Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In 2013, our world became a little darker, as many legendary stars lost their light.

This is my last blog for the year and I thought it fitting to look back and remember those we lost in 2013.

In 2013, we lost many legendary stars and icons of pop culture. Some expected and many left us much too soon. Let's take a look at those whose light went out this past year.

We lost movie stars like Peter O'Toole, Joan Fontaine and Esther Williams, authors such as Elmore Leonard, Tom Clancy and Richard Matheson, female vocalists Patti Page, Patty Andrews and Eydie Gorme, sitcom stars Jean Stapleton, Bonnie Franklin and Conrad Bain, musical stars Lou Reed, Ray Manzarek and Alvin Lee... and New Jersey’s favorite son James Gandolfini.

Let us also honor some less known stars — but no less memorable — contributors to popular culture.

Take a minute to remember all the legends we lost...

Jan. 1: "Our Gang" actress Patsy May, 78

Jan. 1: "Tennessee Waltz" singer Patti Page, 85

Jan. 14: "Diff'rent Strokes" star Conrad Bain, 89

Jan. 16: Columnist Abigail Van Buren, 94

Jan. 27: Philadelphia TV kiddie-show host Sally Starr, 90

Jan. 30: Andrews Sisters member Patty Andrews, 94

Feb. 1: Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, 88

Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, 88

Feb. 14: "Leader of the Pack" composer Shadow Morton, 72

Feb. 16: "My Bonny" singer Tony Sheridan, 72

Feb. 18: Soft Machine frontman Kevin Ayers, 68

Feb. 25: Former surgeon general C. Everett Koop, 96

Feb. 27: "The Iron Horse" star Dale Robertson, 89

March 1: "One Day at a Time" star Bonnie Franklin, 69

March 5: Wrestling personality & Funeral Director, Paul Bearer, 58

March 13: "Batman" guest villain Malachi Throne, 84

March 16: Spinners singer Bobby Smith, 76

March 19: "Deep Throat" star Harry Reems, 65

March 23: Bodybuilding guru Joe Weider, 93

March 27: Crawdaddy publisher Paul Williams, 64

March 28: "Pie in the Sky" star Richard Griffiths, 65

March 31: Mad magazine cartoonist Bob Clarke, 87

Mad magazine cartoonist Bob Clarke, 87

April 2: "Count Dracula" director Jesus Franco, 82

April 2: Muppets co-creator Jane Henson, 78

April 2: "Barbarella" player Milo O'Shea, 86

April 4: Film critic Roger Ebert, 70

April 4: Flash co-creator Carmine Infantino, 87

April 7: "Exile on Main Street" engineer Andy Johns, 62

April 8: "Beach Party" star Annette Funicello, 70

April 11: Comedian Jonathan Winters, 87

April 13: "Leave it to Beaver" player Frank Bank, 71

April 22: "Freedom" singer Richie Havens, 72

"Freedom" singer Richie Havens, 72

April 26: Country singer George Jones, 81

April 30: "Three Smart Girls" star Deanna Durbin, 91

May 7: Animator Ray Harryhausen, 92

May 13: Columnist Joyce Brothers, 85

May 18: "S.W.A.T." star Steve Forrest, 87

May 20: Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, 74

May 28: "Black Mama, White Mama" director Eddie Romero, 88

May 31: "All in the Family" star Jean Stapleton, 90

June 3: New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, 89

June 6: "Million Dollar Mermaid" star Esther Williams, 91

June 19: "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, 51

"The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, 51

June 19: Country singer Slim Whitman, 90

June 23: Blues singer Bobby Bland, 83

June 23: "I am Legend" writer Richard Matheson, 87

June 29: "Black Belt Jones" star Jim Kelly, 67

July 20: White House Press Corps reporter Helen Thomas, 92

July 22: "Law & Order" star Dennis Farina, 69

July 26: "Cocaine" composer JJ Cale, 74

July 28: "Private Benjamin" star Eileen Brennan, 80

"Private Benjamin" star Eileen Brennan, 80
July 31: "Broken Arrow" star Michael Ansara, 91

Aug. 8: "Five Easy Pieces" star Karen Black, 74

Aug. 9: "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" star Haji, 67

Aug. 10: "Blame it on the Bossa Nova" singer Eydie Gorme, 84

Aug. 14: "That '70s Show" player Lisa Robin Kelly, 43

Aug. 14: Blue Oyster Cult keyboardist-guitarist Allen Lanier, 67

Aug. 20: "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" director Ted Post, 95

Aug. 20: "Rum Punch" author Elmore Leonard, 87

Aug. 21: Beatles concert promoter Sid Bernstein, 95

Aug. 24: "The Haunting" star Julie Harris, 87

"The Haunting" star Julie Harris, 87

Sept. 12: Dolby noise-reduction system inventor Ray Dolby, 80

Sept. 18: Boxer Ken Norton, 70

Sept. 30: "Horror of Dracula" producer Anthony Hinds, 91

Oct. 1: "Patriot Games" author Tom Clancy, 66

Oct. 16: "Family Plot" player Ed Lauter, 74

Oct. 19: "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E." star Noel Harrison, 79

Oct. 25: "Smokey and the Bandit" director Hal Needham, 82

Oct. 25: "The Simpsons" voice artist Marcia Wallace, 70

"The Simpsons" voice artist Marcia Wallace, 70

Oct. 27: "Walk on the Wild Side" singer Lou Reed, 71

Nov. 3: "Teen Titans" comic-book artist Nick Cardy, 93

Nov. 12: "The Godfather Part III" Al Ruscio, 89

Nov. 25: Superman comic-book artist Al Plastino, 91

Nov. 26: "Honeymooners" star Jane Kean, 90

Nov. 26: "Toma" star Tony Musante, 77

Nov. 30: "The Fast and the Furious" star, Paul Walker, 40

The Fast and the Furious" star Paul Walker, 40 doing charity work.

Dec. 8: "Scream Blacula Scream" star Don Mitchell, 70

Dec. 9: "The Sound of Music" player Eleanor Parker, 91

Dec. 12: "Billy Jack" star Tom Laughlin, 82

Dec. 12: "The Postman Always Rings Twice" player Audrey Totter, 95

Dec. 14: "Lawrence of Arabia" star Peter O'Toole, 81

"Lawrence of Arabia" star Peter O'Toole, 81

Dec. 15: "Rebecca" star Joan Fontaine, 96

Dec. 16: Country singer Ray Price, 87

A special mention for a world leader, a legend and a humanitarian.

Dec. 5: Nelson Mandela, Former South African President 95

On a final note, let us salute the many heroes who served our country proud and the thousands of first respondents who gave their lives in service to others.

And, let us not forget the funeral directors who serve behind the scenes, taking gentle care of grieving families in their darkest hours. 

May the heavenly light shine on their contributions as well.

Nancy Burban 2013

Funeral fund

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