Prolific Tokusatsu Writer Shozo Uehara Has Passed Away
It was reported that prolific writer Shozo Uehara has passed away last January 2nd. He was 82 years old. The cause of his passing was due to liver cancer. Present at his funerals are his relatives, with his eldest son, Keitaro being the chief mourner.
To most fans, he is best known for his work as the head writer of multiple tokusatsu shows, most notably, the first five Super Sentai Series, namely: Himitsu Sentai Goranger, JAKQ Dengekitai, Battle Fever J, Denshi Sentai Denziman, and Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan; the first five Metal Hero Series, namely: Space Sheriff Gavan, Space Sheriff Sharivan, Space Sheriff Shaider, Special Megabeast Investigator Juspion, and Jikuu Senshi Spielvan; The Return of Ultraman, and Toei's Spider-Man TV series. He was also the initial head writer of Kamen Rider BLACK, and even wrote some anime, most notably: Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and UFO Robo Grendizer.
Buck Henry Dies: ‘The Graduate’ Writer, ‘Get Smart’ Co-Creator & Early ‘SNL’ Favorite Was 89
Buck Henry, the legendary screenwriter behind The Graduate and What’s Up, Doc? who also co-created Get Smart and was a regular presence in the early years of Saturday Night Live, died tonight of a heart attack at Cedars-Sinai Health Center in Los Angeles. He was 89.
He became a familiar face to a new generation of TV viewers by hosting Saturday Night Live several times during its first five seasons. He might be best remembered as John Belushi’s foil in the classic “Samurai” skits.
Henry got his start writing for Steve Allen and Garry Moore’s TV shows in the 1960s before penning the script for The Graduate, Mike Nichols’ seminal film starring Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross and Anne Bancroft. The film focused on the generation gap of the later 1960s and includes a number of memorable scenes and lines. Who could forget Hoffman’s college-age Benjamin Braddock telling Bancroft’s older character, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” Later, after she asks Benjamin, “Do you find me undesireable?” he tells her, “Oh no, Mrs. Robinson, I think you’re the most attractive of any of my parents’ friends.”
GARY BUSEY'S EX-WIFE TIANI WARDEN DIES FROM COCAINE OVERDOSE IN JAIL
One of Gary Busey's ex-wives, Tiani Warden, died behind bars in Texas ... and according to her autopsy, it was a cocaine overdose that killed her.
Tiani was found unresponsive in her jail cell at the Hunty County Detention Center back on Nov. 4, the day after police arrested her for public intoxication ... the Hunt County Sheriff's Office tells TMZ.
The actress died from the toxic effects of cocaine ... this according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner. They've ruled her death accidental, and say chronic ethanolism -- heavy drinking -- likely contributed to her death.
Tiani enjoyed an acting career, and was known for her work in "The Chain," "The Rage" and "Rough Riders."
Edd Byrnes, Kookie on '77 Sunset Strip,' Dies at 87
The New York actor was a finger-snapping, hair-combing, teen-idol sensation who parked cars on the swanky ABC detective series. Edd Byrnes, who gained fleeting fame as Kookie, the ultra-hip, wisecracking parking attendant on the jazzy 1950s-'60s ABC detective series 77 Sunset Strip, has died. He was 87.
Byrnes, who years later played the smooth-talking Vince Fontaine, a Dick Clark-like dance contest host, in Grease (1978), died unexpectedly Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Santa Monica, his son, San Diego TV news anchor Logan Byrnes, said on Twitter.
"It is with profound sadness and grief that I share with you the passing of my father Edd Byrnes. He was an amazing man and one of my best friends," he wrote.
On 77 Sunset Strip, Kookie parked cars at Dino's Lodge, a Hollywood nightclub that was owned by Dean Martin and served as a backdrop on the show. The club was next door to the private detective agency run by the suave duo of Stuart Bailey (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) and Jeff Spencer (Roger Smith).
When he wasn't "piling up the Z's" (that would be sleeping), the finger-snapping Kookie was running a comb through his wavy ducktail, and Byrnes became one of television's first heartthrobs, in an Elvis kind of way. He elicited shrieks of delight from young female fans everywhere and parlayed that teen-idol fame into a gold record, "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb."
Recorded with actress Connie Stevens, the song (on Warner Bros. Records) made it to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1959.
At the peak of his popularity, Byrnes received more than 15,000 fan letters a week, exceeding the record that Warner Bros., the studio behind 77 Sunset Strip, had ever received for any star (yes, more than even Errol Flynn and James Cagney). The actor said he once appeared on 26 magazine covers in one week alone.
"As Kookie, I was one of the first young fellows on television, one of the first that the young could identify with," he said in 1969.
His contract prohibited Byrnes from accepting plum roles in such movies as Ocean’s Eleven, North to Alaska and Rio Bravo, and John F. Kennedy was said to have objected to having someone known as Kookie play him in the 1963 film PT 109. The role went to Cliff Robertson.
At one point, Byrnes walked off the show and retreated into a heavy drinking period. He returned in an "upgraded" role in May 1960, with Kookie now a partner in the agency and sporting a coat and tie.
After 77 Sunset Strip ended its six-season-run in 1963, Byrnes moved to Europe to star in a string of spaghetti Westerns and spy thrillers. He sporadically returned to Hollywood to capitalize on his Kookie notoriety.
In 1975, Merv Griffin signed Byrnes to host a new game show, and two half-hour pilots were filmed. NBC liked it but insisted on another host, and so Chuck Woolery got the gig on Wheel of Fortune.
New Orleans Bounce Music Pioneer 5th Ward Weebie Dies At 42
The NOLA native, best known for songs like “Let Me Find Out,” “Get Out The Way,” “F*** Katrina,” and Kane & Abel’s “Shake It Like A Dogg,” kicked off his career in 1997 as a backup dancer for rapper Cheeky Blakk. His debut album Show the World was released two years later. Weebie’s sophomore effort, Ghetto Platinum, and his third album, Take It To The Hole, dropped in 2001.
He also collaborated with Master P on the track, “Rock It,” and contributed to Drake’s “Nice for What.”