Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Double R.I.P.

What a day of departures.  I heard on the radio this morning that two of my favourite entertainers have shuffled off this mortal coil.

We've lost George Shearing, the fabulous jazz pianist, composer of Lullaby of Birdland, to congestive heart failure.  George lived a long, fruitful life of 91 years, and produced a great body of work, both compositions and performances, many of which are readily available to us on CD, download, and all that good stuff.  He accomplished all this despite the fact that (to steal a great line) he was born blind and English - the latter being a bigger handicap to a jazz pianist.

In addition, we've lost Kenneth Mars, just shy of his 75th birthday. Most notices have mentioned his great roles in The Producers and Young Frankenstein, but I remember him most fondly for his recurring role as William W. D. "Bud" Prize on the old Fernwood 2night shows.  He usually was wearing a chinodontic device invented by his chinodontist, Cletus Emmet Wheelwelker.  This was one of the finest comedy programmes ever to grace network television, and it's a shame that it seems to be unavailable on DVD - or even in reruns.

Both of these gentlemen brought joy into the lives of many people, and both will be sorely missed.
Rest In Peace.

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