Adam West 1928 – 2017

I was eight years old when Batman premiered in January of 1966. There was no PVR-ing back then, no time-shifting west coast feed, no YouTube to watch clips the next morning. You were either in front of the set (black and white in my case, even though the show was in Bat-colour) and you saw… Read on



Roger Moore 1927 – 2017

Roger Moore was the sitcom James Bond. He played opposite Tattoo from Fantasy Island (Herve Villechaize), Jaws (Richard Kiel), even the guy from the Cola-nut commercials (Geoffrey Holder). Still, his seven-picture Bond stint spanned two of the better Bond theme songs (McCartney and Wings’ “Live and Let Die” and “Nobody Does it Better”). Moore died… Read on


Dorothy Mengering 1921 – 2017

Peter Lassally worked as a producer on three important shows in late night: The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. A soft-spoken gentleman, he was in his office on Ferguson’s show six or seven years ago when I asked him what the three… Read on


Don Rickles 1926 – 2017

Please observe a minute of insults. Mr. Warmth is no more. Don Rickles passed away Thursday at 90. He was the ultimate stand-up funnyman, heckling his audience for more than 60 years. His shtick was so abrasive he never had his own hit series. No matter; he livened up plenty of other hits, with memorable appearances on… Read on



Denis McGrath 1968 – 2017

I wasn’t Denis McGrath’s biggest fan. He had a talent for pushing buttons and getting under your skin. His advocacy sometimes bordered on bullying. He was Canadian by way of New York, and you could tell because the “sorry” reflex was missing. He was principled, though, and had a big bullshit detector. If I wasn’t honest about… Read on


Chuck Barris 1929 – 2017

If you buy the premise that the ’70s was the Golden Age of inappropriate behaviour, the guy on the poster would be Chuck Barris. Barris, who died Tuesday at 87 (days after another famous Chuck named Berry), created the long-running TV game shows The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game in the ’60s. He hit 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