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Troubled Actress Gail Russell Gail Russell was a dark-eyed beauty who starred with some of the most popular leading men in Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s, including John Wayne, Joel McCrae and Alan Ladd. Born in Chicago on September 21, 1924, Russell was a shy child and often hid beneath her parents' piano when they entertained. The family moved to Los Angeles when she was 14. Even though art was Russell’s passion, her mother convinced her to audition at Paramount Studios. Gail was offered a standard seven-year contract at $50 a week. Upon graduating from high school, she signed with Paramount. Russell suffered terribly from stage fright. She made her first film appearance at 19 in Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour. The following year she appeared in Lady in the Dark. Although Russell’s role was minor, the film was nominated for three Oscars, which boosted her career. Russell's raven hair and enigmatic beauty was particularly suited to the ghost story plot of The Uninvited, her second film of 1944. During filming, Russell’s stage fright was so great that one of her co-stars suggested alcohol as a means to calm her nerves. Russell completed the film, but lost 20 pounds and later suffered a nervous breakdown. This film was also nominated for an Oscar, drawing even more attention to the young starlet. Russell played Emily Kimbrough in the 1944 comedy Our Hearts Were Young and Gay. The following year she starred as a schoolteacher opposite Alan Ladd in Salty O'Rouke, another Oscar-nominated film, then with Joel McCrae in the supernatural tale The Unseen. In 1946 she starred in Our Hearts Were Growing Up, a sequel with Diana Lynn. Before the year was over she completed yet another movie, The Bachelor’s Daughters, with Adolphe Menjou. Still, Russell continued to experience stage fright, liberally using alcohol to deal with it. In 1947, Russell performed one of her most famous roles as the innocent Quaker love of John Wayne in The Angel and the Badman. Rumors circulated that Russell and Wayne were having an affair, though they both denied anything more than friendship. In 1949, Russell once again starred as John Wayne's love interest in Wake of the Red Witch. When she learned that her husband had cast Russell in this role, John Wayne’s wife, actress Esperanza (Chata) Bauer, exploded in an alcoholic, jealous rage. When Wayne returned home late from the cast party, Bauer aimed a gun at her husband and pulled the trigger. The bullet barely missed Wayne’s head. Months later, Russell married her long-time boyfriend, television actor Guy Madison. In 1953, Russell was called to testify in John Wayne’s divorce trial and once again, Russell and Wayne both denied the affair. Two weeks later Russell was arrested for drunk driving, which fueled more rumors about an affair and caused serious damage to her marriage. Her alcoholic reputation so troubled Paramount executives they refused to renew her contract. Then Russell and Madison divorced, adding to her despair. In 1955, Russell left the scene of the crime after rear-ending another vehicle while intoxicated. In 1957 she drove her new convertible through the glass windows of Jan's Restaurant in Beverly Hills, pinning the janitor beneath her vehicle. Russell was picked up by Universal Studios and continued to star with some of the most famous names in Hollywood, including Randolph Scott. However, in August of 1957, when she failed to appear in court, officers were sent to her home and found her drunk and unconscious. The hearing was held at General Hospital where she was bedridden with severe effects from alcoholism. She joined Alcoholics Anonymous and stayed with this organization for a year, to no avail. In 1961, Russell starred in her last movie, The Silent Call. When filming was completed, she locked herself in her Los Angeles studio apartment, sketching and drinking. On August 27, 1961 Russell died from an alcohol-induced heart attack. She was just 36.
Tags: actress  Gail  Russell 
Added: 18th December 2010
Views: 2006
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Posted By: Lava1964
Johnn Dye Passes at age 47 John Dye, best known as the angel of death Andrew on "Touched By an Angel," has died. He was 47. The actor died Monday from a heart attack in San Francisco, his brother, Jerre Dye, told The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal.
Tags: John  Dye  Touched  By  An  Angel  Angel  of  Death 
Added: 13th January 2011
Views: 632
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Posted By: Old Fart
1958 New Jersey Commuter Train Disaster On Sept. 15, 1958, a horrible accident befell a commuter train shuttling passengers from New Jersey to New York City. It was a Tuesday morning after rush hour so the train had only 100 passengers--about a quarter of its capacity. Shortly following 10 a.m., Central Railroad train No. 3314 out of Bayhead stopped at Elizabethport on the western shore of Newark Bay. The train plunged off the end of an open bridge, killing 48 passengers, including a high executive from one of the larger corporations in the country and retired New York Yankees second baseman George (Snuffy) Stirnweiss. Other passengers included an investment banker carrying a brief case that contained $250,000 in negotiable bonds, a federal agent carrying a top secret device for communicating with satellites, and the mayor of a town in southern New Jersey. The accident occurred when the train plunged off the end of a bridge that had opened to allow a boat to pass on Newark Bay. Questions still remain about the accident, and why the crew ignored at least three warnings to stop and arrived at the edge of the bridge at exactly the wrong moment - sending three cars into the turbulent waters below. Although some reports suggest that the train engineer, Lloyd Wilburn, 63, suffered a heart attack before drowning as a result of the crash, the investigation later showed his train moved well above the 22-mile-per-hour speed limit for the bridge and passed through three signals notifying him and other crew members that the bridge was open ahead.
