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Actor John Gavin passed away on Friday as his home in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 86.

The cause has yet to be revealed, however Budd Burton Moss, Mr. Gavin’s former agent and the manager of Mr. Gavin’s wife actress Constance Towers, stated that Mr. Gavin had been ill for months.

Gavin was a strikingly handsome actor who was best known for his work in “Spartacus” and “Psycho.” He appeared in other hit films in the 1960s before he moved on from acting and became President Reagan’s ambassador to Mexico.

Gavin appeared in a handful of B-list movies in the 1950s before he caught his first big break and played the lead roll in “A Time to Love and a Time to Die” in 1958. While the movie didn’t perform as strongly as Universal Studios had hoped, they didn’t give up on Gavin’s talents. They starred Gavin next to Lana Turner in a remake of the soap opera “Imitation of Life” the next year.

Then came the role of Janet Leigh’s divorced lover, Sam Loomis, in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic “Psycho.” This was followed by a flurry of films over the next few years, including playing Julius Ceaser in “Spartacus” and appearing with Susan Hayward in “Back Street.” He also appeared in the Shakespearean spoof “Romanoff and Juliet” with Sandra Dee, and again with Dee in “Tammy Tell Me True.”

In the 1960s Gavin’s career began to wane, and a minor role in the 1967 musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” was the last of his roles with Universal. Gavin went on to appear in a couple TV shows such as “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat” but quickly moved on to a new adventure.

Gavin became interested in politics in the 1970s, serving as the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1971 to 1973. He gained real political authority in 1981 when Ronald Reagan named him the U.S. ambassador to Mexico. The move was very controversial, since Gavin was seen as being an unqualified appointee. However he did have some history with the culture. His mother was Mexican, he spoke fluent Spanish, he had extensive travel and business experience in Latin America and he had a degree in Latin American economic history from Stanford University. Despite this, following a few scandals and a strained relationship with Mexican press, Gavin quietly resigned from the position in 1986.

He was born John Anthony Golenor in Los Angeles on April 8, 1931, to Herald and Delia Diana Pablos. His father was descended from early Irish landowners in California, his mother from an influential family in Sonora, Mexico. He attended St. John’s Military Academy in Los Angeles and Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, and graduated from Stanford in 1952.

He married the actress Cicely Evans in 1957. They had two children, Cristina and Maria, and were divorced in 1965. He had been married to Ms. Towers since 1974. She had two children from a previous marriage, Michael and Maureen McGrath.

Besides Ms. Towers, his survivors include his children and stepchildren and several grandchildren.

John_Mahoney_1994John Mahoney died on Sunday at the age of 77 following a brief hospitalization. His death was confirmed by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in a statement that said, “John Mahoney passed away due to complications from cancer while in hospice care on Sunday.” In recognition of Mahoney’s death, the theater canceled its opening night for “You Got Older.” They encouraged ticketholders to instead gather at the theater on Monday evening for remembrances and a moment of silence.

Mahoney was born in Blackpool, England and moved to the U.S. when he was 19.  He taught English at Western Illinois University and edited a medical magazine before deciding to study acting in Chicago when he was in his late 30s. The founding members of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, John Malkovich and Gary Sinise, invited Mahoney to join the theater shortly after he began acting. The theater at the time was filled with young actors, and they needed someone to play the older characters.

“By the time I started my career, most people had given up and started selling insurance,” Mahoney said. “I didn’t have so much competition.” During his state career, Mahoney appeared in “Prelude to a Kiss,” “The Outgoing Tide,” “The Birthday Party” and “The House of Blue Leaves” for which he won a Tony Award in 1986. It was his film career, however, that made Mahoney’s name.

John Mahoney is best known for playing the grouchy, sharp-witted Martin Crane on the show “Frasier.” The show ran for 11 seasons between 1993 and 2004. Mahoney received a SAG Award, two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for his work on “Frasier.”

Outside of “Frasier,” Mahoney had a flourishing film and TV career. He had a reoccurring role in “Hot in Cleveland” as Betty White’s love interest and was praised for his performance of an anguished CEO in season 2 of HBO’s “In Treatment.” Mahoney also appeared in “ER,” “Burn Notice,” “Cheers” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

During his 35 years in film, Mahoney had roles in “The American President,” “Moonstruck,” “In the Line of Fire,” “Say Anything,” “Eight Men Out,” “Flipped” and “Barton Fink.” He also worked as a  voice actor for the animated films “Antz” and “Atlantis.”

On Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement mourning the loss of the prolific actor. “John Mahoney was a fixture on the Chicago state for more than 30 years through countless award-winning performances,” Emanuel said. “Even as his fame grew through his fantastic work in movies and television, John stayed connected to his artistic home here in Chicago in theaters and as a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Though he will be missed, his work and impact will endure for generations to come.”

Prior to his death, it was believed that Mahoney’s health was improving after he beat his Stage 3 throat cancer. Steppenwolf Theatre artistic director Anna D. Shapiro, however, felt that the cancer left him in an extremely fragile state. “He was supposed to be having a routine procedure. But….I think he was just too weak,” Shapiro said. “By the time he did ‘The Rembrandt’ he was clean of cancer…but other health issues came up, and he was just too fragile.”

