Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend James Beck Gordon

Jim Gordon was born James Beck Gordon in 1945 Los Angeles, California, USA. James Beck Gordon is an American recording artist, musician and songwriter. The Grammy Award winner was one of the most requested session drummers in the late 1960s and 1970s and was a member of the blues-rock supergroup, Derek & The Dominos.

James Beck Gordon began his career backing the Everly Brothers in 1963 at the age of 17, he went on to become one of the most sought after recording session drummers in Los Angeles where, in 1968, he recorded with Mason Williams on the hit “Classical Gas”. During this period, he performed on many notable recordings including Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers by Gene Clark and The Notorious Byrd Brothers by The Byrds. James Beck Gordon at the top of his career was so busy as a studio musician that he would fly back to Los Angeles every night when playing in Las Vegas to do 2 or 3 record dates, then return in the afternoon in time for the 8pm show at Caesars Palace.

In 1969 and 1970, he toured as part of the backing band for the group Delaney & Bonnie, which at the time included Eric Clapton. Eric Clapton subsequently took over the group’s rhythm section — James Beck Gordon, bassist Carl Radle and keyboardist-singer-songwriter, Bobby Whitlock. They formed a new band which was eventually called Derek & The Dominos. The band’s 1st studio work was as the house band for George Harrison’s 3 disc set All Things Must Pass. James Beck Gordon then played on the Derek & The Dominos’ 1970 double album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, James Beck Gordon contributing the elegiac piano coda for the title track, “Layla”, co written by James Beck Gordon and Eric Clapton. James Beck Gordon also toured with the band on subsequent U.S. and UK tours, but the group split in spring 1971 before having completed the recording of their 2nd album.

In 1970, James Beck Gordon was part of Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. In 1971, he toured with Traffic, appearing on 2 albums with them, including The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. Later in 1972, James Beck Gordon was part of Frank Zappa’s 20-piece “Grand Wazoo” big band tour, and the subsesequent 10-piece “Petit Wazoo” band. Perhaps his most well-known recording with Frank Zappa was the title track of the 1974 album Apostrophe (‘), a jam with Frank Zappa and Tony Duran on guitar and Jack Bruce on bass guitar, for which both Bruce and James Beck Gordon received a writing credit. James Beck Gordon worked with Chris Hillman again when he was the drummer in the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band from 1973 to 1975. Some of his best work was with Dave Mason on his 1970 album Alone Together, where James Beck Gordon set new standards for rock drumming.

James Beck Gordon was also the drummer on the Incredible Bongo Band’s Bongo Rock album, released in 1972. James Beck Gordon’s drum break on the LP’s version of “Apache” has been repeatedly sampled by rap music artists.

In the late 1970s, James Beck Gordon complained of hearing voices in his head, primarily those of his mother. Unfortunately, his physicians did not diagnose his condition as schizophrenia and instead treated him for alcohol abuse.

In June 1983, he murdered his mother. It was not until his trial in 1984 that he was properly diagnosed. Due to the fact that his attorney was unable to use the insanity defense, he was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison with a possibility of parole. James Beck Gordon has served his sentence at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, Atascadero State Hospital in Atascadero, and the State Medical Corrections Facility in Vacaville. As of 2008, he remains incarcerated. Currently, there is a petition on line to assist him in either being released from prison or placed in a facility where he is able to receive more sophisticated treatment.

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Series-Disabled Legend Lane Smith

Walter Lane Smith III was born on 29 April, 1936 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA and died on 13 June, 2005 of Lou Gehrig’s Disease at his home in Northridge, California at the age of 69. Lane Smith was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease in April 2005.

Lane was an American actor best known for his role as Perry White in the American television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and as Richard Nixon in The Final Days, for which he received a Golden Globe award nomination.

Lane graduated from The Leelanau School, a boarding school in Glen Arbor, Michigan where he is enshrined in the school’s Hall of Fame, and spent 1 year boarding at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania before going off to study at the Actors Studio in the late 1950s and early 1960s along with Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino.

