Bill Dana 1924 – 2017

“My name José Jiménez.” With those four words, uttered on The Steve Allen Show on Nov. 23, 1959, Bill Dana built a career. The comedian passed away last Thursday at his home in Nashville, Tenn. He was 92. I met him 20 years ago at one of those autograph-signing shows in Hollywood. That’s where he explained the… Read on



Robert Osborne 1932 – 2017

Turner Classic Movies almost never takes part in the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tours. I’m always a little disappointed about this, because it is one of my favourite channels. Around ten years ago, TCM cracked open the vault and hosted an evening event outdoors at the Beverly Hilton. They brought a few movie stars from… Read on


Bill Paxton 1955 – 2017

I met Bill Paxton, with other reporters,  on a couple of occasions. Once or twice during the run of HBO’s Big Love, and just last month in Pasadena during the TCA press tour where he was promoting his new CBS series Training Day. He was his usual, good-natured self on that day, dominating the session.… Read on


Carrie Fisher 1956 – 2016

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I had a close encounter with Carrie Fisher. Actually it wasn’t so long ago; it was the summer of 2010. Far away? It was at the Beverly Hilton, in the main ballroom. Fisher was at that summer’s TCA press tour, chauffeured in by HBO to promote their airing of her… Read on



Florence Henderson 1934 – 2016

Here’s a strange bit of TV trivia: Florence Henderson was born on Valentine’s Day and died on Thanksgiving Day. The actress packed a lot into the 82 years in between. Best known for her five-year run on The Brady Bunch, Henderson died Thursday in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack. She was 82. Her death was… Read on


Garry Marshall 1934 – 2016

Poor Hector Elizondo. Now what is he going to do? I thought of Elizondo first when I heard the news last week that Marshall, who’d had a series of strokes very recently, had passed away. He was 81. Back in 2007, CBS held a TCA press tour party outdoors. I got talking to Elizondo at… Read on


George Martin 1926 – 2016

“God, can we get away from The Beatles for a moment?” Sir George Martin had had enough. The 82-year-old music icon had been fielding questions about John, Paul, George and Ringo for half an hour. This was in 2008, at a Television Critics Association PBS press conference. The public broadcaster had brought Martin before the press… Read on


James Garner 1928 – 2014

There will be dozens of James Garner stories shared over the next few days. Here is one from the wings. About a month ago I was on the phone with Bill Daily, neighbour Howard from The Bob Newhart Show. The great ’70s sitcom is now available in a complete DVD boxed set from Shout Factory. Daily,… Read on