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Harrison Ford ‘had no other choice’ but to land on golf course, rep says

Harrison Ford ‘had no other choice’ but to land on golf course, rep says

Harrison Ford plane crash

By AND

Shortly after Harrison Ford’s vintage plane took off at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport on Thursday, trouble arose.His World War II-era plane’s sole engine lost power around 2:20 p.m., transit officials said. In a recording, the veteran actor is heard alerting the airport’s control tower, “Engine failure; immediate return.”

Just blocks from the runway, the plane clipped a tree at the Penmar Golf Course in Venice, then landed on a fairway.

“He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely,” Ford’s publicist, Ina Treciokas, said in a statement.

“He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery.”

A group of golfers helped pull Ford from the plane and began administering first aid, said Carlos Gomez, who lives just yards away from the site of the crash on Dewey Street. Gomez was cooking when he heard the plane hit the ground outside.

At first, Ford, 72, lay motionless, then he started to move. “So I was like, good, he’s alive,” Gomez said.

“Dad is ok. Battered, but ok!” the actor’s son, Ben Ford, posted on Twitter. “He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

Ford is an avid aviator who is often seen flying vintage planes out of Santa Monica Airport.

Photos on the Internet show Ford piloting the plane involved in the crash, a Ryan PT-22 Recruit that’s registered to Delaware-based MG Aviation, Inc., according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s records.

Immediately after the crash, officials refrained from identifying Ford as the pilot, saying only that he was conscious, breathing and alert when paramedics arrived. He was hospitalized with fair to moderate injuries, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.

Santa Monica Airport closure in 2015 challenged by tenants

Ford’s aviation hobby has put him in danger before. In 1999, Ford was riding in a helicopter with his flight instructor when it crashed into a Ventura County riverbed. The “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” actor walked away unscathed.

Since June, Ford has been recovering from a broken leg. While filming “Star Wars: Episode VII” last summer, the veteran actor’s left leg broke in an accident involving the door of the famed Millennium Falcon spaceship. The injury required him to have surgery and go through rehab, causing a two-week hiatus in filming during August.

The landing has reenergized the debate over safety at the airport, which is located in the middle of a densely populated community.

“It’s really, really scary to think how close this was to a number of homes,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents the Westside. Thursday’s crash is yet another signal that the airport “needs to be shut down,” Bonin said.

In 2013, four people died in a fiery wreck at the airport when the twin-engine Cessna Citation they were riding in touched down on the runway, then veered hard right and smashed into an airport hangar, bursting into flames and collapsing the building.

Some residents have long pressed to close the airport, saying it poses a safety risk. Pilots and others in the aviation community dispute that and say the airport is perfectly safe.

Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise and casino mogul Steve Wynn have been among the celebrities and business tycoons who have kept planes there.

In 2013, as Santa Monica debated the airport’s future, Ford, other airport tenants and national aviation groups filed a federal complaint challenging any move to close it.

There have been at least 11 crashes involving planes coming and going from Santa Monica since 1989, according to federal records. Six were confined to airport grounds, two struck homes, two came down in the ocean and one crashed on a golf course. The airport had about 7,300 takeoffs and landings in August, the most recent month for which data was available.

Santa Monica Airport, established in 1917, is described on a city website as the oldest continuously operating airport in Los Angeles County. After Santa Monica acquired the original 170 acres in 1926, the property became the home of Douglas Aircraft Co., whose DC-3 would introduce average Americans to commercial air travel in the 1930s. At its peak, the company had 44,000 employees, and both Los Angeles and Santa Monica encouraged the building of housing right up to the airport’s perimeter.

Before the United States entered World War II, the federal government leased most of the airport from the city to provide security for Douglas, a major defense contractor. After the war, the federal government returned the improved and expanded property to the city under the “instrument of transfer.”

Astronaut’s Final Farewell To Leonard Nimoy Goes Viral

Astronaut’s Final Farewell To Leonard Nimoy Goes Viral

On Friday, actor Leonard Nimoy, famous for his role in the iconic television show Star Trek, passed away at the age of 83, sending shockwaves across the country and prompting an astronaut on the International Space Station to tweet a final tribute to the actor who inspired countless people.

Terry W. Virts, an American aboard ISS, snapped a touching photo of himself giving the Vulcan salute back to Earth Saturday morning, speaking to the impact that Nimoy and Star Trek had on American space exploration, according to the Washington Post.

