Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sitcom Actor Deaths in 2005

In today's blog entry, we pay tribute to the sitcom actors, directors, and writers that passed away in 2005. They are listed in alphabetical order. The link goes to their Internet Movie Database entry where you can view a list of their credits.

Don Adams

Don Adams - He became famous for his role as Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) on the popular Get Smart. Don won three consecutive Emmy Awars for Best Comedy Actor from 1967-1969. His other sitcom roles and appearances included The Partners, The Love Boat, Empty Nest, and Check It Out. He was a voice actor for characters such as Tennessee Tuxedo and Inspector Gadget. Mr. Adams died September 25, 2005 at 82 of a lung infection.

Mason Adams

Mason Adams - His most famous role was as Managing Editor Charlie Hume on Lou Grant. He was the long-time voice of the Smucker's Jam commercials. His sitcom roles included The Love Boat, Family Ties, Family Matters, and Knight & Daye. He passed away April 26, 2005 of natural causes at the age 86.

Eddie Albert

Eddie Albert - He is perhaps best-known for his role as Oliver Wendell Douglas on Green Acres. He appeared in many movies and other tv series, and he was twice nominated for Oscars for Roman Holiday and The Heartbreak Kid. Albert was a tireless conservationist and active in a number of causes. He passed away at the age of 99 on May 26, 2005 of pneumonia.

Leon Askin

Leon Askin - He is best-known as the stern Nazi General Albert Burkhalter on Hogan's Heroes. His other sitcom appearances included My Favorite Martian, It's About Time, The Monkees, Happy Days, Three's Company, and Diff'rent Strokes. He died on June 3, 2005 at age 97 of natural causes in his native Vienna, Austria.

Lamont Bentley

Lamont Bentley - He was probably best-known for his role as Hakeem Campbell on Moesha. His other sitcom appearances included South Central, Family Matters, The Parent 'Hood, Clueless, and The Parkers. He was killed in an accident on January 18, 2005 when his vehicle ran off the San Diego Freeway. He was only 31 years old.

Hamilton Camp

Hamilton Camp - He started off as a musician as part of Gibson & Camp and later found many roles as a character actor. His many sitcom apparances included The Andy Griffith Show, The Monkees, Bewitched, The Good Guys, Love American Style, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Alice, M*A*S*H, WKRP in Cincinnati, Laverne & Shirley, Soap, Three's Company, and Too Close for Comfort. He died of a heart attack on October 2, 2005 at age 70.

Bob Denver

Bob Denver - He is best-known as the lovable castaway Gilligan on Gilligan's Island. He had earlier played beatnik wannabe Maynard G. Krebs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. His other sitcom roles include The Good Guys and Dusty's Trail. You can read a lot more information about him on his official website. He passed away on September 2, 2005 at age 70 from complications from throat cancer treatment.

John Fielder

John Fiedlder - He was the voice of Piglet in the Winnie the Pooh productions. John played the nervous patient, Mr. Peterson, on The Bob Newhart Show. His other sitcom roles included The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Pete and Gladys, Dennis the Menace, My Favorite Martian, The Munsters, Bewitched, Get Smart, The Odd Couple, and many more. He died June 25, 2005 at age 80 of cancer.

Elisabeth Fraser

Elisabeth Fraser - Her best-known role was as Sgt. Joan Hogan, Sgt. Blko's longtime girlfriend on The Phil Silvers Show. Other sitcom roles included Car 54, Where Are You?, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Addams Family, Bewitched, Hey Landlord, The Monkees, and Maude. She passed away on May 5, 2005 at age 85 due to congestive heart failure.

Paul Henning

Paul Henning - Mr. Henning was a writer and producer for some popular 1960's sitcoms. He served as the producer for The Bob Cummings Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres. His writing credits included The Bob Cummings Show, The Real McCoys, The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Petticoat Junction. As if producing and writing weren't enough, he also wrote the lyrics for The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. He passed away of natural causes at age 93 on March 25, 2005.

Barney Martin

Barney Martin - He was a character actor who is known for his role of Morty Seinfeld, Jerry's father, on Seinfeld. His other sitcom guest appearances included Car 54, Where Are You?, The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Barney Miller, Archie Bunker's Place, Benson, At Ease, Night Court, Diff'rent Strokes, Punky Brewster, Mama's Family, Murphy Brown, The Golden Girls, Full House, The Wayans Bros., and George & Leo. He was a regular on The Tony Randall Show, Zorro and Son, Sydney, and Daddy Dearest. He died of cancer on March 21, 2005 at age 82.

Macon McCalman

Macon McCalman - He was a versatile character actor with many film and tv credits. His many sitcom guest appearances included The Jeffersons, Maude, The Bob Newhart Show, Three's Company, Soap, Diff'rent Strokes, Cheers, Newhart, Family Ties, Designing Women, Perfect Strangers, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Wonder Years. He died on November 29, 2005 at age 72 following a series of strokes.

Pat Morita

Pat Morita - He played Arnold (Matsuo Takahashi) on Happy Days in 1975-76 and 1982-83. He is probably best known for his role of Mr. Miyagi in the four Karate Kid movis. He was nominated for an Oscar for the first Karate Kid film. His many other sitcom roles included The Odd Couple, Love American Style, Mr. T and Tina, Blansky's Beauties, M*A*S*H, and Sanford and Son. He passed away November 24, 2005 at age 73 of natural causes.

