Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Farewell to four more

Trying to get caught up with all the celebrity obits from recent days.

Character actor Harold Gould passed away over the weekend. Gould, whose television resume includes roles on Rhoda, The Feather & Father Gang, & The Golden Girls, was 86. Gould also was the original choice to play Howard Cunningham on Happy Days, having played the part in a backdoor pilot that was aired on Love, American Style. Unfortunately, a scheduling conflict led Gould to step away, and that enabled Tom Bosley to take over as Howard. Of course, the rest is Happy Days history.

Canadian-born voice actress Billie Richards is best known for one singular part, the title role in 1964's Christmas classic, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Ms. Richards worked on other specials for Rankin-Bass during her career. She was 88.

David Dortort might not be as big a household name, but he was attached, as a producer, to a pair of Westerns in the 60's, Bonanza and High Chaparral. He was 93. Dortort stepped away from Hollywood after Bonanza ended its run, as there don't seem to be too many other series with his name attached since.

Edwin Newman may be one of the last of the old guard journalists from NBC. Newman produced and narrated a series of specials for NBC News in the 60's that earned him a Peabody award in 1966, and anchored the network's 5 minute mid-day news in the 70's. He also read the news on David Letterman's ill-fated morning show, and authored a series of best-selling books. Newman was 91.

Rest in peace, all.

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