Robert Hegyes was 69. He portrayed Epstein in the 1970s television series Welcome Back, Kotter.
Joe Paterno was 85. He was head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years from 1966 through 2011, accumulated 409 wins, the most in NCAA Division 1 history.
Etta James was 73. Her powerful, versatile and emotionally direct voice could enliven the raunchiest blues as well as the subtlest love songs, most indelibly in her signature hit, “At Last.”
For my money, nothing beats "I'd Rather Go Blind."
Sarah Burke was 29. She was a Canadian freestyle skier and four-time Winter X Games champion who was the first woman to land a 1080 in competition.
Jim Huber was 67. He was an Emmy Award winning journalist and essayist with Turner Sports and PGA.com. I remember him co-anchoring CNN Sports Tonight with Nick Charles, Fred Hickman, Vince Cellini and others in the 90s. His work was always top notch.
His tweets the last few days tell us how quickly he passed. His leukemia diagnosis came on December 28th.
Here's Jim Huber on the last NBA season.
Joe Bodolai was 63. He was best known for producing and writing such television shows as Comics!, The Kids in the Hall and Saturday Night Live. He also co-wrote the first draft of the film Wayne's World with Mike Myers.
Before he took his own life, Joe Bodolai published his suicide note on his blog. You really have to read his final entry.
Things I Regret
- My inability to conquer my alcoholism
- The things I did because of it
- Leaving Canada
- Moving to Los Angeles
- Not fighting harder or making a better deal to stay with The Comedy Network I helped create
- Not being able to live up to the helping hand so many wonderful people offered me
- The hurt I caused in my family, friends, and maybe even strangers.
- That I am no longer able to withstand any more of life’s pain
- Most of all, the pain I have caused and am now causing my sons and the love of my life, my ex-wife Bianca, my love and connection with her is infinite
- The fact I will never get to repay the love and generosity you all deserve
It's a fascinating read. He published this entry on December 23 and took his life yesterday. I'm going to paste down the entry entry in the comments, just in case it goes offline at some point.
Kim Jong Il was 69. He has been the leader of North Korea, an impoverished communist country if ever there was one, since the death of his father Kim Il-sung in 1994.
Christopher Hitchens was 62. He was a contrarian writer and public intellectual, whose targets ranged from God and Mother Teresa to Henry Kissinger.
Harry Morgan was 96. He was the the prolific character actor best known for playing the acerbic but kindly Colonel Sherman T. Potter, commander of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit in Korea, in the long-running television series "M*A*S*H."
Check out this great rant by Col. Potter.
"M*A*S*H" is one of my first favourite shows of all-time.
Dobie Gray was 71. He was the singer and songwriter who had a top 5 hit in 1973 with the song “Drift Away.”
I always liked that song...
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