Funnyman Sid Caesar dead at 91

Funnyman Sid Caesar dead at 91

TV legend hosted ‘Your Shows of Shows’

UPDATED 5:47 PM EST Feb 12, 2014


Sid Caesar
REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

(CNN) —Sid Caesar, whose clever, anarchic comedy on such programs as “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour” helped define the 1950s “Golden Age of Television,” has died. He was 91.

A friend of the family, actor Rudy De Luca, does not know the exact cause of death, but says Caesar had respiratory problems and other health problems for several years.

Caesar became famous for “Your Show of Shows,” which went on the air in 1950. It lasted four years and was followed by “Caesar’s Hour,” which combined sketches, musical revues and situation comedy.

Both shows featured writers who became famous in their own right, including Neil Simon, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mel Tolkin, Lucille Kallen and Larry Gelbart. Woody Allen also contributed to Caesar’s comedy as a writer for one of his specials.

Brooks visited Caesar last night to say goodbye, De Luca told CNN.

Caesar also appeared in a number of films, including “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963), “Airport 1975” (1974) and “Grease” (1978). He received a Tony nomination for his performance in the 1962 show “Little Me,” with a book by Simon.

Caesar, born Isaac Sidney Caesar in 1922, was part of a pioneering group of personalities who helped establish television in its early days. However, while comedians such as Jack Benny and Fred Allen more or less transferred their radio shows to the new medium and Milton Berle’s “Texaco Star Theater” was essentially vaudeville on the small screen, Caesar’s “Show of Shows” presented movie parodies, wordless pantomimes and brisk routines between the host and co-star Imogene Coca.

It was comedy pitched at a high (or, just as often, low) level — and it was done live, every Saturday night at 9.

The versatile Caesar was game for whatever the writers came up with. “Caesar could take on many roles,” wrote Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh in the reference “The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows,” calling him a “comic genius.” “He was the double-talking foreigner (he was a master of dialects), the henpecked husband or the greasy-haired cad.”

Among the regular routines were a skit with Coca, “The Hickenloopers,” and Caesar as a gibberish-singing opera singer. Reiner and Howard Morris — later Ernest T. Bass on “The Andy Griffith Show” — were frequent supporting players.

The high-pressure hijinks of the writers’ room inspired a number of other works, including “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” created by Reiner; the 1982 film “My Favorite Year,” produced by Brooks; and the 1993 play “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” by Simon.

“When we came in, we didn’t have the slightest idea of what we were going to do. We christened the beginning of the week ‘Bloody Monday’ because we walked into the room with no material. We had three days to pitch lines and ideas and create six complete sketches,” Caesar recalled in a 2011 interview.

The high pressure also led to a drinking and drug problem for Caesar. It took him years to kick the habit, until finally he went blank one day while performing on stage in 1977. He checked into a hospital soon after got clean.

“I couldn’t stand me,” he said in 2011. “That’s why I drank and took pills. I couldn’t stand to be around me.”

“Your Show of Shows” lasted just four years, but its impact was such that a best-of selection was turned into a 1973 movie, “Ten From Your Show of Shows.”

Caesar followed “Your Show of Shows” with “Caesar’s Hour,” which included Reiner and Morris but not Coca. Among the show’s recurring sketches was one in which the trio played “The Three Haircuts,” a rock ‘n’ roll group.

Other regulars on “Caesar’s Hour” included Nanette Fabray and Bea Arthur.

“Caesar’s Hour” left the air in 1957. In the following decades, Caesar appeared in a handful of films, most notably the comic extravaganza “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” in which he played dentist Melville Crump. He did a number of his own gags and hurt his back in the process.

He appeared in films by his former writer Brooks, including 1976’s “Silent Movie” and 1981’s “History of the World Part I,” and popped up in films such as “Grease” and “Grease 2” (as Coach Calhoun) and “Cannonball Run II.”

He hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 1983 and was named an honorary member of the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” at the conclusion of the show — the only non-“SNL” cast member to earn the tribute.

