TIME obituary

The House That Fred Built: Exclusive Photos of Fred Phelps and the People He Left Behind

Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church most widely known for picketing U.S. military funerals, died at the age of 84, Thursday, March 20. Photographer Anthony S. Karen captured these behind-the-scenes images of Phelps, his family and his church between 2008-2011, giving a remarkable inside look at the secretive and oft-despised group.

TIME obituary

David Brenner, Tonight Show Favorite, Dies at 78

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson -- Season 14
Comedian David Brenner on The Tonight Show, Dec. 5, 1975. Gary Null—NBC/Getty Images

The comic, who appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson over 150 times and gained attention through his anecdotes about daily life, died at his home in New York City at the age of 78

David Brenner, the famed stand-up comedian who was a favorite on Johnny Caron’s Tonight Show, died Saturday. He was 78 years old and at his home in Manhattan, the New York Times reports.

Brenner frequently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as one of the shows most popular guests, performing more than 150 times. He gained attention through his anecdotes about daily life, but as his career went on, his comedy increasingly focused on current events.

Born in Philadelphia, Brenner graduated from Temple with a communications degree. He began as a writer of television documentaries and started in comedy in the early 1970s, landing his own late-night syndicated talk show, Nightlife, in 1986.

“In David’s final request he asked that one hundred dollars in small bills be placed in his left sock ‘just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going,'” his family said in a statement.



Hal Douglas, Legendary Movie Trailer Narrator, Dies at 89

You may not recognize his name or face, but you definitely know his voice

Hal Douglas, one of the top voice-over artists of his generation, passed away last week with his family at his side. He was 89 and had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010.

While the fewest people would recognize his face, his voice has starred in trailers for thousands of movies, documentaries, television series and commercials, including Forest Gump, Meet the Parents and Philadelphia.

Hal Douglas began working as voice-over artist in 1972 and was active in the industry until 2012. He leaves behind his wife, a daughter and two sons.

[New York Times]

TIME remembrance

Video: The Voice of Hal Douglas — A Late, Great Movie-Trailer Master

His voice brought movie trailers to life

You may not recognize his face, but you undoubtedly know his voice. Hal Douglas was the artist behind many of the phrases — “In a world…” and “One man…” — that brought gravitas to decades of movie trailers. The New York Times reports this morning that Douglas died on Friday at the age of 89, due to complications of pancreatic cancer.

As Linda Holmes notes over at NPR, the gravel-voiced narration style of trailer no longer has a monopoly on the world of movie advertisements — but voices like Douglas’ still spring to mind as a classic sound of the cinema. And Douglas himself was part of the longevity of the format: he worked until just a few years ago, adding trailers for movies like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to a resume that also included Waterworld and Forrest Gump.

Check out his demo reel, above, and it’ll be easy to see and hear why his voice endured so long.

(MORE: Women Want Work Doing Movie-Trailer Voiceovers)

TIME obituary

How We Die Author Dies Aged 83

In this Nov. 16, 1994, file photo, The National Book Awards prize winning writers Sherwin B. Nuland, center, William Gaddis, left, and James Tate greet each other after the awards ceremony in New York. Nuland, has died at age 83 Adam Nadel / AP

Sherwin B. Nuland, who wrote an award-winning book that became central to the ongoing debate regarding assisted suicide, has died from prostate cancer

Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, the author of the award-winning book How We Die, died in his home on Monday after battling prostate cancer. He was 83.

How We Die was published in 1994 and won a National Book Award for its description of the destructiveness of dying. The book became part of the moral and legal debate over physician-assisted suicide in the U.S.

Nuland leaves behind his wife, four children and four grandchildren. His daughter, Victoria Jane Nuland, is the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs.

[The New York Times]

TIME celebrities

Philip Seymour Hoffman Died of Toxic Drug Mix, Medical Examiner Says

In this Jan. 19, 2014 file photo, Philip Seymour Hoffman poses for a portrait at The Collective and Gibson Lounge Powered by CEG, during the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah.
In this Jan. 19, 2014 file photo, Philip Seymour Hoffman poses for a portrait at The Collective and Gibson Lounge Powered by CEG, during the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. Victoria Will / Invision / AP

The actor's death was ruled an accident after examiners determined he took a deadly cocktail of drugs that included heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamines. Hoffman reportedly had a relapse after remaining clean for 23 years

The actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a toxic mix of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamines, the New York City medical examiner said Friday.

His death was ruled an accident, a spokesperson for the office said, according to the Associated Press.

Hoffman, who struggled with addiction early in his life and spoke candidly about his substance abuse, was found dead in his New York City apartment with a syringe in his arm on Feb. 2.

He reportedly relapsed after remaining clean for 23 years and checked himself into rehab for ten days last year.

