A Truly Bad Day For The Arts

My friend Gummi from Iceland had posted that the legendary James Last, King of Easy Listening, had passed away. Of course many mourn his loss, but things got progressively worse of the past 24 hours.

Next was the loss of Christopher Lee, the best Dracula to ever appear on celluloid, and a man not to be trifled with in real life. Stage actor Ron Moody also died.

And it got worse. Ornette Coleman, who introduced the world to the concept of free jazz, died this morning. His albums, Foxhole and The Shape of Jazz To Come were formative listening for me.

The truly sad one doesn’t have a normal place here, as he was more of a TV performer. Dusty Rhodes, the professional wrestler who ‘won’ world titles during his stint in the National Wrestling Alliance, and who was known as an affable clown to WWE fans, also left this mortal coil. I grew up watching a lot of professional wrestling, as Saturday mornings were free before I played ball, cut the grass or read.

All will be missed.

[Film] Robin Williams, Oscar-Winning Comedian, Dies at 63 in Suspected Suicide

Recovery from alcohol-and-drug addiction, and the onset of Parkinson’s Disease, was too much for the beloved comic. The New York Times remembers Robin Williams in their Culture and ArtBeats section, as well as in the main section here.

Though he made plenty of jokes about religion, he was a practicing Episcopalian. May his family’s grief be ameliorated, and may Robin rest in peace.