Category Archives: Celebrity Obit

Read our world famous celebrity obituaries.

RIP Jerry Lewis – Comedy Genius


Jerry Lewis called himself “a genius.” He was, of course. And he was the King of Comedy. But I always thought he seemed a little afraid that no one else would give him the credit for his brilliant uninhibited goofiness and astounding ability to make audience around the world laugh ‘til they hurt. Once he was a super star, his lack of humility about his prodigious talent could be a little surprising. But you were usually laughing so hard you forgot about it. Comedians tried to imitate him but no one could match his child-like, nutty, seemingly-simple characters that were not only hilarious but in a strange way endearing.

There were gasps when he broke up with his ten-year partner, Dean Martin. But many don’t remember that when he went solo he became the highest paid actor in Hollywood. Even so, Dean was one of the few people Jerry gave unqualified credit for helping to make him what he was.

I interviewed Jerry many times over the years. He was brilliant and thoughtful, always funny but also argumentative and bossy. He tested me like he tested everyone but when you got his approval, it meant a lot.
Lewis was especially proud in a career of giant successes to play opposite Robert De Niro in “The King of Comedy”. His respect for De Niro inspired him to deliver a great dramatic performance. Fans began to realize that he could make you cry as well as laugh.

Jerry gave a lot of himself to help others. His limitless love for “Jerry’s Kids” made his Muscular Dystrophy telethon a success for over fifty years. There are so many star-studded fundraisers now it’s easy to forget that Jerry Lewis created a show that attracted the biggest names to raise funds and awareness.
Jerry always insisted that “there is a thin line between comedy and tragedy”. His life showed that too. At ninety he was grateful for all his blessings but very cranky about his pains. He didn’t age gracefully and he once said he thought he taken 24,000 pills to combat the illnesses he suffered. But he had a punch line for it. “I never fall down any more or I should say, I don’t fall down on purpose,” he riffed. And he also observed, ‘People say, “How would you like to be remembered?” I don’t want to be remembered. Gimme a break. What I want is to hear what’s great about me now. Let me hear it! In the box, you don’t hear these eulogies.”

Roger Moore’s Sense of Humor Smiles On

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Moore was one of the most charming men I’ve ever interviewed – no wonder he made such a convincing 007! He will be dearly missed. Below is an interview I did with him in 2014 for The Saturday Evening Post:

Roger Moore is as elegant and suave as ever. Time hasn’t dimmed his piercing deep blue eyes or his sly wit. The actor, known for his seven James Bond flicks, as well as the TV series The Saint and a raft of other roles, was knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth for his work with UNICEF. These days, he kicks back at homes in Monaco and Switzerland with his fourth wife, Kristina Tholstrup — they’ve been together for 21 years — but you can’t exactly say he’s retired. Having recently published his third book, One Lucky Bastard — Tales from Tinseltown, now he’s taking his show on the road with An Evening with Sir Roger Moore. “I talk about the early days and the interesting stuff that happened to me. I even sometimes sing. Well, not actually. I make a noise that I call singing.”

Moore is the first to admit that his years as James Bond have never left him. But he’d like to set the record straight on one thing. “I never said ‘a martini should be shaken not stirred.’ I was nervous enough about having to say, ‘Bond, the name is James Bond,’ because I was afraid it would sound like I was doing an impression of Sean.”

Jeanne Wolf: You’ve had such an eventful life. Do you feel like a lucky bastard?

Roger Moore: Oh, absolutely. I can remember being told when I started out in the business that you needed 33 percent talent, 33 percent personality and looks, and 33 percent luck. I say it’s 99.9 percent luck. I’ve had a number of friends who were very talented, but luck didn’t come their way.

JW: You’ve been married four times. Are you wiser about women at this point in your life?

RM: The secret is that the man always will have the last word, which is “yes-dear.” When it comes to the ladies I’ve shared sets with, I credit Lana Turner for teaching me about kissing. In Diane when the king dies, I say to Lana, “You made me a prince, now make me a king,” and I’m supposed to throw myself on her and kiss her throat. In the first take she fell backward choking and said, “Cut, cut! Roger you are a wonderful kisser but when a lady gets to 35 she has to be careful about the neck. So do it again with the same amount of passion but less pressure.” As for love scenes, usually it’s 8 o’clock on a Monday morning, the studio has been shut over the weekend, the heat hasn’t been on, you’re freezing cold, it’s the middle of winter, and you have to sort of leap into bed with a lady who drops her towel or is wrapped modestly under the sheets and then the romance should start. There is no romance. I remember at the beginning of the first Bond film that I ever did I was in bed with an actress who was very well developed. And I had to have my arm over her rather voluptuous breasts to show that I was wearing a Pulsar watch because they’d paid a lot to get the publicity.

JW: You’ve changed a lot over the years and so has the Bond franchise. What do you think of the new guy, Daniel Craig?

RM: The 007 films have become far more action-oriented, a little more spectacular, and I think that Daniel is the right man for the time. Actually, I think he would have been the right man for any time because he really looks like James Bond should look — like a killer as Sean Connery did. Some people labeled me the most gentlemanly Bond. I think I said, “I could never kill anybody so I’d either bore them to death or hug them to death.” I was a part of some action scenes but I was always thinking “Am I quick enough on my feet to get out of the way of that?” That’s when the ego steps in and you say, “Oh, yes. I can do that. I’m a hero.” But inside I was quivering like mad.

Robert Osborne Shared More Than Just The Movies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Osborne had an elegant style and a way of introducing movies that enticed you not to change the channel.

“I’ve been always crazy about movies and always tried to get other people interested in them.  Because I think it’s doing people a great favor.  You know, you’re not asking somebody to take poison or something when you try to get them to see a movie that’s wonderful, you’re trying to open them up to this whole world that’s out there in this particular film that they might not be aware of.”

Osborne had lots of fans who praised him for not giving away the plot of the movie he was describing on “Turner Classic Movies.” He liked when his fans shared that they trusted his knowledge and his opinions.

He told me that it was a surprise to discover how personal his appearances were to his viewers: “I didn’t realize that, besides being a storyteller, in some ways I was being a nurse to people. We get so much mail and emails from people that have been ill or going through a divorce or going through the problems of being unemployed or something like that. You realize that you’re filling a void in their life by giving them something entertaining to make them feel a little better. I find that fascinating.”

Robert was a classic.