As I said to others during the night at work, Happy New Year... unless it interferes with my own plans.
There have been plenty of websites and magazines that have done tributes to those celebrities we have lost over the past year. (The Mail-Call and Newsday had a running gallery throughout the year.)
The problem with those salutes is that they publish too soon. There's always somebody big who shuffles off the mortal coil after the list goes out.
And look what happened this year - we lost James Brown and President Gerald Ford after those lists came out. (And we got rid of Saddam - fulfilling his 'South Park' destiny.)
Trivial TV (link to the left) has a great variation - a list of the TV characters who were killed off on American TV shows this past year. (Check the comments, there are more added to the list!)
At least that list is pretty much guaranteed to be stable. Just about every show is in repeats right now for the holidays, so there are no new episodes in which to off somebody. (Had he included shows from Great Britain, then Ellen Zitek of 'Casualty' and Pauline Fowler of 'EastEnders' would have missed the publication deadline.)
I'd like to pay tribute to some of those characters whose portrayers have passed away this year. Hopefully we will not see their likes again, as there should only be one person ever portraying them in the main Toobworld. (It should be noted that some of them have been portrayed in alternate dimensions.)
Some of these characters already passed away, if not within the framework of the series, then due to the show's placement on the Toobworld Timeline. At least one character should have been considered immortal.
It's not an inclusive list, but those whom I consider irreplaceable, as well as a few I just want to salute in my own small way....
Barney Fife - 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Ralph Furley - 'Three's Company'
Jeff Dillon - 'The Name of the Game'
Grandpa Munster/Count Dracula* - 'The Munsters'*
Clarabelle The Clown - 'Howdy Doody'**
Ma Barker - 'Batman'
Nana Mary - 'Roseanne'
Father Majeski - 'All In The Family'
Ambassador G'Kar - 'Babylon 5'
Exidor - 'Mork & Mindy'
Eddie - 'Frasier'***
Louise Tate - 'Bewitched'
Margaret Anderson - 'Father Knows Best'
Owen Marshall - 'Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law'
Lionel Jefferson - 'All In The Family'/'The Jeffersons'
Tom Willis - 'The Jeffersons'
Harry Fox, Sr. - 'Crazy Like A Fox'
Phil - 'Murphy Brown'
Sam Cade - 'Cade's County'
Tom Corbett - 'Tom Corbett, Space Cadet'
Nick Bianco - 'Search'
Frances "Pop" Cavanaugh - 'The Cavanaughs'
Henry Phyfe - 'The Double Life Of Henry Phyfe'
Natalie Lane - 'The Patty Duke Show'
David Ross - 'The Outsider'
Officer Leo Schnauzer - 'Car 54, Where Are You?'
Jimmy - 'H.R. Pufnstuf'
Reverend Tom Holvak - 'The Family Holvak'
Bill Brown - 'Murphy Brown'
Grey Holden - 'Riverboat'
Michael Bauer - 'Guiding Light'
Waylon Shaw - 'The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire'
Yancy Tucker - 'The Waltons'
Lt. Mike Haines - 'NYPD'
Louise Goddard Brooks - 'Another World'
Buzz Richman - 'Blossom'
Big Bud Lutz - 'Eisenhower & Lutz'/'Eight Is Enough'
Ivy Tilsley Brennan - 'Coronation Street'
Dr. Joe Bogert - 'Doc'
John St. John - 'Jigsaw John'
Nigel St. John - 'Lois & Clark'
Paracelsus - 'Beauty And The Beast'
Pat Gimble - 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'
Amanda Grayson - 'Star Trek'
Bill Otley - 'Prime Suspect'
Madame Francine - 'Yancy Derringer'
Katherine Auschlander - 'St. Elsewhere'
Victoria Bellman - 'Texas'/'Another World'
And there are those who exist in other universes - literary, cinematic, theatrical, etc. - but who had singular portrayals in Toobworld:
Max Merlin - 'Mr. Merlin'
Chester Goode - 'Gunsmoke'
Nora Charles - 'The Thin Man'
Carl Kolchak - 'The Night Stalker'
Captain Monasterio - 'Zorro'*
Morris Buttermaker - 'The Bad News Bears'
Major Simon Butcher - 'The Wackiest Ship In The Army'
Finally there is George Kerby of 'Topper', a character who passed away back in the fifties and who has doppelgangers in other TV dimensions.
But for Earth Prime-Time, I think there can only be the one. As he can no longer be seen in Toobworld, and yet had already passed away, perhaps we can assume his spirit finally was able to pass on to his reward in the afterlife. Perhaps with help from 'The Ghost Whisperer'?
That list isn't as devestating as the one in 2005, but there are some heavy-hitters on it; 'twill serve. Personally, I'm glad to see the backside of 2006 as I lost me Mom back in March. But at least she's in some good company there.......
*The character lives on in altermate dimensions.
**Based on the last actor to play the role, Lew Anderson, and the fact that his version was the only one to ever speak on air.
***Based on the first dog to play the role, Moose, and that he held the role the longest.