RIP – BRIDIE GALLAGHER


EXPIRED: 01/09/12 – Bridie Gallagher, 87,  was Ireland’s 1st international pop star.

In Belfast she shot to fame in 1956 with a recording of “A Mother’s Love’s A Blessing” and found global adulation with her rendition of “The Boys From County Armagh” and “The Homes of Donegal.”

While her career lasted over 60 years, there were some low moments. In 1976 her 21-year old son was killed in a motorcycle accident. That same year she released her last single, “Just Like Your Daddy.” Still, she kept on performing.

Known as “The Girl from Donegal,” Gallagher holds the record for the largest number of people in attendance in London’s Royal Albert Hall, a record that can never be topped now that it’s an all-seating venue.

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RIP – ANDREW GELLER


EXPIRED: 12/25/11 – Andrew Geller, 86, knew what American’s wanted: easy to build and easy to maintain versions of the American Dream.

As an post-World-War-Two architect, Geller planned and developed uninhibited, sculptural beach houses in the coastal regions of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut during the 1950s and 60s. He is credited as the inventor of the A-frame, a weekend getaway house that was marketed towards bachelors, and  for designing a series of off-the-shelf homes, sold for between $12,000 and $18,000 at Macy’s.

On the flip side, he was highly sought after as an architect for his one-of-a-kind houses whose distinctive shapes earned them nicknames like the Box Kite, the Milk Carton and the Grasshopper.

But his biggest claim to fame is the residential development he built on Long Island. He called it Leisurama.

The New York Times said Geller “helped bring modernism to the masses.”

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RIP – PUSUKE THE DOG


EXPIRED: 12/05/11 –  Pusuke, 26, lived his life in Japan and was a Shiba mix who last year was recognized by Guinness World Records as the planet’s oldest dog. He seemed to be fine on the morning before he died, getting up, eating, sniffing, but then, well….

Pusuke, was actually a little older. He was 26 years, eight months old. Or, about 125 in “human years,” according to his owner Yumiko Shinohara.  A few years ago he was hit by a car. A vet told Shinohara it would be difficult to save Pusuke’s life, but the dog underwent successful surgery.”

But sometimes, the years catch up. RIP Pusuke!

For those of you doing the math, calculating a dog’s age in human years isn’t as simple as multiplying by 7 (the common equation). Among the factors that come into play are breed and size (smaller dogs often live longer than larger ones). Pedigree has a “dog age calculator” posted here

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RIP – ELWY YOST


EXPIRED: 07/21/11 – Elwy Yost, 85, was a teacher who loved movies. So he hosted a TV show called “Saturday Night at the Movies” in which he chatted about movie trivia. His collection of interviews w/ stars, bit-players, directors, and screen-writers is said to be the largest of its kind. His last show before retiring in ’99 was with his son, the screenwriter of the film Speed.

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RIP – JEFF CONAWAY


EXPIRED: 05/11/11 – Jeff Conaway, 60, was a heartthrob. Then he lost heart. Then his heart stopped.

He shot to fame as Kenickie in the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Grease” in 1978, costarring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. After “Grease,” Conaway went on to become Bobby Wheeler, a struggling actor-turned-cab driver on the TV hit “Taxi.” He tried his hand at singing and when he decided he was too big for the show, he left it. It hurt his career.

That wasn’t the only ain he was in though. Decades later he appeared on appeared on “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” there to treat his addiction to painkillers. These appearances showed what was left of his fans how far he had spiraled.

“Jeff was a severe, severe opiate addict with chronic pain, one of the most serious and dangerous combination of problems you could possibly interact with,” said Dr. Drew Pinsky.

While pneumonia was the cause of death, the doctor who treated him for drug addiction for years says it was his dependence on prescription painkillers that eventually cost him his life. The actor had been in a medically induced coma before being removed from life support.

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RIP – BABY MARIE


EXPIRED: 11/11/10 – Baby Marie, 99, was a star.

At 5, she made $300/week when most Depression-era Americans earned less than $1,000 a year.

Girls wished for a Baby Marie doll for Xmas. She asked for, and got, mansions.

Why not? She made 26 movies in 6 years, including Little Mary Sunshine!

But she was washed up at age 10.

In the 30’s she did stand-in work for Betty Hutton and for Ginger Rogers in Change of Heart. She also appeared in the Gay Divorcée.

Later she learned how to make costumes and found a job doing that behind the scenes for Guys and Dolls, Spartacus, The Way We Were, Mame,  The Godfather, Part II, and many others.

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RIP – JILL CLAYBURGH


EXPIRED: 11/05/10 – Jill Clayburgh, 66, Oscar-Nominated Actress played independent women opposite Burt Reynolds, Walter Matthau and Michael Douglas.

Her last role was in TVs Dirty, Sexy, Money.

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