Requiem for heavyweights lost in ’07 — part two

(Here’s the link to part one if you’re just joining us.)


Halfishman_2Hal Fishman, 75, news anchor who was a fixture of L.A.’s airwaves for 40 years, primarily on KTLA-TV. Fishman was known for his rat-tat-tat delivery style, his occasional conservative-leaning editorials and his interest in aviation. Here’s the tribute to Fishman that ran on KTLA’s 10 p.m. newscast on the day Fishman died, Aug. 7.

Mervgriffin_3Merv Griffin, 82, multihyphenate who began as a band singer and died a billionaire real estate mogul. In between, Griffin hosted a popular syndicated talk show for more than 20 years and created two of the most successful shows in history in “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” Merv, as he was known to all, was one of those ubiquitous entertainers who was seemingly everywhere when I was a kid, as I waxed on about in this remembrance. And here’s a fun clip of Merv and Don Rickles going at it on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1985.

MelshavelsonMelville Shavelson, 90, prolific film and TV scribe whose credits include “The Danny Thomas Show.” Also a three-time prexy of WGA West. Here’s a link to part 1 of his nine-part Archive of American Television interview from 1999.


Alice Ghostley, 81, actress, a Tony-winner best known for her nervous-housewife persona exemplified by her role as the ditsy Aunt Esmerelda on “Bewitched.”

ManulisMartin Manulis, 92, producer, creative steward of CBS’ “Playhouse 90” who was responsible for such landmark TV drama productions as “Requiem for a Heavyweight” and “The Miracle Worker.” Manulis was a guy Rod Serling respected, and that’s saying something. Here’s a link to part one of his 11-part Archive of American Television interview.

Brett Somers, 83, stage actress known for her long stint on “Match Game.” She played Oscar Madison’s ex on “The Odd Couple” and was Mrs. Jack Klugman for a time in real-life too. Here’s a representative clip featuring Somers parrying with “Match Game” host Gene Rayburn.


JoeybishopJoey Bishop, 89, the stone-faced, cool cat comic who was the last surviving member of the Rat Pack. Bishop made a number of stabs at TV, including a domestic comedy and a bid to challenge Johnny Carson’s dominance of latenight with show that ran on ABC from 1967-69. Below are two great clips, and more Nehru jackets than you can shake your love beads at, from the latenight “Joey Bishop Show.”

In the first, Sammy Davis Jr. tries to teach Joey to tap dance. The second is a nice long monologue clip that also features Bishop’s sidekick, Regis Philbin.

Gary Franklin, 79, L.A. TV reporter and film reviewer for KABC-TV Los Angeles and KCBS-TV Los Angeles, who was known for rating films on his “Franklin scale of 1-10, 10 being best.”


Mel Tolkin, 94, writer-producer who had the formidable job as head writer on Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows.” He was a guy who could make Caesar laugh, and corral a room that featured such wits as Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbert, Lucille Kallen and Woody Allen. Here’s a link to part one of his eight-party Archive of American Television interview from 1997.

VeritylambertVerity Lambert, 71, pioneering femme British TV exec and producer. Lambert was the first female and youngest exec to work for the BBC in the early 1960s. She also was the first producer of the worldwide cult fave “Dr. Who.” Here’s a fan video tribute that hits the highlights of her remarkable career.


JenniferdavidsonJennifer Davidson, 38, who was one of the first 15 people hired at Cartoon Network in the early 1990w, rising to senior veep of programming and scheduling. She was part of the team that spearheaded the launch of Adult Swim in 2001. Here’s a link to a story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution featuring remembrances from family and friends.


Roger King, 63, leader of King World Prods. and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in TV history. King World prospered with enduring hits, “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” that spurred the growth of the first-run syndie biz in the 1980s and ’90s. As King World grew, so did Roger’s reputation as a master salesman with an encyclopedic knowledge of TV stations and local markets. Here’s a link to part one of his three-part Archive of American Television interview, and here are links to the remembrances posted here in the days after his death. 

Stu Nahan, 81, longtime broadcaster and sports reporter for various L.A. outlets who earned the nickname “Skipper Stu” after hosting a kidvid show of the same name early on in his career.

Floydwesterman Floyd Red Crow Westerman, 71, actor and activist, Westerman was a passionate advocate of Native American causes and filmmakers and recognized for his work on “Dances with Wolves” and “Northern Exposure,” among many other movies and TV skeins. Here’s a video interview with Westerman from 2004 that illustrates the depth of his intelligence and dedication to advancing the cause of Native Americans in all fields.