Among his honors are two Emmys, a lifetime achievement award from the Television Critics Association and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He was married to Florence Levy for 67 years until her death in 2010. The couple had three children.

Asked by the Archive of American Television how he’d like to be remembered, he responded with six words.

“I brought laughter to the world,” he said.

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The Good Ship Lollipop Has Sailed

Hollywood legend turned diplomat Shirley Temple dies at 85

Published February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Black, who as a dimpled, ringlet-haired moppet starred in a series of winsome films that lifted the spirits of millions during the hard days of the Depression, then retired from the screen at 22 and eventually went on to a diplomatic career, died surrounded by family at her home in Woodside, Calif. She was 85.

Temple was the most famous child star of her time and arguably of all time, beginning her film career at age three and becoming the symbol of upbeat family entertainment during an era when many had little to smile about.

By six, she’d received a miniature Academy Award and left her hand and footprints in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Her roles tended to follow a template: she was constantly cheerful, smiling, optimistic and pure hearted — sometimes without one parent, sometimes an orphan, but always able to bring joy to the coldest-hearted characters and love to those who yearned for it.

Temple also was a merchandising goldmine: dolls, clothes, dishes, cutout books and numerous other items appeared in her likeness. There was even a non-alcoholic drink named after her: the Shirley Temple (ginger ale, orange juice and grenadine, topped with a maraschino cherry).

But her days as an internationally famous star effectively ended with her childhood and her life took a strikingly different path.

She married twice and gave birth to three children before venturing onto the political stage, serving as US ambassador to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia, a US representative to the United Nations and chief of protocol in the administration of President Gerald Ford.

A widow, Temple is survived by her three children, Linda, Charlie and Lori.

The little girl who tap danced her way into the heart of millions was born April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California to businessman George Temple and his wife, Gertrude.

She was sent at three to dance school, where she was seen by two producers for one-reel short films, who launched her career.

By the time she was six, Temple was under contract to Fox Films and her breakthrough came in 1934’s “Stand Up and Cheer!” followed by “Little Miss Marker.”

That same year, her trademark song, “On the Good Ship Lollipop” was introduced in “Bright Eyes.”

Audiences struggling through the Depression couldn’t get enough of her. Then- President Franklin Roosevelt said, “It is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles.”

More films followed, including “Curly Top,” “The Littlest Rebel,” “Dimples,”, “Wee Willie Winkie,” “Heidi” and “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.”

She was “just absolutely marvelous, greatest in the world,” director Allan Dwan told filmmaker-author Peter Bogdanovich in his book “Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Legendary Film Directors.” “With Shirley, you’d just tell her once and she’d remember the rest of her life,” said Dwan, who directed “Heidi” and “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.” “Whatever it was she was supposed to do — she’d do it. … And if one of the actors got stuck, she’d tell him what his line was — she knew it better than he did.”

One of her last was “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” with Cary Grant, in which she played a high school student.

But as she got older, her popularity waned and in December 1950, Temple announced her official retirement from films. In all, according to her website, she made 14 short films and 43 feature films.

By the time she bowed out, Temple had married Jack Agar, a soldier, at 17 and divorced him four years later after giving birth to daughter Linda.

In 1950 she married Charles Black, a former naval officer whom her website describes as her “true soulmate.” They remained wed until his death in 2005 and were the parents of Charlie Jr. and Lori.

In 1958, Temple briefly returned to the performing world as host and narrator of “Shirley Temple’s Storybook” on NBC. It was reworked and reappeared two years later as the “Shirley Temple Show” but neither lasted.

Politics beckoned next and Temple, a Republican, ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the US House of Representatives in 1967.

In 1972 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and became one of the first prominent women, followed by Betty Ford, to discuss it openly.

After serving as US representative to the United Nations in 1969, Temple was appointed US Ambassador to the African nation of Ghana in 1974, Chief of Protocol of the US in 1976 and US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989.

In later years, she lived in northern California and wrote a 1988 autobiography, “Child Star.”

During a 1996 interview, she said she loved both politics and show business.