After his graduation, he found steady work in New York theater before making his film debut in Maidstone in 1970. During the 1970s, he regularly made appearances in small film roles including Rooster Cogburn in 1975 and Network in 1976. Lane also acted on television, notably playing a U.S. Marine in Vietnam in the made for television miniseries A Rumor of War.

Lane made a major breakthrough in 1984 with significant roles in Red Dawn, Places in the Heart and the television series V. In 1989, Lane Smith gained great recognition for his portrayal of former President Richard Nixon in the docudrama The Final Days. Newsweek praised Lane Smith’s role by stating, “is such a good Nixon that his despair and sorrow at his predicament become simply overwhelming.” Lane Smith later earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. Lane Smith also appeared in the original Broadway stage production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross as James Lingk. For his role, he received a Drama Desk Award.

In 1990, he appeared in Air America playing a U.S. Senator. 2 years later, he played a small-town district attorney opposite Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, followed by a role as Coach Jack Reilly in The Mighty Ducks. However, it was not until 1993 that Lane Smith landed his 1st major television role as Perry White in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The show last for 4 seasons before ending in 1997. Lane Smith’s final film appearance was in The Legend of Bagger Vance in 2000.

Lane Smith was married twice. Lane’s 1st marriage was to writer Sydne MacCall. The couple had 1 son together: Robby Smith born on 24 January, 1987. In 2000, he remarried to Ruth Benedict who had 1 son from a previous marriage.

Lane Smith was previously in a relationship with actress Mariette Hartley before the 2 split.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Marlee Matlin

Marlee Beth Matlin was born on 24 August, 1965 in Morton Grove, Illinois, USA. Marlee is an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning American actress who is deaf.

Marlee was born to Libby and Donald Matlin, an automobile dealer. Marlee lost all hearing in her right ear, and 80% of hearing in her left ear at the age of 18 months. Marlee was raised in a Jewish family in Morton Grove, Illinois, USA. Marlee graduated from John Hersey High School in nearby Arlington Heights and attended Harper College.

Marlee made her stage debut at the age of 7, as Dorothy in a children’s theatre version of The Wizard of Oz, and continued to appear with the same children’s theatre group throughout her childhood.

Marlee’s film debut, 1986’s Children of a Lesser God, brought her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and an Academy Award for Best Actress. Marlee is one of the few actors to win an Oscar for their debut performance, and as of 2008, still holds the record for youngest winner in the Best Actress Oscar category. Marlee was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her work as the lead female role in the television series Reasonable Doubts (1991–1993) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for a guest appearance in Picket Fences. Marlee became a regular on the series during its final season.

Marlee later had recurring roles in The West Wing, and Blue’s Clues. Other television appearances include Seinfeld (“The Lip Reader”), The Outer Limits (“The Message”), ER, Desperate Housewives, CSI: NY and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Marlee was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for her guest appearances in Seinfield, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Practice.

In 2002, Marlee published her 1st novel, Deaf Child Crossing, which was loosely based on her own childhood.

In 2004, she starred in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know? as Amanda.

In 2006, Marlee was honored at AOL’s 2nd Annual Chief Everything Officer Awards. Marlee joined the cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday, 17 September, 2006. In the episode featuring a deaf boy with a blind father, grandmother and sisters, Marlee was the guest host. Marlee wrote and published a sequel to Deaf Child Crossing, titled Nobody’s Perfect, which was produced on stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in partnership with VSA arts in October 2007.

Also in 2006, she played a deaf parent in Desperate Housewives. Marlee also had a recurring role as Joy Turner’s (who made many jokes of Marlee’s deafness at her expense) public defender in My Name Is Earl and played the mother of one of the victims in an episode of CSI: NY. Marlee starred in the Baby Einstein videos Baby’s Favorite Places: First Words-Around Town and Baby Wordsworth: First Words Around the House, both of which were designed to introduce sign language as a form of non-verbal communication.

In 2006 Marlee was cast in season 4 of The L Word as Jodi Lerner, a gay deaf sculptor. Marlee appeared in season 4 (2007) and season 5 (2008) as the girl friend of the show’s main protagonist Bette Porter (played by Jennifer Beals). It is unclear if Marlee will continue in season 6, the show’s final season.

