DR. WILLIAM H. GRIER, CO-AUTHOR OF GROUND-BREAKING PSYCHIATRY BOOK ‘BLACK RAGE’
By JULIE WATSON, Associated Press
September 9, 2015 7:11 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dr. William Grier, a psychiatrist who co-authored the groundbreaking 1968 book, “Black Rage,” which offered the first psychological examination of black life in the United States, has died at age 89.
Grier’s eldest son, Geoffrey Grier, said Wednesday that his father died Sept. 3 at a hospice care facility in Carlsbad, a coastal city north of San Diego, after suffering a brain lesion.
Grier and Price M. Cobbs, both black psychiatrists working in San Francisco in the 1960s, co-authored “Black Rage” to explain the anger that triggered the riots after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The authors argued how the heritage of slavery contributed to the unrest decades after the end of segregation and continued to affect society as well as the personal lives of African Americans. In 1969, ABC produced a TV special about the book called “To Be Black.”
Grier had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and was driven by his need to expose the long-lasting effects of social oppression, his friends and colleagues said.
“I think that desire to acquire information coupled with his social conscience formed a force that was hard to be reckoned with,” Geoffrey Grier said. ” ‘Black Rage’ was required reading in schools, colleges for a long period of time. It allowed all people to be able read, understand, comprehend, draw conclusions, and make connections. It had a much larger impact than we think.”
His father died believing his book was as relevant today as it was when it set off a firestorm of debate in the 1960s, he said.
“You can try to come up with another name, call it Black Lives Matter,” Grier said. “Whatever you want to say, at the end of day, there is black rage. The relevance of what they were saying is really, really on point now.”
Corrie Ort said her husband closely followed the news, including the police shootings of young black men in Missouri, New York and Baltimore. The couple lived in the beach community of Leucadia, north of San Diego.
“We really need to start listening,” Ort said.
Born in 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama, Grier saw racial injustice from a young age when his father was unfairly fired from his job as a postman, forcing the family to move in with relatives in Detroit when Grier was 12 years old, Ort said. He attended Howard University and later medical school at the University of Michigan and became trained as a psychoanalyst in Detroit.
Cobbs said his lifelong friend reframed the way people look at anger among African Americans.
Geoffrey Grier said he also opened the door for blacks to seek the help of a therapist, which was unheard of before the book’s release.
His family said Grier loved classical music, jazz, was a history buff and wrote poetry. Grier is the also the father of actor and comedian David Alan Grier, known for his role on the Emmy Award-winning TV show “In Living Color” and for his work on Broadway.
Grier is survived by his wife, and children, Geoffrey, David Alan, Elizabeth and stepson Derrek Karmoen, and stepdaughter Saminah Karmoen, and two grandchildren.
JEAN DARLING, ACTRESS WHO APPEARED IN ‘OUR GANG’ SERIES OF SILENT FILMS
September 8, 2015 1:09 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jean Darling, an actress who appeared in the silent-film series “Our Gang” and the original Broadway production of “Carousel,” has died at age 93.
Darling’s son Roy Hamilton-Bowen said Tuesday that his mother died Friday in Rodermark, Germany, after a sudden illness.
Darling appeared in the “Our Gang” series between 1927 and 1929, when the short films began incorporating sound into the productions. Some of the films were later repackaged as “The Little Rascals.”
In 1945, she starred as Carrie Pipperidge in the original Broadway run of “Carousel” and later appeared as Aunt Poppy in children’s programming on Ireland’s RTE radio and television broadcasts.
Hamilton-Bowen says his mother remained active up until her death and recently had finished writing a crime novel.
Darling was born Dorothy Jean LeVake in Santa Monica, California, in August 1922. Her son said the precise date is unknown because a fire destroyed her birth records.
She moved to Dublin in 1974 and moved to Germany two years ago, Hamilton-Bowen said.
MARTIN MILNER, STAR OF 1960S ‘ROUTE 66’ AND ‘ADAM-12’ TV SERIES
Sept. 7, 2015 | 3:45 p.m. EDT
By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Film Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Martin Milner, whose wholesome good looks helped make him the star of two hugely popular 1960s TV series, “Route 66” and “Adam-12,” has died.
He was 83. “Adam-12” co-star Kent McCord, who spoke to Milner’s children, said Milner died Sunday near the La Costa neighborhood of Carlsbad, Calif. He said the family is doing well, but gave no other details.
Milner, who began his career as a teen actor, shot to fame in 1960 with co-star George Maharis in the iconic TV drama “Route 66,” which found two restless young men roaming the highway author John Steinbeck had dubbed “The Mother Road” in a red Corvette convertible.
Milner was Tod Stiles, a young man born to wealth but suddenly broke when his father died and left him nothing but the new Corvette. Maharis was Buz Murdock, a hardened survivor of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen.
Together they toured the country in Tod’s new Corvette, meeting all kinds of people and becoming involved with their lives. The series was said to have been inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road” and it featured such weekly guest stars as Robert Redford, Alan Alda and Gene Hackman in some of their earliest roles.
As much the show’s star as Milner and Maharis was Route 66 itself. Since bypassed in favor of bigger, faster interstates, the iconic highway stretched unbroken from Chicago to the Pacific Ocean during the show’s heyday and was venerated as a driving force behind the country’s 20th century westward migration.
“Route 66” was the only TV show filmed entirely on location in the early 1960s, moving to new towns and cities for each new episode. But ironically, the action often took place off the highway.
“The problem was that once you get into Oklahoma and Texas on the route, the scenery is flat and boring,” Milner recounted in a 1997 interview. “Pictorially it just wasn’t very interesting.”
Maharis, who became ill with hepatitis and missed part of the third season, left “Route 66” at the end of that year amid rumors of a contract dispute. He was replaced by Glenn Corbett, who played a war hero trying to cope with civilian life. The magic was gone, however, and the show lasted just one more season.