“It’s certainly two different career tracks,” she said, “both completely different but both very rewarding, personally.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Tom Clancy Dead: Celebrated Thriller Author Dies at Age 66

According to the Publishers Weekly Twitter account, American author Tom Clancy died Wednesday in a Baltimore hospital at age 66.  A cause of death has not been revealed.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Tom Clancy  studied literature at the Loyola College in Baltimore and was  originally an insurance salesman before becoming famous for writing technically detailed espionage and military science books.

He is responsible for best-selling books such as “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” and “The Sum of All Fears” —   all of which were adapted into major Hollywood films.

In 1996, Clancy  co-founded the  video game developer   Red Storm Entertainment  and has had his name on several of Red Storm’s most successful games.

Red Storm was later bought by publisher Ubisoft Entertainment  for an undisclosed sum.

In 2002,  Forbes wrote, “Clancy can produce a guaranteed bestseller just by writing two words: his name.”

“When it comes to leveraging his brand across multiple channels, he is positively protean,” Forbes continued, noting his income at the time made him  the tenth-best earner on Forbes Celebrity 100 list for 2002. His net worth today is reported to be around $300 million.

Clancy has been a lifetime supporter of conservative and Republican causes in America,  a member of the  National Rifle Association  since 1978, and was  part-owner of the  Baltimore Orioles.

His next book, “Command Authority,” is planned for publication on December 3.;_ylt=A2KJ3CQVLExSLHAAslHQtDMD

Country Music Legend George Jones Has Died

George Jones dead; Country superstar was 81

Published April 26, 2013

Associated Press

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    George Jones is shown in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 10, 2007. At 75, Jones says he has a lot to look back on and a lot to celebrate, including a recent album with fellow country legend Merle Haggard. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

  • george jones 660 1 .jpg

    George Jones performs his song “He Stopped Loving Her Today” before presenting Single of the Year during the 36th annual Country Music Association Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on November 6, 2002 in Nashville, Tennessee. REUTERS

George Jones, the peerless, hard-living country singer who recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaking classic “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” has died. He was 81.

Publicist Kirt Webster says Jones died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after being hospitalized with fever and irregular blood pressure.

Known for his clenched, precise baritone, Jones had No. 1 songs in five separate decades, 1950s to 1990s, and was idolized not just by fellow country singers, but by Frank Sinatra, Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, James Taylor and countless others.

In a career that lasted more than 50 years, “Possum” recorded more than 150 albums and became the champion and symbol of traditional country music, a well-lined link to his hero, Hank Williams.

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MASH Psychiatrist “Maj. Sidney Freedman” Allan Arbus Dead 95

M*A*S*H’ star Allan Arbus dead at 95

Published April 23, 2013


  • Allan Arbus 660 Reuters 1.jpg

    Cast members of “M*A*S*H*” (L-R) Allan Arbus, Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, Burt Metcalfe and Alan Alda accept the Impact award at the taping of the seventh annual TV Land Awards in Los Angeles, California April 19, 2009. (Reuters)

Allan Arbus, who played psychiatrist Maj. Sidney Freedman on “M*A*S*H,” died Friday at home in Los Angeles, his daughter Amy confirmed to The New York Times. He was 95.

Abrus, who had served as a military photography in the Army and ran a fashion photography business before becoming an actor, was so convincing in his role as Maj. Freedman, that co-star Alan Alda often found himself opening up to Arbus.

“I was so convinced that he was a psychiatrist I used to sit and talk with him between scenes,” Alda said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. “After a couple months of that I noticed he was giving me these strange looks, like ‘How would I know the answer to that?'”

Remember other celebrities we’ve lost this year

In addition to “M*A*S*H,” Arbus also appeared in “Starsky and Hutch,” “Cagney and Lacy” and “Judging Amy.” His last television appearance was on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in 2000.

Allan Franklin Arbus was born in New York City on Feb. 15, 1918. In 1941, he married fellow photographer Diane Nemerov, better known as Diane Arbus, who became renowned for her evocative shots of marginalized people. In the 2006 film “Fur,” the Arbuses were played by Ty Burrell and Nicole Kidman, respectively.

