Thursday, December 08, 2016

Thursday Reads, Including Some Obituaries

Welcome to the third world:

According to the new report, males could expect to live 76.3 years at birth last year, down from 76.5 in 2014. Females could expect to live to 81.2 years, down from 81.3 the previous year.

Life expectancy at age 65 did not fall, another indication that the diseases behind the lower life expectancy occur in middle age or younger. At 65, men can expect to live 18 more years, while women survive an average of 20.6 more years, the data shows. Infant mortality rose slightly, according to the report, but the difference was not considered statistically significant.

There are lots and lots of suicides. Many people, tossed out during the last economic downturn, never got back on track.
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Obituary: Musician Greg Lake, 69, best remembered as a member of the Emerson, Lake & Palmer rock band, has died after a battle with cancer.

Fellow bandmate Keith Emerson died just this past March.

Gregory Stuart Lake was born Nov. 10, 1947, in Dorset, England. Before joining with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer, Lake was a member of King Crimson, which he formed with Robert Fripp. Their debut album, "In the Court of the Crimson King," which Lake co-produced, featured the celebrated song "21st Century Schizoid Man." King Crimson heavily influenced other famous bands including Genesis and Yes. According to Lake's official website, Fripp met Lake through a shared guitar teacher "who taught an expansive range of music including classical pieces by Paganini" and postwar classics. Lake also was influenced by American rock 'n' roll, especially Elvis Presley.
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Sometimes I leave out deaths and obituaries of well-known people that I catch later on. One such case is the death September 9 of actor James Stacy, 79, an actor who was able to continue his craft after a terrible motorcycle crash in 1973 involving a drunk driver caused him to lose both his left arm and left leg. His passenger girlfriend died in the crash. According to his fiancee at the time of his death, Stacy died from anaphylactic shock following taking some antibiotics.

The reason I thought about him is because I am watching an episode of Perry Mason and saw he was in it. That in turn made me look him up on the internet. That is when I discovered he had died.

Stacy was married twice, to actresses Connie Stevens and Kim Darby.

He was one of those actors who was seen quite a bit in the 1960s, pre-crash, but he is best remembered for having portrayed Johnny Madrid in the late 1960s television western Lancer. He was one of the two sons of rancher Andrew Duggan (Wayne Maunder played the other son). The series lasted three seasons.

Post-accident he was featured in a highly regarded made-for-television movie, Just a Little Inconvenience.


The accident, which wiped out his savings and a fundraiser was held for his benefit in order to pay the medical bills, and his two divorces didn't help kill his career. What REALLY did it was his having molested an 11-year-old daughter of a friend back in 1996. Following his conviction, he took off to Hawaii, as the NYT noted, and attempted suicide by jumping off a cliff. Obviously it didn't work. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

James Stacy was born Maurice William Elias on Dec. 23, 1936, in Los Angeles. His father, Louie, who had been brought to the United States as an infant by his Lebanese parents, made his living as a bookmaker. His mother, Lois, was a waitress.

After studying briefly at Glendale Community College in California, Mr. Stacy was drafted by the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He was cut from the team after two months.

He set his sights on acting and, after making a Pepsi-Cola commercial in New York, he returned to Hollywood, where he landed the recurring role of Fred, Ricky Nelson’s friend, on the sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”

“I had lines like ‘Hey, Rick, want a hamburger?’” he told People.

He made a steady living with guest appearances on an assortment of television series, including “The Donna Reed Show,” “Gunsmoke,” “Cheyenne,” “Have Gun — Will Travel” and “Perry Mason.”

Update 12/11: More about that legal problem of Stacy's (I should have made a separate post about Stacy as I do with most of the prominent deaths):

Defense attorney Samuel Eaton had argued for probation, citing Stacy's lack of similar convictions and claiming the incident was a "minimal molestation," that lasted less than a minute and where no violence occurred.

Prosecutor Dee Corona said that, at first, she believed Stacy probably deserved probation for the offense. But his bizarre behavior after his arrest, as well as a psychologist's conclusion that Stacy was a pedophile, led her to successfully argue for the six-year prison sentence.

Stacy--whose real name is Maurice W. Elias--was arrested after the young girl told her mother that Stacy invited her to his home for a swim and then fondled her genitals.

Several weeks later, while out on bail awaiting trial for the felony molestation charge, Stacy was arrested twice more on prowling charges. In both instances, young girls told authorities that a drunken Stacy had terrified them as he approached in his wheelchair.

At one point during the summer, Stacy telephoned the mother of his first victim and offered her $2,500 if she would quit cooperating with investigators, Corona said. And on the eve of his original sentencing date in November, Stacy skipped town.

Authorities found Stacy in Hawaii the next month after he reportedly tried to commit suicide by jumping from the Pali lookout, a cliff-top scenic area on Oahu. He was returned to Ventura County for sentencing.
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