Ralph Waite has died, at the age of 85. You might know him for his Emmy-nominated performance as Slater in the mini-series "Roots," or from countless other stage and screen roles, or from his three unsuccessful attempts at a Congressional seat in California. But odds are you know him as John Walton, Sr. (the third-greatest television dad of all time, according to a 2004 TV Guide poll) on "The Waltons." [more inside]
Cosmo Allegretti, who created and voiced puppet characters like Grandfather Clock and Dancing Bear on the children's television show "Captain Kangaroo," has died. He was 86. [more inside]
Tim Russert dead at 58.
Televangilist Dies. Cult TV Preacher Dr. Gene Scott was always a treat to watch. His Festivals of Faith sometimes featured cursing, demands for payment and readings from texts on pyramids and UFOs. And, he was often honest about the money sent in--I spend it.
Mr. Rogers Dead. Fred Rogers of "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" died of stomach cancer at age 74. To be honest, his was never my personal favorite PBS kid's show growing up (I preferred off-brand shows like "Zoom" and "3-2-1 Contact"). But my appreciation for him when I was an adult was pretty high. Anyway, it's a sad day in the neighborhood.
Joe Connelly conked out, as the Beav might've put it. The "Leave it to Beaver" co-creator had many other credits to his name, but for my money, his most memorable achievement was creating TV's smarmiest character, Eddie Haskell.
Sheriff's Deputy turned TV Bailiff Rusty Burrell has died. I had no idea he was involved in the Charles Manson & Patty Hearst trials.