“Leonard Nimoy was an inspiration to multiple generations of engineers, scientists, astronauts, and other space explorers,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. “As Mr. Spock, he made science and technology important to the story, while never failing to show, by example, that it is the people around us who matter most. NASA was fortunate to have him as a friend and a colleague.”

According to Fox News, Nimoy died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease inside his Los Angeles home with his family at his side. His last public statement, made last Sunday on Twitter, was both thoughtful and bittersweet.

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory,” Nimoy wrote. The post was tagged with his customary sign off, “LLAP,” which is a shortened version of his character Mr. Spock’s catch phrase on Star Trek, “Live long and prosper.”

Nimoy said that an early stage role left him “obsessed” with pursuing work with a social impact during a 2009 Associated Press interview. A goal which he had easily achieved with his role as Mr. Spock.

“I’ve fulfilled that dream, including Star Trek, for that matter,” he said. “If that’s part of the legacy, then I’m very pleased with that. I would hope the work I chose to do had some reason for being done other than just simply being a job.”

Spock, Leonard Nimoy Dies at Age 83

Spock, Leonard Nimoy Dies at Age 83

Star Trek Leonard Nimoy Spock

Leonard Nimoy the gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).

As part of the Yiddish Book Center Wexler Oral History Project, Leonard Nimoy explains the origin of the Vulcan hand signal used by Spock, his character in the “Star Trek” series.

Video by Yiddish Book Center on Publish DateFebruary 27, 2015. Photo by Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project.

Mr. Nimoy, who was teaching Method acting at his own studio when he was cast in the original “Star Trek” television series in the mid-1960s, relished playing outsiders, and he developed what he later admitted was a mystical identification with Spock, the lone alien on the starship’s bridge.

Yet he also acknowledged ambivalence about being tethered to the character, expressing it most plainly in the titles of two autobiographies: “I Am Not Spock,” published in 1977, and “I Am Spock,” published in 1995.

In the first, he wrote, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”

“Star Trek,” which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, made Mr. Nimoy a star. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him “the conscience of ‘Star Trek’ ” — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some special effects that appear primitive by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s.

His stardom would endure. Though the series was canceled after three seasons because of low ratings, a cultlike following — the conference-holding, costume-wearing Trekkies, or Trekkers (the designation Mr. Nimoy preferred) — coalesced soon after “Star Trek” went into syndication.

The fans’ devotion only deepened when “Star Trek” was spun off into an animated show, various new series and an uneven parade of movies starring much of the original television cast, including — besides Mr. Nimoy — William Shatner (as Captain Kirk), DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), George Takei (the helmsman, Sulu), James Doohan (the chief engineer, Scott), Nichelle Nichols (the chief communications officer, Uhura) and Walter Koenig (the navigator, Chekov).

When the director J. J. Abrams revived the “Star Trek” film franchise in 2009, with an all-new cast including Zachary Quinto as Spock, he included a cameo part for Mr. Nimoy, as an older version of the same character. Mr. Nimoy also appeared in the 2013 follow-up, “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

His zeal to entertain and enlighten reached beyond “Star Trek” and crossed genres. He had a starring role in the dramatic television series “Mission: Impossible” and frequently performed onstage, notably as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” His poetry was voluminous, and he published books of his photography.

He also directed movies, including two from the “Star Trek” franchise, and television shows. And he made records, singing pop songs as well as original songs about “Star Trek,” and gave spoken-word performances — to the delight of his fans and the bewilderment of critics.

But all that was subsidiary to Mr. Spock, the most complex member of the Enterprise crew, who was both one of the gang and a creature apart, engaged at times in a lonely struggle with his warring racial halves.

In one of his most memorable “Star Trek” performances, Mr. Nimoy tried to follow in the tradition of two actors he admired, Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff, who each played a monstrous character — Quasimodo and the Frankenstein monster — who is transformed by love.

In Episode 24, which was first shown on March 2, 1967, Mr. Spock is indeed transformed. Under the influence of aphrodisiacal spores he discovers on the planet Omicron Ceti III, he lets free his human side and announces his love for Leila Kalomi (Jill Ireland), a woman he had once known on Earth. In this episode, Mr. Nimoy brought to Spock’s metamorphosis not only warmth, compassion and playfulness, but also a rarefied concept of alienation.

“I am what I am, Leila,” Mr. Spock declares after the spores’ effect has worn off and his emotions are again in check. “And if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.”

Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy, Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. His father worked as a barber.

