This Day in Death

2.3.14: Porn Star and Magazine Publisher Gloria Leonard – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:47 pm February 24, 2014

GLORIA_LEONARDI like my women like I like my Blues Traveler frontmen: with a staple right through the stomach.


Like moving to Canada if the candidate you don’t happen to agree with wins, sex is one of those things that everyone always talks about but nobody actually does. As every girlfriend I’ve ever had has made the painstaking effort to explain to me, it’s just one of those things people talk about to kill time at restaurants and airport bathrooms, nobody’s seriously going through with it. Nobody, that is, except those courageous stars of pornographic films. Every day, they’re suffering the humiliations of exposed back flab and poorly-executed fluid arc trajectories so that we don’t have to. They’re truly heroes among men, like firefighters who don’t pussy out by wearing a bunch of bulky clothes on the job. Not very sexy, Lieutenant.

Today, the world is short one more psychologically well-adjusted hero; porn star Gloria Leonard, who passed away recently after a stroke. I mean, like, a cerebrovascular accident, not… well, you know.

Leonard made her debut in 1974’s The Opening of Misty Beethoven, which must’ve been a prequel to those other movies because I didn’t see any St. Bernards in it anywhere. Charles Grodin was definitely there, though. I respect the continuity.

Ms. Leonard’s background in public relations, as well as her high profile on screen, led to her hiring as the publisher of the men’s magazine High Society in 1977, a job she held for more than a decade while continuing to appear in and direct films.

Already seasoned in a number of professions, Leonard didn’t appear in porn until she was well into her 30s. Continuing to appear in films into her mid-40s, she proved that vaginas don’t have expiration dates after all. So it’s never too late, lady who played Mona on Who’s the Boss?. Come on, this fanfic isn’t gonna make itself come true.



Source: The NY Times

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3.19.13: Porn Star Harry Reems – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:17 am March 22, 2013

HARRY_REEMSIf you were wondering exactly how much untamed 70s bush Reems saw, keep in mind: That ain’t a mustache.

 

Herbert Streicher, who made his bones (tee hee!) under the name Harry Reems (tee hee!!) in the controversial 1970s porn Deep Throat, is dead today of a depressingly unsexy case of pancreatic cancer. Nothing ruins a masturbatory experience for me faster than pulmonary embolisms. Well, maybe not “ruins,” but definitely “somewhat slows down.” This seems as good a time as any to remind my roommate not to look in the “stuff for work” folder on my laptop. Dude, it’s just boring stuff for work, why would you wanna look at that?

In 1972, Reems found himself an extra on the set of “Deep Throat.” When the male lead failed to show, Reems filled the breach, playing the randy Dr. Young opposite Lovelace.

The movie became a blockbuster that turned the obscure actor into a porn superstud. And with blue movies becoming mainstream, the mustached Reems became an unlikely ambassador for a business that was trying to shake off its seedy image.

You know, the TDiD has long been seen as the internet’s comedy website fluffer, pleasing you enough so that you can successfully toss your funny bone into Cracked (or, if it’s your first time, College Humor) while never quite satisfying you on its own. There’s a reason this place is a six at best: If I actually tried to be genuinely funny around here you guys would be snorting your Mountain Dew all over yourselves first thing in the morning like a bunch of goddamn amateurs. Oh, also, by hanging around here you’ve probably exposed yourself to a truly astounding amount of viruses. You’re, uh… you’re gonna wanna go ahead and call the Geek Squad in the morning.

 
Source: NY Daily News

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10.18.12: Porn Star Sylvia Kristel – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:05 pm October 19, 2012

You’re never gonna get thoroughly clean if you just spend the whole bath slowly massaging your chest like that. America’s pre-teens rely on lurid sexuality to teach them proper hygiene practices and this is just leading them down a dangerous path.

Porn star (or “adult film actress” if you’re applying for a grant) Sylvia Kristel is dead today, and I’m just gonna come right out and tell you that it was throat cancer. Yes yes, get it out of your systems. I thought you guys were a bit more sophisticated than that. I mean, I’m not, but I thought you were.

