Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column

Displaying keen perception and great insight.  
She's a little bit naughty. She’s a little bit nice.  
She calls ‘em like she sees (and hears) ‘em.  

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from December 28, 2012
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - December 28, 2012

Indrani Sardelli on April Z

Anthony Newley

Horsewoman, Indrani Sardelli, granddaughter of Las Vegas personality, Nelson Sardelli (who you may have seen mentioned in these columns before), leaps into the New Year in style...on the back of April Z. (see accompanying photo). The beautiful horse, which is for sale, belongs to Jennie Jarnstrom, owner of Class Act Farm in Apopka, Florida. Class Act Farm is a state-of-the-art boarding and training facility, about a 20 minute drive from downtown Orlando. It jus happens to be where young Ms. Sardelli is employed.

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According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, approximately 230,000 visitors are expected to celebrate the arrival of 2013 in this city. Called America's Party, there will be plenty to do, see, eat and drink, and buy, all around Southern Nevada. There will also be lots of entertainment options in Las Vegas on the last night of the year. After all, this is the Entertainment Capital of the‘s just a DIFFERENT Entertainment Capital of the World than it used to be. We remember what New Year's Eve in Las Vegas, during the "Good Old Days" was like, when co-headliners, such as Bob NEWhart and Anthony NEWley at the Sahara, and Shirley MacLaine and Freddie Prinze at Caesars, provided the entertainment. For New Year's Eve 2013, other than Celine Dion at the Colosseum at Caesars, Frankie Avalon and Wes Winters at the South Point (Ronnie Rose will also be performing at the South Point for another party), and Frankie Moreno at the Stratosphere, today, or more specifically Monday night, you are more likely to find names like Nicki Minaj, Ice & Coco, a bunch of DJs, and a Kardashian or two, providing the entertainment and/or atmosphere at the larger hotel/casinos. Unfortunately, in recent years, real headliners have pretty much become a thing of the past. In our opinion, it's too bad.

Shirley MacLaine

Gina Eckstine

If you happen to be in Southern California for New Year's Eve, you might want to check out the late Billy Eckstine's singing daughter, Gina Eckstine (she really IS his daughter), at a bash high atop The Morongo Hotel and Casino. The show starts at 9 p.m., and goes until after midnight (of course). Gina will be joined by a fabulous band called the Jay Birds. Lot's of great dance music and high energy all night long. Take your friends and shake out the old and groove in the new! Whatever...have fun!!! Morongo Casino Resort & Spa address is 49500 Seminole Drive, in Cabazon, California. Call (951) 849-3080 for directions and reservations.

And, if you're in The Big Apple (make that the very cold Big Apple)...The New Year's Eve Show Special at Feinstein's at Lowes Regency, billed as "The Nightclub of New York," will feature the Tony Award-winning Christine Ebersole with Michael Feinstein. Premium seats are $200. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. Show begins at 7 p.m. Call (212) 339-4095 for reservations. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m.; and New Year's Eve, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We understand the club will be closing at the Regency after the New Year's Eve shows. You might be able to get the details by e-mailing to [email protected].

Christine Ebersole

Carolyn Hamilton & Cork Proctor in Ecuador

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We forgot to mention that Billy Moran will be playing piano for Renee Hale and friends, during their three night gig at Kelly's Prime Steak & Seafood, located at 3900 Paradise, in the spot formerly occupied by Ruth Chris. Show times are from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, as well as on New Year's Eve.

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This weekend, comic Cork Proctor, changes his zip code, from one in Las Vegas, to one in Ecuador. Proctor, who turned 80 in July, celebrated the momentous occasion with a big birthday party/roast in the showroom at the South Point. It would take a room the size of a theater to hold the friends and fans that Proctor has accumulated in the many decades he has lived in Southern Nevada. We spotted him earlier this week, having lunch at a neighborhood restaurant near where he has been living. He is very excited about the adventure that lies ahead of him, and plans to make Ecuador his permanent home. He will be living with his former wife, Carolyn. The two appear to be happily divorced. Hopefully, this arrangement will work out well for both of them. Since Mr. Proctor has promised to stay in touch with us via electronic media, we will keep readers posted on how things are going for the twosome in a land far away.