From the age of 8, Leonard acted in local productions, winning parts at a community college, where he performed through his high school years. In 1949, after taking a summer course at Boston College, he traveled to Hollywood, though it wasn’t until 1951 that he landed small parts in two movies, “Queen for a Day” and “Rhubarb.”

He continued to be cast in little-known movies, although he did presciently play an alien invader in a cult serial called “Zombies of the Stratosphere,” and in 1961 he had a minor role on an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” His first starring movie role came in 1952 with “Kid Monk Baroni,” in which he played a disfigured Italian street-gang leader who becomes a boxer.

Mr. Nimoy served in the Army for two years, rising to sergeant and spending 18 months at Fort McPherson in Georgia, where he presided over shows for the Army’s Special Services branch. He also directed and starred as Stanley in the Atlanta Theater Guild’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” before receiving his final discharge in November 1955.

He then returned to California, where he worked as a soda jerk, movie usher and cabdriver while studying acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He achieved wide visibility in the late 1950s and early 1960s on television shows like “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide” and “Perry Mason.” Then came “Star Trek.”

Mr. Nimoy returned to college in his 40s and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Antioch University Austin, an affiliate of Antioch College in Ohio, in 1978. Antioch University later awarded Mr. Nimoy an honorary doctorate.

Mr. Nimoy directed the movies “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984) and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986), which he helped write. In 1991, the same year that he resurrected Mr. Spock on two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Mr. Nimoy was also the executive producer and a writer of the movie “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”

He then directed the hugely successful comedy “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), a far cry from his science-fiction work, and appeared in made-for-television movies. He received an Emmy nomination for the 1982 movie “A Woman Called Golda,” in which he portrayed the husband of Golda Meir, the prime minister of Israel, who was played by Ingrid Bergman. It was the fourth Emmy nomination of his career — the other three were for his “Star Trek” work — although he never won.

Mr. Nimoy’s marriage to the actress Sandi Zober ended in divorce. Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Adam and Julie Nimoy; a stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild; and an older brother, Melvin.

Though his speaking voice was among his chief assets as an actor, the critical consensus was that his music was mortifying. Mr. Nimoy, however, was undaunted, and his fans seemed to enjoy the camp of his covers of songs like “If I Had a Hammer.” (His first album was called “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space.”)

From 1977 to 1982, Mr. Nimoy hosted the syndicated series “In Search Of …,” which explored mysteries like the Loch Ness monster and U.F.O.s. He also narrated “Ancient Mysteries” on the History Channel and appeared in commercials, including two with Mr. Shatner for Priceline.com. He provided the voice for animated characters in “Transformers: The Movie,” in 1986, and “The Pagemaster,” in 1994.

In 2001 he voiced the king of Atlantis in the Disney animated movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” and in 2005 he furnished voice-overs for the computer game Civilization IV. More recently, he had a recurring role on the science-fiction series “Fringe” and was heard, as the voice of Spock, in an episode of the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.”

Mr. Nimoy was an active supporter of the arts as well. The Thalia, a venerable movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, now a multi-use hall that is part of Symphony Space, was renamed the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in 2002.

He also found his voice as a writer. Besides his autobiographies, he published “A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life” in 2002. Typical of Mr. Nimoy’s simple free verse are these lines: “In my heart/Is the seed of the tree/Which will be me.”

In later years, he rediscovered his Jewish heritage, and in 1991 he produced and starred in “Never Forget,” a television movie based on the story of a Holocaust survivor who sued a neo-Nazi organization of Holocaust deniers.

In 2002, having illustrated his books of poetry with his photographs, Mr. Nimoy published “Shekhina,” a book devoted to photography with a Jewish theme, that of the feminine aspect of God. His black-and-white photographs of nude and seminude women struck some Orthodox Jewish leaders as heretical, but Mr. Nimoy asserted that his work was consistent with the teachings of the kabbalah.

His religious upbringing also influenced the characterization of Spock. The character’s split-fingered salute, he often explained, had been his idea: He based it on the kohanic blessing, a manual approximation of the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter in Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God.

“To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior,” Mr. Nimoy wrote years after the original series ended.

But that wasn’t such a bad thing, he discovered. “Given the choice,” he wrote, “if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”

Fitness model Greg Plitt hit, killed by train in Southern California

Fitness model Greg Plitt hit, killed by train in Southern California

Greg George Plitt fitness model actor
Greg Plitt

BURBANK, Calif. – A 37-year-old model featured on the cover of numerous fitness magazines was struck and killed by a train while filming on the tracks in Southern California, authorities said.

