Hail and farewell to those we lost in 2014
Charles Osgood brings a smile to your face, and maybe a tear to your eye, as we mark the passing this year of so many talented people who helped define our times:
Robin Williams touched down, as if from a distant galaxy, speaking a language (“Nanu nanu!”) we had never heard before, but which we instantly understood.
He held up his own funhouse mirror to the rest of us, exploring not only comic possibilities, but deeper truths.
“You don’t know about real loss. Because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself,” he said in the 1997 film, “Good Will Hunting.”
- Robin Williams dead at 63 (CBS News, 08/11/14)
- Young comedian shares Robin Williams’ struggle, reflects on actors’ death(“Sunday Morning,” 08/17/14)
- Robin Williams: The “60 Minutes” interview
- Complete CBSNews.com coverage: Robin Williams
Phillip Seymour Hoffman plumbed the tangled, mysterious depths of the human soul . . . in performances so perfectly nuanced, that they seemed not performances at all, but visitations . . . and broke our hearts this year when his own fragile soul gave way.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman dead at age 46 (CBS News, 02/02/14)
- Philip Seymour Hoffman: An appreciation(“Sunday Morning,” 02/09/14)
- Stars pay tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman (CBS News, 02/02/14)
- Complete CBSNews.com coverage: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Mike Nichols won every entertainment award there is — and one, in 1959, that doesn’t exist, for Total Mediocrity, presented by his comic partner, Elaine May.
- “Graduate” director Mike Nichols dead at 83 (CBS News, 11/20/14)
- Charlie Rose reflects on Mike Nichols (11/20/14)
- Mike Nichols remembered by Hollywood and more (CBS News, 11/20/14)
- Gallery: Mike Nichols 1931-2014
Goodbye to Geoffrey Holder, the elegant pitchman for 7-UP. He was also singer, dancer, actor, painter, choreographer, director, and costume designer. He gave us Broadway’s “The Wiz.”
- Geoffrey Holder, award-winning dancer and actor, dies at 84 (CBS News, 10/06/14)
Farewell to Ruth Robinson Duccini, the last of the female Munchkins, who started Dorothy down that yellow brick road in 1939.
And to Richard Kiel, whose enormous size usually got him cast as the bad guy (Jaws from the James Bond series), or an alien, monster, or the Soviet spy prowling on “Gilligan’s Island.”
And farewell to Russell Johnson — he played the brainy Professor on that crazy island of castaways:
Ginger: “You can hold me a little closer, I won’t break.”
Professor: “Well, I don’t want to crush your dress.”
A round of snaps for Ken Weatherwax, who played Pugsley on “The Addams Family.”
- Pugsley from “The Addams Family” dead at 59 (12/08/14)
And to Ann B. Davis, Alice on “The Brady Bunch.”
- Ann B. Davis, “Brady Bunch” housekeeper, dead at 88 (CBS News, 06/02/14)
And to Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., who always got his man.
- Efrem Zimbalist Jr., star of “The FBI,” dead at 95 (05/03/14)
- Gallery: Efrem Zimbalist Jr. 1918-2014
Ralph Waite died this year. As patriarch of the Walton clan, he guided his large brood through the Depression days. Good night to you, Ralph Waite.
- “Waltons” patriarch Ralph Waite dead at 85 (“CBS Evening News,” 02/14/14)
And to you, Shirley Temple: You buoyed American spirits during those dark Depression years with your brilliant smile and precocious talent — then walked away from it all and became a successful diplomat.
Shirley Temple Black taught us all a thing or two about life.
- Shirley Temple Black dies at age 85 (“CBS This Morning,” 02/11/14)
- Passage: Shirley Temple (“Sunday Morning,” 02/16/14)
- Shirley Temple remembered by the stars (CBS News, 02/11/14)
Mickey Rooney TORE through life with exuberance, talent and charm. He could do it all, and he DID it all, for most of his 93 years.
Good night and good luck, Mickey Rooney!
- Mickey Rooney, Hollywood legend, dead at 93 (CBS News, 04/07/14)
- Gallery: The films of Mickey Rooney
- Gallery: Mickey Rooney 1920-2014
Bob Thomas loved the glitter of the Oscars, and he reported on them for 66 years. Good night to him.
