Rue McClanahan was 76. She was the actress known for her roles as the blowzy best friend Vivian on "Maude" and as the prowling Southern belle Blanche on "The Golden Girls."
Dennis Hopper was 74. He was the actor best known for directing and starring in the 1969 cult classic "Easy Rider."
I loved him in True Romance.
And as Shooter in Hoosiers.
Gary Coleman was 42. He was the child star best known for his stint on "Diff'rent Strokes," which aired from 1978 to 1986.
Whatchu talkin' bout, everyone.
Art Linkletter was 97. He was host of People Are Funny, House Party and Kids Say The Darndest Things.
Jose Lima was 37. He was an All-Star right-hander who spent 13 years in the major leagues, going 21-10 with a 3.58 ERA in 35 starts for the NL Central champion Houston Astros in 1999.
Ronnie James Dio was 67. He was a singer with the bands Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, whose powerful, semioperatic vocal style and attachment to demonic imagery made him one of the best-loved figures in classic heavy metal.
If you want to see some great Dio footage, watch "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey". Here's my review of that very cool documentary.
Charlie Francis was 61. He was the sprint coach most noteworthy for being the trainer of sprinter Ben Johnson, the first competitor to be stripped of an Olympic gold medal for using banned drugs, and sprinters Angella Issajenko, Mark McKoy and Desai Williams. Francis was banned by Athletics Canada following his admissions at the 1989 Dubin inquiry that he had introduced Johnson to steroids.
Lena Horne was 92. She was the enchanting jazz singer and actress who reviled the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, slowing her rise to Broadway superstardom.
In 1943, MGM Studios loaned her to 20th Century-Fox to play the role of Selina Rogers in the all-black movie musical "Stormy Weather." Her rendition of the title song became a major hit and her signature piece.
Gwyn "Jocko" Thomas was 96. He was the Toronto Star's chief police reporter for 60 years.
Ernie Harwell was 92. He was the Detroit Tigers broadcaster for 42 years.
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