By December, so few celebrities had died that I worried my column was going to be about a few rock’n’roll nudniks and a handful of sitcom shnooks. But Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher put the kibosh on that.
Debbie Reynolds was a big movie star back when movies were movies and dinosaurs roamed the earth. She was in “Singing in the Rain” and “Tammy and the Singing Nun.” Only 84 years old. Still a kid.
Her daughter Carrie was famous in the “Star Wars” movies as the girl with the bagel hairdo. What’s not to like about bagels? So sad. They died one right after the other like Siamese twins.
Zsa Zsa Gabor? As an actress she was a kalikeh. Famous she was for being famous, marrying nine men (one short of a minyan), and having tens of thousands of yappity little dogs named after her.
Leonard Cohen I heard 100 years ago at the Rusty Nail. Even back then he was a kvetching old poet. A singer he wasn’t, but that didn’t stop him. Oy! That was some voice. Canadian he was. Do they count?
If so, then in mitske derinnen, Alan Thicke, dropped dead too. He was in the “Growing Pains” and later some genius talked him into doing a late-night show against Johnny Carson, who was still alive. Better he should’ve hit his head against a wall. Who stays up that late anyway? Insomniacs, parents with a new baby, and up-to-nogoodniks. That’s who.
Patty Duke won an Oscar for playing Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker.” Then she played twins on TV (A piece of narrishkeit), went all meshugge, and married that fast-talking little shmoozer with the Mexican name on the monster show. (John Astin, who played Gomez on “The Addams Family.”)
George Kennedy the actor died. Me, I’m not sure who he was, but it’s always sad when a Kennedy dies, except for the old man, the farbissener nazi (Joseph P. Kennedy). You can look it up.
I’ve said enough already.