Howard Morris

Howard Morris - He is best remembered for playing the outrageous mountain man character Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show. Howard was a regular voice actor on various Hanna-Barbera cartoons. He was a director for The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, Hogan's Heroes, Get Smart, and One Day at a Time. Mr. Morris died of a heart ailment on May 21, 2005 at age 85.

Sheree North

Sheree North - She was a versatile character actress and singer. Some of her sitcom credits include The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Archie Bunker's Place, The Golden Girls, and Seinfeld as Kramer's mother Babs. She earned Emmy nominations for her roles on Archie Bunker's Place. Sheree died at age 73 on November 4, 2005, from complications during cancer surgery.

Nipsey Russell

Nipsey Russell - He was a comic actor known for his many talk show and game show appearances where he earned the nickname "the poet laureate of television." In 1961-62, he appeared on Car 54, Where Are You? as Officer Wilson. His other sitcom roles included Barefoot in the Park, The Love Boat, 227, and Spin City. He passed away October 2, 2005 at age 80 from stomach cancer.

Vincent Schiavelli

Vincent Schiavelli - He had a very recognizable gloomy, droopy-eyed look. He appeared in some 150 film and television productions. You might know him best as Mr. Vargas in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He would reprise the role in the 1986 sitcom Fast Times. His other sitcom appearances included The Corner Bar, WKRP in Cincinnati, Taxi, Night Court, Who's the Boss?, Head of the Class, Married People, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Dharma & Greg, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He died at age 57 on December 26, 2005 in his native Sicily of lung cancer.

Debralee Scott

Debralee Scott - She played Cathy Shumway in the soap opera spoof Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. She appeared in multiple episodes of Welcome Back, Kotter as Rosalie 'Hotsy' Totsy and played Marie Falco in Angie. She died of natural causes at age 52 on April 5, 2005.

John Spencer

John Spencer - He was one of the stars of the NBC drama "The West Wing." The Emmy award winning actor played the role of Chief of Staff Leo McGarry. John got his start as an actor on The Patty Duke Show as Henry Anderson in the 1964-65 season. Mr. Spencer died on December 16, 2005 at the age of 58 due to a heart attack.

Wendie Jo Sperber

Wendie Jo Sperber - She had many appearances in films and tv series. Wendie Jo is probably best known for her supporting role on Bosom Buddies with Tom Hanks. Her other sitcom roles included Designing Women, Who's the Boss?, Married with Children, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Murphy Brown, 8 Simple Rules, Private Benjamin, Babes, and Hearts Afire. In 2001, she founded the weSpark Cancer Support Center to advance and help support individuals and their families fighting various forms of cancer through free emotional support, information and social events/activities. She died following a courageous battle with breast cancer on November 29, 2005 at age 47.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/04 - The Exes - Seasons 1 & 2
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/06 - Kenan & Kel - The Best of Seasons 3 & 4
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dharma & Greg - The Complete Season 2
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Broad City - Season 1
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/02 - The Simpsons - The Seventeenth Season (Blu-ray)
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - Family Guy - Volume 13
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 21

Mulaney - "It's a Wonderful Home Alone" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT)
John’s resentment of actor Macaulay Calkin dampens his Christmas spirit. Meanwhile, Lou is worried when his rival, network host Jesse Tyler Munoz (guest star Nick Kroll), announces a competing holiday special, and Andre is mistaken for a puppet.

Bob's Burgers - "Father of the Bob" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family is invited to Bob’s dad’s Christmas party, and Bob is forced to step inside his father's diner for the first time in 20 years. In the basement, the kids compete for a “mistle-tony” – the award for best homemade gift.

The Simpsons - "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Moe convinces Homer to stay out drinking on Christmas Eve, Marge tells Homer not to come home. This leads to Homer’s sad trek through lonely Springfield, where he learns that the only place where one should truly get drunk on Christmas is home.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Christmas" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Holt receives death threats and Jake is put in charge of his security, a job he enjoys and abuses as much as he can. Meanwhile, Amy attempts to get the precinct to take a Christmas photo for Holt, but a lack of enthusiasm and Rosa’s refusal to smile defeats her efforts. Also, Terry gets his mojo back.

Family Guy - "The 2,000-Year-Old-Virgin" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After running into Jesus at the mall, Peter enlists Quagmire and Cleveland’s help to throw him the best birthday ever, but is shocked at Jesus’ request to make the night special.

Bob's Burgers - "Christmas in the Car" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Linda accidentally kills the family tree, the Belchers must go out on Christmas day to find a new one. But when Bob cuts off a giant candy cane truck, they are forced to outrun the madman driver (Bobcat Goldthwait) and spend the entire holiday together in the car. Back at the Belcher home, Bob’s friend, Teddy, accidentally gets stuck in the kids’ Santa trap.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 22) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, December 22

  • Steve Carell (The Office) - Watch Steve on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Christine Baranski (Cybill/Welcome to New York) - Christine talks about Into the Woods on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Donald Faison (The Exes/Scrubs) - Donald drops by The Better Show, so check your local listings.