Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Tom Fears

Thomas Jesse Fears was born on 3 December, 1923 in Guadalajara, Mexico and died on 4 January, 2000 after spending a 6 year long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Tom was the son of an American mining engineer who had married a Mexican woman, and moved with his family to Los Angeles at the age of 6. There, he began to display his ample work ethic by unloading flowers for 25 cents an hour, and later serving as an usher at football games for double that amount.

Tom was an American football wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League, playing 9 seasons from 1948 to 1956.

Tom first played football at Los Angeles’ Manual Arts High School, then advanced to compete for Santa Clara University. Tom spent 1 year at the latter school before he was drafted for World War II and spent the next 3 years in military service. After his father became a Japanese prisoner of war, Tom sought to become a fighter pilot to fight Japan. Tom became a pilot, but was instead shipped to Colorado Springs to play football for a service team.

Upon his release, he had been drafted by the Rams in 1945, but remained in school and transferred to UCLA, winning All-American following each of his 2 seasons at the school. Tom’s senior campaign nearly ended in abrupt fashion in 1947, when he and some Bruin teammates were investigated for posing in local advertisements for a Los Angeles clothing store. When it was determined that Tom and the other players worked for the store, and were not identified as athletes, the matter was dropped.

The job had been one of many provided by school boosters, and included a brief bit as a pilot in the Humphrey Bogart film, “Action in the North Atlantic.” The largesse by such people led Tom to joke that his $6,000 first-year contract and $500 bonus from the Rams meant that he was taking a pay cut.

Tom was the first player in NFL History to line up on the line of scrimmage, away from the tackle, thus making him the first Wide Receiver in NFL History. Selected as a defensive back by the Rams, Tom quickly made his mark as a wide receiver in 1948, while also displaying his versatility by playing on defense and at tight end. During his first 3 seasons at the professional level, he led all NFL receivers in catches, and broke the league’s single-season record with 77 catches in 1949.

The record would be short-lived as he increased that mark to 84 during the 1950 NFL season, including a then-record 18 catches in one game against the Green Bay Packers on 12 November. Tom also helped the team advance to the NFL title game with a trio of touchdown receptions in the divisional playoff against the Chicago Bears, winning All-Pro accolades for the second consecutive year.

During the ensuing offseason, Tom became embroiled in a contract dispute with the team for the second straight year. The year before, he hinted at leaving the team to work for General Motors Corporation, then announced on 13 March, 1951 that he was retiring to work for a local liquor distributor. Neither threat materialized, and despite offers from four Canadian Football League teams, Tom signed for $13,000.

That season, Tom played in only 7 games, but helped lead the Rams to their 3rd straight championship game appearance. After 2 disappointments, the franchise captured its 1st NFL title since moving to the West Coast, with Tom an integral part of the title game victory when he caught the winning score. Tom’s 73-yard touchdown reception midway through the 4th quarter broke a 17-17 deadlock with the Cleveland Browns.

After bouncing back in 1952 with 48 receptions for 600 yards and 6 scores, the beginning of the end of his career began after he fractured 2 vertabrae in a 18 October, 1953 game against the Detroit Lions. Limited to just 23 receptions that year, he would average 40 catches the next 2 years, but after a preseason injury in 1956, he hauled in only 5 passes and retired on 6 November. For the remainder of that campaign, he served as an assistant coach, finishing his playing days with 400 catches for 5,397 yards and 38 touchdowns.

Tom was out of the game for the next 2 years, but returned briefly as an assistant in the 1st year of Vince Lombardi’s reign with the Packers. Business conflicts back in California caused him to leave the position at midseason, but Tom resumed his coaching career the following year with the Rams under former teammate Bob Waterfield. After 2 seasons in that role, Tom returned to Green Bay for a 4 year stint as an assistant, where he was part of championship teams in 1962 and 1965.

Tom applied for the head coaching job with the St. Louis Cardinals (football) after the 1965 NFL season, but after not being chosen, he joined fellow Packer assistant Norb Hecker, who had been named head coach of the expansion Atlanta Falcons. In the first game of the 1966 regular season, Tom caused controversy when he accused Rams coach George Allen of attempting to garner inside information on the team from a player that had been cut, charges that were never proven.

