MORBID CURIOSITY: Celebrity Tombstones Across America      |   home
January   |   February   |   March   |   April   |   May   |   June   |   July   |   August   |   September   |   October   |   November   |   December
May
Saturday, 1 May
Felix Haug, pop singer (Double), of a heart attack, 52.

Sunday, 2 May
Nelson Gidding, screenwriter ("I Want to Live!"), 84.

Monday, 3 May
Anthony Ainley, actor (The Master on "Dr. Who")
Darrell Johnson, major-league baseball manager (Boston), of leukemia, 75.
Gilbert Lani Kauhi, aka Zulu, actor (Det. Kalakaua on "Hawaii Five-O"), of
complications from diabetes, 66.
HONOLULU - Gilbert Lani Kauhi, a member of the original cast of the "Hawaii
Five-0" television series, died Monday. He was 66.

His mother, Emma Kauhi, said the actor died in Hilo Medical Center of
complications from diabetes.

Kauhi, nicknamed Zulu, was a popular Waikiki beachboy when he joined the CBS
police drama for its first season. He was cast as Detective Kono Kalakaua, the
burly Hawaiian sidekick to the show's star, Jack Lord (news).

He stayed with the show for four seasons but was fired after an altercation with
the show's publicist.

The show helped launch a successful entertainment career for Kauhi, who sang and
joked to packed houses in and around Waikiki.

"I know those were his enjoyable days," his mother said. "He was always full of
excitement and he had many friends."

Actor James MacArthur, who played Danny "Danno" Williams on the show, wept when
he learned of the death.

"I have many happy memories of Zulu," he said. "On 'Five-0,' he helped us
understand how to say those Hawaiian words. I'll miss him."

Tuesday, 4 May
John Amberg, NFL football player (New York Giants), of pancreatic cancer, 75.

Thursday, 6 May
Joseph "Pepper" Gomez, pro wrestler, of an abdominal infection, 77.

Friday, 7 May
Rudy Maugeri, pop singer (The Crew-Cuts), of cancer, 73.

Sunday, May 9th
Comedian, Actor Alan King Dies at Age 76

NEW YORK - Alan King, whose tirades against everyday suburban life grew into a
long comedy career in nightclubs and television that he later expanded to
Broadway and character roles in movies, died Sunday, May 9, 2004 at the age of
76.

King, who also was host of the New York Friars Club's celebrity roasts, which
had recently returned as a staple on television's Comedy Central, died at a
Manhattan hospital, said a son, Robert King.

King appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" 93 times beginning in the 1950s.

He played supporting roles in more than 20 films including "Bye Bye Braverman,"
"I, the Jury," "The Anderson Tapes," "Lovesick," "Bonfire of the Vanities,"
"Casino," and "Rush Hour 2." He also produced several films, including "Memories
of Me," "Wolfen" and "Cattle Annie and Little Britches," and the 1997 television
series "The College of Comedy With Alan King."

He said he was working strip joints and seedy nightclubs in the early 1950s when
he had a revelation while watching a performance by another young comedian,
Danny Thomas.

"Danny actually talked to his audience," he recalled in a 1991 interview. "And I
realized I never talked to my audience. I talked at 'em, around 'em and over
'em, but not to 'em. I felt the response they had for him. I said to myself,
'This guy is doing something, and I better start doing it.'"

King, who until then had been using worn out one-liners, found his new material
at home, after his wife persuaded him to forsake his native Manhattan, believing
the suburban atmosphere of the Forest Hills sections of Queens would provide a
better environment for their children.

Soon he was joking of seeing people moving from the city to the suburbs "in
covered wagons, with mink stoles hanging out the back."

His rantings about suburbia, just as America was embracing it, struck a chord
with the public and soon he was appearing regularly on the Sullivan show, Garry
Moore's variety show and "The Tonight Show."

Bookings poured in, and he toured with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra, played New
York's showcase Paramount theater and top nightclubs around the country.

He also worked as the opening act for such music stars as Lena Horne, Billy
Eckstine, Patti Page and Judy Garland, who he joined in a command performance in
London for Queen Elizabeth.

After that show he was introduced to the queen and, when she asked "How do you
do, Mr. King?" he said he replied: "How do you do, Mrs. Queen?"

"She stared at me, and then Prince Philip laughed," he recalled. "Thank God
Prince Philip laughed."

King appeared in a handful of films in the late 1950s, including "The Girl He
Left Behind," "Miracle in the Rain" and "Hit the Deck," although he didn't care
for his roles. "I was always the sergeant from Brooklyn named Kowalski," he once
complained.

