Category Archives: Obituaries

Ronnie James Dio: 1942-2010. ‘I’m Building Something that Will Allow Me to Carry on as a Musician,’ Rocker Said in Lost Interview

The heavy-metal world has lost one of its greats. Ronnie James Dio—who, in 1979, replaced Ozzy Osbourne as Black Sabbath’s frontman—passed away Sunday at age 67 after a battle with stomach cancer.

Twenty-four years earlier, the hard-rocking singer chatted with host Bob “Mr. Media” Andelman, then a pop-music critic for the Tampa Tribune.

CAPTION: "I want to be prepared," Ronnie (above) said of keeping busy-and funded-during his retirement.

"I want to be prepared," Ronnie (above) said of keeping busy—and funded—during his retirement.

During the 35-minute, never-before-aired interview, Ronnie, who also sang for Elf and Rainbow during his 50-year career, discussed how he was preparing for his golden years.

“I just bought a building, in Los Angeles—on Sunset Boulevard,” he told Bob.

“It’s a building that was owned by Charlie Chaplin. It’s going to be a sound- stage for videos; for full-scale productions. It also has room for smaller bands. We’ll potentially have a recording studio there on the property.

“Again, something to ensure that, later in life, I’ll be Continue reading

David Mills: 1961-2010. ‘I’ve Gotta Get Myself Healthy’ to Write, ‘Treme’ Scribe Told Us

David Mills, who penned scripts for such hit shows as ER, NYPD Blue and The Wire, died yesterday of a brain aneurysm at age 48.

Tragically, he did not live to see the debut of his most recent effort, HBO’s Treme, which kicks off Sunday, April 11 and “explores the lives of several struggling musicians and other New Orleans locals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”

 "The TV business is remarkable monochromatic," David (above) told us.

"The TV business is remarkable monochromatic," David (above) told us.

When David spoke to us in August 2009, he had just gotten word that Treme had been picked up by HBO.

“I will be one of the writers on that show. We’ll be back in New Orleans in November to continue filming. We filmed the pilot in March and April,” he told BlogTalkRadio host Kevin Ross during the 12-minute interview.

Ironically, when Kevin asked about David’s focus in the coming months, the Emmy-winning scribe, Continue reading

Corey Haim’s ‘Lost’ Reality Series: ‘It’s Not Just About Getting Well. It’s About Staying Well’

The late Corey Haim‘s tragic struggles with substance abuse—and heroic efforts to kick the habit—were documented in a TV show that never saw the light of day.

On Jan. 6, 2009, the beloved actor, who died on March 10 of a prescription-drug overdose, and will be laid to rest today in his hometown of Toronto, broke the news to BlogTalkRadio of a reality series titled Lost Boy Found.

"The reason I want the whole world to watch me recover is because I can help people," Corey (above in the pilot) told us of his drug addiction.

"The reason I want the whole world to watch me recover is because I can help people," Corey (above in the pilot) told us of his drug addiction.

An allusion to the 1987 cult-horror flick The Lost Boys— starring Corey, Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patrick and Corey Feldman Lost Boy Found was meant to educate rather than sensationalize.

“We want to do this through music,” Corey, who sang and played keyboards, told Blockhead Rod host Rod Gambrel of the project. “I’m in very good spirits right now. It’s just that I’m ‘under the rock'” (which is to say, below rock bottom).

“If I can touch one person, starting with myself, obviously…This [series] will be a wonderful, wonderful vehicle for me to help others.” Continue reading

John Huges Remembered by ‘Curly Sue’ Star, ‘Pretty in Pink’ Director and ‘Ferris Bueller’ Secretary

John Hughes may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten – at least not as long as kids of every age roam the earth.

Shortly after the creative force such films as Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) passed away unexpectedly last week at age 59, five of his collaborators gathered on Movie Geeks United! to share their recollections of the wunderkind with hosts Jamey DuVall and Jerry Dennis:

CAPTION: "He liked people. He liked the heartland. That's where he got his ideas about what kind of movie people wanted to see," Howard tells us of John (above).

"He liked the heartland. That's where he got his ideas about what kind of movie people wanted to see," Howard tells us of the Michigan-born John (above).

Howard Deutch, who directed the John-penned Pretty in Pink (1987), Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), and The Great Outdoors(1988); Alisan Porter, who played the title role in Curly Sue (1991), which John wrote and directed; Edie McClurg, who played Grace the secretary in Ferris Bueller and a car-rental agent in Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), both of which were written and directed by John; composer Ira Newborn, who scored Weird Science (1985), Ferris Bueller, Planes, Trains and Uncle Buck; and casting director Jackie Burch (Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club).

Following are highlights from the two-hour special. Continue reading

Charles Grodin: Farrah Fawcett Was ‘as Nice a Person as I’ve Ever Met’

CAPTION: "She's been on my mind more lately," Charles (above) told us of Farrah.

"She's been on my mind more lately," Charles (above) told us of Farrah.

Ten weeks before Farrah Fawcett died tragically of cancer at age 62 last week, one of her silver-screen co-stars was singing the actress’ praises – and rightfully so.

Interviewed in April on Mr. Media, Charles Grodin reminisced about working with the beloved beauty in the 1979 comedy-thriller Sunburn.

“Farrah? Just as nice a person as I’ve ever met. Just couldn’t be nicer,” he told host Bob Andelman.

“I had love scenes [with her], but I never went out with her. She was a darling – and is a darling person,” he continued.

“I’ve never heard anyone say anything negative about her. And I know people who know her a lot better than I do.”

sunburnAlso during the interview, Charles recalled how a bit player in the flick “accidentally” assaulted him while filming.

“I was supposed to be unconscious and he was supposed to punch me while I was lying there,” he said.

