Saturday, July 21, 2012

Who's still alive out there?

“He can’t have just died!”

    Did you know that Abe Vigoda is still alive? I had no idea. I’m glad as I can be that he’s not dead, but I sure thought he was.

    I learned the news about Vigoda while looking to find others I had mistakenly thought dead. Seems there are several actors, the names of whom, I have prematurely filed in the “demised” folder of my brain. (I’ve decided to attempt one proper sounding sentence in every third article. That was it. Boy, did it hurt.)

    It was the shocking news of Ernest Borgnine that launched my quest. Last week, the news of his death about freaked me out. I thought for sure the guy was already dead, and I’ve got the memory to prove it. I obviously based my finding on something really wrong. I’m blaming it on the “The Poseidon Adventure.”

When the family went to see Poseidon, I punched Jill the minute Borgnine’s character showed up. I said something to the effect that Borgnine would never leave the ship alive. I’ve always had a knack for spotting the dead characters.

Unfortunately for me, Borgnine’s character made it off the Poseidon. I thought sure Gene Hackman would survive, while Red Buttons and Borgnine would buy the proverbial farms. Unfortunately, I had it completely reversed. I think it would’ve been a much better movie had I written the ending.

Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah. After I discovering that Borgnine had actually been alive before last week, I got to wondering how many other actors I had mysteriously killed off. So, I did some research and was able to re-file Abe Vigoda among the living.

Andy Griffith was right where I thought he was. The news of his death didn’t surprise me. Before I got the news, I was pretty sure he was still alive. His recent death did sadden me quite a bit, though, because I really liked Andy Taylor.

Unfortunately, Andy Taylor died to me about the time the show went from black and white to color. Of course, we didn’t have a color TV at the time, but I could tell things had changed for the bad. Howard Sprague? Emmet Clark? What was that all about?

The only ones left from the original show are Opie and Gomer. If I learn next week that Aunt Bee just died, I’m gonna freak.

Last year when David Nelson died, the news hit me hard. Ozzie, Ricky, Harriet… and then David, the older brother. No more Nelson family. (Did you know that Ricky Nelson’s real name was “Eric”? This article is turning up one surprise after another.)

Not too long ago I bought a 100-episode collection of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” I’ve watched half of ‘em. Kay quit watching with me after the third episode. She somehow thought the family boring. When Jill visits, she absolutely refuses to watch any of the episodes. She hates “Ozzie and Harriet” even more than “Have Gun Will Travel.” And, yes, I’m still mourning the loss of Richard Boone.

Speaking of “Gunsmoke,” except for Buck Taylor and Burt Reynolds, everyone is dead. I didn’t remember Dennis Weaver dying, but he sure did. Probably the majority of all the character actors who appeared on “Gunsmoke” are also gone. Must’ve been a few thousand of them.  

I think that everyone on Bewitched, Bonanza, and I Love Lucy is gone. I guess I should check just to make sure. Give me a second. – Okay, here’s what I found. From “Bewitched,” Tabitha and some character named Dr. Bombay are the only ones living.

While I did like Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York (the first Darren) I never cared much for the series. I rate it right down there with Gilligan’s Island. Speaking of which, Ginger, The Professor and Mary Ann are the only ones still living from Gilligan’s Island. Figured you want to know.

With regard to “Bonanza,” it’s likely no surprise that all the Cartwrights are dead. The guy who played Candy is still living. Never cared for his character. He was the Howard Sprague of “Bonanza.” The actor, David Canary, who played Candy, was a really bad guy in the movie “Hombre.” He played it so well, that I just couldn’t see him as a good guy on “Bonanza.”

    Which reminds me of Andy Griffith. Did you ever see Andy play a bad guy? Let me tell you, he wasmost convincing. I absolutely hated to see Andy Taylor acting mean. Scared me is what he did.

Andy Griffith: Face in a Crowd. Mean man.

    Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah. There are several actors, the deaths of whom I’ve greatly exaggerated. I don’t know what to do about that other than apologize. So, Tab Hunter, I’m sorry, man. I thought sure… Uh, Larry Storch. What can I say? I loved “F-Troop and the news that you’re still alive.

    Adam West, Julie Newmar, Rose Marie… And, the list goes on and on.


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  1. Good article Moke. Chad Everett just died today. Do you realize how old we are?! We're old!! I'm surprised we're still alive!! In 20 years we'll be 80... sheesh!! -- jill --

  2. Hey, thanks, kid. By the way, when I heard of C.E's death, I told Kay that I thought the guy was already dead. I think I got him mixed up with Robert Urich. Similar... you ask me. -- Okay, I'm back to writing the next article.