George Plitt Jr. and two other men were filming north of the Burbank train station Saturday afternoon when Plitt was hit by a southbound Metrolink train carrying 185 people, Burbank Police Sgt. Scott Meadows said.

Plitt was walking on the tracks in an area where pedestrians are not allowed to cross, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Investigators interviewed witnesses who saw Plitt standing on the track even as the train’s horn was blaring, Burbank police Sgt. Chris Canales said. Investigators have ruled out a suicide, he said.

Plitt went by the name Greg and was a well-known fitness model, Canales said.

It was not immediately clear what the men were filming.

The fitness model, actor and West Point graduate has appeared on more than 200 magazine covers, Bravo’s reality television show “Work Out” and NBC’s daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” according to a website in Plitt’s name.

Plitt was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He served five years in the Army after graduating from West Point, the website said.

Plitt was 37, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said.

Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco A Feminist?

Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco A Feminist?

Kaley Cuoco from TV's Big Bang Theory who's the blonde Penny
Kaley Cuoco from TV’s Big Bang Theory

When most people think of Hollywood, a bastion of liberal ideology comes to mind. When we hear about someone who doesn’t follow lock-step with the militant left, it’s beyond refreshing, which is exactly why liberals are going to hate what Kaley Cuoco had to say about a topic they’ve seemed to turn up the heat on.

In an interview with Redbook, the February cover girl revealed that she falls in line with traditional gender roles, despite the fact she’s one of television’s highest paid actresses. She even went as far as to say that she loves taking care of her man and it’s not something she’s ashamed to admit.

Cuoco was asked if she’s a feminist, which is obviously a loaded question in itself.

“Is it bad if I say no?” she responded. The Big Bang Theory star went on to elaborate what she meant, and her thoughts blow serious holes in the modern feminist movement.

“It’s not really something I think about,” she said. “Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around… I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality.”

She also said she cooks for her husband of one year, tennis player Ryan Sweeting, at least five nights a week.

“It makes me feel like a housewife,” she said. “I love that.”

“I know it sounds old-fashioned,” Cuoco continued. “But I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I’m so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him. My mom was like that, so I think it kind of rubbed off.”

Another aspect of life that doesn’t seem to align with the militant left is her views on family. She makes nearly $1 million an episode for her role as “Penny” on the Big Bang Theory, saying that she takes comfort in knowing that she can provide for her family, because if it wasn’t for them, her success wouldn’t have been possible.

“My parents spent 16 years hauling my butt to LA for audition after audition,” she said. “Every day they were helping me learn my lines, dropping me off, waiting for me, picking me up, giving me pep talks when I didn’t get the jobs, taking me to tennis and horseback riding lessons. I remember always hoping I could help take care of them because they took such good care of me.  Knowing I’ll be able to just brings tears to my eyes.”

It would appear as if Cuoco is more than likely a conservative living in the liberal Hollywood world, wouldn’t you agree? Hopefully there’s plenty more like her who stand up for what they believe in and aren’t afraid to speak to their values, even if they are diametrically opposed to the left’s.

‘Big Bang’ family mourns loss of colleague

‘Big Bang’ family mourns loss of colleague

by Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
Big Bang Theory cast

The Big Bang Theory cast and crew Tuesday expressed sadness over the loss of Carol Ann Susi, the unseen but never forgotten voice of Mrs. Wolowitz. The veteran actress died after a brief battle with cancer.

Mrs. Wolowitz’s loud, grating voice, usually aimed at her often annoyed son, Howard (Simon Helberg), became beautiful music to the show’s fans.

The hit comedy’s executive producers; it’s network, CBS; and Warner Bros. Television, which produces the series, issued a statement expressing their sorrow:

The Big Bang Theory family has lost a beloved member today with the passing of Carol Ann Susi, who hilariously and memorably voiced the role of Mrs. Wolowitz. Unseen by viewers, the Mrs. Wolowitz character became a bit of a mystery throughout the show’s eight seasons. What was not a mystery, however, was Carol Ann’s immense talent and comedic timing, which were on display during each unforgettable appearance. In addition to her talent, Carol Ann was a constant source of joy and kindness to all. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family during this time, and we will miss her greatly.”

Cast members of Big Bang, which tapes its episodes on Tuesdays, shared their feelings via Twitter.

Kunal Nayyar, who plays Howard’s friend, Raj, tweeted: “My heart is broken. I will miss your smile. Your spirit is forever with us.”