The couple separated in 1959 and divorced in 1969, two years before Diane’s suicide. Arbus moved to Los Angeles and married Mariclare Costello in 1976.

He is survived by his second wife, two daughters from his first marriage and one daughter from his second.

‘Leave it to Beaver’ actor Frank Bank (Lumpy) dies at 71

Published April 15, 2013

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Actor Frank Bank, best known as the bully Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford on the classic sitcom “Leave it to Beaver” had died, according to multiple reports. He was 71.

No cause of death or photos of Bank were immediately available.

His co-star on “Beaver” Jerry Mathers, announced the news of his passing on Facebook: “I was so sad to hear today of the passing of my dear friend and business associate Frank Bank, who played Lumpy on Leave it to Beaver. He was a character and always kept us laughing. My deepest condolences to Frank’s family.”

Mathers played Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver. The show ran from 1957 to 1963.

For several years after “Leave it to Beaver” ended, Bank continued to be on TV. He made scattered appearances on “Hollywood Squares” and “Family Feud.”

Later, he left the spotlight to become a bond broker.

But even with his new job he still kept his ties to the “Beaver” clan.  Mathers and Barbara Billingsley were some of his clients.

Billingsley, who played June Cleaver, once told People magazine: “Frank is certainly brighter than Lumpy Rutherford, and a very good stockbroker.”

Iconic Comedian Jonathan Winters Dead At 87

Groundbreaking improv comic Jonathan Winters dies

Associated Press – 12 mins ago


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Winters, the cherub-faced comedian whose breakneck improvisations and misfit characters inspired the likes of Robin Williams and Jim Carrey, has died. He was 87.

The Ohio native died Thursday evening at his Montecito, Calif., home of natural causes, said Joe Petro III, a longtime family friend. Petro said Winters died of natural causes and was surrounded by family and friends.

Winters was a pioneer of improvisational standup comedy, with an exceptional gift for mimicry, a grab bag of eccentric personalities and a bottomless reservoir of creative energy. Facial contortions, sound effects, tall tales — all could be used in a matter of seconds to get a laugh.

On Jack Paar’s television show in 1964, Winters was handed a foot-long stick and he swiftly became a fisherman, violinist, lion tamer, canoeist, U.N. diplomat, bullfighter, flutist, delusional psychiatric patient, British headmaster and Bing Crosby’s golf club.

“As a kid, I always wanted to be lots of things,” Winters told U.S. News & World Report in 1988. “I was a Walter Mitty type. I wanted to be in the French Foreign Legion, a detective, a doctor, a test pilot with a scarf, a fisherman who hauled in a tremendous marlin after a 12-hour fight.”

The humor most often was based in reality — his characters Maude Frickert and Elwood P. Suggins, for example, were based on people Winters knew growing up in Ohio.

A devotee of Groucho Marx and Laurel and Hardy, Winters and his free-for-all brand of humor inspired Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Tracey Ullman and Lily Tomlin, among others. But Williams and Carrey are his best-known followers.

Winters, who battled alcoholism and depression for years, was introduced to millions of new fans in 1981 as the son of Williams’ goofball alien and his earthling wife in the final season of ABC’s “Mork and Mindy.”

The two often strayed from the script. Said Williams: “The best stuff was before the cameras were on, when he was open and free to create. … Jonathan would just blow the doors off.”

Winters’ only Emmy was for best-supporting actor for playing Randy Quaid’s father in the sitcom “Davis Rules” (1991). He was nominated again in 2003 as outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for an appearance on “Life With Bonnie.”

He also won two Grammys: One for his work on “The Little Prince” album in 1975 another for his “Crank Calls” comedy album in 1996. He also won the Kennedy Center’s second Mark Twain Prize for Humor in 1999, a year after Richard Pryor.

Winters was sought out in later years for his changeling voice and he contributed to numerous cartoons and animated films. Fittingly, he played three characters in the “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” movie in 2000.

“These voices are always screaming to get out,” he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that year. “They follow me around pretty much all day and night.”