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Railroad Pass Chef John Van Pelt

Railroad Pass Hotel/Casino Executive Chef, John Van Pelt, was declared the winner of this season's Annual Gingerbread House competition. His beautiful creation required the mind of an architect and the skills of a baker. The contest was open only to hotel employees, but Curt Thompson, Director of Operations at the historic Railroad Pass, located in the hills of Henderson, tells us that next year, any Southern Nevada resident can try their hand at Gingerbread House-making, with the Grand Prize-winner earning a cash prize. This year's second place winner, Dennis Wheeler, is Sous Chef at the South Boulder Highway's fine Steak House, and third place honors went to the property's buffet Sous Chef, Carol Gerstung. For those, like Cousin Claire, who might be curious as to what happens to the culinary delights after the holidays are over, Thompson told us that the winning house is sealed in plastic and stored away, to be brought out and displayed again at next season's Gingerbread House competition. The other entries, which have all been enjoyed by visitors to the Railroad Pass during the month of December, are donated to farmers in the area who pass the treats on to some of their animals. We suspect that there are some mighty happy four-legged pigs around these parts, after the new year has arrived.
Regarding the accompanying photo, we say, "Smile, Mr. Van Pelt. You're the WINNER!"

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Unfortunately, our busy holiday schedule prevented us from seeing the magical guitar artistry of Esteban on this, the first weekend of his three-month contract at the LVH on Paradise (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton and, before that, the International). The amazing magician will be joined by his talented daughter, violinist Teresa Joy, for concerts in the Shimmer Cabaret on Thursdays and Fridays, and on some Saturdays, when Rich Little takes some time off from his Jimmy Stewart and Friends show in the room. In January, in addition to the Thursday and Friday performances, Esteban's, Music From the Heart, will play on Saturdays, the 5th, 12th and 19th. All shows are at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $39 for VIP (plus tax and service charge), $29 General Admission (plus tax and service charge), and $19 for Locals Only with valid photo I.D. (plus tax and service charge). A Benihana dinner and show package is also available. Contact the hotel box office at (800) 222-5361.


The Amazing Johnathan

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On Friday, December 21st, Andrea Domanick from the Las Vegas Sun, wrote...
After 13 years in Las Vegas, comedian-illusionist Johnathan Szeles, known better by his stage name the Amazing Johnathan, is calling it quits. The Strip staple, who landed a residency at Bally's in September, broke the news on his Facebook page early this morning, and it sounds like the departure comes on less than amicable terms with his Caesars Entertainment employers: "Yes, we have ended our run in Vegas after 13 years. That is plenty long enough. I get it. It turned out the killer deal offered the Amazing Johnathan wasn't so killer (shocker!). I noticed this very soon when I began dreading going to work each night. This was mainly from seeing a lack of advertising. Even after playing there for three months, there were still more signs advertising acts that weren't even playing there anymore. It was death for me. There were NO signs to even tell people where the room was. Did they know they had the Amazing Johnathan, international headliner, playing in their hotel? I felt like an opening act that was accidentally double booked into a banquet room. It was like playing a mismanaged comedy club but without the horny waitresses & cocaine. Sometimes I miss the Old Vegas when they would, at least, look you in the eyes when they lied to you. I recall the days where the casinos would try to help you out instead of making everything so f***ing hard. I'm used to a standard, although very low, that isn't here anymore. So, after asking nicely a dozen times, I just stopped showing up. I think they should have noticed by now. It just felt right. It still does.
Thanks to everyone! What a blast!" Calls to Caesars Entertainment were not immediately returned. Tickets to the Amazing Johnathan's show are still being sold on Bally's website.