On 4 February, 2007, Marlee performed the Star Spangled Banner in American Sign Language at Super Bowl XLI in Miami, Florida. Marlee again starred in Baby Einstein in March 2007 with My First Signs, which introduced sign language using common words such as “mommy” and “milk.” Marlee also appeared on Hollywood Squares with Tom Bergeron as emcee. Though she could not hear and was not encouraged to use her own voice to speak, her personal interpreter Jack Jason (who also appeared with her during talk show and publicity appearances) accompanied her on the panel and she handled questions with his assistance – including offering some humorous quips (in ASL) in her own right.

In January 2008, she appeared on Nip/Tuck as a television executive.

On 18 February, 2008, it was announced that Marlee would participate as a competitor in the 6th season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Marlee’s dance partner was newcomer Fabian Sanchez. Marlee and Fabian were eliminated from the competition on 22 April, 2008.

On 13 July, 2008, Marlee participated in the Taco Bell All Star Legends and Celebrity Softball game as part of All-Star Weekend activities at Yankee Stadium. Marlee scored a run and had 2 RBI for the National League team.

Marlee is actively involved with a number of charitable organisations, including the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, VSA arts, and the Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet. Marlee was appointed by President Clinton in 1994 to the Corporation for National Service and served as chair of National Volunteer Week.

Marlee received an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from Gallaudet University in 1987. In October 2007, she was appointed to the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees.

Marlee has been close friends with actress Jennifer Beals since they met in an airport in the 1980s.

Marlee married law enforcement officer Kevin Grandalski on 29 August, 1993 (in Henry Winkler’s back yard). They have 4 children: Sara Rose, born on 19 January, 1996; Brandon Joseph, born on 12 September 2000; Tyler Daniel, born on 18 July, 2002; and Isabelle Jane, born on 26 December, 2003. Marlee lives in Los Angeles with her family.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Anne Bancroft

Anne Bancroft was born on 17 September, 1931 in the Bronx, New York, USA and died on 6 June, 2005 of uterine cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, New York, USA. Anne Bancroft’s death came as a surprise to even some of her friends; she was intensely private and had not released details of her illness.

Anne Bancroft was an American Academy Award-,Golden Globe-,Tony-,and Emmy-winning method actress.

Anne Bancroft was born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano,the daughter of Mildred (née DiNapoli), a telephone operator, and Michael Italiano, a dress pattern maker. Anne Bancroft’s parents were both children of Italian immigrants.

Anne Bancroft graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx in 1948, and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Actors Studio, and the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women at UCLA. After appearing in a number of live television dramas under the name Anne Marno, she was told to change her surname for her film debut in Don’t Bother to Knock in 1952.

Anne Bancroft was a contract player in the early days of her career just as the studio contract system was ending. Anne Bancroft left Hollywood and returned to New York due to the quality of roles she was being offered.

In 1958 she appeared opposite Henry Fonda in the Broadway production of Two for the Seesaw, for which she won a Tony Award, and another in 1962 for The Miracle Worker. Anne Bancroft took the latter role back to Hollywood, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962.

A highly acclaimed television special, “Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man” won her an Emmy award for her singing and acting. Anne Bancroft is one of a very select few entertainers to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award.

Anne Bancroft as Mother Miriam Ruth in Agnes of God Other major film roles were in The Pumpkin Eater, 7 Women, and what is unquestionably her best-known role, Mrs. Robinson, opposite Dustin Hoffman in the film The Graduate. Ironically, Anne Bancroft, then only 36 years old, played opposite a 30-year-old Hoffman. Although Anne Bancroft is now iconically identified as Mrs. Robinson, she was not the first choice for the role; Patricia Neal(who had recently suffered a stroke), Doris Day and Jeanne Moreau turned it down. Anne Bancroft was ambivalent about her appearance in The Graduate; she stated in several interviews that the role overshadowed all of her other work.

