02 July, 2008

Robert Young

Robert George Young was a popular American actor, best known for his leading roles in two long-running television series, Jim Anderson, the father of Father Knows Best and physician Marcus Welby in Marcus Welby, M.D.

Despite the fact that he portrayed happy, well-adjusted characters, Young suffered from depression and alcoholism, which contributed to his suicide attempt in 1991. Afterwards he spoke candidly about his problems in an effort to encourage people to seek help with their own.

Young died on July 21, 1998 at his home in Westlake Village, California at the age of 91 from respiratory failure. He was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California.

A true man doesn't just get help but also gets help for others who need it. Robert Young was a true man.

Clark Gable

Clark Gable was an iconic American actor nicknamed "The King of Hollywood" in his heyday. His most famous role was Rhett Butler in the 1939 epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for three films that include Mutiny on the Bounty ; he won for It Happened One Night. Another memorable performance was his last film The Misfits.

In 1942 Gable joined the U.S. Army Air Forces. With the rank of Captain, Gable trained with and accompanied the 351st Heavy Bomb Group as head of a 6-man motion picture unit making a gunnery training film. Gable spent most of the war in the UK at Wetherby and Polebrook. While at RAF Polebrook, England, Gable flew five combat missions, including one to Germany, as an observer-gunner in B-17 Flying Fortresses between May 4 and September 23, 1943, earning the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts. Adolf Hitler esteemed Gable above all other actors; during the Second World War he offered a sizable reward to anyone who could capture and bring Gable unscathed to him. Gable left the Army Air Forces with the rank of major.

Gable died in Los Angeles, California on November 16, 1960, the result of a fourth heart attack. Gable was in poor health from years of heavy smoking three packs of unfiltered cigarettes a day over thirty years, as well as cigars and at least two bowlfuls of pipe tobacco a day.

Gable is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Fred MacMurray

Frederick Martin MacMurray was an actor who appeared in over one hundred movies and in a highly successful television series during a career that spanned nearly a half-century, starting in 1930 and extending into the 1970s.

MacMurray is well known for his role in the 1944 film noir Double Indemnity, in which he starred with Barbara Stanwyck. Later in life, he became better known as the avuncular Steve Douglas, widowed patriarch on My Three Sons, which ran on ABC from 1960-1965 and then on CBS from 1965-1972.

After the cancellation of My Three Sons in 1972, MacMurray made only a few more film appearances before retiring in 1978.

MacMurray died of pneumonia at the age of eighty-three in Santa Monica and was buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.

Ralph Bellamy

Ralph Rexford Bellamy was an American actor with a career spanning sixty-two years.

He began his acting career on stage, and by 1927 owned his own theatre company. In 1931, he made his film debut and worked constantly throughout the decade to establish himself as a capable supporting actor. Bellamy received the lead role in the 1936 film Straight from the Shoulder.

He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Awful Truth opposite Irene Dunne and Cary Grant and played a similar part in His Girl Friday. He portrayed detective Ellery Queen in a few films during the 1940s, but as his film career did not progress, he returned to the stage, where he continued to perform throughout the fifties. Highly regarded within the industry, he was a founder of the Screen Actors Guild and served as President of Actors' Equity from 1952-1964.

On Broadway he appeared in one of his most famous roles, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Sunrise at Campobello. He later starred in the 1960 film version. On film, he also starred in Rosemary's Baby as a devilish physician, before turning to television during the 1970s. An Emmy Award nomination for the mini-series The Winds of War - in which Bellamy reprised his Sunrise at Campobello role of Franklin Roosevelt - brought him back into the limelight. This was quickly followed by his role as Randolph Duke, a conniving billionaire alongside Don Ameche in Trading Places.

In the 1988 Eddie Murphy film, Coming to America, Bellamy and co-star Don Ameche reprised a one-scene cameo of their roles as the Duke brothers. After Randolph and Mortimer Duke lost their enormous fortune at the end of Trading Places, in Coming to America, the brothers are homeless and living on the streets. Prince Akeem gives them a paper bag filled with money, which they gratefully accept and exclaim "We're back!"

In 1984, he was presented with a Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, and in 1987 received an Honorary Academy Award "for his unique artistry and his distinguished service to the profession of acting".

He continued working regularly and gave his final performance in Pretty Woman (1990).
He died on November 29, 1991 as a result of a lung ailment at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and was buried in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Cary Grant, Mister Cool

Archibald Alec Leach better known by his stage name, Cary Grant, was a British actor known for mostly American films. With his distinctive Mid-Atlantic accent, he was noted as perhaps the foremost exemplar of the debonair leading man, handsome, virile, charismatic and charming. He was well known for starring in classic films such as The Philadelphia Story, North by Northwest, Notorious, His Girl Friday, To Catch A Thief, Bringing Up Baby and The Bishop's Wife.
Grant had decided to retire in 1966, after making one more film, Walk, Don't Run.
Grant was considered a maverick by virtue of the fact that he was the first actor to "go independent," effectively bucking the old studio system, which almost completely controlled what an actor could or could not do. In this way, Grant was able to control every aspect of his career. He decided which movies he was going to appear in and he had a personal choice of the directors and co-stars and at times, even negotiated a share of the gross, something unheard of at the time.

In the last few years of his life, Grant undertook tours of the United States in a one man show. It was called "A Conversation with Cary Grant", in which he would show clips from his films and answer audience questions.

On the afternoon of November 29, 1986 he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He died later that night at St. Luke's Hospital at age 82.

Cary Grant was truly cool in every meaning of the word.