By: Dee Miyamura
Media Critic and Reviewer

January 2012

The important lives that ended in January, are not limited to those we saw on the news. Read in the paper. However; I will only report on those celebrities that have made an impact on me.

Mr. Anderson passed on New Years Day, Jan. 1, 2012. He was an Olympic Fencing trainer and a stunt actor. In the 1970’s, George Lucas, hired him to perform the lightsaber duels for Darth Vader in the Star Wars series. He was 89 years old.

His name is not familiar to me. However; the band Iron Butterfly is. Mr. Reinhardt was the guitarist. He passed away on Jan 2, 2012 at the age of 63.

That incredible voice behinds hits like “At Last” and “Tell Mama” was silenced on Jan. 20, 2012. Miss. James had battled many personal demands throughout her life. Drugs and alcohol. However; by all reports she was not only gifted, but generous with her time and energy. There is a talented guitarist/singer/song-writer named Brian Ray, currently a member of Sir Paul McCartney’s band, who once worked with her. Mr. Ray wrote a very eloquent tribute to Miss. James which he sent to subscriber’s on his newsletter. She was just 73.

Mr. Tufeld was a voice actor. On “Lost In Space” (1965-1968), Dick supplied the voice of Robot, and actor Bob May, (who passed in 2009), gave the physical performance. Bill Mumy who portrayed young Will Robinson, remained life-long friends with him. Mr. Tufelt was 85 when he passed away on Jan 22, 2012.

It is a very sad commentary that I explain that I had never heard of Mr. Paterno. Yes, I am one of those rare types that haven’t a clue about College Football, or Paterno’s role as at coach at State College in Pennsylvania. It was only the sad case of molestation by a member of his staff that brought the 85 year old man to my attention. Cancer claimed his life on Jan. 22, 2012.

Sweathog student on “Welcome Back, Kotter”, Mr. Hegyes portrayed Juan Epstein. Epstein was half-Jewish and Puerto Rican and comedy ensured. He finally checked-out of Mr. Kotter’s classroom at the age of 60 on Jan 26, 2012.


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