Joe Bologna and Bryan Murray!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 14, 2017 by joecetta

Joe Bologna and Renee Taylor

This grim, ugly weekend in American history was further marred by the Reaper’s choices, as Brooklyn born actor/writer Joe Bologna and Quebec native NHL coach/GM Bryan Murray left us, at ages 82 and 74, respectively! Bologna was an Oscar nominated and Emmy winning writer, frequently collaborating with his wife Renee Taylor on projects such as Lovers and Other Strangers (Best Adapted Screenplay nominee, 1970), Made For Each Other (Best Original Comedy nominee, WGA Awards), and Acts of Love and Other Comedies (Emmy winner, 1973). In front of the camera, he is probably best remembered for his Sid Caesar-esque turn in My Favorite Year opposite Peter O’Toole, but also had a very prolific acting career in the ’70s and ’80s especially, including roles in The Big Bus, Blame It on Rio, Transylvania 6-5000, Chapter Two, and (as I recounted in this space last year) a movie we weirdly watched dozens of times growing up – the Gene Wilder sex comedy The Woman in Red. 

Currently the 12th winningest coach in NHL history, Murray took 13 teams to the playoffs, making it to the Stanley Cup finals with Ottawa in 2007, while amassing 620 career victories from the bench. He also guided the Anaheim Ducks to a Stanley Cup appearance as General Manager in 2003, after briefly serving as coach. His longest stint was with Washington, taking them to their first franchise postseason, and seven straight in total in the ’80s.

Rob picks up his third of the year with Bologna, moving out of the basement of the Holloway with the 28 points, while the Gardons continue their career year with a second death in four days, the 36 points for Murray jumping them to second in the Holloway and fifth overall! Nice job, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

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Glen Campbell and Barbara Cook!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2017 by joecetta

The Rhinestone Cowboy’s Goodtime Hour is up, and Marian the librarian has sent out her final overdue notice today!

This poster makes out like La Boeuf is the star! Weird!

Singer and part-time actor Glen Campbell sold over 45 million albums in his career, featuring such huge hits on the country and adult contemporary charts as “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Gentle on My Mind,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.” He was the original La Boeuf in 1969’s True Grit, and sang the Oscar nominated title song, while concurrently hosting the eponymous Goodtime Hour on CBS from ’69 to ’72. King of All Media, Glen Campbell!

Theater! (Or theatre, depending how snobby you are!)

With the exception of awards shows, documentaries, and a stint on the original 1960’s Match Game, Barbara Cook didn’t have a ton of TV/film appearances to familiarize herself with your average Johnny Boob Tube of the later part of the century. She was a rarity of this era – a pure stage actress who was also a huge star, appearing in dozens of musicals both original and revivals, winning a Tony for originating the role of Marian in The Music Man, before transitioning into lounge and cabaret work later in life. Other notable productions include Candide, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Oklahoma, Carousel, Show Boat, and the epic 1988 disaster musical adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie, leaving the production in out-of-town tryouts before it imploded on Broadway. Wise move!

And the Gardons secure their best ever year with 29 points on Campbell, moving them to seventh overall, and marking a fourth straight year increasing their total starting in their rookie season of ’13, with 68, 90, 108, 123, and 132 points! Meanwhile, Kevin nets a second death in three days, putting him over 100 for the fourth straight year and extending his Delver lead. Good job, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Wednesday!

Ty Hardin and Darren Daulton!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2017 by joecetta

Actor Ty Hardin rode off into the sunset this weekend, while former major leaguer Darren Daulton got beamed up to the mothership, at ages 87 and 55, respectively! Hardin is best known for starring in the Cheyenne spin-off Bronco on ABC in the late ’50s and early ’60s. He wisely changed his name when wrangling Hollywood, as a cowboy actor named Orison Whipple Hungerford was likely to have a tough time breaking in.

Daulton played nearly his entire career catching with the Philadelphia Phillies, contributing mightily to the team’s 1993 World Series run, and becoming a three time All-Star to boot. He’d finally get a Series ring in his final year in the bigs, traded to the Marlins in ’97. His later life is fraught with madness, espousing wild beliefs and writing books on occultism and alien abduction – but is it really fair to say Dutch was crazy? Maybe he was just tapped into the ephemeral plane, and saw through the veil of planetary doublespeak to the hidden truths around us. Maybe Daulton knew the frequency while the rest of us are afraid to peak around that corner. Maybe the mysteries were leaping to unlock themselves to this former Phillies great, and it’s just easier for the rest of us to laugh off his conjecture and ignore the paranormal, fantastical conundrums he presented! Or maybe he was just kinda crocked in the last few years. Who knows! I for one am keeping the mind open!