And to Oscar de la Renta, who dressed Hollywood’s glittering stars . . .
And to Phil Stern, who captured the many moods of Hollywood’s glitterati . . . in photographs that live on.
“You don’t have to say anything or do anything . . . or maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”
Lauren Bacall, we fell in love with you right from the start. Bacall died this year at 89, her charm and her beauty intact.
- Legendary actress Lauren Bacall dies at age 89(CBS News, 08/12/14)
- Lauren Bacall: Smoky-voiced actress and glamour icon (“Sunday Morning,” 08/17/14)
- 1954: Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart speak to Edward R. Murrow (CBS News, 08/12/14)
- Lauren Bacall’s best moments on screen (CBS News, 08/12/14)
- Lauren Bacall tributes pour in (CBS News, 08/12/14)
- Charlie Rose’s interviews with Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall (“CBS This Morning,” 08/13/14)
- Lauren Bacall on life lessons, falling in love (08/13/14)
James Garner, you were one smooth operator. He never took acting too seriously, but he was good at it. Farewell to you, James Garner …
- Gallery: James Garner 1928-2014
- James Garner, TV and movie legend, dead at 86 (07/20/14)
- James Garner: Stars mourn loss of Hollywood icon (07/21/14)
… and to you, James Rebhorn, and Meshach Taylor.
- “Homeland” actor James Rebhorn dies at 65 (03/23/14)
- “Designing Women” star Meshach Taylor dies at 67 (06/29/14)
And you, Maximilian Schell.
- Gallery: Maximilian Schell 1930-2014
- Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell dies at 83 (02/01/14)
- Passage: Maximilian Schell (“Sunday Morning,” 02/02/14)
Eli Wallach was an actor’s actor — a chameleon who transformed himself countless times over his 60 years on the stage and screen.
Good night, sweet prince.
- Eli Wallach, veteran actor, dead at 98 (CBS News, 06/25/14)
- Celebrities pay tribute to Eli Wallach (06/26/14)
- Eli Wallach: Still “crazy” after all these years(“Sunday Morning,” 10/10/10)
And good night to you, Elaine Stritch, unabashed queen of Broadway.
- Gallery: Elaine Stritch 1925-2014
- Actress Elaine Stritch dies at 89 (CBS News, 07/17/14)
- Broadway legend Elaine Stritch passes away at 89 (“CBS Evening News,” 07/17/14)
- The captivating, brassy Elaine Stritch (“Sunday Morning,” 03/09/14)
Polly Bergen — what a beautiful, long run YOU enjoyed.
- Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen dies at 84 (09/21/14)
- Polly Bergen: Long road, few regrets (“Sunday Morning,” 05/31/01)
Ruby Dee, your extraordinary talents onstage were inspirational. Offstage, with your husband Ossie Davis, they were even more so.
Thank you, for showing us all what it means to stand up for what is right.
Franklin McCain took his stand when he SAT, when he was refused service at a Greensboro, N.C., lunch counter, and the civil rights “sit-in” was born.
“There are many people who will plant the seed, but they will never reap the harvest,” McCain said. “And I considered myself and my colleagues those people.”
- Passage: Men of conviction (“Sunday Morning,” 01/12/14)
- Legacy of the Greensboro Four (“CBS Evening News,” 01/18/09)
Boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter did not set out to become a folk hero. He served 19 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit . . . convictions that were overturned, finally, in 1985. Rubin Carter died this year, a free man.
- Boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter dead at 76 (04/20/14)
James Brady took a bullet meant for President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and crusaded for gun control for the rest of his life.
“Damn it, don’t let the vocal minority dictate your position,” he said. “Morally, it’s the right thing to do.”
- James Brady, Reagan spokesman and anti-gun activist, dies at 73 (CBS News, 08/04/14)
- Gallery: James Brady 1940-2014
- Former White House press secretary James Brady dies at 73 (“CBS This Morning,” 08/05/14)
- Death of James Brady ruled a homicide (CBS News, 08/08/14)
Stephanie Kwolek was a Du Pont chemist who invented a fiber strong enough to stop a bullet. The Kevlar vest that she made possible has saved thousands of lives.
She made our world a little safer.
Ralph Baer made our world a lot more fun. He invented the popular game, Simon, and the very first video game console, which he demonstrated in 1969.