After that 2-12 first season in Atlanta, Tom became a head coach for the first time when he was hired by the expansion New Orleans Saints on 27 January, 1967. Despite the promise of the team scoring on the first-ever kickoff return in franchise history, Tom’s nearly 4 years at the helm of what became a perennial losing franchise were an exercise in frustration.

In 1970, Tom was recognized for his professional playing career when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That March, rumors of Tom replacing the departed Don Shula with the Baltimore Colts surfaced, but Don McCafferty was hired by the Maryland team in early April. Issues between Tom and Saints owner John Mecom, Jr., primarily Tom seeking the additional role of general manager, fueled such speculation. On 20 April, the matter ended when he was given control over all player personnel matters.

Tom’s tenure in his new dual roles, however, would be short, when the team ended the first half of the 1970 NFL season with a 1-5-1 mark, resulting in his dismissal on 3 November after compiling an overall mark of 13-34-2. Tom resurfaced a few months later, serving as offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, but when head coach Ed Khayat was fired at the end of the 1972 NFL season, Tom was out of work again.

After spending 1973 off the gridiron, Tom was named head coach of the fledgling World Football League’s Southern California Sun on 14 January, 1974. The fragile financial condition of the entire league resulted in Tom leading the team for less than 2 years before the WFL folded in October 1975.

Tom’s disappointment was soothed somewhat when he was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1976, the same year he was named president of the All-Sports Council of Southern California, which helped amateur sports in the area. 1 year later, he returned to coaching as an assistant at San Bernardino Junior College.

During this period, he was also working as a technical adviser for movies with a football connection, and in 1979, began a football scouting service. The 2 roles came together in controversial fashion when Tom began working on the production of “North Dallas Forty,” a film that took a look at the sordid side of the professional game.

Tom had 3 clients: the Packers, Houston Oilers and Pittsburgh Steelers, but after the movie was released, Tom saw all 3 teams drop his services. Claiming that the NFL had blacklisted him, Tom spoke with league commissioner Pete Rozelle (who had worked for the Rams during Toms’ playing days), but never again found work in the league.

Remaining on the fringes of the sport, Tom in 1980 worked as a coach for the Chapman College club football team, then became a part-owner of the Orange Empire Outlaws of the California Football League the following year. In 1982, he was hired as player personnel director of the new United States Football League’s Los Angeles Express. Bolstered by huge spending from team owner William Daniels, the team reached the conference championship game, but saw financial troubles doom not only the team, but the league as well.

Tom’s final position in football came in 1990, when he was named head coach of the Milan franchise in the fledgling International League of American Football.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more Celebrities featuring Shortly ………….

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Sir Rudolf Bing

Sir Rudolf Bing was born on 9 January, 1902 in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire and died on 2 September, 1997 from Alzheimer’s disease and respiratory failure aged 95 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Yonkers, New York.

Sir Rudolf Bing was an Austrian-born opera impresario. Sir Rudolf Bing was General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1950 to 1972. Sir Rudolf Bing was knighted in 1971.

Sir Rudolf Bing was born to a well-to-do Jewish family(his father was an industrialist) Sir Rudolf Bing studied at the University of Vienna and as a young man worked in theatrical and concert agencies. In 1927 he went to Berlin, Germany and subsequently served as general manager of opera houses in that city and in Darmstadt.

While in Berlin, he married a Russian ballerina, but in 1934, with the rise of Nazi Germany the Bings moved to Great Britain where, in 1946 Sir Rudolph Bing became a naturalised British subject. There he helped to found the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and, after the war, organized the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.

In 1949 he went to the United States, to become General Manager of the Metropolitan the following year, a post he held for 22 years. Sir Rudolph Bing supervised the move of the old Metropolitan to its new quarters in Lincoln Center and his administration was, by any account, one of the great eras of Metropolitan Opera. It was summed up as follows:

Wielding his powerful position at the Metropolitan Opera with intense personal charisma over two decades, Sir Rudolf Bing ruled much of the operatic universe in autocratic fashion, nurturing young artists and cutting superstars down to size with equal enthusiasm. Sir Rudolph Bing oversaw the abandonment in 1966 of the stately but somewhat dilapidated old Metropolitan Opera House and the construction of a grand monument to his regime, the building the company now occupies, which dominates Lincoln Center. For good or ill, his conservative musical and dramatic bent, predilection for Italian opera and concern for theatrical values yielded an identifiable artistic legacy.