Kristel was best known for playing the title role in the landmark 1974 softcore porn Emmanuelle. Wait, hang on. They’re making softcore porno now? What, is that just mostly hand-holding or something? Do they have to keep the gangbangs in the single digits? And what of ATM? Who’s softcore porn even for, people who want square tires and put water in their cereal? I tell you, there are some reeeal sickos in the world.

She did act in mainstream films, […] but was nearly always cast in sexually suggestive parts, and her performances drew considerably less attention than her face and figure.

In her 2006 autobiography, “Undressing Emmanuelle,” she wrote that she was “disappointed and a little hurt” that her more serious work went unappreciated. “I was dressed but people preferred me naked,” she wrote.

Well, now I feel bad about the pelvic-thrusty nature of this post, so let’s just call it a day here. It’s just as well, since I generally try to avoid jokes about porn or prostitution. I mean, there’s this stuff. And these. And I’d hate to forget this one. But as a general rule I try to steer clear of that stuff. Or at least skip a day here and there. Wow. When you lay it out like that it really starts to look like I might have a problem after all. I guess I owe Pastor Robinson a pretty big apology.

Source: The New York Times

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8.30.15: Wes Craven – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:54 pm September 8, 2015

WES_CRAVENYou know, that Freddy Krueger thought he was a pretty tough customer, but let’s see him slash anyone up out in a rainstorm. Those blades would rust right the hell up, and then what, you’re gonna kill me with Tetanus? Joke’s on you, pal: I probably already needed a shot anyway, what with all of these stray dogs I keep getting into fights with.

 

Well, Halloween may be on its way, but if you’ve got a Craven’ for more horror flicks from slasher maestro Wes Craven, you’re gonna be disappointed. Because he’s dead. I tried to soften the landing with that pun up there, feel free to message my LinkedIn profile to let me know how I did!

Craven was best known as the creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, which featured prop comic/lawncare enthusiast/occasional sadistic murderer Freddy Krueger terrorizing dense suburban kids in their dreams. On a personal note, I’m not ashamed to admit I never quite got over my childhood fear of Freddy. Imagine how terrifying he would be in real life! I mean, who wants to talk to a white guy in a fedora? You know he’s just gonna tell you he wears it ironically, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still wearing it and it still looks stupid, and you just know if you call him out on it suddenly you’re the asshole. Not to mention that hipster sweater he’s always got on. I’m getting chills just thinking about him cornering me at a party to tell me about the idea he had for a combination bike shop/microbrewery. At least Jason was into hockey, that’s kinda cool. I’d way rather be murdered by him. Yeah, that’d be sweet.

“For three years I was unable to sell [A Nightmare of Elm Street]. I basically went broke,” he told CNN years later. “So when the film got made and was a financial success, my career went from the basement through the roof. It was a wonderful feeling.”

While struggling during the early days of his filmmaking career, Craven supposedly directed porn, although that was under a pseudonym for some reason. What was he so ashamed about? It’s not like porn and horror films are all that different: You throw together a story revolving around some creepy dude looking for a busty teenager who doesn’t do much more than scream, slide a tight 80s’ synth-rock soundtrack underneath, and start cranking out the sequel before the lights even cool down. The only major difference is that Hollywood film sets are notoriously drug-free. Those people have a sacred trust with the viewing public, and they don’t take that lightly.

 

Source: CNN

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7.31.15: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:24 pm August 5, 2015

ROWDY_RODDY_PIPERPiper, right, opting to leave his shirt on during extreme physical exercise. It’s a good look, and suddenly I don’t feel so alone for refusing to go topless in the pool at the YMCA. Hey, if we could all have hairless shoulders the world would be a very different place.

 

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, WWE Hall of Famer and the last person named “Rod” not to go into gay porn, was found dead in his Hollywood home last week. Piper’s death is being reported as natural causes, which may sound unusual considering he was only 61, but in wrestling years that puts him in, like, his early 400s. Those guys have life expectancies that make medieval peasants look like Greek gods.

Technically cast as a villain among the pro wrestling personalities of the World Wrestling Federation (also known as the WWF and later the WWE), Piper’s charisma, over-the-top personality, and boundless energy made him a key pop culture figure. The WWE has named him as the greatest villain in wrestling history.