And Kristin M. nails down a second death in four days with Hardin, her ninth of the year again tying Sarah for most overall. She also pulls within five points of third place, further narrowing the top of the leaderboard in this logjammed year. Kevin, on the other hand, scores his biggest death ever, tallying 55 points on Daulton and jumping to the top of the Delver! Well done, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

Ara Parseghian! And the Death Pool Lead Changes Hands!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2017 by joecetta

Famed college football coach and broadcaster Ara Parseghian called his final audible today, at the age of 94! Parseghian is best known for his 11 seasons coaching the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, amassing 95 wins (third most in school history) and two national championships in 1966 and 1973. This followed a stretch of solid .500 coaching at Northwestern in the 50’s and 60’s, no mean feat then or now! Parseghian was also portrayed in the 1993 movie Rudy by Scranton native Jason Miller, who is featured prominently in my 2012 (oh my God, that was in 2012?!) novel Parade Day, still available on Amazon! And I swear, I’ll finish writing something else besides Death Pool posts soon!

And for the first time since February we’ve got a new leader! In what’s already been a big week for Sarah professionally, she now secures the even greater accomplishment of summiting the Death Pool leaderboard, eeking past the Buonins for the top spot with 16 points on Ten Year Man Parseghian! Ara bounced around a bit in our pool, spending two years on my team, two with Mike Walsh, and four of the last six with Sarah before cashing out. Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Leonard Landy and Jeanne Moreau!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2017 by joecetta

Child actor Leonard Landy and French film star Jeanne Moreau wrapped shooting for the last time this past week, at the ages of 84 and 89, respectively! Landy was an Our Gang member from 1938 to 1941, appearing in 21 shorts – first as Percy, then Deacon, and once as “Phooey,” before reverting to Leonard for the rest of his time with the rascals. Moreau’s eight decade career, primarily in French cinema, saw her win BAFTA and Cesar awards, as well as no fewer than 15 Lifetime Achievement honors from international groups. Over the years, she worked with the likes of Orson Welles (Chimes at Midnight), Francois Truffaut (Jules et Jim), Louis Malle (Viva Maria!), Michelangelo Antonioni (La Notte), and Luis Bunuel (Diary of a Chambermaid), among many other directing giants.

Bats joins a very select group of individuals who scored two deaths on the same day, as Landy left us back on the 26th, the same day as his June Foray! This is only the sixth time this has happened in our eleven years, joining the commissioner, the Skeides, Sean, Kosmala, and most recently achieved by Kristen G. back in April of ’15. Well done! Not to be out-shined, Kristin M. ties Sarah for Total Deaths with her eighth of the year, giving her some separation in fourth and moving closer to the pack at the top with 21 points for Moreau. Nicely done!

Replacement picks due by next Tuesday!

June Foray!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2017 by joecetta

“June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc was the male June Foray.” – Chuck Jones

All-time great voice actor June Foray dubbed her final adventure this week, at the age of 99! In her 84 year career, from radio to movies to television, you’ve definitely heard some of her work – most notably as Rocket J. Squirrel and Natasha on The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, Granny and Witch Hazel in Looney Tunes, Lucifer in Disney’s Cinderella, Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Talking Tina on The Twilight Zone, and various roles in such movies and shows as Our Miss Brooks, The Smurfs, Mulan, George of the Jungle, The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, and many, many more. She also did a lot of uncredited ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) work, including as the Brody kids Sean and Michael in Jaws, Diana Rigg in The Hospital, and Robert Blake in drag on Baretta! Huh!

And Bats moves ahead of his 2016 total, barely, with the 11 points on Foray, becoming the third person to top last year already, joining the Skeides and Munchak. Still five months to go! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Thursday!

Barbara Marx Sinatra!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2017 by joecetta

Zeppo and Barbara!

Ex-wife of both Herbert “Zeppo” and Francis Albert, Barbara Marx Sinatra ring-a-ding-dinged her last today, at the age of 90! A former model, Barbara married the fourth Marx Brother Zeppo in 1959, ultimately leaving him (more or less) for their Palm Springs neighbor, Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. She would be Frank’s last and longest marriage, #4 clocking in at a sturdy 22 years from 1976 to his death in ’98. That means, yes, Frank Sinatra could claim wives married previously or subsequently to a Marx Brother, Mickey Rooney, and Woody Allen. Weird! Also, Barbara vacates the roll of the living less than a month after her niece of the same age, Miriam, Zeppo’s older brother Groucho’s daughter. Huh!

Frank and Barbara!

And it’s the commissioner pulling down that second Marx family member tally in 26 days – Barbara’s 20 points pull me a bit closer to the wife in second place, and position well for another possible run at the title. Excitingly close year!

Also, Mike Walsh has joined Eileen with concurrent deathless streaks of 600+ days, which no one previously had claimed. Impressive resilience, folks! Never quit!

Replacement pick due by next Tuesday!