In 1980, she made her debut as a screenwriter and director in Fatso, in which she starred along with Dom DeLuise. Anne Bancroft was also the original choice to play Joan Crawford in the 1981 movie Mommie Dearest, but backed out at the 11th hour, and was replaced by Faye Dunaway. Anne Bancroft was also a front-runner for the role of Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment, but declined in order to act in the remake of To Be or Not to Be (1983).

From 1 July, 1953, to 13 February, 1957, she was married to Martin May. The marriage produced no children.

In 1961, Anne Bancroft met Mel Brooks in a rehearsal for the Perry Como variety show. Mel Brooks bribed a studio employee to find out where she was having dinner so he could meet her again. Once Anne Bancroft met Mel Brooks, she went to her therapist and told him they had to conclude the therapy as fast as possible because she had met the man she was going to marry.

They married on 5 August, 1964, in New York City Hall and were together until her death. They had one son, Maximillian, in 1972. They were seen 3 times on the screen together: once dancing a tango in Brooks’s 1976 Silent Movie, in Brooks’s 1983 remake of To Be or Not to Be, and in the episode entitled “Opening Night” of the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mel Brooks produced the 1980 film The Elephant Man, in which Anne Bancroft acted. Mel Brooks also executive-produced the 1987 film 84 Charing Cross Road in which she starred. Anne Bancroft is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6368 Hollywood Boulevard.

Anne Bancroft was survived by Mel Brooks, their son, a grandson, her mother and 2 sisters. Anne Bancroft is interred at the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, near her father, Michael Italiano. A white marble monument with a weeping angel adorns her grave.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend James Duke

James Henry “Red” Duke, Jr. was born in 1928. James is a trauma surgeon and professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. James has been working on-site since 1972.

James Duke attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas where he served as a yell leader. James Duke was the first person to deliver the poem “The Last Corps Trip” publicly.

James Duke has had years of achievement in the field of medicine. James Duke was instrumental in introducing Memorial Hermann’s “Life Flight” and bringing a Level 1 Trauma Unit to Houston, Texas, both of which was first for Texas and Southeast Texas, respectively. Outside of Texas, he is probably most famous for running a nationally syndicated television spot called “Dr. James Duke’s Health Reports”, which aired for 15 years.

The spot educated millions about various health-related topics, a different subject for each day. James Duke well-recognized for his distinctive Southern accent, ever-present large mustache and “Duke-isms” (like his popular segment sign-off “For your health!”).

James Duke was also the surgeon that attended to the wounds of Texas Governor John Connally, who was shot at the same time John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Recently, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston Department of Surgery sponsored a scholarship fund in honor of Dr. “Red” Duke, aimed towards students wishing to research and train in the field of trauma.

James Duke is also noted outside of the medical community. Not only did he attain the rank of Eagle Scout, but the Boy Scouts of America honored him with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

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Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Mervyn Leroy

Mervyn Leroy was born on 15 October, 1900 and died on 13 September, 1987. Mervyn was an Academy Award-winning American film director, producer and sometime actor. Mervyn worked in costumes, processing labs and as a camera assistant until he became a gag writer and actor in silent films. Mervyn’s first directing job was in 1927’s No Place to Go. When his movies made lots of money without costing too much, he became well-received in the movie business. Mervyn LeRoy retired in 1965 and wrote his autobiography, Take One, in 1974. Mervyn died in Beverly Hills, California and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Mervyn Leroy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Series-Disabled Legend Warren Zevon

Warren Zevon was born on 24 January, 1947 and died on 7 September, 2003. Warren was a Grammy Award-winning American rock singer-songwriter and musician. Warren turned to a musical career early, including a stretch with high school friend Violet Santangelo as part of a Sonny and Cher-type male/female duo called lyme & cybelle (in a 60s-ish affectation, the band name eschewed capitalization). In the mid-1970s, Warren returned to Los Angeles, where he roomed with then-unknown Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and became associated with the then-burgeoning West Coast music scene. There, he collaborated with Jackson Browne, who would produce and promote Warren’s self-titled major-label debut, with the Eagles, who appeared on Warren’s second album, and with Linda Ronstadt, who both appeared on Warren’s albums and covered many of his songs, including “Hasten Down the Wind”, “Carmelita”, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”, and “Mohammed’s Radio”.

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