The Pencil Today:


“Whatever poet, orator, or sage may say of it, old age is still old age.” — Sinclair Lewis


Ray Bradbury‘s dead, of course, but the real shocker was realizing that up until Tuesday he was still alive.

As soon as I heard the news, I began to wonder who else I assumed took the big nap years ago but is still alive. Here are some examples:

  • Carol Channing — Musical theater actress

Carol Channing

  • Cloris Leachman — Former beauty queen, TV actress, neighbor of “Rhoda”
  • Claes Oldenburg — Sculptor

Oldenburg’s “Batcolumn”

  • Andre Previn — Conductor and composer, former husband of Mia Farrow
  • Gloria Vanderbilt — Rich woman
  • Don Pardo — NBC TV booth announcer
  • Johnny Mathis — Silken-voiced balladeer

  • Andrew Greeley — Roman Catholic priest and author of envelope-pushing novels.
  • Yogi Berra — Baseball great and malapropist
  • Ravi Shankar — Indian sitarist
  • Ornette Coleman — Jazz musician

Ornette Coleman

  • Burt Bacharach — Wrote music for Hal David’s words
  • Hal David — Wrote words for Burt Bacharach’s music
  • Doris Day — 1950s song and movie icon
  • Maureen O’Hara — Stunning film actress, appeared in “The Quiet Man”

Maureen O’Hara

  • Carl Reiner — Comedian, TV pioneer
  • Stan Lee — Comic book author and publisher, former president of Marvel Comics

Lee Co-Created The Fantastic Four

  • E.L. Doctorow — Author of “Ragtime” and many others
  • Jasper Johns — Painter

Jasper Johns’ “Three Flags”

  • Fats Domino — New Orleans singer-songwriter, famous for “Blueberry Hill”
  • Richard Coogan — TV’s “Captain Video”
  • Professor Irwin Corey — Comedian, scatter-brained and erudite TV and film actor

Professor Irwin Corey

  • Herman Wouk — Author, wrote “The Winds of War” and “The Caine Mutiny”
  • Olivia de Havilland — Film actress, sister of Joan Fontaine
  • C. Everett Koop — Ronald Reagan’s Surgeon General
  • Ernest Borgnine — “Marty” and McHale
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor – Duh.

Zsa Zsa And One Of Her Many, Many, Many Husbands

  • Vera Lynn — British singer most famous for her rendition of “We’ll Meet Again” at the end of “Dr. Strangelove….”
  • Marvin Miller — Labor economist, union leader with United Steelworkers, transformed the Major League Baseball Players Association into the highest profile union in America
  • I.M. Pei — Architect, designed the pyramid at the Louvre, the Bank of China Tower, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Javits Convention Center, and many others
  • Celeste Holm — Stage and film actress, Karen in “All About Eve,” won the Academy Award for “Gentlemen’s Agreement:
  • Barry Commoner — Scientist and professor, ran for president for the Citizens Party in 1980
  • Kirk Kerkorian — Owned MGM studios, helped develop mega-resorts in Las Vegas
  • Phyllis Diller — Self-deprecating comedienne

Phyllis Diller

  • Joan Fontaine — Film actress, Academy Award-winner for “Suspicion,” sister of Olivia de Havilland
  • Janet Waldo — the voice of Judy Jetson
  • Patty Andrews — one of the Andrews Sisters
  • Otis Bowen — former Indiana governor
  • Pauline Phillips — Born Pauline Friedman, was “Dear Abby”, twin sister of Eppie “Ann Landers” Lederer

Dear Abby

  • Marjorie Lord — The wife on “The Danny Thomas Show”
  • Efrem Zimbalist Jr. — Star of TV’s “The FBI”
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti — Co-founder of City Lights bookstore, published Allen Ginsberg and many Beat writers, stood trial for obscenity for selling “Howl”
  • Pete Seeger — Revered folk singer
  • Louis Jourdan — Suave, debonair, French actor in American films and TV shows

Louis Jourdan

  • Al Molinaro — Owner of the drive-in on “Happy Days”
  • Nehemiah Persoff — Film and TV character actor, usually a tough guy or an ethnic type
  • Kitty Wells — The first woman singer to top the country music charts with the song, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”
  • Marge Champion — American choreographer and dancer, married to Gower Champion
  • Doris Lessing — Nobel Prize-winning South African author
  • Edward Brooke — The first black man elected to the United States Senate, from Massachusetts in 1966
  • Joseph Wapner — You know, Judge Wapner: “I know you’ve been sworn and I read your complaint….”
  • Alan Young — Wilbur on “Mr. Ed”
  • Frederik Pohl — Science fiction author
  • Jerry Maren — One of the Lollypop Guild guys in “The Wizard of Oz”

