Adam West!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2017 by joecetta

BAM! BIFF! POW! Actor Adam West VRONK’d his last this weekend, at the age of 88! Probably best known to the younger generation for his voice work – most notably as a twisted version of himself on Family Guy as the mayor of Quahog, but also on episodes of The Simpsons, Futurama, and Fairly OddParents – as well as cameos as himself in such TV shows as The Big Bang Theory, Murphy Brown, 30 Rock, The King of Queens, and NewsRadio. His career stretched back to the 1950s, however, appearing in numerous westerns and crime shows before his breakthrough role on, that’s right, The Detectives as Sgt. Steve Nelson in 1961-62. His 30 episodes there jumped him into many hit programs of the decade, including guest shots on Perry Mason, Petticoat Junction, Laramie, Gunsmoke, and the feature film Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Adam West, everybody!

Okay, okay, he was also the first Batman any of us can remember

And Munchak picks up his fourth death in two months and becomes the fifth person to tally 50 all-time, slotting solidly in the middle of the pack here in ’17! He’s already passed his 2016 total, landing him firmly in the very early Most Improved discussion! Well done!

SOCK, indeed!

Replacement pick due by next Monday!

Peter Sallis!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5, 2017 by joecetta

British actor Peter Sallis admonished his canine counterpart for the last time this weekend, at the age of 96! Best known stateside as the voice for the human half of the Oscar-winning claymation creation Wallace and Gromit (Best Animated Short Films The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave), Sallis was also the only actor to appear on every episode of the extraordinarily long running BBC Comedy The Last of the Summer Wine – 295 installments as Norman Clegg, stretching from 1973 to 2010! Wow!

And the Buonins rake down their second death in four days, and their sixth of the year, these 14 points extending their career high and first place total up to 190! This also breaks the tie for most deaths this year! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Monday!

Elena Verdugo!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2017 by joecetta

Actress Elena Verdugo makes it five days in a row here, assisting her last TV doctor and his patients today at the age of 92! Verdugo had a long career as a dancer and bit player in film, appearing in movies like House of Frankenstein, Cyrano de Bergerac, Tuna Clipper, and The Big Sombrero, before moving over almost exclusively to television. She is probably best known for her seven seasons on ABC’s Marcus Welby, M.D., the top rated show of 1970-71. She received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe nom for her work as Welby’s nurse/office manager Consuelo Lopez.

Verdugo bounced around five teams in her six drafted years, going from Sarah to Kristen G. to Bats to Sean before landing with the commissioner this year and checking out to the tune of 18 points, giving me some breathing room in second. This ties me with the Buonins, Sarah, and Capone for total deaths with five, further tightening up some already jammed standings. Intriguing year 5/12s of the way through!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Frank DeFord and Manuel Noriega!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2017 by joecetta

Death sure didn’t take a holiday this weekend, piling up five in four days here in the pool, including sports reporter Frank DeFord and former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega! DeFord’s career included 55 years writing for Sports Illustrated, 37 years appearing on NPR’s Morning Edition, and as a correspondent on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. He also wrote novels, most notably Everybody’s All-American in 1981, later made into a Taylor Hackford/Dennis Quaid film.

Manuel Noriega’s career, on the other hand, included wresting control of Panama from other military leaders following the death of Omar Torrijos, and serving as military dictator (and in the wonderfully made up job title Maximum Leader of National Liberation) throughout the 1980s, until the U.S. invaded and removed Noriega, putting him on trial in Miami for drug trafficking, among other things. After 17 years at the Florida Correctional Institute, he was extradited to France – and did another four years – before being sent back to Panama, where he’d already been convicted of murder charges in absentia in 1995. He spent the rest of his life in and out of prisons and hospital and prison hospitals.

Bats picks up 32 points for DeFord, his fourth score of the year, while the Buonins extend their overall lead with a fifth death and 27 points for Noriega – both scoring for the Holloway, which has four more deaths than any other division this year! Wow!

Replacement picks due by next Tuesday!

Gregg Allman, Jim Bunning, and Zbigniew Brzezinski!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 29, 2017 by joecetta

Happy Memorial Day, folks! Big holiday doings! A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Hall of Fame baseball player and senator, and a former National Security Advisor all took advantage of the long weekend for the last time this year! Southern rock legend and former Cher paramour Gregg Allman was inducted to the Hall as part of the Allman Brothers Band in 1995, after decades of successes, break-ups, deaths, and comebacks. Their biggest hit, “Ramblin’ Man,” came out in ’73, and would appear forever after on classic rock stations and in television commercials.