I’ve discussed my utter confusion about wrestling before, but one area that I’m completely into is the impossibly steep curve of insane stunts that the fans force the wrestling industry to climb as time goes by. Once your headline is that Seth Rollins just beat a man with an actual steel fucking ladder there’s no going back to the fundamentals. The industry could survive another 10,000 years and you’ll never see anyone talk about trying a back to basics approach that really emphasizes holds and good sportsmanship. You’ve crossed a one-way threshold. If you were to travel just five years into the future your brain probably couldn’t even acclimate to how much more psychotic the whole thing will have become in such a relatively brief time. By 2020 you’ll have guys with surgically-altered lizard faces cannonballing through brick walls and ripping out each others’ shoulder blades to use as oars with which to paddle themselves to safety, since it all takes place within a Plexiglass cage that is slowly filling up with hundreds of gallons of the performers’ own HGH-infused sweat. And that’ll be the undercard.

Just, you know… no blood. It really sends the wrong message about violence, and these are family-friendly events.

 

Source: Screenrant

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6.15.14 – Casey Kasem – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:53 am June 18, 2014

CASEY_KASEMOOOH NOOO NO NO; If you’re a cartoon dog functioning at a level that involves standing up for photo ops and rudimentary vocal ability then you’re anthropomorphized enough to get a real job and contribute to society right alongside us humans and our crushed spirits. No more of this laid back, best-of-both-worlds Marmaduke shit. Hell, Goofy has Down syndrome but even he manages to put a vest on himself every morning. At least he’s trying.

 

Legendary voice actor and American Top 40 DJ Casey Kasem passed away on Sunday amidst antagonism between family members pertaining to his hospice care. Kasem’s death had been a slow and painful ordeal, only slightly worse than trying to convince America that Imagine Dragons is a legitimate musical force every damn week. I don’t know what kind of substance is running in Seacrest’s veins that gives him the strength to power through that particular shame with his creepy rictus intact, but if it’s human blood I’ll eat my oversized novelty hat.

His voice was familiar to fans who tuned in weekly to hear him count down the nation’s most popular songs, a tradition that he continued with Casey’s Top 40, American Top 20 and American Top 10.

“Hosting various versions of my countdown program has kept me extremely busy, and I loved every minute of it,” he said upon his retirement in 2009.

Kasem seemed like a pretty nice guy and the story of his death has been a particularly sad one, so I figured we’d just look at some insincere tweets, I’d probably microwave this gas station burrito that’s been sitting around for a while, and we’d all pack it in for an early yet productive day. Then I found this:

 

 

Now, at first this struck me as the usual “Even in grief, I can’t go 140 characters without talking about myself” celeb tweet that we’ve poked with a stick before, but something just seemed extra obnoxious about Osmond here. Maybe it’s the painfully earnest profile picture suggesting a total lack of self-awareness, I don’t know. At any rate, I decided to follow the rabbit hole down a little further.

Donny Osmond’s Twitter account is a perfect example of why I hate Twitter. (Speaking of which, make sure to follow the TDiD’s new Twitter account! Social media experts agree: It’s pointlessly superfluous.) I realize that, at its core, the stupid thing is just an image management tool for celebrities, but Jesus Christ at least pretend you’re giving me something akin to a meaningful content handjob. Instead, just about every single tweet is The Donfather either vainly reposting a stranger’s compliment about him or touting what he believes to be his revolutionary new phone app. Since I’m extremely suggestible, I downloaded said app, and… it’s nothing. It’s literally nothing but samples of the cover songs on his new album with a couple of lines written about each. Also known as what we used to call a web site. You know, back in the Oughties.

So what the hell? Chicago Sun-Times, what have you got for me?

“The record company thought I was nuts to allow two minutes’ worth of sampling, but I told them, if they like what they hear, they’ll want to buy the album,” Osmond said. “And the app asks for absolutely no permissions; I have no interest in invading people’s cell phones like the rest of the apps out there that invade your phone with permissions. And it absolutely had to be a free app. I’m a HUGE tech geek, so I designed it to be easy to use, extremely simple in design. I turned it over to an engineer for the code and we went through a few incarnations and it’s finally out.”