Melissa Rauch, whose Bernadette is Mrs. Wolowitz’s daughter-in-law, shared a picture of Susi and a remembrance: “So grateful to have known Carol Ann Susi who brought laughter & light with her always. She’ll forever be in my heart.”

View image on WhoSay  website

Actor Robin Williams dead at 63, apparent suicide

Actor Robin Williams dead at 63, apparent suicide

Robin William died dead suicide
Actor Robin Williams speaks onstage during “The Crazy Ones” panel discussion at the CBS, Showtime and The CW portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  FREDERICK M. BROWN, GETTY IMAGES

The actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead today at his home in Tiburon, Calif. Police say it appears to have been a suicide. Williams was 63 years old.

Emergency personnel were called to the house in Marin County, north of San Francisco, around noon. Officials say the cause of death is suspected to be asphyxiation, but a forensic exam and toxicology tests will be conducted.

Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, issued a statement Monday evening:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

A statement from Robin Williams’s press representative said he had been “battling severe depression.”

Williams first rose to fame from the stand-up comedy circuit in the 1970s, with a manic improvisational style all his own. He appeared on the sitcom “Happy Days” and then starred as a lovable alien on its popular spin-off, “Mork & Mindy,” from 1978 to 1982.

Williams went on to prove he had serious acting talent as well. He delivered critically praised performances in films like “Good Morning, Vietnam” (1987), “Dead Poets Society” (1989), “Awakenings” (1990), and “Good Will Hunting” (1997), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He was a comic whirlwind as a cartoon genie in Disney’s “Aladdin” (1992) and “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993).

Williams also won three Golden Globes, for “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Fisher King.”

In his most recent TV series, “The Crazy Ones,” which aired on CBS last year, Williams played a quirky genius who ran an advertising agency with his daughter, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Gellar is among those who paid tribute to Williams on Monday, joining Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres, Henry Winkler and many others expressing their sorrow on social media.

“I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul,” Martin wrote.

Despite all the laughter on screen, his personal life was often troubled. He acknowledged drug and alcohol problems in the 1970s and ’80s. A close friend of “Saturday Night Live” star John Belushi, Williams was one of the last to see him before Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982. Over the years, Williams also went through two highly publicized divorces.

Williams got sober and maintained it for two decades. But in 2006, he slipped back into alcoholism and entered rehab. Then this summer, Williams spoke about fact thathe had been drinking once again and checked back into rehab.

Williams was born in Chicago in 1951. He said he was shy as a child and got laughs at home by mimicking his grandmother. He joined the drama club in high school and studied acting at Juilliard, where his teacher, the renowned actor John Houseman, encouraged his talent for comedy.

Williams admired boundary-pushing comics likeJonathan Winters, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin, and wasn’t afraid to push boundaries of his own.

“You look at the world and see how scary it can be sometimes and still try to deal with the fear,” he told the Associated Press in 1989. “Comedy can deal with the fear and still not paralyze you or tell you that it’s going away. You say, OK, you got certain choices here, you can laugh at them and then once you’ve laughed at them and you have expunged the demon, now you can deal with them. That’s what I do when I do my act.”

Robin Williams Mrs Doubtfire
Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire movie.

Williams reportedly had several film projects in the works when he passed away, including “Night at the Museum 3” and a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel that was in the development stages.

He is survived by his wife and three children from previous marriages. On July 31, he posted an old photo of himself and daughter Zelda, with a caption wishing her a happy 25th birthday.

Brady Bunch “Alice” dies at 88

Brady Bunch “Alice” dies at 88

Alice, The Brady Bunch
Alice, The Brady Bunch
Emmy-winning actress Ann B. Davis, who became the country’s favorite and most famous housekeeper as the devoted Alice Nelson of “The Brady Bunch,” died Sunday at a San Antonio hospital. She was 88.

Bexar County, Texas, medical examiner’s investigator Sara Horne said Davis died Sunday morning at University Hospital. Horne said no cause of death was available and that an autopsy was planned Monday.

Bill Frey, a retired bishop and a longtime friend of Davis, said she suffered a fall Saturday at her San Antonio home and never recovered. Frey said Davis had lived with him and his wife, Barbara, since 1976.

More than a decade before scoring as the Bradys’ loyal Alice, Davis was the razor-tongued secretary on another stalwart TV sitcom, “The Bob Cummings Show,” which brought her two Emmys. Over the years, she also appeared on Broadway and in occasional movies.

Davis considered her ordinary look an asset.