Tags: bridge  train  disaster  New  Jersey 
Added: 30th January 2011
Views: 2393
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Posted By: Lava1964
Newton Minow - Vast Wasteland Speech Despite being just 35 years old, Newton Minow became the head of the Federal Communications Commission in 1961 shortly after John F. Kennedy became president. During the 1960 election campaign, Robert Kennedy and Minow had long passionate discussions about the state of television and its influence on America. Minow became a vocal critic of the medium. Famously, in a speech given to the National Association of Broadcasters convention on May 9, 1961, Minow was extremely critical of television broadcasters for not doing more, in Minow's view, to serve the public interest. His phrase, 'vast wasteland,' is remembered years afterward. Minow said, 'When television is good, nothing—-not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers-— nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there for a day without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.' While some Americans applauded Minow's assault on commercial television as a welcome criticism of excessive violence and frivolity, others criticized it as an elitist, snobbish attack on programming that many viewers enjoyed. Still others viewed it as government interference with private enterprise. Related trivia: The S. S. Minnow of the 1964–1967 television show Gilligan's Island was sarcastically named for Minow to express the producers' displeasure with his assessment of the quality of television.
Tags: FCC  Newton  Minow  television  vast  wasteland  speech 
Added: 3rd February 2011
Views: 1838
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Posted By: Lava1964
Eric Campbell - Chaplin Nemesis If you've seen any of Charlie Chaplin's best comedy shorts, you've probably seen Eric Campbell. Campbell, a native of Scotland, played opposite Chaplin in a dozen films in 1916 and 1917. Campbell's daunting 6-foot-5, 300-pound frame made him perfect as a foe for the diminutive Chaplin. Despite his menacing figure, Campbell was a gentle soul whose final year was marred by terrible tragedy. On July 9, 1917, Campbell's wife died suddenly of a heart attack after dining at a Santa Monica restaurant near their home. Walking to a nearby store to buy a mourning dress, Campbell's 16-year-old daughter, Una, was hit by a car a seriously injured. That September, Campbell met Pearl Gilman, a vaudeville comedienne with a family reputation for gold-digging. Just five days after they met, Campbell and Gilman were married. (Daughter Una, still recuperating at a friend's home in Santa Monica canyon, was not told of the wedding for several weeks.) Less than two months after marrying the gentle giant, Gilman sued him for divorce, claiming her new husband abused her with his heavy drinking and profanity. Campbell moved into the Los Angeles Athletic Club, taking a room next to his best friend Chaplin. At a cast party Campbell got drunk. Driving home on December 20, 1917 at 4 a.m., Campbell crashed his car and was killed. He was 39. Campbell's ashes remained unclaimed for more than 30 years.
Tags: Eric  Campbell  actor  silent  films  Chaplin 
Added: 9th February 2011
Views: 846
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Posted By: Lava1964
Debralee Scott Debralee Scott was an actress best known for her role on the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. Her first film appearance came shortly after her 18th birthday in 1971. It was an uncredited role as a nude corpse in the Clint Eastwood cop flick Dirty Harry. At age 22 she found fame on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, playing Mary's sister, Cathy Shumway. In 1975-76 Scott appeared on the first season of the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter as female sweathog Rosalie 'Hotsy' Totsy. Later she had a role in the Donna Pescow sitcom Angie, playing Angie's younger sister, Marie Falco. Among her other credits were the 1973 feature film American Graffiti and the 1974 film Earthquake. Scott also regularly appeared as a celebrity panelist on Match Game between 1976 and 1982. Scott continued to act, appearing in two Police Academy movies, but she later retired from acting and became an agent for a company in New York City called Empowered Artists. The last few years of Scott's life were replete with tragedy: Scott's fiancé, Port Authority police officer John Dennis Levi, died during the 9/11 attacks. In March 2005, Scott moved from Brooklyn to Amelia Island, Florida to care for her ailing elder sister, Carol Anne, a producer who had worked on many Robert Altman films. Soon after her arrival in Florida, Scott collapsed and lingered in a coma for several days before waking. Since doctors could not ascertain what caused the coma, she was released two days later. Three days later, on April 5, 2005, she took a nap and never woke up. She was three days past her 52nd birthday. Despite an autopsy, the cause of death remained uncertain. Scott's body was cremated. Her sister died of heart failure on July 13, 2006.