You see, cynics? The Wizard of Os isn’t gonna give you the snowjob: You get those samples of/blurbs about other peoples’ songs for FREE. Yes, I’m sure he’s taking a serious hit by letting us be advertised to, absolutely free of charge and without swearing NSA loyalty oaths, but that’s why they call him Silicon Valley Don. I mean, like, just now I called him that. Technically, that counts.

But don’t take my word for it; Just look at this review from noted person who totally exists Jamie Heiker, who reminds us that “Donny has always been on the cutting edge of music and technology.” That must be all kinds of true. Would you expect anything less forward-thinking from a man who once owned a technicolor dreamcoat? And who can forget his annual one-man expeditions to the Internet to sandblast all of the accumulated YouPorn grime from its tubes, or his current work with controversial noise-rock poster boys Death Grips?

DEATHGRIPSDONNYOSMOND

So there you go. Donny Osmond officially considers himself to be on the bleeding edge of technological innovation. You guys caused all this, what with your Tweeting about how you’re synching your Pinterest to your Tumblr or whatever the hell. Now even Donny Osmond knows what an app is and I have to maintain a Twitter account, because the internet is terrible. Oh, and Casey Kasem is dead, too. It’s really just piling on at that point.



Source: People

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12.19.13: ‘Screw’ Magazine Publisher Al Goldstein – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:23 pm December 30, 2013

AL_GOLDSTEIN I personally never read either magazine, but it’s my understanding that Screw beat out competitor Nuts to become the world’s premier metal fastener-based publication. I’m mature enough to admit that for a while I had some bi-monthly curiosity about Cotter Pin Review, though.

 
Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw, the porno magazine that taught a generation of trailer trash how to successfully execute a Cleveland Bowtie, has died. Screw built its reputation on always being there for you when Hustler just seemed way too highbrow, and Goldstein rode that pony to its natural and inevitable conclusion: Erecting an 11-foot tall middle finger on his front lawn. It’s really the American Dream, and as a Jew born in America in the 1930s, Goldstein was just living up to the promise of that plaque on Ellis Island:

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
And they shall tell all those below their income bracket
To kindly sit and spin on this baller shit right here.”

And, for years, spin we did. But unfortunately Goldstein couldn’t compete with the instant gratification that is the internet pornado and soon found himself Hammer levels of broke.

By the mid-2000s, Goldstein was completely broke and homeless. “At times I was forced to sleep in a car or in a homeless shelter”, he told the New York Times in 2004.”I’ve gone from broads to bagels”, he said in that same interview, referring to his $10 an hour job at a New-York Deli.

Ouch. You know, Screw could’ve really thrived by becoming tech savvy during the internet’s nascent years, when things were a bit more naive and we were all wondering if anyone else out there was searching for blumpkin videos on Alta Vista. Goldstein could’ve been the beacon that guided every degenerate’s sticky-planked ship to shore. Instead the man fumbled on what could’ve become a billion-dollar empire and lost everything.

But I suppose we’ve all got our regrets. My big one is that I never really got into wearing hats. When I was a teenager all my friends would be out every Saturday night having a great time, canting their bowlers and derbys and porkpies like they’d be young forever. Unfortunately I was cursed with a freakishly asymmetrical skull and some rather unflattering forehead ridges, so whenever I’d compare my brim size to the other kids’ I’d just get all ashamed. Now years have gone by and there’s a whole display kiosk at JC Penny that’ll simply never make any sense to me.


Source: Jewish Business News

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10.25.13: Stuntman and Director Hal Needham – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:22 am November 5, 2013

HAL_NEEDHAMAnd to think that dog had a B.F.A. from Juilliard. Sure, maybe an M.F.A. would’ve opened a few more doors, but when you consider that he only lived 11 years it’s downright miraculous.

 

Legendary Hollywood stuntman Hal Needham, the man with the passion for crashin’, the Michael Caine of the shoulder sprain, the Eric Schmidt of falling onto shit, has died at the age of 82. Well, not to sound callous, but what did you expect? An 82-year old shouldn’t be performing stunts in the first damn place. Just let today’s young idiots do it, they’re practically invincible anyway. What with their Monster energy drinks and their parkour and their pumpable sneakers those kids are just about superheroes now, pass the torch already.

