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.
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.”
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.
EXPIRED: 09/16/11 – Dolores Hope, 102, was born a DeFina in Harlem back when it was mostly poor Irish and Italian immigrants living there. When the family got a little bit of money they moved to the somewhat nicer suburbs of the Bronx.
She started singing professionally in the 30’s, and after a gig at Manhattan’s tony Vogue Club, she was introduced to fledgling comedian Bob Hope. The couple fell in love and were married less than a year later, adopting a total of 4 kids. Family came first and Dolores gave up her career to let Bob Hope concentrate on his.
But she was always in the sidelines. In the 1940s, Dolores began helping her husband on his tours entertaining U.S. troops overseas and she would continue to do so for over 50 years. In 1990, she was the only female entertainer allowed to perform in Saudi Arabia.
At age 83, she recorded her first compact disc, Dolores Hope: Now and Then. She followed this with three additional albums and also recorded a Christmas CD with Bob entitled Hopes for the Holidays.
In 2003, Dolores was at Bob’s side as he celebrated his 100th birthday; he died two months later. On May 27, 2011, she herself turned 102.
And while she has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, there’s a street in the Bronx named after her which probably holds a bit more of what Delores DeFina is all about.
EXPIRED: 08/31/11 – Wade Belak, 35, was born in Saskatchewan and grew up to be a typical Canadian jock. As a teen, he wanted to be a lifeguard. But then he discovered ice hockey.
He was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, and later played for the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and the Nashville Predators in the National Hockey League (NHL). In 2004 he played for Coventry Blaze in the British Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) during the NHL lockout and was voted to the EIHL All-Star team at the end of the season.
Despite his aggressive performances, by 2007 Belak was about to set a Maple Leafs record for most consecutive games without a goal. He went 143 games until he finally. So he was traded to the Florida Panthers in 2008 and then traded to the Nashville Predators. After playing just 15 games since 2010, Belak was assigned to the Predators AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.
At that point he called it quits and took a desk job with the Predators. In early August, Belak signed on for the popular Battle of the Blades TV show. Weeks later he took his life in his downtown Toronto condo.
EXPIRED: 08/21/11 – Budd Hopkins, 80, was an artist living in NYC for 58 years. His work hangs in the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and the MOMA. But he’s even more famous for claiming to see a UFO in 1964, and spending the rest of his life studying other witness’s stories of missing time, inexplicable gaps in one’s memory, associated with UFO encounters. By the late 1980s, he was one of the most prominent ufologists, and an expert in alien abductions.
EXPIRED: 08/22/11 – Nick Ashford, 69, met wife Valerie Simpson at church in ’63 and the pair sold songs to Ronnie Milsap, Ike & Tina Turner, the Shirelles and Ray Charles. Hits included “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing”, and “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)”. As a duo Ashford & Simpson struck gold w/ “Solid (as a rock).” Throat cancer took his voice and life.