You really started something, Ralph Baer.
- Father of video games, Ralph Baer, dies at 92 (CBS News, 12/08/14)
S. Donald Stookey devised a kind of glass that could withstand heat and cold — strong enough to be used to make nosecones for missiles . . . and also the Corningware casserole dish.
How many millions of dinners have we enjoyed because of the ingenuity of S. Donald Stookey?
The people we lost this year left many gifts to remember them by.
Designer Massimo Vignelli left us maps, and signs, and logos — elegant, spare, and instantly recognizable the world over.
Jerrie Mock left us a gift of derring-do. She was a housewife from Columbus, Ohio, who became the first woman ever to fly solo around the world in 1964. “It was about time a woman did it,” she said.
A cheer for you, Jerrie Mock.
And for you, Eileen Ford: Your Ford Modeling Agency set the standard for beauty.
- Eileen Ford, founder of Ford Model Agency, dies(07/10/14)
- Eileen Ford, founder of Ford Models, dies at 92(CBS News, 07/11/14)
Alice Coachman, you set the bar high, and sailed over it in 1948, to become the first black woman ever to win Olympic gold.
When she returned to her segregated hometown in Georgia, the mayor would not shake her hand. “It wasn’t any problem for me,” she said, ” because I had won the thing.”
George Shuba reached out HIS hand to welcome teammate Jackie Robinson home on his first day with the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team.
You had class, George Shuba.
Don Zimmer suited up for 66 seasons, as player, manager, coach and advisor for 14 teams. He LOVED baseball with a passion that never dimmed.
- Don Zimmer, baseball icon, dies at 83 (06/05/14)
- Let’s just listen to Vin Scully tell stories about Don Zimmer (CBS Sports, 06/05/14)
Au revoir to Jean Beliveau, who led his Montreal Canadians to 10 Stanley Cup championships. A great hockey player, and a true gentleman.
- Jean Beliveau built legacy impossible to replicate (CBS Sports, 10/03/14)
- Habs great Jean Beliveau memorialized in stirring video (CBS Sports, 10/09/14)
Thomas Menino was a great mayor, for five consecutive terms in Boston.
When the Boston Marathon bombing devastated the citizens of his beloved city, Tom Menino rose from his sickbed to speak:
“No adversity, no challenge, nothing can tear down the resilience in the heart of the city and its people.”
He had a big heart.
Tom Magliozzi had a big laugh, which he shared with us, every week, on the radio, as one half of Click and Clack, the “Car Talk” guys.
Tom Magliozzi left us, laughing, this year.
- Tom Magliozzi, co-host of NPR’s “Car Talk,” dies (CBS News, 11/03/14)
- The Magliozzis: Not your average radio announcers (“60 Minutes,” 1995)
Sid Ceasar, “Your Show of Shows” set the stage for most of the funny business that was to follow. Hats off to you!
- Sid Caesar, comic genius of 1950s television, dead at 91 (02/12/14)
- Passage: Sid Caesar (“Sunday Morning,” 04/20/14)
- Gallery: Sid Caesar 1922-2014
- Sid Caesar: 5 classic TV moments (02/13/14)
- Sid Caesar: Stars react to death of TV comedy legend (02/12/14)
And hats off to David Brenner:
“My mother on the phone, she says, ‘David, we’re going to give him a decent burial.’ And I thought, what’s an indecent burial? What, do you leave his arm out of the ground?”
And to Joan Rivers — she was one funny lady.
“My parents had a sign up on the lawn: ‘Last girl before the turnpike.'”
- Joan Rivers dead at 81 (CBS News, 10/04/14)
- Joan Rivers talks about old age (“Sunday Morning,” 2002)
- Joan Rivers remembered at star-studded funeral (10/07/14)
- Gallery: Joan Rivers 1933-2014
- Andy Cohen on Joan Rivers (“Sunday Morning,” 11/08/14)
Good bye to Don Pardo, who introduced us to the world’s funniest people every Saturday night for nearly 40 years.
One of those funny people was Jan Hooks…
- Passage: Jan Hooks (“Sunday Morning,” 10/12/14)
- Jan Hooks, “Saturday Night Live” veteran, dead at 57 (10/09/14)
- Stars remember “SNL” cast member Jan Hooks (CBS News, 10/10/14)
Good bye to Harold Ramis, the crazy genius behind “Ghostbusters.”