Cold comfort though it may be, Mahoney was able to spend his last days in Chicago, the city he loved. “The city is almost like a person to me,” Mahoney said after moving back to Chicago in 2004. “I can’t tell you why my heart is so full of Chicago, but it’s where I want to be. When I’m not here, I’m not as happy.” Though Chicago may be the city that he loved best, Mahoney will be mourned by more than just Chicago natives. He will be missed by friends and the many fans of both his screen and stage careers.

Dennis_Edwards_with_the_Temptations_in_1968At the age of 74, former lead singer of the hit Motown band Temptations Dennis Edwards passed away at a hospital in Chicago. His longtime booking agent Rosiland Triche Roberts confirmed he had been battling a long illness. She did not give further specifics on the cause.

Edwards became the front man of the band in 1968, replacing founding member David Ruffin. Edwards was on and off the group for about two decades, and released hits such as “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)” and “Cloud Nine.”

Shortly after Mr. Edwards joined the group, the Temptations won their first Grammy, for the propulsive, upbeat “Cloud Nine”; they won another for the funk anthem “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” That song, like two other Temptations hits from that period — “I Can’t Get Next to You” and “Just My Imagination” (on which Mr. Kendricks sang lead) — reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop singles chart.

In 1989, Edwards was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the Temptations band.

In the 1990s, a federal judge barred him from performing under his former band’s name. Otis Williams, the band’s lone original member, sued Edwards for trademark infringement after he had used variations that included “The New Temptations.” He was allowed to use “The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards,” and performed under that name for nearly two decades, according to Roberts.

“He is now at peace, and our love and prayers go out to his family,” Williams said in a statement Friday. “At this moment and always, we acknowledge his extraordinary contribution to The Temptations legacy, which lives on in the music.”

Motown star Smokey Robinson said in a statement that he was saddened “that another Motown soldier is gone.”

“Rest in Peace my brother,” he said. “You were a great talent.”

He possessed a “voice for the ages,” with great range, energy and artistry, said Paul Riser, a Motown arranger and musician who worked with Edwards during the label’s Detroit heyday and on subsequent projects. “That voice was just flat-out outstanding – very well-defined.”

Mr. Edwards told The Tallahassee Democrat in 2013 “Marvin Gaye was a friend of mine, and he used to say, ‘Man, I wish I could sing like you, if I could have that growl in my voice.’ And I said, ‘Man, are you kidding me? I want to sing like you. Everybody wants to sing like you.’”

Before joining the Temptations, Mr. Edwards sang with another Motown group, the Contours, best known for their 1962 hit “Do You Love Me” (recorded before he joined them). The Contours opened for the Temptations in the late 1960s.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, and as a teenager he sang in a gospel group and studied music at the Detroit Conservatory of Music before signing with Motown in the late 1960s.

Edwards lived near St. Louis with his wife, Brenda. He would have turned 75 on February 3rd.


Courtesy of The Cranberries

Lead singer of the Irish band The Cranberries, Dolores O’Riordan, passed away at the age of 46 while in London. The reason for her death has not yet been revealed.

O’Riordan was in London for a recording session on a new album, said in a statement from her publicist. It added: “Family members are devastated to hear the news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”

The musician, originally from Limerick, led the band to international success in the 90s with their debut album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”. Hit singles included “Linger”, “Dreams” and “Zombie” and they went on to sell over 40 million records worldwide. The band went on hiatus in 2003, but reunited in 2009 for a North American tour, and also played shows in Latin America and Europe.

Last year, the band released an acoustic album, “Something Else” and announced tour dates in Europe, the UK and the US. However shortly into the European tour, the band had to cancel the remainder of the dates as a result of O’Riordan ill-health.

The official Cranberries website cited “medical reasons associated with a back problem” preventing singer Dolores O’Riordan from performing.

But just before Christmas O’Riordan had posted on Facebook saying she was “feeling good” and had done her “first bit of gigging in months”, leading fans to believe she would soon be performing again.

Fans and fellow-celebrities have flocked to social media to pay tribute to O’Riordan.

Duran Duran’s official Twitter feed posted a message saying the band was “crushed” to hear of the singer’s death. Others to pay tribute include The Late, Late Show presenter, James Corden, who said meeting her when he was 15 years old “made his day”.

He tweeted: “I’m really shocked that #DoloresORiordan has passed so suddenly. I was talking to her a couple of weeks before Christmas. She seemed happy and well – we even spoke of maybe writing some songs together – unbelievable God bless her.”

Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to the late singer as well. He said she and The Cranberries had an “immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally”.

O’Riordan is survived by her three children, 20-year-old son Taylor, 16-year-old daughter Molly and 12-year-old daughter Dakota.

“The best time in my life was the years spent at home with my family,” she told the Irish News in May 2017. “I love being a mum. My kids don’t see me as a famous person, or have any kind of expectation; I’m just their mum.”