Winters had made television history in 1956, when RCA broadcast the first public demonstration of color videotape on “The Jonathan Winters Show.”

Winters quickly realized the possibilities, author David Hajdu wrote in The New York Times in 2006. He soon used video technology “to appear as two characters, bantering back and forth, seemingly in the studio at the same time. You could say he invented the video stunt.”

Winters was born Nov. 11, 1925, in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up during the Depression as an only child whose parents divorced when he was 7, Winters spent a lot of time entertaining himself.

Winters described his father as an alcoholic. But he found a comedic mentor in his mother, radio personality Alice Bahman.

“She was very fast. Whatever humor I’ve inherited I’d have to give credit to her,” Winters told the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2000.

Winters joined the Marines at 17 and served two years in the South Pacific. He returned to study at the Dayton Art Institute, helping him develop keen observational skills. At one point, he won a talent contest (and the first prize of a watch) by doing impressions of movie stars.

After stints as a radio disc jockey and TV host in Ohio from 1950-53, he left for New York, where he found early work doing impressions of John Wayne, Cary Grant, Marx and James Cagney, among others.

One night after a show, an older man sweeping up told him he wasn’t breaking any new ground by mimicking the rich or famous.

“He said, ‘What’s the matter with those characters in Ohio? I’ll bet there are some far-out dudes that you grew up with back in Ohio,'” Winters told the Orange County Register in 1997.

Two days later, he cooked up one of his most famous characters: the hard-drinking, dirty old woman Maude Frickert, modeled in part on his own mother and an aunt. The character was the forerunner of Johnny Carson’s Aunt Blabby.

Appearances on Paar’s show and others followed and Winters soon had a following. And before long, he was struggling with depression and his drinking.

“I became a robot,” Winters told TV critics in 2000. “I almost lost my sense of humor … I had a breakdown and I turned myself in (to a mental hospital). It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Winters was hospitalized for eight months in the early 1960s. It’s a topic he rarely addressed and never dwelled on.

“If you make a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year and you’re talking about to the blue-collar guy who’s a farmer 200 miles south of Topeka, he’s looking up and saying, ‘That bastard makes (all that money) and he’s crying about being a manic depressive?'” Winters said.

When he got out, there was a role as a slow-witted character waiting in the 1963 ensemble film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

“I finally opened up and realized I was in charge,” Winters told PBS interviewers for 2000’s “Jonathan Winters: On the Loose.” ”Improvisation is about taking chances, and I was ready to take chances.”

Roles in other movies followed, as did TV shows, including his own. But while show business kept Winters busy, he stayed with his painting.

“I find painting a much slower process than comedy, where you can go a mile a minute verbally and hope to God that some of the people out there understand you,” he told U.S. News and World Report in 1988. “I don’t paint every day. I’m not that motivated. I don’t do anything the same every day. Discipline is tough for a guy who is a rebel.”

Among his books is a collection of short stories called “Winters’ Tales” (1987). He also was a painter.

“I’ve done for the most part pretty much what I intended — I ended up doing comedy, writing and painting,” he told U.S. News. “I’ve had a ball. And as I get older, I just become an older kid.”

Annette Funicello, Original Mouseketeer, Dead at 70

RIP Annette, enjoyed your talent as I was growing up.

By | omg! – 49 minutes ago

Annette Funicello in ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ (Getty Images)Annette Funicello in the ‘Beach Party’ movies of the 1960s (Everett Collection)

Annette Funicello, a member of Disney’s original “Mickey Mouse Club” from the 1950s, is dead at the age of 70 from complications of multiple sclerosis, a disease that she’s battled since 1987. She died peacefully at her home in Bakersfield, California.

Funicello was born on October 22, 1942, in Utica, New York; her family moved to Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley when she was just 4 years old. Walt Disney himself discovered her when, at the age of 13, she was dancing the lead in “Swan Lake” at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. He invited her to audition for “The Mickey Mouse Club” and hired her on the spot.

After the show’s debut on October 3, 1955, she quickly became the group’s most popular member. The series ran for three years and continued in re-runs through the 1990s. The show was later revived in the early ’90s, featuring future stars including Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling.

