim Henson

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