During Sir Rudolph Bing’s tenure, Marian Anderson became the first African American to sing at the house.

After leaving the Met, Sir Rudolph Bing wrote 2 books, 5000 Nights at the Opera
(1972) and A Knight at the Opera (1981).

Sir Rudolf Bing’s wife Nina died in 1983. In January 1987, he married again and his wife took him to the Caribbean. However, she was reputedly unbalanced, and as he himself had been suffering for many years from Alzheimer’s disease, an American court eventually declared him incompetent to enter into a marriage contract and annulled the marriage. The case was a cause célèbre.

In 1989 Roberta Peters and Teresa Stratas arranged for Sir Rudolph Bing to be admitted to The Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, Bronx, where he resided until his death.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more Celebrities featuring Shortly ………….

Bookmark and Share

Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Ross Macdonald

Ross Macdonald was born on 13 December, 1915 in Los Gatos, California and died on 11 July, 1983 in Santa Barbara, California of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Ross Macdonald was the pseudonym of the American-Canadian writer of crime fiction Kenneth Millar. Ross Macdonald is best known for his highly acclaimed series of hardboiled novels set in southern California and featuring private detective Lew Archer.

Ross Macdonald was raised in his parents’ native Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, where he started college. When his father abandoned his family unexpectedly, Ross Macdonald lived with his mother and various relatives, moving several times by his sixteenth year. The prominence of broken homes and domestic problems in his fiction has its roots in his youth.

In Canada, he met and married Margaret Sturm in 1938. They had a daughter, Linda, who died in 1970. Ross Macdonald began his career writing stories for pulp magazines. Ross Macdonald attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a Phi Beta Kappa key and a Ph. D. in literature. While doing graduate study, he completed his first novel, The Dark Tunnel, in 1944. At this time, he wrote under the name John Macdonald, in order to avoid confusion with his wife, who was achieving her own success writing as Margaret Millar. Ross Mcdonald then changed briefly to John Ross Macdonald before settling on Ross Macdonald, in order to avoid mixups with contemporary John D. MacDonald. After serving at sea as a naval communications officer from 1944 to 1946, he returned to Michigan, where he obtained his Ph.D. degree.

Ross Macdonald’s popular detective Lew Archer derives his name from Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer and from Lew Wallace, author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Ross Macdonald first introduced the tough but humane private eye in the 1946 short story “Find the Woman.” A full-length novel, The Moving Target, followed in 1949. This novel (the 1st in a series of 18) would become the basis for the 1966 Paul Newman film Harper. In the early 1950s, he returned to California, settling for some 30 years in Santa Barbara, the area where most of his books were set. (Ross Macdonald’s fictional name for Santa Barbara was Santa Teresa; this “pseudonym” for the town was subsequently resurrected by Sue Grafton, whose “alphabet novels” are also set in Santa Teresa.) The very successful Lew Archer series, including bestsellers The Goodbye Look, The Underground Man, and Sleeping Beauty, concluded with The Blue Hammer in 1976.

Ross Macdonald is the primary heir to Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler as the master of American hardboiled mysteries. Ross Macdonald’s writing built on the pithy style of his predecessors by adding psychological depth and insights into the motivations of his characters. Ross Macdonald’s plots were complicated, and often turned on Archer’s unearthing family secrets of his clients and of the criminals who victimized them. Lost or wayward sons and daughters were a theme common to many of the novels. Ross Macdonald deftly combined the two sides of the mystery genre, the “whodunit” and the psychological thriller. Even his regular readers seldom saw a Ross Macdonald denouement coming.

Inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ross Macdonald’s writing was hailed by genre fans and literary critics alike. Author William Goldman called his works “the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American”.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more Celebrities featuring Shortly ………….

Bookmark and Share

Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Molly Picon

Molly Picon was born Małka (Margaret) Opiekun on 1 June, 1898 in New York City, New York, USA to Clara and Louis (or Denis) Opiekun (later changed to Picon). Opiekun is a Polish language name meaning, “guardian” or “caretaker”. Molly Picon died on 5 April, 1992 aged 93, from Alzheimer’s disease in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Molly Picon is buried in the Yiddish Theater section of the Mount Hebron Cemetery.

