Obituary

In Memoriam: Merri Dee, Chicago Broadcasting Legend, Dies at 85

Merri Dee, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – She was a pioneer in a broadcasting business at a time when it was mostly white and male. The incomparable Merri Dee was a fixture in Chicago media beginning in the 1960s, breaking barriers as a black woman TV personality and newscaster. She passed away in Chicago on March 16th, 2022, at age 85.

In Memoriam: Ivan Reitman, Director of ‘Ghostbusters,’ Dies at 75

Ivan Reitman, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – He helmed some of the most beloved comedies of the last three decades of the 20th Century, including “Meatballs,” “Stripes,” “Twins” “Kindergarten Cop” and of course “Ghostbusters” (and its sequel). Ivan Reitman passed away on February 12th, 2022. He was age 75.

In Memoriam: Flashback Interview and Exclusive Photo of Bob Saget

Bob Saget, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – There are a couple directions to the long career of Bob Saget, who passed away unexpectedly at age 65 on January 9th, 2022. The first of course was his role as Danny Tanner, the Dad he portrayed in the 1980s sitcom “Full House” and later in the Netflix revival “Fuller House.” The second is his stand-up comedy, whose reputation for filthy jokes had no boundaries.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Sidney Poitier

CHICAGO – With the passing of actor Sidney Poitier at the age of 94 on January 6th, 2022, another lion of the cinema – who represented succinctly an era of the movies – has left the mortal coil. HollywoodChicago.com presents the following appreciation through three film essays in retrospect by Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino.

Film News: Iconic Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich Dies at 82

CHICAGO – The work of filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich – who passed away on January 6th, 2022, at age 82 – was inspired by the cinematic language of American movies, which he interpreted through his many classic films. His most fertile and imaginative period were three movies from 1971 through 1973, which began with his masterpiece, “The Last Picture Show.”

Entertainment News: Dean Stockwell of Film ’Blue Velvet' & TV’s ‘Quantum Leap’ Dies at 85

Dean Stockwell, photo by Joe Arce 2013

CHICAGO – In my one encounter with Dean Stockwell back in 2013, he was properly off-kilter and amazing, as you expect from Frank in “Blue Velvet.” But Stockwell was so much more, starting as a child actor in Hollywood’s Golden Age, morphing to the hippie era and getting a major comeback with David Lynch and TV’s Quantum Leap.” He died in New York City on November 7th, 2021, at age 85.

Film News: Oscar Winner & Stage Actor Olympia Dukakis Dies at 89

CHICAGO – I will never forget meeting Olympia Dukakis. It was in Chicago in 2009, and among all the pomp and sequins of a Greek American awards night. it was Dukakis who was, by her natural presence, the movie star. Oh yeah, and she was slightly tipsy. Ms. Dukakis passed away in New York City on May 1st, 2021, age 89.

Flashback: A Screech Interview, Dustin Diamond Dies at 44

CHICAGO – A man called Screech is gone. Dustin Diamond, who portrayed the Screech character for many years on the series “Saved by the Bell” and its various iterations, passed away on February 1st, 2021, in a Florida hospital after a bout with cancer. He was 44.

An Appreciation: Sean Connery Defined in Two Quotes

CHICAGO – Sean Connery, who began a sensation when he first introduced himself as “Bond, James Bond” in his role as the spy in “Dr No” (1962) – and was able to redefine himself as a character actor after 10 years as Bond – passed away on October 31st, 2020, at his home in the Bahamas.

Flashback Interview: Jamie Redford, Filmmaker of ‘Resilence’ and Son of Robert, Dies at Age 58

James Redford

MARIN COUNTY, CALIF. – James “Jamie” Redford was on a righteous mission. The activist filmmaker created documentaries that spoke of the ills society is facing, including “Toxic Hot Seat” (chemicals in households), “Paper Tigers” (childhood psychology), “Resilence” (a deeper dive into Adverse Childhood Experience) and his recent “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution.” Jamie Redford died of bile duct cancer on October 16th, 2020, at his home in Marin County, California. He was 58.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • La Dolce Vita Blu-ray

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio Blu-ray DVD review of “La Dolce Vita,” the Federico Fellini film masterpiece that introduced the 1960s to itself, and the term “Paparazzi” to the language, now available through Paramount Pictures wherever Blu-rays are sold.

  • Ms. Marvel

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson, WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin), on June 23rd, 2022, reviewing the new streaming series “Ms Marvel,” a new kind of Marvel Universe superhero now streaming on Disney+.

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