Funicello remained under contract with Disney and starred in TV shows that included “Zorro” (1957), and “The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca” (1958). She starred in Disney movies including “The Shaggy Dog” (1959), “Babes in Toyland” (1961), “The Misadventures of Merlin Jones” (1964), and “The Monkey’s Uncle” (1965).

She transitioned from leading roles in Disney productions to starring in several Frankie Avalon teen movies in the 1960s, including “Beach Party” (1963), “Muscle Beach Party” (1964), “Bikini Beach” (1964), “Beach Blanket Bingo” (1965), and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini” (1965).

If you’ve ever wondered where Miley, Selena, and Demi took their career-path cues from, Funicello also launched a singing career, recording a series of hit singles, which included “Tall Paul,” “First Name Initial,” “How Will I Know My Love,” and “Pineapple Princess.” Her hit recorded albums included “Hawaiiannette” (1960), “Italiannette” (1960), and “Dance Annette” (1961).

In 1987, she rejoined Frankie Avalon to co-produce Paramount’s “Back to the Beach,” in which they played the parents to a younger generation of rowdy teens. In 1989 and 1990, she and Avalon toured singing their famous songs from the ’60s.

In 1987 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), later going public with her illness in 1992. She established the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases, which became dedicated to funding research into the cause, treatment and cure of MS and other neurological diseases and continues to be an active charity.

Despite her illness, in the 1990s Funicello launched the Annette Funicello Teddy Bear Company, which marketed a line of collectible stuffed bears on QVC. She also developed her own perfume line, Cello, by Annette. In 1992, on her 50th birthday, she was named a Disney Legend. As she became more debilitated by MS, though, she retreated from public appearances in the late 1990s and was cared for by her second husband, rancher Glen Holt, whom she married in 1986. She was previously married to Jack Gilardi from 1965 until their divorce in 1981. She had three children from her first marriage — Gina, Jack Jr., and Jason — and three young grandchildren.

Commenting on her passing, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, said, “Annette was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mousketeer, and a true Disney Legend. She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney’s brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent. Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life.”

Gina Gilardi, Funicello’s only daughter, tells “Extra,” “She’s on her toes dancing in heaven… no more MS.” Continuing, “My brothers and I were there, holding her sweet hands when she left us.”

In lieu of flowers, donations in Annette’s memory can be made to the Annette Funicello Research Fund at

RIP Barney Goes To Alpo Heaven

Former first dog Barney Bush dies

(Wonder what the Obama’s will do with their dog when their occupation is over, probably throw him out the car window on their way back to the hood. – Phoebe)
Former first dog Barney Bush, the black Scottish terrier who romped on the White House grounds in George W. Bush’s time there, has died at age 12, the former president said in a statement. The playful pooch had been suffering from lymphoma.

Barney played a starring role in the presidential mansion, notably in “BarneyCam” holiday specials featuring footage from a camera that caught a dog’s eye view of senior aides like Karl Rove. He was also a reliable fixture on the White House website.

Bush announced his dog’s passing in a statement:

Laura and I are sad to announce that our Scottish Terrier, Barney, has passed away. The little fellow had been suffering from lymphoma and after twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness.

Barney and I enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to accompany me when I fished for bass at the ranch. He was a fierce armadillo hunter. At Camp David, his favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.

Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House. Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps.

Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.

Barney Bush, as painted by former president George W. Bush–politics.html

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Dies

They’re dropping like flies.

December 27, 2012

WASHINGTON –  A U.S. official says retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in 1991, has died. He was 78.
The official tells The Associated Press that Schwarzkopf died Thursday in Tampa, Fla. The official wasn’t authorized to release the information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
A much-decorated combat soldier in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was known popularly as “Stormin’ Norman” for a notoriously explosive temper.
He lived in retirement in Tampa, where he had served in his last military assignment as commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command. That is the headquarters responsible for U.S. military and security concerns in nearly 20 countries from the eastern Mediterranean and Africa to Pakistan.