Jim Bunning is the only the man elected to both the Baseball Hall of Fame and to the Senate, serving for 12 years as the junior Republican from Kentucky. His major league pitching career spanned 17 seasons and five teams, including nine years with the Tigers and six with the Phillies, going 224-184, and retired with the second most strikeouts in league history up to that time. A nine-time All Star, Bunning threw the first NL Perfect Game in 84 years in 1964, and was the first player to throw a no-hitter in both leagues.

Diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski served in the Johnson and Carter administrations, as a counselor and adviser, and oversaw such international treaties as SALT II, the Camp David Accords, and the Torrijos-Carter Treaties concerning the Panama Canal. He also served as the NSA during the entire Iran Hostage Crisis, so…not as good marks there. He was the father of MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski.

Rob picks up his second death in two weeks with Brzezinski, while the Gardons do similar work with Allman – a second in thirteen days. This moves the Gardons into fourth overall, but only to third in that powderkeg Holloway. Capone ties Sarah for most deaths this year with five (while also having the exact same number of points, too), good for fifth overall! Well done, folks!

Replacement picks are due by next Monday!

Roger Moore and Dina Merrill!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2017 by joecetta

No worse than the fourth best James Bond (and maybe as high as second), but definitely the best Simon Templar (suck it, Val Kilmer and Vincent Price!), Roger Moore took it shaken not stirred for the last time today, at the age of 89! After a brief stint playing the fourth Maverick on the show of the same name (Beau, following Bret, Bart, and Brent), Moore was the criminal do-gooder Templar for ITV in the U.K. and rebroadcast on NBC throughout the 1960’s, his contract for which actually had him turn down playing Bond numerous times, before finally taking over for Sean Connery (and George Lazenby) in 1973. He played the role seven times (one more than Connery in the main series overall – tied if you count Never Say Never Again, which I guess we probably should), but some of those movies are pretty bad (we’re looking at you, Moonraker), and yet to a large segment of the population he is the quintessential James Bond – debonair, dashing, and witty, and the polar opposite of the current Jason Bourne-esque iteration. For my money, it’s Connery and Craig, then Moore, nearly tied with Lazenby and Brosnan, with Timothy Dalton, David Niven, Woody Allen, and Barry Nelson bringing up the rear. I’ve got the best Moore Bonds as The Spy Who Loved Me and Live and Let Die, but The Man with the Golden Gun and For Your Eyes Only are pretty solid, too.

(But seriously, get out of here with that Best Bond Ever talk – just because the man has died doesn’t all of a sudden erase Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Dr. No, and Thunderball from existence. C’mon.)

Yesterday, actress Dina Merrill matriarch-ed her last upper class family squabble, at the age of 93! Merrill is best known for her roles as high society women, as well as a TV Batman villain, and of course slumming it a bit in Caddyshack II, as was everyone involved. Born into a family containing the heirs to Post cereal and the Woolworths department stores, Merrill naturally went into acting, appearing most memorably in Butterfield 8, Desk Set, Operation Petticoat, The Player, and The Sundowners, but may be better known to a sect of viewership for her two episode arc on Batman as Calamity Jan. Or maybe her appearances on such varied programs as Murder, She Wrote, Hawaii 5-0, Roseanne, or The Nanny. She had plenty of credits, is what I’m saying.

And after bouncing around teams for the full run of the pool, Eleven Year Man Roger Moore cashes out for Munchak, to the tune of 21 points! Moore was first drafted by Baxter in ’07, and jumped between Munchak (’08), Sam, Brandon, Kristen G., and Adam before finding his way back to Munchak this year. Kristen G. isn’t totally skunked though – her four year team member Merrill nabbed her 17 points today, moving her to the top of the Delver! Nice job, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Tuesday!

Powers Boothe!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2017 by joecetta

Sure, it’s only HBO’s third (maybe fourth) best drama from the era, but it’s easily the best TV western of all time (suck it, Bonanza!)

Actor Powers Boothe closed up business at the Bella Union this weekend, at the age of 68! Boothe’s lengthy career in film and television included such powerful psychopaths as Jim Jones in Guyana Tragedy, President Daniels on 24, Senator Roark in the Sin City movies, Gideon Malick in the Avengers universe, and White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig in Nixon. But for me it’s his work in westerns that stands out, particular his Curly Bill in Tombstone and Bella Union owner/Al Swearengen rival Cy Tolliver on HBO’s Deadwood, long rumored to return in this current mania for revivals, but it’s eleven years and counting this summer. Let’s go, honchos!

And the Gardons net 42 big points on Boothe, jumping them from the cellar into the living room, if the first floor of your house has a pretty high ceiling! They aren’t upstairs, in the attic, or on the roof, but the climb is nonetheless significant! Ninth overall and fourth the hotly contested Holloway! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Monday!