Tags: Debralee  Scott  actress  sitcoms 
Added: 27th February 2011
Views: 2381
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rick Martin 1951-2011 Hockey fans were saddened to hear of the passing of Rick Martin, 59, one of the National Hockey League's most lethal snipers during the 1970s. The popular and fun-loving Martin combined with Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert to form the high-scoring French Connection line that led the Buffalo Sabres to the Stanley Cup finals in 1975. According to media reports, Martin was felled by a heart attack while driving alone in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence, NY on Sunday, March 13, 2011. Witnesses say they saw the car's driver, later identified as Martin, keel over at the wheel. His car crossed the center line, crashed into a utility pole, and slid into a tree. Bystanders and police attempted to revive Martin to no avail. In an NHL career that totalled 685 regular-season games from 1971 to 1981, Martin scored 384 goals and added 317 assists. In 63 playoff games, Martin tallied 24 goals and collected 29 assists.
Tags: hockey  Rick  Martin  Buffalo  Sabres  death 
Added: 13th March 2011
Views: 416
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Posted By: Lava1964
Second Attack on Pearl Harbor - 1942 Few American realize the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor twice during the Second World War. The second attack, on March 4, 1942, was hushed up by the military. The residents who lived in the area where the bombs fell were not even sure what had happened. Many believed it was a local defense battery practice. The intended target, Pearl Harbor, was miles away from where the Japanese bombs actually fell. Neverthless, less than 90 days after the famous December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese attempted a second attack. On Wednesday, March 4, 1942 during the early morning hours, four 550-pound bombs were dropped on Mount Tantalus, a quiet residential section in Honolulu. The U.S. Military officials confirmed two enemy planes were responsible for the raid. The planes were Kawanishi H8K flying boats that launched from a spy base housed near the Hawaiian archipelago. There were no injuries reported or loss of life and only limited property damage. The bombs fell in a wooded section of the area, creating a large crater and shattering a few windows.
Tags: Pearl  Harbor  Second  Attack  war 
Added: 7th April 2011
Views: 2397
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Posted By: Lava1964
Macho Man Randy Savage dies in a car crash "Macho Man" Randy Savage, a professional wrestler who became a fan favorite thanks to his outlandish outfits and trademark catchphrase, died Friday in a car wreck, according to TMZ. The 58-year-old Savage reportedly suffered a heart attack while driving his 2009 Jeep Wrangler in Tampa, Fla., and careened across lanes of oncoming traffic before colliding head-on with a tree. He died later at a local hospital. Savage's wife Lynn, who was riding in the passenger seat, escaped with only minor injuries. Both passengers were wearing seatbelts and the police do not believe alcohol was a factor. The World Wrestling Federation favorite from Ohio burst onto the scene in 1985 and quickly drew attention with his flamboyant outfits and "ooh yeah!" catchphrase. His marriage to Elizabeth Hulette, Ms. Elizabeth to fans, was one of the first high-profile wrestler/valet relationships. They divorced in 1992. Savage remarried last year. He won two WWF championships in his career. His match against Ricky Steamboat in 1987's Wrestlemania III is considered one of the best WWF bouts ever. Savage won the title late that year, setting the stage for memorable battles with Hulk Hogan, who would eventually dethrone him as champion. Savage also appeared in memorable ads for Slim Jim and played a wrestler in the 2002 hit film "Spider-Man."
Tags: Macho  Man  Randy  Savage  dies  in  a  car  crash 
Added: 20th May 2011
Views: 666
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Posted By: Cliffy
Boston Bruins - 1972 Stanley Cup Champs I posted this on the CBC News website in Canada following the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup championship on June 15, 2011. It got such a wonderful response that I thought I'd share it here too: It had been 14,279 days since captain Johnny Bucyk hoisted the Boston Bruins' last Stanley Cup on May 11, 1972. To put things in perspective... Richard Nixon was in the White House. America still had combat troops in Vietnam. If you bought a quarter's worth of candy, you could get sick eating it all. Pitchers still batted in the American League. There was no such thing as rap music or punk rock. Nobody considered the possibility of terrorist attacks at the Olympics. The NHL had 14 teams. Few players wore helmets. Some goalies didn't wear masks. Nobody seriously thought hockey players from the USSR were good. There were hardly any McDonald's Restaurants in Canada. There were very few Tim Hortons either. Archie Bunker was in his heyday. Television sets had rabbit ears. Nobody thought the world was in peril from global warming or climate change or whatever they're calling it this week. Lotteries were illegal in Canada. Arthur Godfrey Time had still been on the radio two weeks earlier. Calculators could perform four functions and cost $179. Most people had rotary telephones. Forget about DVD players--VCRs didn't exist. The idea of bottled water would have been laughable. Computers were enormous things that occupied entire rooms and did simple calculations using punch cards. Hardware meant hammers and wrenches. Software didn't mean anything. People still sent telegrams. Life Magazine was still around. Canada still had the death penalty. O.J. Simpson was a hero. The Lord's Prayer was recited in public schools. Nobody thought it was wrong. A new car cost $2500. Hockey cards were a dime a pack--and they came with pink bubble gum covered in powdered sugar. Bobby Orr was the greatest player in the NHL. (Thirty-nine years later he's still the greatest of all time.).
Tags: hockey  Boston  Bruins  1972  Stanley  Cup 
Added: 16th June 2011
Views: 1474
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Posted By: Lava1964

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