- Harold Ramis, “Ghostbusters” star, dead at 69 (CBS News, 02/24/14)
- Gallery: Harold Ramis 1944-2014
- Harold Ramis: Billy Crystal, Seth MacFarlane and others pay tribute (CBS News, 02/24/14)
- Harold Ramis: 5 classic comedies he helped create (02/25/14)
And Bob Hoskins, a fine actor best known for playing second banana to a cartoon.
- Bob Hoskins, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” star, dies at 71 (04/30/14)
- Gallery: Bob Hoskins’ memorable film roles
- Bob Hoskins remembered fondly by the stars (CBS News, 04/30/14)
Alfred E. Neuman became Mad Magazine’s cover boy during editor Al Feldstein‘s 30-year reign . . . farewell to him.
- MAD Magazine turns 60! (“60 Minutes,” 1987)
And to Phyllis Dorothy James White, known to her many devoted readers as P.D. James, the Queen of Crime. “The greatest mystery of all,” she said, “is the human heart.”
- Passage: Mystery writer P.D. James (“Sunday Morning,” 11/30/14)
- Mystery writer P.D. James dies at 94 (11/27/14)
Writer Nadine Gordimer‘s books explored the mysteries of the human heart in South Africa during the apartheid years . . . and she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and lots of others. The worlds he created were full of mystery and magic. His novels sold millions of copies, in dozens of languages.
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87 (04/17/14)
- The works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“Sunday Morning,” 04/18/14)
- Passage: Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“Sunday Morning,” 04/20/14)
- World reacts to death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (04/18/14)
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript (04/22/14)
Norman Bridwell enchanted generations of children with his tales of Clifford, the Big Red Dog — stories that will continue to enchant generations to come.
Maya Angelou was a gifted storyteller and a poet.
Her voice rang out loud and clear at President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration:
“History, despite its wrenching pain,
cannot be unlived,
but if faced with courage,
need not be lived again.”
- Maya Angelou, poet and author, dies at 86 (CBS News, 05/28/14)
- Tributes pour in for Maya Angelou (CBS News, 05/28/14)
- Maya Angelou: Her quotes, poetry and prose (05/28/14)
- Maya Angelou’s masterpiece “Caged Bird” (“CBS Evening News,” 05/28/14)
- Maya Angelou’s “Note to Self” (“CBS This Morning,” 09/04/13)
- Gallery: Remembering Maya Angelou
Good bye to Horace Silver, who coaxed a new kind of jazz out of his piano.
And thank you, Ben Bradlee, crusading editor of the Washington Post. You gave your reporters the backing they needed to break the story of Watergate.
He was a great journalist.
- Ben Bradlee, legendary Washington Post Executive Editor, dead at 93 (CBS News, 10/21/14)
- Passage: Ben Bradlee (“Sunday Morning,” 10/26/14)
- Hundreds honor late Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (“CBS This Morning,” 10/30/14)
- Ben Bradlee: The “60 Minutes” interview (1995)
- Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein remember Ben Bradlee (CBS News, 10/29/14)
- Was Ben Bradlee portrayed accurately in “All the President’s Men”? (CBS News, 10/21/14)
Howard Baker Jr. was a great Senator. He presided over the Watergate hearings with integrity and fair-mindedness. (“What did the president know, and when did he know it?”)
- Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker dead at 88 (CBS News, 06/26/14)
- Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid praise late former Sen. Howard Baker (CBS News, 06/26/14)
We lost good friends, and good journalists this year: James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Anja Niedringhaus, Bruce Morton, Garrick Utley, Fouad Ajami, Emerson Stone, and Richard C. Hottelet, the last of the famed “Murrow Boys,” who served his profession with distinction for more than 40 years.
- Journalist James Foley apparently beheaded by ISIS (CBS News, 08/19/14)
- Steven Sotloff remembered as conscientious, learned reporter (“CBS This Morning,” 10/03/14)
- Gallery: Photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus’ visual legacy
- Veteran CBS newsman Bruce Morton dead at 83 (CBS News, 10/05/14)
- Fouad Ajami, Middle East scholar and former CBS News analyst, dies at 68(06/23/14)
- Remembering CBS News colleagues Emerson Stone and Richard Hottelet(“Sunday Morning,” 12/21/14)
Ariel Sharon was a fierce fighter for his country, and a champion of Israeli settlements.