The self-described Freddy Krueger of Comedy has headlined year-round in venues across town since 2001, including gigs at the Harmon Theater and the Golden Nugget. He also brought the "Screamont Experiment" haunted attraction to downtown this Halloween.
No word yet on what his next step will be. Updated at 7 p.m.: Caesars Entertainment emailed a statement this afternoon: "We enjoyed having Amazing Johnathan at Bally's Las Vegas for the past few months, and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

On a personal note...We have never seen the Amazing Johnathan's show, but a couple of years ago, in the wee small hours of the night right before Christmas, we did happen to see him shopping at Wal-Mart. If you have ever seen his photo, it isn't hard to recognize the entertainer. Although, as a child, we were taught never to talk to strangers, we do so frequently. Since Johnathan had a couple of assistant/friends with him, and the group had three carts full of toys (at LEAST a $1000s worth), we couldn't help but ask him, "do you have a lot of kids?" The answer was that he didn't. What we did learn, was that the magic man was buying those toys for needy children. We were very impressed, and touched. We asked Johnathan if he would mind if we shared this news with our readers, and he asked us not to. We agreed, at that time, to abide by his wishes, even though some Wal-Mart employees told us that he had been doing this for a number of years. Since, according to the above Las Vegas Sun story, Johnathan is planning on leaving the area, we have decided to out him, and let the community know that he is a Secret Santa. We think it is important that the entertainer be recognized as, not just Amazing, but as a good, generous and caring man as well. His departure is a loss to the community. Happy holidays, Johnathan, wherever you may go.

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Reader Barbara Sue Schwartz sent us the following message:
"A group of us went to see the 10 tenors on a recent Monday night. It was horrible, I doubt that any one of them was even a tenor. it was like a revival meeting at a church and people were leaving like crazy. My friends and I are all complaining to the management. I got 2 free tickets because I gamble at the coast casinos. I chose that particular show because I love good music. I told my friends about it and they all bought tickets. None of us is an entertainer but we do attend shows at the property when we like the entertainers."
Signed - Barbara Schwartz and Ray Ferrero, The Liebermans, Karaalps, Sullivans and Sedlers.

Cousin Claire is not familiar with this reader/writer, nor, other than Earl Turner, are we familiar with the other members of the 10 Tenors (listed below). We have not seen this group, and we had no plans to do so when they returned to the property to perform again last Saturday, so we are in no position to agree or disagree with Ms. Schwartz's review. In addition to Mr. Turner, the other nine tenors are (in alphabetical order), Antone Dotson, Reggie Gonzales, Donell Harris, Jr., Michael Leyde, Giloh Morgan, Nate Pointer, C. Christopher Scott, Bruce Williamson, Jr. and Ken Young. If any other readers saw this show, we would be most curious to know what they thought. Do you agree or disagree with this "review"?

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Tomorrow night, Saturday, December 29th, Lisa Smith will be singing at The Dispensary Lounge, 2451 E. Tropicana (near Eastern Avenue), from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Lisa will be accompanied by some of the best musicians in Las Vegas: Gary Peterson (keys), Steve Flora (bass) and Ryan Rose (drums). Lisa celebrates her birthday, on Sunday the 30th, in the middle of her late night gig, so there will be a special midnight toast in honor of the occasion.

"Don't bother asking WHICH birthday," she says. "You know I'll say 29!" As always, there is no cover charge and no drink minimum...just really great food, awesome drink specials and LIVE JAZZ! Please come celebrate with us...even if it's just for a short time. If you've never been before, you will love it! Stop by if you can.

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From Charlie & Sherry Frye

We have received many creative and interesting holiday cards - sent both through the struggling US Postal Service and electronically. With permission from the senders, we are sharing some of them with our readers.

