RIP: Sherman Hemsley, at 74

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RIP: Sherman Hemsley, at 74
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Sherman Hemsley, star of The Jeffersons, has died. He was 74.

[kfoxtv]

RIP: Jon Lord of Deep Purple, at 71

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RIP: Jon Lord of Deep Purple, at 71
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Jon Lord, former keyboardist for Deep Purple, passed away today after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71.

Lord is best known among classic rock fans for co-founding Deep Purple in 1968 and co-writing such hits as "Smoke on the Water." He also recorded with The Kinks and joined other bands, including Whitesnake, after Deep Purple broke up in 1976.

Besides writing your dad's favorite radio-ready riffs, Lord also enjoyed a thriving career in classical music. Originally trained as a classical pianist, Lord began composing and recording classical works during his time with Deep Purple and continued for the duration of his life. Check out the performance of his first composition, Concerto for Group and Orchestra, with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969.

[bbc]

RIP: Andy Griffith, at 86

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RIP: Andy Griffith, at 86
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Television icon Andy Griffith, best known as Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show and country lawyer Ben Matlock on Matlock, died early this morning. He was 86.

Here are Griffith's reflections on aging:

You know when you're young you think you will always be. As you become more fragile, you reflect and you realize how much comfort can come from the past. Hymns can carry you into the future.

[witn]

RIP: Nora Ephron, at 71

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RIP: Nora Ephron, at 71
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By Unknown
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Nora Ephron, acclaimed writer and director behind romantic comedies like You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, has died due to complications of illness. She was 71.

A force of wit and wisdom, Ephron's novels, essays and films surpassed generations and genders alike. She began as a journalist and a playwright, then took on the Hollywood boys' club, observing that, to studio executives, "a movie about a woman's cure for cancer is less interesting than a movie about a man with a hangnail."

After writing the script for When Harry Met Sally, and writing/directing You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, it was her turn to call the shots.

For the last six years Ephron struggled with myelodysplasia, a blood disorder, of which recently made her extremely ill. She passed away Tuesday in a New York hospital.

[washingtonpost]

RIP: Rodney King, at 47

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RIP: Rodney King, at 47
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By Unknown
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Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by four police officers eventually sparked violent riots in Los Angeles two decades ago, was found dead this morning at age 47. King's fiance, Cynthia Kelly, called 911 at 5:25 am after discovering his body.

King was thrust into the national spotlight in March 1991 after a videotaped assaulted at the hands of LAPD officers Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon made headlines. The four officers were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force. Their acquittal on April 29, 1992 led to intense riots in Los Angeles, resulting in 53 deaths.

King fought a life-long battle with alcoholism, and had periodic run-ins with the law since the 1991 incident. He appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and Sober House, in an attempt to get clean. An interview with The Associated Press earlier this year painted a picture of a changed man:

America's been good to me after I paid the price and stayed alive through it all. This part of my life is the easy part now.

[cnn]

RIP: Eduard ‘Trololo Guy' Khil, at 77

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RIP: Eduard ‘Trololo Guy' Khil, at 77
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Internet users the world over are mourning the death today of Russian baritone Eduard Khil, whose 1976 performance of the song "I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home" went viral on YouTube in 2009 and secured his place in Internet history. 

Legend has it that the song's lyrics were censored in Russia for raciness, so Khil swapped the lyrics for random sounds, including the  "trololo" yodel for which he became famous.

Khil had suffered a stroke last month that caused irreversible brain damage. He was 77.

[rt]

Early Bird Special

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Bee Gees lead singer Robin Gibb lost his years-long battle with colon and liver cancer Sunday. He was 62.

Here's what Rolling Stone had to say about the trio's hit "To Love Somebody": "You know you've written a standard when both Gram Parsons and Clay Aiken have recorded it. Robin transforms into a mighty blue-eyed soul crooner over a heaping helping of strings and horns, and, of course, his brothers' sweet harmonies."

[rollingstone]