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 (January)

The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Married with Children - Seasons 7 and 8 (Mill Creek) The Facts of Life - The Complete Series Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season

01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Girls - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Seven (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Eight (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Seasons Seven and Eight (Mill Creek)
01/13 - The Big House - The Complete Series
01/13 - Episodes - The Third Season
01/13 - The Facts of Life - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory
01/20 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, February 1

Bob's Burgers - "Easy Commercial, Easy Gommercial" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
To compete with fellow “restaurateur,” Jimmy Pesto, and his blowout Super Bowl event, Bob is determined to create a Bob’s Burgers commercial to air during the “big game.” In an effort to outshine Pesto, the Belchers recruit Randy, a documentarian, to assist with the filmmaking and hire on former pro football star Connie Frye (guest voice Jordan Peele) to be the celebrity endorser.

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXV" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the annual spooktacular Halloween special, Bart and Lisa are transported to a demon-filled alternate universe after Bart reads a set of Aramaic symbols he finds on the underside of his desk; Moe’s “Clockwork Orange”-style gang is disrupted when Dum (Homer) falls for a girl (Marge) who wants him to give up the thug life; and, in an homage to “The Others,” the Simpsons are visited by their former Tracey Ullman-era versions of themselves.

The Simpsons - "Covercraft" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer has a mid-life crisis, takes up bass guitar and forms a cover band with some of the other dads in town. But the band’s modest early success is soon overwhelmed by the breakout potential of their most unlikely star, Apu.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Jimmy Jab Gabes" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The squad has time to kill when the arrival of the Serbian President’s motorcade to Brooklyn has been delayed. So, Jake launches “The Jimmy Jab Games,” an annual series of competitions in the precinct. Meanwhile, Terry and Holt take on a new drug task force approved by Holt’s nemesis, Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick).

Family Guy - "Turkey Guys" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the night before Thanksgiving, Brian and Peter drunkenly devour the holiday bird, and then must go out to find a replacement. In Peter absence, Chris attempts to step up and become the man of the house.

Bob's Burgers - "Uncle Teddy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bob and Linda leave town for a romantic getaway (at a Burger Convention), they ask Teddy to babysit Tina, Gene and Louise. While the ’rents are away, Teddy is eager to earn the coveted title of “Uncle Teddy” and does so by putting Tina’s crush in his rightful place after discovering that he was just using her for – gasp – free burgers! Hijinks ensue.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 2) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, February 2

  • Sean Hayes (The Millers/Sean Saves the World/Will & Grace) - Sean guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin visits Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Seth Morris (The Hotwives of Orlando/Go On/Happy Endings) - Seth appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) - Busy chats on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/Tom/The Tom Show) - Tom is a guest on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Simon appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET. He also talks about his new film We'll Never Have Paris on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Amanda Peet (Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Josh Segarra (Sirens) - Josh talks about USA Network's Sirens on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Gregory Harrison (Joey/The Family Man) - Gregory gives a look at his new Hallmark Channel original movie Cloudy with a Chance of Love on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall discusses his new ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat on HuffPost Live at 4:40pm. Fresh Off the Boat premieres on ABC on February 4 at 8:30pm and 9:30pm ET/PT.
  • Michael Ian Black (Burning Love/Ed) - Michael is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea discusses the Super Bowl on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is part of the guest panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) - Barry talks about his new show A Very Barry Branson on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings. A Very Barry Branson premieres on GAC on February 5.