Entries Tagged 'Obituary' ↓

Don LaFontaine, 1940-2008

“I’m scaring you, just by standing here….”

It’s weird to be writing twice in the space of a few hours about great voice talents, but, man, the giant has left the building. Don LaFontaine, whose low, gritty, rock-hard “In a world, where…” anchored so many of the over 5,000 trailers he voiced during his 33-year career—like this one for Tyler Perry’s upcoming The Family That Preyspassed away on Monday at the age of 68.

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They Did a Good Job On Him. It’s Almost Like He’s Still Alive.

A stand-up guy….
Keepin’ it real: The late Angel Pantoja Medina, left, with family

I tend to avoid “Strange, But True” type news stories on MEDIA ASSASSIN, but let’s just say that this one made me stand up in my seat.

According to The Associated Press, Angel Pantoja Medina of Puerto Rico, had always told his brother, Carlos, that, when he died,

he wanted to be upright for his own wake: “He wanted to be happy, standing.”

So, when, sadly, the young man’s body was found last Friday under a San Juan bridge,

Good night, sweet prince….A funeral home used a special embalming treatment to keep the corpse of 24-year-old Angel Pantoja Medina standing upright for his three-day wake.

Dressed in a Yankees baseball cap and sunglasses, Pantoja was mourned by relatives while propped upright in his mother’s living room.

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Bernie Mac, 1957-2008

Bernie Mac holds court
Look here, America: Bernie Mac in 2000 (Photo by Bob Fila)

Though death is never timely, the demise of comedian Bernie Mac, 50, early Saturday morning in his hometown of Chicago, was startling in its abruptness, even considering that the humorist had been ill in the hospital with pneumonia, from which he ultimately succumbed. (Earlier word held that he was “expected to make a full recovery” and would be out soon, adding to the cruelness of his sudden end.)

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Dead Man Talking.

Yeah? And?
Please stop staring at me…: Carl Panzram, serial killer & tough guy

If you knew you were about to be executed, what would be your last words?

Most of us would want to offer encouragement to our children or loved ones, or make a profound summary on the meaning of life.

Not these guys. In “The 11 Most Badass Last Words Ever Uttered,” Cracked.com have put together a list of ne’er-do-wells who, mere seconds before the the state was about to have their way with ’em, were still out to prove whose cojones had the greatest girth and the most metal.

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Ruslana Korshunova, 1987-2008


That’s some hair you got, Ruslana…While it’s always tragic when a young person kills herself, I wasn’t inclined to eulogize Ruslana Korshunova, 20, the pretty Kazakh model who apparently jumped to her death from her 9th floor apartment this past Saturday. I’d never heard of her, though, clearly, I probably saw her, based on the level and prominence of the work she was doing—ads for DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, or this Pantene piece, above, featuring her lengthy and much idolized tresses.

However, a couple of details concerning her death have stuck with me.

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George Carlin, 1937-2008

Lettin’ ‘em have it.

To a great extent, George Carlin is being remembered today for his “Filthy Words” routine, from his album, Occupation: Foole. In 1973, my radio station, WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM, played the bit over the air, resulting in a complaint and, ultimately, in a landmark Supreme Court ruling on free speech and the First Amendment. (“Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” on the 1972 album, Class Clown, is a similar piece. Its live recitation on a Milwaukee stage got the comic arrested in that year.)

To me, however, Carlin is possibly most significant in that he was the only white comedian I ever heard use the word nigger in a joke who actually made me really, deeply laugh. (The piece appears in his 1990 “Euphemisms” sketch.)

This is less a testament to his hipness or coolness—he had none, from my perspective—or any acceptance I reserve for white people using that word. All I reserve for any white person, without exception—including Carlin—is the suspicion of racism.

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Cyd Charisse, 1922-2008

Truly lovely…In the 1953 Vincente Minnelli musical, The Band Wagon, there’s a fantastic sequence called “The Girl Hunt,” in which dance great Fred Astaire, as gumshoe Rod Riley, searches for a mysterious ingenue. Numerous close calls and clues lead him to a gangster nightspot, Dem Bones Cafe, where upon entering, he suddenly catches sight of a woman, her hair coal-black, leaning ravenously against the bar in a dark green full-length coat.

For a second, there is no movement in the shot whatsoever. Watching it on video, one initially has the confusing impression that they’re looking at a still frame, until they notice the woman’s slow, deep breathing.

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Bo Diddley, 1928-2008

Bo knows.

We will not see the likes of him again.

Click the pic. Play it loud. See why he was so great.

Sex and the Single Slain Civil Rights Leader Survivor

Malcolm & Martin

Why, for the most part, have the ten children of both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. never married?

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Love Lives Forever…

Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King