Needham helped design a number of devices aimed at making stunts both safer and more spectacular, including a pressure-plate gizmo that could hurl an actor into the air as a car seemed to hit him or an explosion went off nearby. In 1986, he and collaborator William L. Frederick received the academy’s Scientific and Engineering Award for developing the Shotmaker Elite camera car and crane, an invention used for more efficient shooting of action sequences.

Despite contributing his own technological innovations to filmmaking, Needham remained a staunch opponent of the rise of CG special effects up until his death. It’s arguably a little hypocritical, and I have to imagine that he would’ve changed his tune had he been following the Transformers franchise. I mean, in some scenes you can kinda tell Megan Fox isn’t a real person, but how the other actors pretend they’re not just talking to a dude in a green suit is pretty impressive. It’s Andy Serkis’ best work, if you ask me.

Needham would go on to direct such films as Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run, and Stroker Ace, the only film that shares its name with its own porn parody.

 

Source: The LA Times

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9.12.13: Audio Pioneer Ray Dolby – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:19 pm September 17, 2013

RAY_DOLBYMan, it sure takes a lot of skill and equipment to faithfully reproduce the sound of Bruce Willis pretending to act in 7.1 surround. But, you know, doing the Lord’s work is its own reward.

 

Ray Dolby, the audio pioneer who founded Dolby Laboratories and definitely had about a million girlfriends in high school, died last week at the age of 80. Cause of death is being reported as leukemia, but it was probably mixed with a little psychological stress brought on by his failure to develop and commodify the brown note. What the hell is wrong with this country when I have to manually control my own bowels instead of blasting my coccyx with an ultra-powerful sonic gun like a civilized human being?

Blind me with science, Block Quote! Wait, sorry, that was the other guy. You know what, screw it, just do the thing anyway.

In the 1960s, when magnetic tape was coming to prominence as a recording medium, “tape hiss” seemed to be an inevitable part of the listening experience. It was a problem that plagued all types of magnetic tape formats, from open-reel to audiocassette.

Dolby and his team invented a recording (and playback) process that greatly diminished the unwanted noise.

Dolby’s breakthrough would later be applied to feature films and soon become an industry standard until digital production made the noise-reduction process unnecessary, gradually eroding Dolby’s significance in modern technology. The same thing happened with the internet and porn, and now clammy-handed old men in drug stores buying multiple polybagged copies of Screw just look weird. There was a time when parents would proudly point those men out to their children, promising that they, too, could grow up to do the same if they stayed in school and never moved out of the attic. Damn you, technology! Will nothing stop the cursed deathmarch you call “progress”?!

 

Source: Time

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7.2.13: Douglas Engelbart, Inventor of the Computer Mouse – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:30 am July 8, 2013

DOUGLAS_ENGELBARTFinally a clit that gamers can actually find, am I right?! Don’t leave me hanging, brosef!

 

In the 1960s, computing visionary Douglas Engelbart and his (presumably bespectacled) peers had a dream. A dream that one day moms across the country would accidentally give their social security numbers to a banner ad disguised as a flash game where you swat anthropomorphized flies with a cartoon newspaper. A dream that locally-stored pornographic content could be easily accessed without having to tab around like a goddamn mongoloid. Lo was born the computer mouse, forever replacing the archaic technology of poking a nerd with a stick and telling him to “do computer stuff.” People make fun of them now, but in 1982 if your new Commodore 64 came with a nerdstick you were the coolest kid in the neighborhood.

Englebart had said that he did not, however, come up with the name “mouse.” When asked in an interview with Stanford about the name in December 1986, Engelbart said, “No one can remember [who came up with the name]. In the lab, the very first one we built had the cord coming out the back. It wasn’t long before we realized that it would get in the way, and then we changed it to the front. But when it was trailing out the back like that, sitting there, just its funny little shape.”

Additionally, Wikipedia points out that “mouse” is *not* an acronym for “Manually Operated User Selection Equipment,” as is sometimes claimed. It should be pretty obvious that that’s just another one of those instances where someone’s tried to reverse engineer the name into an acrostic that seems more meaningful, like S.H.I.E.L.D., or cinematic classic F.A.R.T.: The Movie. I’d also like to take this opportunity to dispel the hurtful rumors that my name is actually an acronym for “Jews are mighty evil, Sam.” It’s totally out of line, I don’t even know anybody named Sam!


Source: ABC News

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