Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Series-Disabled Legend Dennis Day

Dennis Day was born on 21 May, 1916 in New York City, New York, USA and died on 22 June, 1988 of Lou Gehrig’s disease at the age of 72 in Los Angeles, California, USA. Dennis Day is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery. Dennis Day’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6646 Hollywood Boulevard.

Born Owen Patrick Eugene McNulty, was an Irish-American singer, radio and television personality.

Dennis Day was born and raised in New York City, the son of Irish immigrants. Dennis Day’s father was a stationary engineer. Dennis Day graduated from St. Patrick’s Cathedral High School, and attended Manhattan College, where he sang in the glee club.

Dennis Day appeared for the 1st time on Jack Benny’s radio show on 8 October, 1939, taking the place of another famed tenor, Kenny Baker. Dennis Day remained associated with Benny’s radio and television programs until Benny’s death in 1974. Dennis Day was introduced (with actress Verna Felton playing his mother) as a young (19 year old), naive boy singer — a character he kept through his whole career. Dennis Day’s
1st song was “Goodnight My Beautiful”.

Besides singing, Dennis Day was an excellent mimic. Dennis Day did many imitations on the Benny programme of various noted celebrities of the era, such as Ronald Colman, Jimmy Durante, and Jimmy Stewart.

Sam Berman’s caricature of Dennis Day for 1947 NBC promotional bookFrom 1944 through 1946, he served in the US Navy as a Lieutenant. On his return to civilian life, he continued to work with Benny while also starring his own show, A Day in the Life of Dennis Day (1946-1952). Dennis Day’s having 2 programmes in comparison to Benny’s 1was the subject of numerous jokes and gags on Benny’s show, usually revolving around Dennis Day rubbing Benny’s, and sometimes other cast members and guest stars’ noses in that fact.

Dennis Day’s TV series, The Dennis Day Show (aka The RCA Victor Show) was telecast from 1952 to 1954. Between 1952 and 1978, he made numerous TV appearances as a singer, actor and voice for animation (such as the Walt Disney feature Melody Time, voicing multiple characters).

In 1948,Dennis Day married Peggy Almquist; the marriage lasted until his death in 1988. The couple had 10 children. 1 of his brothers was wed to actress/singer Ann Blyth.

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Series-Disabled Legend Michael Zaslow

Michael Joel Zaslow was born on 1 November, 1942 and died on 6 December, 1998. Michael was an American actor. Michael is best known for his role as villain Roger Thorpe on CBS’s Guiding Light, a role he played from 1971 to 1980 and from 1989 to 1997.

Michael had earlier played Dick Hart on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow and Dr. Peter Chernak on Love is a Many Splendored Thing. Michael also played David Rinaldi on ABC’s One Life to Live from 1983 to 1986, and in 1998. Michael Zaslow was also a writer for the NBC soap opera Another World.

Michael Zaslow guest starred on a number of other television shows and soap operas, including Barnaby Jones and Law & Order. In the episode “The Man Trap,” the series’ 8September,1966 premiere of Star Trek, he played Crewman Darnell, the 1st starship Enterprise crewmember to be killed off. Michael also appeared as “Jordan” in the episode 1, Mudd.

Michael Zaslow’s Broadway theatre credits included Fiddler on the Roof, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Onward Victoria.

In 1997, he began to experience difficulty speaking. When it became noticeable on screen, he was placed on leave at Guiding Light. (There are conflicting stories as to whether Michael Zaslow was then fired; there was for some time a legal action against Guiding Light and sponsor Procter & Gamble, which eventually was settled.) It was some time before Michael Zaslow was finally diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Michael Zaslow did not return to GL and his role was briefly recast before being written off. (In 2004, Michael Zaslow’s character on GL died off-screen.)

In a show of support, Michael Zaslow was hired at One Life to Live in 1998 to play David Rinaldi again; his condition was written into the storyline. Michael Zaslow made several appearances before he was too ill to continue working; his final appearance on One Life to Live was televised on 1 December, 1998, days before his death.

Michael Zaslow’s widow, psychologist/writer Susan Hufford, and ZazAngels, a foundation that wishes to raise funds in order to find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease. Several of his Guiding Light and One Life to Live castmates, along with many Broadway-based theater luminaries, have participated in tributes to Michael Zaslow that were fundraisers for ZazAngels.

In 2004, Michael Zaslow and Susan Hufford’s daughter Helena died. Susan Hufford released a book last year about Michael Zaslow and his fight with ALS, titled Not That Man Anymore. Michael Zaslow had begun writing the book several years earlier.

In 2006, Michael Zaslow’s widow Susan Hufford lost her battle to cancer.

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