Olivia Goldsmith was 54. She was an author who penned "The First Wives Club" which sold millions of copies and became a number one film in 1996 starring Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler.
Much like Uta Hagen, I read of Olivia Goldmith's passing and didn't immediately post it here because I had never heard of her. I consider myself well educated in the field of popular culture so I assume if I haven't heard of a celebrity they aren't really that famous. I've learned there are at least two exceptions to this rule: when the fame is acquired on Broadway and when the fame is aquired for writing a book no man would ever read. Olivia Goldsmith has been added to the list.
Uta Hagen was 84. She dazzled Broadway for more than 50 years and wrote what many consider the actor's bible on performing.
I first read about Uta Hagen's death a couple of days ago but didn't initially add here to the Dead Pool list because I had never heard of her. I'm not particularly educated in the world of Broadway and since her main claim to celebrity is her fame on the stage, never hearing of her until now isn't surprising. From what I've read, she's famous enough for the list.
Ron O'Neal was 66. He played a cocaine dealer named Youngblood Priest in "Superfly" and the sequel, "Superfly TNT," which he also directed.
Yinka Dare was 32. He led the George Washington Colonials to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances before being drafted in the first-round of the NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets.
J. Douglas Creighton was 75. He founded The Toronto Sun in 1971. Under Creighton's leadership, the "little paper that grew" became a national chain, including Suns in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa.
Tug McGraw was 59. He's the zany relief pitcher who coined the phrase "You Gotta Believe" with the New York Mets and later closed out Philadelphia's only World Series championship.
Earl Hindman was 61. He played Wilson, the neighbor of Tim Allen's character on the long-running sitcom "Home Improvement".
Ivan Calderon was 41. He played 10 seasons in the major leagues with the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, finishing his big league career in 1993 with a .272 batting average, 104 homers and 444 RBIs.
Sir Alan Bates was 69. He starred in films such as "Zorba the Greek", "Far From The Madding Crowd" and "Women in Love".
Back in late November, I read about Jonathan Brandis' apparent suicide. I semi-recalled the name as one that was bantered about as a teen idol of sorts a decade ago, but his list of credits were less than impressive. In the end, I decided that he wasn't enough of a celebrity to make my list.
Apparently, my brother Steve is just catching up on a month's worth of celebrity deaths (of which there were eerily few) because he wrote me last night to chastise me for this omission. I'm used to being chastised, and this action on its own isn't nearly enough to get me to go back and add a death for the first time in history, but he reminded me of a story that made me change my mind.
Back in 1993, the Toronto Maple Leafs advanced to game seven of what would be the last ever Norris division final against the St. Louis Blues. As was the norm, my brothers and I gather to watch such games, only one brother was noticeably absent from what would be a 6-0 blow out in favour of our team. My brother Ryan somehow thought it was okay to miss a game seven in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs featuring our beloved Maple Leafs. You're probably thinking he had a good reason for his absence. Maybe he watched it with friends? Maybe he was trapped in an elevator? Maybe he was performing CPR on a drowning victim? Nope. He went to the movies to see Chuck Norris and the recently deceased Jonathan Brandis star in the forgettable Sidekicks. To this day we joke that Ryan did see a Norris final that night.
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