Thursday, April 21, 2016

A parade of passings

Death has been busy lately. Very, very busy.

We'll start in the sports world. Former Syracuse and NBA star Dwayne "Pearl" Washington passed away earlier this week at 52. Washington, who played professionally with the then-New Jersey Nets in the NBA, had been in ill health for some time, and was hailed as a phenom in his youth. However, off-court issues torpedoed his career rather prematurely.

Baseball pitcher Milt Pappas played with Cincinnati and the Chicago Cubs during his career. He passed away a day or two prior to Washington. Didn't quite catch how old he was upon his passing.

It has come across the wires that music legend Prince had passed at 57. Cause unknown. Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, he may have been small in size, but larger than life as a R & B/funk/rock icon in the 80's with hits like "1999", "Little Red Corvette", and composing his own soundtrack to 1989's "Batman", including a duet with Sheena Easton, "The Arms of Orion". He was just as legendary for being protective of his image and work, and thus you won't see a video here.

Actress Doris Roberts may be best known for Everybody Loves Raymond, but that actually revived her career. Roberts had supporting roles on Remington Steele and Angie, among others, before landing the plum part of Marie Barone on Raymond. Doris Roberts was 90.

Finally, and this was also a shocker, former WWF women's & intercontinental champion Chyna (Joanie Laurer) passed away Wednesday at 46. Speculation is she died from an overdose, but nothing's been confirmed at press time. Chyna was in the WWF (now WWE) from 1997-2001, and departed after her contract expired, due largely to the fact that her then-beau, Triple H (Paul Levesque) left her for his eventual wife, Stephanie McMahon. What has kept her out of the Hall of Fame, some say, and HHH has been quoted as noting this, is the fact that Chyna's post-WWF acting career has included some adult films. She did, however, make guest appearances toward the end of her WWF run on 3rd Rock From The Sun and Whose Line is it Anyway?, and did commercials for Stacker 2.

Chyna's last match came in 2011 in TNA, when she teamed with fellow WWF/E alumnus Kurt Angle against Jeff & Karen Jarrett.



Rest in peace.

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