Thursday, August 08, 2013

Obituaries

Five Easy Pieces star Karen Black, 74, has passed away from cancer complications:

Known for her full lips and thick, wavy hair that seemed to change color from film to film, Black often portrayed women who were quirky, troubled or threatened. She was a prostitute who takes LSD with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in 1969's "Easy Rider," a breakthrough that helped get her the role as a waitress who dates an upper-class dropout played by Jack Nicholson in 1970's "Five Easy Pieces." Black won an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe Award for that performance.
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Wizard of Oz "Munchkin" Margaret Pelligrini, 89, died yesterday after having suffered a stroke on Monday:

With her death, only two of the original 124 Munchkins in the movie are still alive.

Pellegrini has said she was 16 when "The Wizard of Oz" was filmed. She played one of the "sleepy head" kids and wore a flowerpot on her head in the movie.

Later, Pellegrini was a guest speaker at grade schools across the Phoenix metropolitan area for many years.

The last two "Munchkins" still alive after 74 years are Jerry Maren, 93, and Ruth Duccini, 95.
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Puppeteer Cosmo Allegretti, remembered for his work on Captain Kangaroo, died July 26 of emphysema. He was 86.
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Country and western producer and songwriter Jack Clement, has died at the age of 82 after declining treatment for liver cancer:

Born in Memphis in 1931, Clement picked up music in his late teens and continued to perform after joining the Marines at 17. He picked up the nickname "Cowboy" for his role in a radio show while attending college and soon built a garage recording studio.

He took the first records he made to Sun to master and was hired on the spot by Phillips. He also served as a producer, engineer and talent scout in Nashville for Chet Atkins during some of country music's most important years.

Along the way, he boosted George Jones' career with his composition "She Thinks I Still Care" and had songs recorded by Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, Tom Jones, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner and Elvis Presley.

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