Jerry Maren

  • Henry Heimlich — Developed the eponymous maneuver
  • Sun Myung Moon — Religious lunatic worshiped by the Moonies
  • Ken Nordine — Creator  of “Word Jazz”
  • Richard Adams — Wrote “Watership Down”
  • Ray Harryhausen — Mvie special effects genius, worked on “Mighty Joe Young,” “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,” “It Came from Beneath the Sea,” “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers,” “Mysterious Island,” “Jason and the Argonauts,” and One Million Years BC”
  • Denton Cooley — Heart surgeon, implanted the first artificial heart in a human being
  • Roger Angell — New Yorker writer, author of “The Summer Game”
  • Mickey Rooney — Duh.
  • Jayne Meadows — Actress, married to the late Steve Allen

Jayne Meadows & Steve Allen

  • Yusef Lateef — Jazz musician, teacher, and composer
  • Chris Economaki — auto racing announcer, dubbed “The Dean of American Motorsports”
  • Nanette Fabray — Film, theater, and TV actress, comedic partner of Sid Caesar, also appeared in sitcom “One Day at a Time”
  • Stan Musial — Baseball great
  • Noel Neill — Lois Lane on TV’s “Superman”

Lois Lane And Her Man Of Steel

  • Dave Brubeck — Jazz pianist and bandleader
  • George Schultz — Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of Labor
  • Lou Harris — the first professional pollster hired by a presidential candidate, John F. Kennedy
  • Hugh Downs — Former “Today Show” host and commecrail pitchman for elderly-oriented products and services
  • Abe Vigoda — Fish on TV’s “Barney Miller,” Tessio in “The Godfather”

Abe Vigoda

  • Al Jaffee — Mad magazine cartoonist, specialized in the back-cover “fold-in”
  • Daniel Berrigan — Anti-war, pro-civil rights Roman Catholic priest, was on the FBI’s ten most wanted list
  • LeRoy Neiman — Painter, portrayed sports scenes, favorite of Playboy’s Hugh Hefner
  • Nancy Reagan — Protector of Saint Ronald Reagan’s legacy
  • Jake LaMotta — The “Bronx Bull” and subject of the Scorsese film, “Raging Bull,” former middleweight world boxing champ
  • John Glenn — Mercury astronaut, former Ohio senator

John Glenn Being Loaded Into Friendship 7

  • Esther Williams — Olympic swimmer who parlayed her sports success into a B-list movie career
  • Monty Hall — Host of “Let’s Make a Deal”
  • Ben Bradlee — Former Washington Post editor, oversaw Woodward & Bernstein’s Watergate investigations
  • Chico Hamilton — drummer, jazz bandleader, appeared in “The Sweet Smell of Success”
  • Patrick Macnee — Steed in TV’s “The Avengers”
  • Helen Gurley Brown — Former Cosmopolitan magazine publisher, author of “Sex and the Single Girl”

Helen Gurley Brown

  • Eileen Ford — founder of the world famous Ford Modeling Agency
  • Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) –Hallucinogenic experimenter, yoga and meditation proselytizer, author of “Be Here Now”
  • Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney) — Hippie clown, founder of the Hog Farm, Woodstock emcee
  • Barbara Hale — Della Street on TV’s “Perry Mason”
  • Jack Klugman — Oscar on TV’s “The Odd Couple” and Brenda’s father in the movie, “Goodbye, Columbus”

Jack Klugman

  • Bill Macy — The husband on “Maude”
  • Judith Crist — Film critic

Now, don’t be surprised.


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2 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Yogi Berra?

    Has he had anything to say about it?

  2. Mike Cagle says:

    Seriously?? You thought all those people were dead? The only one who surprised me is Yogi Berra. Oh, and maybe Ray Harryhausen. Who was a friend of Ray Bradbury, by the way.
    Gloria Vanderbilt: you could also describe her (for the benefit of your younger readers) as “Anderson Cooper’s mom.”
    As for Abe Vigoda, you can check to make sure he’s still alive at this web page:

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