But after breaking Charles’ nose, the actor said to the leading man:

“You have all these love scenes with Farrah, and I have a big crush on her.”

To hear Charles’ full interview, click here.

Michael Jackson: 1958-2009

Michael Jackson has died, tragically, at age 50.

The pop idol, whose music, choreography and fashion changed the face of popular culture, was rushed to the hospital shortly after 12:30 p.m. PT today, upon being found unconscious in his Los Angeles home.

He reportedly never regained consciousness.michael-jackson3

In commemoration of the artist, BlogTalkRadio presents Michael Jackson Remembered tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

The live, two-hour special will be anchored by Mr. Media host Bob Andelman and co-hosted by fellow BTR hosts Kevin Ross, Mutha Knows, Shaun Daily and MarQ with a Q.

Guests include Eric Deggans, TV and media critic for the St. Petersburg Times, who is from Michael’s hometown of Gary, Ind.

Bob will also be taking calls from fans around the globe who want to share their memories of The King of Pop – and how he impacted their lives forever.

To tune in, click here.

In May, pop diva Stephanie Mills told Mutha, “I thought I was gonna marry Michael. I was so in love with Michael.”

To read more about Stephanie’s affair with Michael, click here.

Ed McMahon: 1923-2009

With the passing of Ed McMahon, the book on a TV legacy is, sadly, closed forever.

Arguably the greatest emcee of all time, Ed – who served as Johnny Carson‘s Tonight Show announcer from 1962 to 1992 – died yesterday morning in Los Angeles, surrounded by his family.

CAPTION: "I had six years, two wars, 85 combat missions. I'm very proud of that," Ed (above) told us his military service.

"I had six years, two wars, 85 combat missions. I'm very proud of that," Ed (above) told us of his military service.

Though his publicist, Howard Bragman, gave no cause of death, he said the 86-year-old media icon had a “multitude of health problems the last few months.”

But it wasn’t long ago that Ed had us captivated with tales of his seven decades on television.

Appearing on The Andrea Shea King Show in November 2007, he recalled his first-ever job in the medium.

“In 1949, I started in Philadelphia, on a show called Take 10,” he told host Andrea Shea King.

“I was the host of a three-hour, daily, live variety show. I was the producer, I was the makeup man, I swept up the studio – whatever you had to do.

“I was on the air from 12 to three, and I was the happiest man in North America.”

Later in the show, Ed recounted working with Johnny (who died in 2005 at age 79) for the first time ever.

“I did a show with him called Who Do You Trust, on ABC. It was a quiz show in the afternoon, and it was live.

CAPTION: "We were pals. We were buddies," Ed said of Johnny (right).

"We were pals. We were buddies. We gravitated toward each other," Ed said of Johnny (right).

“[Johnny] hosted it and he had another announ- cer, named Bill Nimmo, who then got his own show.

“And I came up and auditioned for the show and I got the job, which was a lucky happenstance.

“On the very first show – here I am a little nervous, you can imagine; I’m relacing somebody, I want to do a good job, and I’ve got a script in front of me, and on the script it’s got the six responses of the day, plus [a commercial]: ‘Swan’s Down Cake Mixes, the mixes you can trust.’

“And I have to read this. Now, the audience at home doesn’t see me, of course. But the audience in the theater does.

“Johnny comes over and sets fire to my script. That’s the very first day I ever worked with him.

“That kind of sealed our 47 years of friendship. When he set fire to my script, I knew we were off and running.”

To hear Ed’s full interview, in which he also discusses his days in the U.S Marine Corps – where he first met Johnny – click here.

Slain Rapper Dolla: ‘I Don’t Have to Worry About Being Shot’

In yet another tragic rap slaying, rising recording artist Dolla – who, in 2007, signed with Akon’s Konvict Music Records – was fatally shot in the head yesterday afternoon outside the upscale Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles.

An hour later, LAPD nabbed Aubrey Louis Berry at L.A. International Airport after noticing that the 23-year-old Georgia man fit the descrip- tion of Dolla’s murderer. The suspect is currently being held on $1 million bail.

   CAPTION: “I’m just a humble dude, a street dude, a black man livin’ in America trying to turn s - - - - into gold,” Dolla (above) told us last year.

“I’m just a humble dude, a street dude, a black man livin’ in America trying to turn s - - - into gold,” Dolla (above) told us last year.

Cops have told reporters that they do not know what prompted the brutal killing.

Dolla, who was born Roderick Anthony Burton II and who lived in Atlanta, was in L.A. to complete his album, Another Day, Another Dolla.

On February 6, 2008, Dolla appeared on BlogTalkRadio to discuss progress on his debut album.

Throughout the 20-minute interview, Dolla – who’d also recorded with Lil Wayne and modeled for Diddy’s R.I.P. clothing label – returned to a recurring theme in his life: his music had saved him from the streets.

“My upcoming album is called A Dolla and a Dream. I named it that because, since I was 13, I’ve been financially taking care of my family,” he told Freshr Radio host Young Drew.

“And it got to a point where that street s – – – just wasn’t working out for me. You know, the ups and downs of street life. And I literally was going broke.

“I had just a couple of dollars but had dreams of being a rapper.”

Later, when asked how it felt to be signed to a label, Dolla said:

“It gives me an opportunity to do something positive and not be in the streets and not have to worry about being shot.

“I just got shot three months ago, and that let me know, Man you got a record deal, you got a song out, like relax!”

And when asked, “With your newfound fame, I’m sure you got a nice paycheck. What was the first thing you went out and did?” the rapper replied:

“Bought my mama a car.”

To read the latest on Dolla’s murder case, click here.

To head Dolla’s full 2008 interview, click here.