He also appeared on Broadway in "Guys and Dolls" and "The Impossible Years," and
produced the Broadway plays "The Lion in Winter" and "Something Different."

He wrote the humor books "Anyone Who Owns His Own Home Deserves One" (1962) and
"Help! I'm a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery" (1964).

Born Irwin Alan Kniberg, he grew up on Manhattan's Lower East Side and in
Brooklyn.

"Both of them were tough neighborhoods, but I was a pretty tough kid," he
recalled in 1964. "I had an answer for everything. ... I fought back with
humor."

He married Jeannette Sprung in 1947 and they had three children, Robert, Andrew
and Elaine Ray. When King was at the height of his career, he faced one son's
drug addiction and said he realized he had neglected his family.

"It's not easy being a father," he said, "but I've been allowed a comeback."

He spent more time at home and his son conquered his addiction.

"Now everyone kisses," he said. "We show our affections."


The mother of America's first family of entertainment, Olive Osmond,
died Sunday, May 9 of complications from a massive stroke suffered
nearly two-and-a-half years ago.

According to a family spokesman, her condition began to deteriorate last
week, and throughout the weekend family members began a bed-side vigil.

"She was surrounded by those who made her life worthwhile and complete,"
said Ron Clark, a former family representative. "Many of her children
were at her side. She couldn't have passed with any greater love and
peace than existed in that room."

She was 79.

Mrs. Osmond was born in Samaria, Idaho in 1925 to Thomas and Vera Ann
Davis. Her father was the principal of the local school, and education
became an integral part of her life. She loved learning and was an avid
reader and student. After receiving her early education in the southern
Idaho community, she moved to Ogden, Utah where she became employed as a
secretary at the Adjutant General Depot. It was there she met George V.
Osmond, a handsome young soldier of whom she wrote in her diary: "Today
I met someone who's going to mean a lot to me."�

Their early courtship revealed that music was among the many things they
had in common. Both were talented musicians. George with his baritone
voice, and Olive with her saxophone.

Following their marriage in 1944, they hoped that even a small portion
of this gift might be passed along to their future family. It did more
than just rub off. It became the motivating factor behind one of
entertainment's major show business conglomerates and house-hold names.

However, as they started their young family, they were faced with the
realization that their first two sons, Virl and Tom, had developed
degenerative hearing losses that also affected their speech. Doctors
sounded a genetic concern that this might continue to happen if they
were to have more children, but the new parents were undaunted by such
possibilities. They wanted a large family, and whether or not each child
carried the disorder didn't matter. They would be loved just the same,
and raised in a home where inner strength would sustain and succeed over
any physical challenge. The next four sons, Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay
had no signs of hearing loss and began singing almost immediately their
close four-part harmonies.

Although she was delighted with their progress and encouraged them to
carry on, Olive remained a tireless teacher of speech and hearing
techniques for her oldest sons, and it paid off in dividends. Eventually
three more children entered their lives, Donny, Marie, and Jimmy.

Olive nurtured her famous nine children in an atmosphere of constant
encouragement always teaching down-home principles of hard work and
dedication toward any task given them. Her sense of balance guided them
through the heights of wealth and success as she motivated them in
living the virtues of a simple, God-fearing life. She was their role
model, exemplar, and provider of endless and unconditional love.
Wherever their world-wide travels would lead them, they went as a
family, maintaining the love, family solidarity, and firm grounding in
their faith.

Very often Olive was credited as being the heartbeat of all family
matters, and the conscience of heavy decisions. As he frequently did,
George Osmond recently spoke of his wife and companion of 60-years as
"the heart and soul of this outfit." She was his equal and total partner
in all family matters. They were very much in love; their sons and
daughter knew it, and so did the world.

She was steadfast in her beliefs, and taught her children to be fearless
and honorable on their own. Her opinion was frequently sought and
followed because her thinking seemed consistent with decency, sound
logic, simple truths, and positive counsel. In the aftermath of dark
times, it was Olive who admonished, "We're going to laugh about this
later, so we might as well do it now and throw everything negative right
out the window."� So they did. Her wisdom and philosophy became their
creed, and rarely would they allow themselves to get down on anything or
anyone. Many sited her as being the glue that held the family together
unified as siblings and individually fused in religious convictions.