“I know at least a couple hundred glamour gals who are starving in this town,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1955, the year the Cummings show began its four-year run. “I’d rather be myself and eating.”

She said she told NBC photographers not to retouch their pictures of her, but they ignored her request and “gave me eyebrows.”

Producer Sherwood Schwartz’s “The Brady Bunch” debuted in 1969 and aired for five years. But like Schwartz’s other hit, “Gilligan’s Island,” it has lived on in reruns and sequels.

As “The Brady Bunch” theme song reminded viewers each week, the Bradys combined two families into one. Florence Henderson played a widow raising three daughters when she met her TV husband, Robert Reed, a widower with three boys.

In her blue and white maid’s uniform, Davis’ character, Alice Nelson, was constantly cleaning up messes large and small, and she was a mainstay of stability for the family.

“I think I’m lovable. That’s the gift God gave me,” Davis told The Associated Press in a 1993 interview. “I don’t do anything to be lovable. I have no control.”

Davis’ face occupied the center square during the show’s opening credits. Her love interest was Sam the Butcher, played by Allan Melvin.

“I’m shocked and saddened! I’ve lost a wonderful friend and colleague,” Henderson said in a statement Sunday.

Eve Plumb, who played Jan Brady on the series, called Davis “an amazing lady.”

“She was great to work with, and I have wonderful memories of our scenes together on `The Brady Bunch,”‘ Plumb said in a statement. “She was kind and generous to all of us on set.”

“The Brady Bunch” had a successful run until 1974, but it didn’t fade away then. It returned as “The Brady Bunch Hour” (1977), “The Brady Brides” (1981), “The Bradys” (1990). It even appeared as a Saturday morning spinoff (1972-1974).

“The Brady Bunch Movie,” with Shelley Long and Gary Cole as the parents, was a surprise box-office hit in 1995. It had another actress as Alice, but Davis appeared in a bit part as a trucker. It was followed the next year — without Davis — by a less successful “A Very Brady Sequel.”

Older TV viewers remember Davis for another non-glamorous role, on “The Bob Cummings Show,” also known as “Love That Bob.” She played Schultzy, the assistant to Cummings’ character, a handsome, swinging bachelor photographer always chasing beautiful women.

It brought Davis supporting actress Emmy Awards in 1958 and 1959.

After the series ended in 1959, Davis appeared in such movies as “A Man Called Peter,” “Lover Come Back” and “All Hands on Deck.” During layoffs she played in summer stock.

Between her two better-known shows, she played a gym teacher at an exclusive girls’ school in 1965-66 in “The John Forsythe Show.”

During her stints in “The Bob Cummings Show” and “The Brady Bunch,” she used the layoffs to appear in summer theater with such shows as “Three on a Honeymoon.” She also toured with the USO to entertain U.S. troops in Korea and elsewhere.

She was born Ann Bradford Davis in 1926, in Schenectady, New York, and grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. She said she took to using her middle initial because “just plain Ann Davis goes by pretty fast.”

She was stage-struck since the age of 6 when she and her twin sister, Harriet, earned $2 with their puppet show. She attended the University of Michigan, joking that she was a premed student “until I discovered chemistry.”

She graduated in 1948 with a degree in theater and later joined a repertory theater in Erie, Pennsylvania. She told the AP in 1993 that she got her big break while doing a cabaret act in Los Angeles, singing and telling jokes.

“Somebody said, `Get your agent to call the new Bob Cummings show. They’re looking for a funny lady.’ Within three hours I had the job. That was January 1955. I had such fun with that show.

“I did a couple of pilots that didn’t sell, a few movies and one year of nightclub work, which I hated. Then I did the pilot of `The Brady Bunch’ and never had to do another nightclub.”

For many years after “The Brady Bunch” wound up, Davis led a quiet religious life, affiliating herself with a group led by Frey.

“I was born again,” she told the AP in 1993. “It happens to Episcopalians. Sometimes it doesn’t hit you till you’re 47 years old.

“It changed my whole life for the better. … I spent a lot of time giving Christian witness all over the country to church groups and stuff.”

She took a long sabbatical from the theater, largely limiting her performances to “Brady Bunch” specials and TV commercials.

In 1993, Davis returned to the theater, joining the touring cast of “Crazy for You,” a musical featuring the songs of George and Ira Gershwin.

Davis never married, saying she never found a man who was more interesting than her career.

“By the time I started to get interested (in finding someone),” she told the Chicago Sun-Times, “all the good ones were taken.”