Sunday, June 30, 2013

Remembering George "Spanky" McFarland October 2, 1928 - June 30, 1993

George "Spanky" McFarland was an American actor most remembered as being a childhood star in the "Our Gang" series during the 1930's-40's and was later syndicated to television as The Little Rascals.

His acting career began in response to a trade magazine advertisement by Hal Roach Studios seeking photographs of "cute kids". George's aunt responded to the ad and George was asked to do a screen test.   The rest is history.

"Spanky" became the leader of "Our Gang" and became a Hollywood star.  When his acting career discontinued at the age of 14, Spanky served in the US Air Force.  He had numerous jobs as a young adult including work at a soft drink plant, a hamburger stand, and popsicle factory. He also made appearances including a children's show.  He later sold wine and operated a restaurant and night club and from time to time made television appearances and speaking engagements.  His final television appearance was in 1993 having played himself in an episode of the television sitcom, "Cheers"

McFarland was one of only two of the "Our Gang" actors to received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He collapsed on June 30, 1993 while getting dressed and was pronounced dead in Baylor University Medical School as the result of a cardiac arrest.  He was 64 years old.  His memorial service was held at the First United Methodist Church in Ft. Worth.  Following cremation, he was laid to rest in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Remembering Bob Crane July 13, 1928 - June 29, 1978

Robert Crane was an American actor and disc jockey.  He began his career as a disc jockey. and hosted The Bob Crane Show that became a #1 rated morning show.

Bob Crane is best known for his role

as "Col. Robert Hogan" on the popular television sitcom, "Hogan's Heroes" from 1965 to 1971 and received two  Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his work.

Later, Crane became a fixture on the dinner theatre circuit for ten years. Other roles over the years include "Abby Dalton" in Cactus Flower, two Disney films "Superdad" and "Gus." Bob Crane also appeared in "The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz."

Bob Crane suffered a tragic death having been bludgeoned by a weapon that was never found on June 29, 1978. He was 49 years old. His death remains a mystery.
Crane's final resting place is Westwood Memorial Park in Westwood, California

Friday, June 28, 2013

Remembering Billy Mays "The Pitchman" July 20, 1958 - June 28, 2009

Billy Mays was an American television salesperson and is most remembered for advertising OxiClean.

He also promoted Orange Glo, Kaboom, and other cleaning and maintenance products. Billy Mays was featured on "Pitchman" a TV series that documented his work and was often seen on the Home Shopping Network.

Billy also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Conan O'Brien Show.

Billy Mays died suddenly on June 28, 2009 in his home in Miami, Florida as a result of hypertensive heart disease. Cocaine use was listed as a contributory cause.

Mays funeral was held in McKees Rocks (near Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania. Family and friends served as pallbearers and wore the blue shirts (oxiclean logo) and khaki pants that Mays became known for in his promotions.  Those who attended his service received his caricature pictured above.

Billy Mays was laid to rest in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Country Travel Discoveries visit's the Famous Endings Museum

Toland-Herzig staff member Eric Zobel had the opportunity to host a great group of folks from the 

Country Travel Discoveries Tours yesterday sharing some Famous Endings.

Remembering Jack Lemmon - February 8th, 1925 - June 27th 2001


Jack Lemmon was an American actor and musician who starred in more than 60 films. Among his successful films were "Some Like It Hot" along with Marilyn Monroe, "The Apartment" "Mister Roberts" "Days of Wine and Roses" and "The Great Race.

Lemmon won Best Actor Academy Award for his performance in "Save The Tiger."

Jack Lemmon was a favorite actor of the legendary director Billy Wilder who, incidentally, was laid to rest in the cemetery lot next to Lemmon.

Jack Lemmon often appeared in films with his actor friend, Walter Matthau including "The Odd Couple" as Felix Ungar, "The Fortune Cookie" "The Front Page" and "Buddy Buddy". Lemmon and Matthau also appeared together in "Grumpy Old Men"   "Out To Sea" and "Grumpier Old Men."

Jack Lemmon's autobiography is titled "My Life"

Jack Lemmon died of colon cancer and cancer of the bladder on June 27, 2001 at the age of 76.

He rests in Westwood Village Memorial Park and Lemmon's monument is engraved Lemmon "in".  I had mentioned that Wilder rests on one side of Lemmon and on the other side, his friend, Walter Matthau.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Remembering Nora Ephron May 19, 1941-June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron was an American journalist, screenwriter, novelist, director and blogger.

She is best known for her romantic comedies and was nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Writing (of a screenplay). 

Among Nora Ephron's works were "Silkwood" "When Harry Met Sally" "Sleepless in Seattle" and her final film "Julia & Julia." She also co-authored Love, Loss and What I Wore.

Interestingly, Nora was one of a very few people who knew the true identity of Deep Throat during the Nixon years having been married to Carl Bernstein (one of the reporters during that time)

An award is named in Nora's honor for a female writer or filmmaker with a distinctive voice.

Nora Ephron died on June 26, 2012 from pneumonia resulting from acute myeloid leukemia.