Bill Nolte & Donna Pompeii in CATS

Marty Allen & Karon Kate Blackwell

The Sardellis - Indy, Giovanna, Nelson & Pietra

Mia & Mickey Natole

From Charlie and Sherry Frye, entertaining around the world as Charlie Frye & Company, comes another one of Charlie's created Christmas masterpieces. In addition to being a fine juggler, magician and comic (in the style of Charlie Chaplin, Dick Van Dyke, Buster Keaton and Stan Laurel), Charlie is a talented cartoonist. He is SO good, that we let him create the portrait of Cousin Claire at the top of the weekly columns. Charlie and Sherry, his "assistant" in the act, recently spent a little time in their Henderson home, after a busy year of travel to far away places including Spain, England, Germany, Malaysia, China (several times), and Bogota. By the way, the sentiment inside the Frye's 2012 card is "Happy Holidays from Rudolph the Brown-nosed Reindeer." Look at the cartoon drawing and you will "get it." And, that's our friend, actor Bill Nolte as Old Deuteronomy in the National tour of CATS on the front of his card. Donna Pompeii, shown with Bill in the photo, also was in the touring production. Veteran comic Marty Allen and his musical bride, Karon Kate Blackwell, dressed appropriately for the photo on their card. Nelson Sardelli, and his daughters and granddaughter, chose pajamas for their Christmas photograph. Comic/impressionist, Rich Natole, and his delightful wife, Sue, put their two children, Mickey and Mia in the spotlight for their shared greetings. Songstress Deana Martin and her hubby John Griffeth took the formal approach for their greeting, dressing to the nines (whatever that means). Entertainer, Diane Ellis, now living back in the Boston area, clowns around with her mom Gloria in their cute holiday photos. Musical couple, Steven Lee and Brenda Leonard Cowart, have gone to the dogs, posing with their three pets. Photographer, Nancy Lee Parker, gets credit for the adorable doggy on the card sent by she and her husband, Ron Andrews, while friend, Mary Schwartz puts her pup, Freckles, on the front of her greeting card. Kid Cary and his lady, Sophie Merle, used some fancy computer work to put themselves in a custom car to share their message. And the talented Maria Pogee used a photo of her artwork, hand-painted dried garden roses, to share with her friends. And South Carolina's First Lady of Song, that would be former Las Vegan, Loretta Holloway, takes the traditional route, posing next to her tastefully decorated Christmas tree. Thanks to these folks, as well as quite a few others, who keep us on their greeting card lists.

Deana Martin & John Griffeth

Diane Ellis & Mom Gloria Calderone

Steven Lee, Brenda Leonard, Ice, Sasha & Debo

From Ron & Nancy Lee Parker Andrews

Mary Marcella Schwartz's Freckles

Kid Cary & Sophie Merle

Garden Memories by Maria Pogee

Loretta Holloway

And speaking of Loretta Holloway, if you can still locate a copy, the lady gets some ink in the November/December issue of Sheen magazine. Her feature story, A&E Vocal Vibes, is on page 48. The magazine was available at Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Target, Wal-Mart and Walgreen's. We have been told that you can (or could) even find the issue of Sheen in West and South Africa, if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

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Erich Bergen, who formerly played Bob Gaudio in the Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys, is playing Billy Crocker in the 1st National Tour of Anything Goes, Roundabout Theatre Company's 2012 Tony Winning Best Revival of a Musical. Rachel York stars as Reno Sweeney, Fred Applegate is Moonface Martin, and Joyce Chittick portrays Erma. Coincidentally, Joyce is married to Rick Faugno, who played Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys during the same time that Erich was in the award-winning musical at the Palazzo. Anything Goes, featuring the music of Cole Porter, will be at The Smith Center for eight performances, from February 5th through 10th (six nighttime shows and Saturday and Sunday matinees). In his December 22nd online blog, observant friend, John Katsilometes, writes "During his stint in "Jersey Boys," Bergen was an active performer away from the production, frequently appearing at Composers Showcase in the days it was held at Liberace Museum. The February Showcase at Cabaret Jazz falls during the "Anything Goes" run at Reynolds Hall, on Feb. 6. Showcase co-founder, emcee and regular performer Keith Thompson (music director of "Jersey Boys") says Bergen has agreed to participate in that February show, which starts at 10:30 p.m., just after "Anything Goes" takes its final bow. Bergen has always been a lot of fun at these events, and he is a really talented performer. As they say, born for the stage. Or in this instance, stages." Tickets for Anything Goes at The Smith Center range from $24 to $129.