Molly Picon’s husband, from 1919 until his death in 1975 from cancer, was Jacob Kalich. They had no children.

Molly Picon was an American star of stage, screen and television, as well as a lyricist. Molly Picon was first and foremost a star in Yiddish theatre and Film, but as Yiddish theatre faded she began to perform in English-language productions.

Molly Picon’s career began at the age of 6 in the Yiddish Theatre. In 1912, she debuted at the Arch Street Theatre in New York and became a star of the Second Avenue Yiddish stage.

Molly Picon was so popular in the 1920s that many shows had the name Molly in their title. In 1931 she opened the Molly Picon Theatre. Molly Picon appeared in many films, starting with silent movies. Molly Picon earliest film still existing is East and West which deals with the clash of new and old Jewish cultures. Molly Picon plays an American-born daughter who travels with her father back to Galicia in East Central Europe. Real-life husband Jacob Kalich plays one of her Galician relatives from Eastern Europe.

Molly Picon’s most famous film, Yidl Mit’n Fidl (1936), was made on location in Poland, and has her wearing male clothing through most of the film. In the film, a girl and her father are forced by poverty to set out on the road as traveling musicians. For her safety, she disguises herself as a boy, which becomes inconvenient when she falls in love with one of the other musicians in the troupe.

Molly Picon made her English language debut on stage in 1940. On Broadway, she starred in Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn and the Jerry Herman musical Milk and Honey, both in 1961. In 1966 she quit the disastrous Chu Chem during previews in Philadelphia; the show closed before reaching Broadway.

Molly Picon’s first English speaking role in the movies was the film version of Come Blow Your Horn (1963), and she portrayed Yente, the Matchmaker in the film adaptation of the Broadway hit Fiddler on the Roof in 1971.

In the 1970s, she was featured as a madame named Mrs. Cherry in For Pete’s Sake, a film starring another famous Jewish-American actress, Barbra Streisand. Molly Picon later played a role on television on the soap opera Somerset.  An entire room was filled with her memorabilia at the Second Avenue Deli in New York
(now closed).

The little “yente” with the big, expressive talent, New York-born Yiddish icon Molly Picon entertained theater, radio, TV and film audiences for over seven decades with her song-and-dance routines while helping to popularize the Yiddish culture into the American mainstream as well as overseas. Raised in Philadelphia, she was performing from age 5 but broke into the big time with a vaudeville act called “The Four Seasons” in 1919, eventually making a comedy name for herself in the Second Avenue Theatres on the Lower East Side back in New York. The indefatigable Molly Picon was a real live wire and played very broad, confident, dominant characters on stage, which ended up making it hard for her to be taken seriously in dramatic pieces.

In film she is best remembered for her Yiddish-language showcases of the 30s, notably in Yidl with His Fiddle (1936), the story of a traveling musician who dresses as a boy to avoid unwarranted male advances. Molly Picon was cast as a Yiddish Cinderella, a dutiful but unappreciated daughter who cares for her father and his large family, in Mamele (1938), the last Jewish film made in Poland. During one musical vignette, Molly Picon portrays her character’s grandmother in several stages of life. In the 1940s, Molly Picon started to include English-speaking plays as well and as she grew into matronly roles, became synonymous as the typical well-meaning but overbearing and coddling “Jewish mama.” Such amusing, unflappable film roles would be found in Come Blow Your Horn (1963) (as an interfering Italian mother) and Fiddler on the Roof (1972) as Yente the matchmaker. Molly Picon long association with husband and corroborator, Yiddish stage star Jacob Kalich, was a fruitful one. Husband Jacob Kalich became her mentor, the author of many of her popular plays and the manager of her career. They Married in 1919, Jacob Kalich died in 1975 but she continued performing albeit sporadically. Vicariously known as the “Jewish Charlie Chaplin” and “Jewish Helen Hayes”, she was a patriot and humanitarian at heart, with an energy, creativity and ability to entertain that couldn’t help but make her one of entertainment’s most beloved citizens.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more Celebrities featuring Shortly ………….

