To my knowledge, Bugs Bunny is voiced by two different actors now. Billy West has done it the most since Mel Blancs' death but Joe Alasky did give voice to the wascly wabbit in the recent "Looney Tunes" movie.
As the PCR was finalized last week, word came that Eddie Albert, probably best known to our readers as Oliver Douglas on the television show, "Green Acres," had passed away from pneumonia. He had just turned 99 a month earlier. Born in 1906 in Rock Island, Illinois, Eddie Albert Heimberger attended the University of Michigan and studied drama. One of his first jobs found him doing live stage shows. When the master of ceremonies kept introducing him as Eddie "Hamburger," he dropped his last name and became Eddie Albert. A popular radio actor, Albert is thought to be the first actor on television. In 1936, he participated in the first private transmission of RCA/NBC's product to it's shareholders. He made his film debut in 1938's "Brother Rat." Joining the Marines during World War II, Albert would go on to earn the Bronze star with a combat "V" for his actions that saved 70 fellow Marines during the Battle of Tarawa, one of the bloodiest battles of the whole war. He was very reluctant to talk about his war experiences and it was not until the mid 1990s that he discussed them with documentary filmmakers. After the war, Albert married the Mexican actress, Margo, and took his talent to Broadway. He starred in such shows as "Room Service" and "The Boys from Syracuse." In 1960 he replaced Robert Preston in "The Music Man." Still pursuing a film career, Albert was offered, and turned down, the lead roles in "My Three Sons" and "Mr. Ed." But in 1965 he took the role that he is best remembered for. "Green Acres" ran for 6 years and was still popular when it was canceled. He earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for his work in "Roman Holiday" and "The Heartbreak Kid." His other films include "Oklahoma," "I'll Cry Tomorrow," "Teahouse of the August Moon," "The Longest Yard" and the cult classic, "The Devil's Rain." His son, Edward, followed in his dad's footsteps and is still acting.
It is with much sadness that I report the death of an old Baltimore friend, radio voice and film critic Bob Lopez. Bob passed away this past week at the age of 52 after a long battle with cancer. Those readers that grew up in Tampa in the 70s may remember that 98 ROCK had a reporter who did spots called "The Daily Lopez." When I moved to Baltimore in 1982 I was shocked to discover that they also had a station called 98 ROCK and their own "Daily Lopez." This was Bob. My work in promotions led us to form an easy friendship and, when in 1988 the Baltimore Orioles lost 21 straight games to start the season, it was Bob who let me hang out in the studio as his fellow disc jockey, Bob Rivers, stayed on the air for 10 straight days waiting for the O's to win a game. People come and go in the radio business, but Bob managed to survive 12 different morning shows and their hosts. Please join me in extending my condolences to his wife, Trixie and his daughter, Leandra.
Please also join me in congratulating my son's grandparents and my former in-laws, Al and Dolores List who this past Saturday celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Al and "D" have been an important part of my life for 25 years and I wish them nothing but happiness for another 50 years!
NEW FROM ENGLAND
Apparently there isn't much to do in England but take polls. This week shows that the three most popular English singles of all time are:
- "Wonderwall" by Oasis.
- "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
- "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
MORE MUSIC FOR A GOOD CAUSE
20 years after Bob Geldof created "LiveAid" he's back with a new concert, to be titled "Live 8" to coincide with late July's G8 meetings. Among the musical acts confirmed to perform all over the world on July 2 (concerts are set for London, Philadelphia, Berlin, Paris and Rome): Sting, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Lauryn Hill, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, U2, R.E.M. and Madonna.
THE STORY OF JAWS
Taking a break this week in honor of JawsFest! Check back next week when I'm sure Matt and I will have lots of stories and photos to share.
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.