Mrs. Osmond is survived by her husband, George; eight sons, Virl
(Chris), Tom (Carolyn), Alan (Suzanne), Wayne (Kathlyn), Merrill (Mary),
Jay (Candilyn), Donny (Debbie), and Jimmy (Michelle); one daughter,
Marie (Brian); 55 grand children; and 22 great grand children.
Preceding her in death are her parents and her only brother and sibling,
Thomas N. Davis.

Funeral services are pending.

Monday, May 17th
By CHRISTY LEMIRE, AP Entertainment Writer
NEW YORK - Tony Randall (news), the comic actor best known for playing
fastidious photographer Felix Unger on "The Odd Couple," has died. He was 84.
Randall died in his sleep Monday night at NYU Medical Center of complications
from a long illness, according to his publicity firm, Springer Associates.

He is survived by his wife, Heather Harlan Randall, who made him a father for
the first time at age 77, and their two children, 7-year-old Julia Laurette and
5-year-old Jefferson Salvini.

Randall won an Emmy for playing Unger on the sitcom based on Neil Simon's play
and movie. The show ran from 1970-75, but Randall won after it had been
canceled, prompting him to quip at the awards ceremony: "I'm so happy I won. Now
if I only had a job."

The show's charm sprang from Randall's chemistry and conflict with Jack Klugman
(news) as sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison, with whom he's forced to share an
apartment after both men get divorced.

Before that, Randall was best known as the fastidious "best friend" figure in
several Rock Hudson (news)-Doris Day (news) movies, including 1959's "Pillow
Talk" and 1961's "Lover Come Back."

The actor became a fixture on David Letterman's late-night talk shows, appearing
a record 70 times on the "Late Show" alone. He made fun of his own prim image by
taking part in Letterman's wacky antics, including allowing himself to be
covered in mud.

And in 1993, when Conan O'Brien took over the time slot at NBC that Letterman
had vacated for a new show at CBS, Randall was a guest on O'Brien's debut
episode.

After "The Odd Couple," Randall had two short-lived sitcoms, one of which was
"The Tony Randall Show," in which he played a stuffy Philadelphia judge, from
1976-78.

From 1981-83, he played the title role in the sitcom "Love, Sidney," as a
single, middle-aged commercial artist helping a female friend care for her young
daughter.

The show was based on a TV movie in which Sidney was gay; in the TV show, the
character's sexual orientation was implied, but never specified. This occurred
more than a decade before the much-hyped coming-out on "Ellen" in 1997, which
made Ellen DeGeneres (news)' character the first openly gay central figure on a
network series.

For his television work, Randall got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in
1998.

In an effort to bring classic theater back to Broadway, Randall founded and was
artistic director of the non-profit National Actors Theatre in 1991, using $1
million of his own money and $2 million from corporations and foundations. The
company's first production was a revival of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible,"
starring Martin Sheen (news) and Michael York (news), which hadn't been staged
on Broadway in 40 years.

The next year, Randall's production of Ibsen's "The Master Builder" didn't
exactly draw raves. AP Drama Critic Michael Kuchwara called it "deadly earnest —
and dull."

Subsequent performances included "Night Must Fall," "The Gin Game" and "The
Sunshine Boys," in which Randall reunited with Klugman, in 1998. Randall also
starred in his company's Tony Award-winning staging of "M. Butterfly."

The actor also was socially active, lobbying against smoking in public places,
marching in Washington against apartheid in the '80s, and helping raise money
for AIDS (news - web sites) research in the '90s.

Born Leonard Rosenberg on Feb. 26, 1920, Randall was drawn as a teenager to
roadshows that came through his hometown of Tulsa, Okla.



"One night, the entire town turned out to see the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
perform Swan Lake and Sheherezade," he wrote. "I — and most of the audience —
had never seen a ballet before. We stood and cheered, thinking it was a 'once in
a lifetime' event."
Randall attended Northwestern University before heading to New York at 19, where
he made his stage debut in 1941 in "The Circle of Chalk."
After Army service during World War II from 1942-46, he returned to New York,
where he appeared on radio and early television. He got his start in movies in
1957.
He was married to his college sweetheart, Florence Randall, for 54 years until
she died of cancer in 1992.
"I saw her in a bank — I never saw another girl in my life. She was gorgeous,
the most beautiful girl I ever saw," Randall said in a TV interview in 1995.
Later that year, he married Harlan, who was 50 years his junior. Randall met her
through his National Actors Theatre; former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
(news - web sites) performed the ceremony.
Harlan gave birth to their first child, Julia Laurette Randall, in April 1997.
Their second child, Jefferson Salvini Randall, was born in June 1998.