Nora Ephron had completely planned her funeral that included in her funeral program favorite recipes from her friends including the recipe of columnist Liz Smith. Following her death, she was cremated and scattered at an undisclosed location.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Remembering Farrah Fawcett - February 2nd, 1947 - June 25th, 2009

Farrah Fawcett was an American actress and artist who received multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations. Farrah played Jill Munroe in the first season of "Charlie's Angels" and had highly rated roles in movies including "The Burning Bed", "Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story", "Poor Little Rich Girl" and "Double Exposure."  Fawcett was considered a sex symbol and international pop culture icon. She was ranked #26 on TV Guide's Greatest TV Stars of All Time.  Men's Health named her one of the 100 Hottest Women of All Time (ranked #31)

Farrah is also remembered for her role as actor Robert Duvall's wife in "The Apostle." Farrah died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 62 from complications from cancer.

Her private funeral attended by nearly 500 family members and friends was held in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the

Angels in Los Angeles. (funeral program pictured). The program included a few lines from James Joyce's poem "At That Hour."A bagpiper played Amazing Grace. Among those who eulogized Farrah were her friend and fellow Angel, Kate Jackson who talked about how they met and how their friendship grew over the years.  Alana Stewart, Farrah's best friend and producer of Farrah's documentary, "Farrah's Story" also spoke her courage. Letters from Farrah were shared to her family including Ryan O'Neal, her son, Redmond, and her father, James Fawcett.  Her casket was covered with bright yellow and orange flowers.

Her funeral procession then proceeded to Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles where she was laid to rest.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Remembering Jackie Gleason - February 26, 1916 - June 24, 1987

Jackie Gleason was an American comedian, actor, and musician.  Among his notable film roles as Minnesota Fats in 1961 “The Hustler” with Paul Newman and as Buford T. Justice in “Smokey and the Bandit.”

His famous television role was Ralph Kramden in “The Honeymooners” & Other film roles include “Navy Blues” “ All Through The Night” “Orchestra Wives” and “Larceny, Inc.”

His own television show became the country’s second highest rated television show during the 1954-55 season.  He also hosted the “Cavalcade of the Stars” & he even won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical in “Take Me Along.”

He also had serious roles including “Requiem for a Heavyweight” and “Soldier in the Rain," and He was also an outstanding musician known for his albums of “mood music” by Capitol Records.

Jackie was a chain smoker most of his life and He died on June 24, 1987 at the age of 71 from colon cancer and complications from heart surgery.

He rests in an outdoor mausoleum at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Miami, Florida and his famous quote etched is on his crypt “And Away We Go.”

For more on my famous endings collection be sure to check out our Facebook Page

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Remembering Peter Falk - Sept. 26, 1927 - June 23, 2011

Peter Falk was an American actor, He appeared in numerous films including “The Precious Bride” “The Great Race” and “Next."  He was nominated for an Academy Award twice for his role in Murder, Inc. and “Pocketful of Miracles”

Peter is probably most remembered for his role as “Colombo” & TV Guide ranked #21 on its 50 Greatest Stars of All Time.  His first stage appearance was at the age of 12 in “The Pirates of Penzance” at Camp High Point & His autobiography is called “Just One More Thing.”

He played a cabbie in “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and He appeared in three popular Christmas movies “A Town Without Christmas” “Finding Johnny Christmas” and “When Angels Come To Town”
Peter died of cardiorespiratory arrest on June 23, 2011 along with alzheimer’s disease and pneumonia at the age of 83.

Famous Endings, Whats it all about?

It all started back in 1996 when John Herzig's hobby was collecting autographs. John had requested the autographed photo of legendary boxer Joe Louis and received a package containing MORE than just the photograph – it contained the program from the fighter's 1981 funeral ceremony. That event sparked John's interest in famous funerals, and began his collection, currently numbering some 1,500 pieces… considered the largest known collection of its kind!
Some of the more unique items include: folders, photos and related documents from the deaths of presidents: Calvin Coolidge, , John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, , Woodrow Wilson, William McKinley, Richard Nixon, and politicians and world leaders and influencers: Martin Luther King, Governor George Wallace, Sir Winston Churchill, Barry Goldwater, Robert F. Kennedy, Queen Victoria, , and the Duke of Windsor, celebrities: , Don Knotts, Mel Torme,, Charles Schulz, , Carroll O'Connor, Perry Como, , Liberace, Joan Crawford, ,, Henry Fonda,  and John Belushi, and from the world of sports: Joe Louis, Tom Landry, Jesse Owens, Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Wilt Chamberlain, Knute Rockne, , Bob Feller,, Satchell Paige,  and Harry Caray.
Of course this list just scratches the surface.
The collection also includes audio recordings and photographs from famous funerals as well as celebrity gravesite markers and monuments visited personally by Herzig.
The museum is open to the public during normal office hours (Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.). 
If your group needs a speaker, you can hear the stories behind the collection and how each life was celebrated. Every piece of memorabilia has it's own unique story behind it. Give us a call at 330-343-6132 and we can schedule a presentation or a tour of the museum led by John.
You can also get a daily update from the museum on facebook!Just "Like" our page!
Be sure to visit our Famous Endings Blog for the latest additions to the Museum, upcoming events, and more!