Bookmark and Share

Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Mike Frankovich

Mitchell John “Mike” Frankovich was born on 29 September 1909 and died on 1 January 1992 in California, USA of pneumonia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Mike was a film producer and husband of the late actress Binnie Barnes (who converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism for him, as he was a Roman Catholic), who was 6 years his senior; they adopted 3 children, including producer Peter Frankovich and production manager, Mike Frankovich Jr..

Mike played football for UCLA and was inducted into UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986. Mike served as president of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and helped to bring the Los Angeles Raiders football team and 1984 Summer Olympics to Los Angeles.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more Celebrities featuring Shortly ………….

Bookmark and Share

Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Marvin Owen

Marvin James Owen was born on 22 March, 1906 in Agnew, California, USA and died on 22 June, 1991 at the age of 85 in Mountain View, California, USA having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Marvin was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball. Marvin played 9 seasons in the American League with the Detroit Tigers (1931; 1933-37), Chicago White Sox (1938-39), and Boston Red Sox (1940).

Marvin played college baseball for the Santa Clara Broncos. After he joined the Tigers in 1931, Owen played a full season in the minor leagues before rejoining the team in 1933.

The Detroit infield in the mid-1930s was one of the best-hitting combinations in MLB history. With Hank Greenberg at first, Charlie Gehringer at second, Billy Rogell at shortstop, and Owen at third, the 1934 Tigers infield collected 769 hits’ (214 by Gehringer, 201 by Greenberg, 179 by Owen and 175 by Rogell), 462 RBIs (139 by Greenberg, 127 by Gehringer, 100 by Rogell, and 96 by Owen), 179 doubles (63 by Greenberg, 50 by Gehringer, 34 by Owen and 32 by Rogell). 3 members of the 1934 Tigers infield (Gehringer, Owen and Rogell) played in all 154 games, and the fourth (Greenberg) played in 153. Led by the hard hitting infield, the Tigers won the American League in both 1934 and 1935.

In Game 7 of the 1934 World Series at Navin Field, Joe Medwick tripled in the 6th inning with the score 7-0. On the play, Marvin was knocked down by a hard slide at third and both players fought. The incident and subsequent fan reaction toward Medwick forced Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis to remove Medwick from the game. Marvin batted just .069 (2-29) in the Series and would again bat a lowly .050 (1-20) in the 1935 World Series, in which the Tigers defeated the Chicago Cubs in 6 games. Marvin managed to set a post-season record of most consecutive plate appearances between hits 31.

In 1936, Marvin batted .295 with 105 RBI. Marvin was traded to the White Sox before the 1938 season and finished his playing career with the Red Sox in 1940. During his career, he batted .275 in 1,011 games with 1,040 hits and 31 home runs.

Marvin was also a good fielder, leading American League third baseman in putouts in 1934 (202) and 1936 (190). No Tiger third baseman since 1934 (not Pinky Higgins, George Kell, Don Wert, Aurelio Rodriguez, Travis Fryman or Brandon Inge) has had as many putouts as Owen’s 202 in 1934. Marvin also led AL third basemen in fielding percentage in 1937 (.970) and in double plays in 1936 (28). Marvin was involved in a career high 33 double plays at third base in 1934. Marvin’s career high in assists was 305 in 1938 with the White Sox.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more Celebrities featuring Shortly ………….

Bookmark and Share

Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Mabel Albertson

Mabel Albertson was born on 24 July, 1901 in Lynn, Massachusetts, USA and died on 28 September, 1982 of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 81, in Santa Monica, California. Mabel Albertson’s remains were cremated and scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

Mabel was the older sister of Academy Award-winning actor Jack Albertson and one-time mother-in-law of Academy Award winning actress Cloris Leachman. Mabel is best known as “Phyllis Stephens”, Darrin’s interfering mother on the television sitcom Bewitched, who inevitably ended her stays at the Stephens’ home by saying, “Frank [her husband], take me home. I’ve got a sick headache.”

Mabel also played Donald Hollinger’s mother on That Girl, Howard Sprague’s mother on The Andy Griffith Show, Dick Preston’s mother on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, and Mrs. Van Hoskins, a wealthy woman whose,jewels are stolen, in the screwball comedy, What’s Up, Doc?

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more Celebrities featuring Shortly ………….

Bookmark and Share