Hoffman won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 2005 film Capote and earned three nominations for Best Supporting Actor throughout his career, which included roles in The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Charlie Wilson’s War, and The Master.


TIME obituary

‘Dating Game’ Host Jim Lange Dies

ABC/Getty Images

He was 81

Jim Lange, the first host of the classic television romance gameshow The Dating Game, died this week. He was 81, and died Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack in his California home, the Associated Press reports.

While Lange began and ended his career in radio, which his wife Nancy told the AP was “his real love,” he was best known for helping contestants find love on TV. The Dating Game debuted in 1965, and Lange served as a host to average Americans, a pre-fame Farrah Fawcett, and celebrity guests like Michael Jackson over the course of a decade.

He later hosted other gameshows, including Hollywood Connection, $100,000 Name That Tune, and The New Newlywed Game. He also appeared on various sitcoms, including Bewitched and Laverne & Shirley, as himself.

Lange, whose last job in entertainment was as a radio DJ, is survived by his wife, five children, two stepchildren, and four grandchildren.

See Lange host a teenage Michael Jackson below:

TIME obituary

Harold Ramis, Writer Of Ghostbusters, Dies Aged 69

Director Harold Ramis in Hollywood in 1984.
Director Harold Ramis in Hollywood in 1984. Ron Galella—WireImage/Getty Images

Best known for his work in the classic comedies Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, and National Lampoon's Vacation, Ramis died from complications due to a rare autoimmune disease at age 69

Renowned comedy filmmaker Harold Ramis of Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters fame died Monday from complications due to a rare autoimmune disease.

Ramis, 69, was probably best known for writing and co-starring in Ghostbusters (1984) as the character of Egon Spengler. But he was an immensely successful comedy writer and director too, responsible for classic comedies Caddyshack (1980) starring Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray; National Lampoon’s Vacation starring Chevy Chase (1983) and Groundhog Day (1993), also starring Murray.

He began his career on Second City’s pathbreaking television series Second City Television (1976-79) as first head writer, and he more recently directed episodes of NBC’s The Office. The writer, director and actor had fallen ill in May 2010 with autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, reports the Los Angeles Times.

[LA Times]

TIME obituary

Maria Von Trapp, Last Member Of “Sound of Music” Family Dies

Maria von Trapp (center right) with her sister Agathe in 1998.
Maria von Trapp (center right) with her sister Agathe in 1998. New York Daily News Archive—Getty Images

Inspired the character of Louisa in 1965 movie

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the Trapp Family Singers, the itinerant singing group whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria inspired the The Sound of Music, died at the age of 99 in her Vermont home last Tuesday.

Von Trapp was the last surviving member of the seven Trapp Family Singers, made famous in The Sound of Music, the Associated Press reports. The musical children were born to Austrian Naval Capt. Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp, in the Austrian Alps after the family fled fighting from World War I. The Von Trapps left Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and performed concert tours throughout Europe. They eventually settled in the United States in 1940.

She was famously portrayed as Louisa in the 1959 Broadway musical and 1965 film The Sound of Music, which won the Oscar for best picture.

“She was a lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people,” her brother Johannes von Trapp said. “There wasn’t a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that.”


‘There Will Never Be Another Shirley Temple’

Temple (l.) and O'Brien (r.) at dinner on Valentine's in 1945.
Temple (l.) and O'Brien (r.) at dinner on Valentine's in 1945. Margaret O'Brien

My husband always had a crush on Shirley, but he ended up with me instead, says fellow child star Margaret O'Brien

I met Shirley Temple on Valentine’s Day in 1945. To this day, I’ve never forgotten it. I was in red, she was in black, and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner together. We didn’t immediately become best friends, but every winter, my husband and I would send a Christmas card to Shirley, and she and her family would send one back, so we kept in touch that way.

She was just lovely—a very, very sweet girl. My husband always had a crush on Shirley, but he ended up with me instead. It wasn’t too bad, but you have to remember, there will never be another Shirley Temple. She will always be Shirley Temple in people’s minds, and they’ll always be showing her movies, so new generations will know who she was. Sometimes people put a stamp on the world, and Shirley certainly did.

So many times, people think that child actors have a terrible life after the movies, but Shirley went on to have a wonderful life and family and career as the U.S. ambassador to Ghana and later Czechoslovakia, so it doesn’t all end tragically. It helped that we both had wonderful parents who saw that we stayed on the right path.

I’d see her at functions throughout the years, and we’d say hello and talk about our families—she had married and had started on a different career by then, so we didn’t keep in touch through the movie world. We kept in touch through the friendship world, and I’ve never forgotten our first meeting. That’s why I have always kept her in my heart on Valentine’s Day, never more so than this year.

O’Brien made her screen debut at age 4 in 1941 and went on to act in such films as Meet Me in St Louis and The Canterville Ghost

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