Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Oscar-nominated actress Juanita Moore has died today at the age of 99 (some accounts vary as to her age). She collapsed in her home and died, according to her grandson.


She appeared on Broadway in 1965 in James Baldwin's play "The Amen Corner" and in London in a production of "Raisin in the Sun."

"The creative arts put a person on another level," she told the Los Angeles Times. "That's why we need to bring our youngsters into the theater."

Her first film appearance was as a nurse in the 1949 film "Pinky." As with other black actresses, many of Moore's early roles were as maids. She told the Times that "real parts, not just in-and-out jobs," were opening up for black performers.

Among Moore's other films were "The Girl Can't Help It," ''The Singing Nun," ''Paternity" and "The Kid." Her TV credits include "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," ''Adam-12," ''Judging Amy" and "ER."

Popular actor James Avery 68, star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died:

The cause of death was complications from open-heart surgery, said his manager, Toni Benson. Avery had surgery on November 11 and died Tuesday evening at a hospital in Glendale, California, according to Benson.

"Fresh Prince" co-star Alfonso Ribeiro tweeted news of Avery's passing.

James Avery is best known for "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

"I'm deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away," Riberio wrote. "He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly."

Actor Joseph Ruskin, 89, has also passed away.

Ruskin's big screen credits included roles in "The Magnificent Seven," "Prizzi's Honor," "Indecent Proposal" and "Smokin' Aces." His TV credits included "Twilight Zone," "Star Trek," "Mission Impossible" and "Alias."

He began and ended his acting career on the stage. His first professional performances were at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Rochester Arena Stage after he left the U.S. Navy following World War II. His last theater performance came this year as a member of the Antaeus Theatre Company of Los Angeles.

Fun fact: Ruskin did the voiceover of all of the "Kanamits" in the famous Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man." Actor Richard Kiel played the part, but as he had just come off of a movie, he didn't have time to learn his lines. It didn't matter because the voiceover worked.

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