Ron Palillo was 63. He portrayed class joker Arnold Horshack in the 1970s television series Welcome Back, Kotter.
Maeve Binchy was 72. He was the novelist best known for her novels Circle of Friends and Light a Penny Candle.
My Irish grandmother ate Maeve Binchy books for breakfast. Every time I'd visit we'd end up at the Bradford library where she'd pick up a Binchy book or two or three. It didn't matter if she had already read the book a dozen times, she loved the Irishness of Binchy's novels.
Sherman Hemsley was 74. He was the actor most famous for his role as George Jefferson on All in the Family and The Jeffersons, and as Deacon Ernest Frye on Amen.
Ernest Borgnine was 95. He was the film and television actor who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a lovelorn butcher in 1955's "Marty."
If you're like me, you loved Ernest Borgnine in The Simpsons episode "Boy-Scoutz N the Hood". I can't find a good clip of Borgnine as the celebrity dad when the Junior Campers go on a father-son rubber-rafting trip, but it's as good an excuse as any to embed this classic clip of how Bart became a Junior Camper in the first place.
Andy Griffith was 86. He starred as Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show and later on Matlock, a show super popular with Abe Simpson's crew.
Here's Andy Griffith vs. The Patriot Act. He was always awfully sensible.
Nora Ephron was 71. She was the Oscar-nominated director and author best known for writing When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and Julie & Julia.
Henry Hill was 69. Martin Scorsese’s 1990 movie “Goodfellas,” starring Ray Liotta as Hill, chronicled his blood-spattered rise in the underworld, the 1978 Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport, his descent into the world of drugs and his eventual arrest.
Hill testified against his former associates to avoid a possible execution by his crew or going to prison for his crimes before entering the U.S. Marshals' Witness Protection Program in 1980. His testimony led to 50 convictions.
When I last assembled a list of my favourite movies of all-time, about six years ago, Goodfellas was #2.
Ray Bradbury was 91. He was the author of more than 27 novels and story collections, most famously “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Dandelion Wine” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, and more than 600 short stories.
Richard Dawson was 79. He was the wisecracking British entertainer who was among the schemers in the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes and a decade later began kissing thousands of female contestants as host of the game show Family Feud.
Jim Unger was 75. He was the Canadian cartoonist best known for his syndicated comic strip Herman which ran for eighteen years in 600 newspapers in 25 countries.
Herman was always one of my favourites.
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