In addition to his Las Vegas performances, Erich's run in the touring production of Anything Goes (through February 17th), will include stops in Cleveland, Ohio; East Lansing, Michigan; Nashville, Tennessee; Wilmington, Delaware; Tempe and Tucson, Arizona; Los Angeles and San Francisco, California and Dallas, Texas. For additional information on the show, visit

Erich Bergen

Marcus Weiss

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Yes, that's Marcus Weiss doing TV commercials for Ford Country. The multi-talented Mr. Weiss is currently performing in Le Reve at Wynn Las Vegas. In previous years in Las Vegas, he has been a member of the Blue Man Group and the Second City Improv. A few years back, Marcus gave, what we consider to be one of the best community theater performances we have seen here, when he played the lead in the cult favorite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

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Talk about a Merry Christmas! On Christmas Eve, after only a $3 wager on a $1 Millionaire Sevens slot machine, a gambler at the downtown Four Queens hit for $1,352,715.27. No big surprise...the big winner chooses to remain anonymous.

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You just have a few days left to vote for your favorite performers or shows through the 2012 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Awards. Among the competitors are...
In Las Vegas: Under Best Band - Human Nature, Domenick Allen's Vinyl; Under Best Book Musical - Jersey Boys, Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular; Under Best Comedian (Female) - Kelly Clinton; Under Best Concert (Long Run) - Frankie Moreno; Under Best Concert (Short Run) - Clint Holmes, Domenick Allen; Under Best Impersonator - Terry Fator, Frank Marino; Under Best Magician/Illusionist - Murray SawChuck; Under Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical - Travis Cloer in Jersey Boys; Under Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical - Reva Rice in Vegas! The Show; and Under Best Resident Show on the Strip - Evil Dead the Musical.

In Los Angeles: Under Best Cabaret Artist (Female) - Las Vegas' very own Dangerous Curves; Under Best Cabaret Artist (Male) - Jason Graae, Erich Bergen.

In New York: Under Best Tribute Show - Frank Dain, The Magic of Mathis; Under Best Cabaret Revue - KT Sullivan & Karen Kohler, Vienna to Weimer; Under Best Host of Variety Show - Jim Caruso; Under Best Male Celebrity Vocalist - Michael Feinstein, Mark Nadler, Clint Holmes, Eric Michael Gillett; Under Cabaret Show of the Year - Mark Nadler, I'm a Stranger Here Myself; Clint Holmes, Simon and Porter: This Thing Called Love.
Visit to check out more and to cast your votes. Give yourself enough time to go through the categories. Voting ends December 31st.

And speaking of Evil Dead the Musical...
Sirc Michaels Productions, the folks behind Evil Dead the Musical, send along this important, lifesaving announcement..."Be a hero, and get killer stuff while doing something good to help others! We need your help! January is National Blood Donor Month and it also happens to be when the local blood supply is at its lowest. So we've teamed up with UNITED BLOOD SERVICES and MAXIMUM COMICS to get YOU to help us stock up the blood supply. Let's not kid ourselves - we all know someone whose lives were saved by a blood donor. We may not even know it. We go through about 20 gallons of the fake stuff at every show, and we are dead set on making up for it with the real stuff this January! How can you help? Donate during our Blood Drive on Friday, January 4th. United Blood Services will have donor-equipped vans at MaximuM Comics, 7950 W. Tropical Parkway, Suite 120 (just north of Ann Road), from 3 - 7 p.m. What do you get? Well, screwhead, first of all you get to be a HERO. Secondly, MaximuM Comics is gonna have a KILLER comic on hand for you - free. And finally, we'll give you two, count em', TWO, general admission tickets to EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL at the V Theater! The folks at UNITED BLOOD SERVICES prefer appointments, so please hop online and make one today! You can do it at:

Penn & Teller

And speaking of donating blood...
If you just can't wait until January 4th, through Monday, the last day of 2012, you can get a voucher for FREE admission for two to see Penn & Teller at the Rio, if you give blood in Las Vegas. There are three United Blood Services locations where they will happily and gratefully accept donations - in Las Vegas, at 6930 W. Charleston and 4950 W. Craig Rd., and, in Henderson, at 601 Whitney Ranch Drive. Although walk-ins are welcome, it is best to call for an appointment and to get the hours of operation at the various locations. Call (702) 233-9620, or (877) UBS-HERO (827-4376). Give the gift of life.

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It was announced today, December 28th, that the newly opened Phat Pack show, at the Plaza Hotel & Casino, will shut down after their New Year's Day, 5 and 7 p.m. performances for a short, yet undetermined, time. Phat Pack cast member, Bruce Ewing, says, "We have been informed that we need to go dark while the showroom undergoes some renovations with lighting and sound equipment. Although we prefer to remain open, this truly will be a great thing for our show, and for all the shows in the Plaza Showroom. As we understand it, we hope to be back sometime around the 22nd of January, but we will announce our solid re-opening date when we know the specifics." In The Phat Pack, three Broadway performers, formerly with Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, sing the great songs of Broadway, American standards, Las Vegas favorites, along with some hilarious new original songs, as they share some stories of their lives and careers. This 75-minute revue tips its hat to the tradition of excellence and fun that The Rat Pack brought to the Las Vegas entertainment scene of the ‘50s and ‘60s, but brings it into the 21st century! The Phat Pack has earned rave reviews and standing ovations at every concert and appearance so far. The Phat Pack cast members are made up of Ted Keegan (the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and on tour), Randal Keith (Jean Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway and on tour), Ewing (Jinx in Forever Plaid on the National Tour and in Las Vegas), and Joey Singer (Debbie Reynolds' Musical Director for more than 25 years). If you love music and having fun, The Phat Pack is appropriate for all ages. We will keep our readers posted on what is coming next for this terrific show.

The Phat Pack

Bill Moore

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As we come to the end of a year that has seen many changes, we take this time to remember the talented people we have lost, both locally and around the world.


In 2012, the Las Vegas entertainment, and entertainment-related, community suffered the loss of too many of its members. Among them, Producer Bill Moore (January 19 at age 86); Musician Joe Mayer (January 31 at 90); Dancer/ choreographer Rene DeHaven (February); Songwriter/musician Gilbert Lopez (February 21); Entertainment attorney Mark Moreno (February 29 at 64); Interior designer Frank Dumond (March 20 at 54); Musician/songwriter/ entertainer Bruce Zarka (April 2 at age 64); Anne Marie Falcone, mother/grandmother of musicians Vince Falcone and Danny Falcone, respectively; Vocalist Michaelina Bellamy (April 7 at age 59); Roller-skater/ stagehand George Swift (June 7 at 85); Vocalist Audrey Arno (June 9 at 73); Ad man Ron Bell (June 28 at 69); Musician Walter Cunningham (July 7 at 64); Fledia "Micki" Sardelli, wife of entertainer Nelson Sardelli (July 8); Musician Tex Richardson (July 20 at age 59); Comic/impressionist Babe Pier (July 31 at age 82); Showgirl/ actress Marlene Koppenhaver (August 16 at 78); Entertainment columnist/Riviera VP of Entertainment Tony Zoppi (August 24 at 92); Musician Gary LeMaster (September 9 at 69); Entertainer Norman Kaye (September 17 at 89); Musician Henry Shead/Shed (October 5 at 71); Entertainer Patti James/Anne Richard (October 5 at 74); Musician Mark Adams (October 27 at age 54); and Celebrity dealmaker Jack Wishna (November 27 at 54).