“All those communities that we are building, they are not an obstacle to peace; they are obstacles to war,” he once said.
In later years, as prime minister, Ariel Sharon had second thoughts, calling for settlers to withdraw from Gaza, and for Israel to pursue a more diplomatic course. He died this year, at 85. Shalom.
- Ariel Sharon, former prime minister of Israel, dies at 85 (CBS News, 01/11/14)
- Passage: Ariel Sharon (“Sunday Morning,” 01/12/14)
- Ariel Sharon: The “60 Minutes” interview (2002)
- Ariel Sharon’s conflicted legacy (CBS News, 01/03/14)
Maria Von Trapp died this year, at 99 — the last of the singing siblings who fled Nazi-occupied Austria during World War II. Their story inspired “The Sound of Music.”
Auf Weidersehen, Maria Von Trapp.
- Maria Franziska von Trapp, last of “The Sound of Music” siblings, dies (CBS News, 02/22/14)
- Almanac: Maria Von Trapp (“Sunday Morning,” 01/26/14)
And Hah-go-eh-nay to Chester Nez, one of the original Navajo Code Talkers. The unbreakable military code he and his people devised helped to win World War II.
A salute to you, Chester Nez.
- Passage: Chester Nez (“Sunday Morning,” 06/08/14)
And to you, Louis Zamperini.
Zamperini survived a plane crash in the Pacific, and torture at the hands of the Japanese. And then, after the war, he forgave his captors.
“If you hate somebody, you’re not hurting the person you hate; you’re hurting yourself,” Zamperini said. “It’s a real healing, forgiveness.”
- Remembering the “Unbroken” spirit of Louis Zamperini (“Sunday Morning,” 07/06/14)
- Louis Zamperini, war hero and “Unbroken” subject, dies at 97 (07/03/14)
As a POW in North Vietnam, Jeremiah Denton had the courage to blink the word “torture” in Morse code during a television interview . . . a salute to him.
And to Tomas Young, a soldier paralyzed in Iraq, who shared his own agonizing tale in a film, “Body of War.” He died this year, at 34.
Pete Seeger sang out for peace, for justice, and for cleaner water for most of his long life. Sail on, Pete Seeger!
- Passage: Pete Seeger (“Sunday Morning,” 02/02/14)
- An appreciation of Pete Seeger (“Sunday Morning,” 02/02/14)
Martin Litton rode the wild rapids of the Colorado River well into his 90s, and battled fiercely against dams that would tame them.
Thanks to him, the mighty Colorado moves through the Grand Canyon, wild and free.
Peter Matthiessen loved the world’s wild places, and traveled to most of them — and wrote about them with precision and beauty.
“What would you do if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
And a note of thanks to Joe Cocker, whose voice was raw and beautiful. He helped us get by, with a little help from our friends. Good bye, dear friend.
- Joe Cocker dead at 70 (CBS News, 12/22/14)
- Gallery: Joe Cocker 1944-2014
- Joe Cocker remembered by Ringo Starr, Bryan Adams and more (CBS News, 12/22/14)
And goodbye to Phil Everly, who rode the waves of sweet harmony with his brother, Don.
- Phil Everly, half of the harmony duo the Everly Brothers, dies at 74(01/03/14)
- The Everly Brothers: The sweetest DNA of rock and roll (“Sunday Morning,” 01/05/14)
And to Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, who rode the ocean’s waves, joyfully, for most of his long life.
“Waves roll across 10,000 miles of ocean, and at their very end, you ride them, and so help me God, a part of the galaxy beyond our galaxy is in them,” he said.
Gerry Goffin, your star burned bright, and sweet. Your words, full of love and longing, stay with us, in the beautiful songs you wrote.
- Passage: Songwriter Gerry Goffin (“Sunday Morning,” 06/22/14)
The people who left us this year gave us so much love, and so much laughter, so many gifts to remember them by that we can scarcely count them all — but we do think of them all, and thank them all, for gracing us with their presence, and making our world a little brighter, for their being here.
[H/T: CBS News]