In 1968 Milner signed on to another buddy series, “Adam-12.” This time he was Officer Pete Malloy, a veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department assisted by rookie cop Jim Reed, who was played by Kent McCord.
“I had a long, long friendship with Marty and we remained friends up till the end,” said McCord on Monday. “He was one of the really true great people of our industry with a long, distinguished career…Wonderful films, wonderful television shows, pioneering shows like ‘Route 66.’ He was one of the great guys. I was lucky to have him in my life.”
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said Monday that Milner’s “depiction of a professional and tough yet compassionate cop” led to his own decision to apply to the department.
The series was produced by Jack Webb, who applied the same realistic treatment of police doings that had made his “Dragnet” TV show, in which he was Sgt. Joe Friday, a huge hit. During the seven-year life of “Adam-12,” both Reed and Malloy won promotions.
Milner had met Webb years before “Route 66” when both were appearing in the feature film “Halls of Montezuma,” and Webb had hired him for an early radio version of “Dragnet.” Later, he appeared in several episodes of the 1950s TV version.
When Milner was in the Army at Northern California’s Fort Ord, he would sometimes visit Los Angeles and look Webb up.
“Even though there wasn’t a part for me in ‘Dragnet’ that week,” he recalled in 1989, “Jack would write one in so I could collect $125.”
Before and after “Route 66” and “Adam 12” Milner appeared in numerous TV guest roles and in films. Early film roles included “The Sands of Iwo Jima,” ”Marjorie Morningstar” and (as Marty Milner) “Sweet Smell of Success.”
Others films were “Louisa,” ”Our Very Own,” ”Operation Pacific,” ”Battle Zones,” ”My Wife’s Best Friend,” ”Springfield Rifle,” ”The Long Gray Line,” ”Mister Roberts,” ”Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” ”Valley of the Dolls” and “Three Guns for Texas.”
Martin Sam Milner was born in Detroit and grew up in Seattle, where he worked as a child actor in local plays. When the family moved to Los Angeles, he found jobs in movies, notably in his film debut as the second son in 1947’s “Life with Father” which starred William Powell and Irene Dunne.
After finishing the film he was stricken with polio and spent a year in bed. He recovered and enrolled in theater arts at the University of Southern California but dropped out after a year to devote himself to his acting career.
Milner married actress-singer Judy Jones in 1951, and they had four children: Amy, who died in 2004, Molly, Stuart and Andrew.
This story contains biographical information compiled by the late AP entertainment writer Bob Thomas. Associated Press writer Justin Pritchard also contributed.
I remember the TV series Route 66. Even as a child, watching this series created a wanderlust in me to tour around America and see the people who inhabited her and partake of a little of their lives.
It did not hurt that the immortal Nat King Cole’s rendition of “(Get Your Kicks) On Route 66” certainly spurred my desire to get into a Corvette, drive, and just enjoy the land and the people who made this country what it was.
Get your kicks most definitely.
Can you imagine a little child just barely into elementary school tooling around in a Corvette?
Map of former U.S. Route 66. SOURCE
Sad to say, but there is no longer a Route 66.
Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926, it ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California. It went through many changes and realignment during its existence. It was finally done in by the Interstate Highway System, when it was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985.
The route sign from 1926 to 1948. SOURCE
U.S. Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the United States Highway System.
Martin Milner’s TV show did a lot for this long gone road, and Mr. Milner gave great joy to those, young and old, the well-traveled and not so well-traveled, a chance to see this route on TV especially if they were not able to get out on the road.
To honor Mr. Milner, I present one of the episodes from Route 66 entitled “I Am Here To Kill A King”.
Watching this episode reminded me of another series episode I had seen Mr. Milner in, and that was The Twilight Zone episode “Mirror Image”.
Mr. Milner gave his fans so much pleasure and he will be sorely missed.
Rest in peace, Mr. Martin Milner.
Rest in peace.
JUDY CARNE, BRITISH ACTRESS KNOWN FOR ‘SOCK IT TO ME’ LINE ON ‘LAUGH-IN’
Sept. 8, 2015 | 7:50 a.m. EDT
By GREGORY KATZ, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Judy Carne, a star of the U.S. comedy show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” has died in a British hospital. She was 76.
She was famous for popularizing the “Sock it to Me” phrase on the hit TV show that ran from 1967 to 1973.
Her death was confirmed Tuesday in an e-mail by Eva Duffy, spokeswoman for Northampton General Hospital, who said Carne died in the hospital on Sept. 3. Newspaper reports said she had suffered from pneumonia.
Carne shot to fame with the rise of “Martin’s Laugh-In”, a smash hit on NBC that often featured her doused in water, taking pratfalls or suffering other humiliations after uttering her signature phrase.
The show represented a major network’s take on “flower power,” and Carne’s persona emphasized her wacky humor and pixie looks. She was frequently costumed in the bright colors and miniskirts fashionable at the time.
“Laugh-In” made stars not only of Carne but also of Goldie Hawn, Lily Tomlin, and several others.
Carne left the show in its third season and her acting career faltered afterward as she became heavily involved with drugs.
Carne was born Joyce Botterill in Northampton and started performing on TV shows in the late 1950s, building a reputation in England before moving to the United States.
Skilled as a comedian and gaining a national profile from “Laugh-In,” she appeared on the top TV shows of the time, including the Ed Sullivan Show and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
She also had roles in several TV series but her career was sidetracked by heroin addiction and a series of medical and legal problems.
Her 1985 autobiography “Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside” chronicled her many problems with substance abuse in intimate detail.
She was married twice, including once to the actor Burt Reynolds, and spent her later years with her two dogs living in the village of Pitsford in Northamptonshire.