Frank Dumond

Bruce Zarka

In addition to the losses in our own community, we also said goodbye to members of the international music world, including Johnny Otis (January 17 at 92); Etta James (January 20 at 73); Whitney Houston (February 11 at 48); Russell Arms (February 13 at 92); Dory Previn (February 14 at 86); Davy Jones (February 29 at 66); Earl Scruggs (March 28 at 88); Mort Lindsey (May 4 at 89); Donna Summer (May 17 at 63); Robin Gibb (May 20 at 62); Bob Welch (June 7 at 66); Richard Adler (June 21 at 90); Maria Cole (July 10 at 89); Kitty Wells (July 16 at 92); Tony Martin (July 27 at 98); Marguerite Piazza (August 2 at 90); Marvin Hamlisch (August 6 at 68); Hal David (September 1 at 91); Joe South (September 5 at 72); Dorothy McGuire of the McGuire Sisters (September 7 at 84); Andy Williams (September 25 at 84); Dave Brubeck (December 5 at 91); Jenni Rivera (December 9 at 43); and Ravi Shankar (December 11 at 92).

Michaelina Bellamy

Babe Pier

And, James Farentino (January 24 at 73); Welcome Back Kotter's Robert "Juan Epstein" Hegyes (January 26 at 60); Midnight Special's Don Cornelius (February 1 at 75); Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Author Han Suyin (February 2 at 95); Ben Gazzara (February 3 at 81); Big Valley's Peter Breck (February 6 at 82); Mary Hartman's Paul Bruns (February 8 at 80); Skier Jill Kinmont (February 9 at 75); Zina Bethune (February 12 at 66); Songwriter Robert Sherman (March 6 at 86); Artist Thomas Kinkade (April 6 at 54); Mike Wallace (April 7 at 93); Dark Shadows' Jonathan Frid (April 14); Dick Clark (April 18 at 82); George "Goober" Lindsey (May 6 at 83); Author Maurice Sendak (May 8 at 83); Celebrity hairdresser Vidal Sassoon (May 9 at 84); Comic Ron Shock (May 17 at 69); Desperate Housewives' Kathryn Joosten (June 2 at 72); Richard Dawson (June 2 at 79); Author Ray Bradbury (June 5 at 91); Ann Rutherford (June 11 at 94); Rodney King (June 17 at 47); Artist LeRoy Neiman (June 20 at 91); Author Nora Ephron (June 26 at 71); Robbie on My Three Sons' Don Grady (June 27 at 68); Andy Griffith (July 3 at 86); Ernest Borgnine (July 8 at 95); Sylvester Stallone's son Sage Stallone (July 13 at 36); Celeste Holm (July 15 at 95); Dr. Joe Gannon in TV's Medical Center Chad Everett (July 24 at 75); Sherman Hemsley (July 24 at 74); Gore Vidal (July 31 at 86); Helen Gurley Brown (August 13 at 90); Welcome Back Kotter's Ron "Horschack" Palillo (August 14 at 63); William Windom (August 16 at 88); Phyllis Diller (August 20 at 95); Astronaut Neil Armstrong (August 25 at 82); Actor Michael Clarke Duncan (September 3 at 54); Herbert Lom (September 27 at 95); Football player/actor Alex Karras (October 10 at 77); Gary Collins (October 13 at 74); Deborah Raffin (November 21 at 59); Larry Hagman (November 23 at 81); Jack Klugman (December 24 at 90); and Charles Durning (December 24 at 89).


An interesting note...
We were told earlier today that the current commemorative issue of Life magazine, with photos of those celebrities who passed away this year, shows a picture of actress Dorothy McGuire (who died in 2001), instead of singer Dorothy McGuire of the McGuire Sisters, who left us in September. We plan to check this out for ourselves, during our next trip to Wal-Mart.

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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye