Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jeopardy's Ken Jennings Loses 2004


Kenneth Wayne "Ken" Jennings III (born May 23, 1974) is an American game show contestant. Jennings is noted for holding the record for the longest winning streak on the U.S. syndicated game show Jeopardy! and was the all-time leading money winner on American game shows. In 2004, Jennings won 74 Jeopardy! games before he was defeated by challenger Nancy Zerg on his 75th appearance. His total earnings on Jeopardy! are US $3,022,700 ($2,520,700 over his 74 wins, a $2,000 second-place prize in his 75th appearance, and a $500,000 second-place prize in the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions).

During his first run of Jeopardy! appearances, Jennings earned the record for the highest American game show winnings. His total was surpassed by Brad Rutter, who defeated Jennings in the finals of the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions (first aired on May 25, 2005), adding $2,000,000 to Rutter's existing Jeopardy! winnings. Jennings regained the record after appearing on several other game shows, culminating in an appearance on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (first aired on October 10, 2008), though Rutter retains the Jeopardy! record.

After his success on Jeopardy!, Jennings wrote of his experience and explored American trivia history and culture in Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs, published in 2006. Jennings also appeared as a member of the mob on the game show 1 vs. 100 in 2006, and in 2007 he was the champion of the US version of Grand Slam.

On November 30, 2004, Jennings's long reign as Jeopardy! champion ended when he lost his seventy-fifth game to challenger Nancy Zerg. Jennings responded incorrectly to both Double Jeopardy! Daily Doubles, causing him to lose a combined $10,200 ($5,400 and $4,800 respectively) and leaving him with $14,400 at the end of the round. As a result, for only the tenth time in 75 games Jennings did not have an insurmountable lead going into the Final Jeopardy! round. Only Jennings and Zerg, who ended Double Jeopardy! with $10,000, were able to play Final Jeopardy! as third place contestant David Hankins failed to finish with a positive score after Double Jeopardy!.

The Final Jeopardy! category was Business and Industry, and the answer was "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year." Zerg responded correctly with "What is H&R Block?" and wagered $4,401 of her $10,000, giving her a $1 lead over Jennings with his response still to be revealed. Jennings incorrectly responded with "What is FedEx?" and lost the game with a final score of $8,799 after his $5,601 wager was deducted from his score. He was awarded $2,000 for his second place finish, which gave him a final total of $2,522,700 for his run on Jeopardy! Zerg, who Jennings called a "formidable opponent," finished in third place on the next show.

Jennings' 75 matches took place over a span of 182 calendar days, which included stoppages for the show's summer break, one Kids Week series of episodes, the 2004 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, and the 2004 Jeopardy! College Championship.


The original version of the show, hosted by Art Fleming, which debuted on NBC on March 30, 1964, was taped in Studio 6A at NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. In addition to Studio 6A, Studio 8G was also frequently used to record the show.

The 1978 version of the show, The All-New Jeopardy!, was taped from NBC Studio 3 in Burbank, California, with a set designed by Henry Lickel and Dennis Roof.

When the syndicated Jeopardy! premiered in 1984, it was taped at Metromedia Stage 7, KTTV-TV, on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. From 1985 to 1994, the show was taped at Hollywood Center Studios' Stage 9.

After the final shows of Season 10 were taped on February 15, 1994, production moved to Sony Pictures Studios' Stage 10 on Washington Boulevard in Culver City, California, where the first shows of Season 11 were taped on July 12, 1994.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Celebrity Grave: Actress Natalie Wood Drowns in Catalina 1981

Natalie Wood (July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981) was an American actress.

Wood began acting in movies at the age of four and became a successful child actor in such films as Miracle on 34th Street (1947). A well received performance opposite James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and helped her to make the transition from a child performer. She then starred in the musicals West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962). She also received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963).

Her career continued successfully with films such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969). After this she took a break from acting and had two children, appearing in only two theatrical films during the 1970s. She was married to actor Robert Wagner twice, and to producer Richard Gregson. She had one daughter by each: Natasha Gregson and Courtney Wagner. Her younger sister, Lana Wood, is also an actress. Wood starred in several television productions, including a remake of the film From Here to Eternity (1979) for which she won a Golden Globe Award.

Death

In September and October 1981, Wood and Wagner stayed in Raleigh, North Carolina, while Wood did location work for the science-fiction film Brainstorm. Wood then spent most of November in California shooting interior scenes with Christopher Walken and other cast members on the MGM lot in Culver City.

The day after Thanksgiving, Wood, Wagner and Walken went to Catalina Island for the weekend and on the night of November 28, the Wagners' yacht (Splendour) was anchored in Isthmus Cove. Also on board was the boat's skipper, Dennis Davern, who had worked for the couple for many years. The official theory is that Wood either tried to leave the yacht or to secure a dinghy from banging against the hull when she accidentally slipped and fell overboard. When her body was found, she was wearing a down jacket, nightgown, and socks. A woman on a nearby yacht said she heard calls for help at around midnight. The cries lasted for about 15 minutes and were answered by someone else who said, "Take it easy. We'll be over to get you." "It was laid back," the witness recalled. "There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts." There was much partying going on in the area, though, and while it has never been proven that the woman calling for help was, indeed, Natalie Wood, no other person ever has been identified or come forward as having called out for help on that night. An investigation by Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi resulted in an official verdict of accidental drowning. Noguchi concluded Wood had drunk "seven or eight" glasses of wine and was intoxicated when she died. Noguchi also wrote that he found Wood's fingernail scratches on the side of the rubber dinghy indicating she was trying to get in. Wood was 43 at the time of her death and is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.


On March 11, 2010 Wood's sister Lana Wood decided to re-open the case of her death.


At the funeral, at least a thousand spectators, along with scores of photographers and reporters from around the world, were spread out behind the cemetery walls. Among the guests at her funeral were Laurence Olivier, who flew there from London. Also there were Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire, Rock Hudson, David Niven, Gregory Peck, Gene Kelly, and director Elia Kazan.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sixties Jerry Rubin Jaywalks Wilshire Blvd. to His Death 1994

Jerry Rubin (July 14, 1938 – November 28, 1994) was an American radical social activist during the 1960s and 1970s. During the 1980s, he became a successful businessman.

Rubin played an instrumental role in the anti-war demonstrations that accompanied the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago by helping to organize the Yippie "Festival of Life" in Lincoln Park and speaking at an anti-war rally at the Grant Park bandshell on August 28, 1968. Violence between Chicago police and demonstrators (which an official government report called a "police riot") eventually led to the indictment of Rubin and seven others (Abbie Hoffman, Rennie Davis, John Froines, David Dellinger, Lee Weiner, Tom Hayden, and Bobby Seale) on several charges of conspiracy and incitement to riot.

The defendants were commonly referred to as the "Chicago Eight." Seale's trial, however, was severed from the others after he demanded the right to serve as his own lawyer and was sentenced to four years in prison for contempt of court, making the Chicago Eight the Chicago Seven. Rubin, along with the six other defendants, was found not guilty on the charge of conspiracy but guilty (with four other defendants) on the charge of incitement. He was also sentenced by the judge to more than three years in prison for contempt of court. All the convictions for incitement were later thrown out by an appeals court, who cited judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. Most of the contempt of court citations were also overturned on appeal.

After the Vietnam War ended, Rubin became an entrepreneur and businessman. He was an early investor in Apple Computer.


On November 14, 1994, Rubin jaywalked on Wilshire Boulevard, near UCLA in Los Angeles, California. It was a weekday evening and traffic was heavy, with three lanes in each direction. A car swerved to miss Rubin but a second car, immediately behind the first, was unable to avoid him. He was taken to the UCLA Medical Center, where he died 14 days later. He is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.


Celebrity Grave: Actor Christopher George

Christopher John George (February 25, 1931 - November 28, 1983) was an American television and film actor who was perhaps best known for his starring role in the 1966-1968 TV series The Rat Patrol. He was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1967 as Best TV Star for his performance in the series. He was also the recipient of a New York Film Festival award as the Best Actor in a Television Commercial. George was married to actress Lynda Day George.


Soon after completing Mortuary, George died of a heart attack on November 28, 1983. He died at Westside Hospital in Los Angeles, California, while under the care of his cardiologist, Dr. Pearl McBroom. A contributing factor in his death is believed to have been the 1967 Rat Patrol mishap. The accident left George with a bad heart that contributed to his death. A Greek Orthodox rosary service was conducted at Westwood Memorial Park and a private funeral was held at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Northridge, California. He is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. His death devastated his wife. Afterward, she only worked sporadically in television guest roles until her retirement in the early 1990s.


At his funeral, the Marine Corps provided an honor guard to render military honors. On May 5, 2009, the Marine Corps flew a flag over the Iwo Jima Memorial in honor of his service in the Corps.

George's niece is Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White.

Celebrity Grave: Actress Rosalind Russell


Rosalind Russell (June 4, 1907 – November 28, 1976) was an American actress of stage and screen, perhaps best known for her role as a fast-talking newspaper reporter in the Howard Hawks screwball comedy His Girl Friday, as well as the role of Mame Dennis in the film Auntie Mame. She won all 5 Golden Globes for which she was nominated, and was tied with Meryl Streep for wins until 2007 when Streep was awarded a sixth. Russell won a Tony Award in 1953 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Ruth in the Broadway show Wonderful Town (a musical based the film My Sister Eileen, in which she also starred).

Russell was known for playing character roles, exceptionally wealthy, dignified ladylike women. She had a wide career span from the 1930s to the 1970s and attributed her long career to the fact that, although usually playing classy and glamorous roles, she never became a sex symbol, thereby not being famous for her looks.


Russell died after a long battle with breast cancer in 1976 at the age of 69, although initially her age was misreported because she had shaved a few years off her true age. She was survived by her husband and son. She is buried in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Culver City, California.




West Hollywood Actress Karyn Kupcinet Dies Under Mysterious Circumstances 1963

Karyn Kupcinet (March 6, 1941 – November 28, 1963) was an American actress who was found dead at her West Hollywood, California home, in the days following the JFK assassination. It has been theorized that her death, officially ruled a homicide, was connected to the assassination or was the result of an accidental fall, though her family have disputed such claims.

Death

On the last day of her life, Kupcinet had dinner with future Lost in Space cast member Mark Goddard and his wife, Marcia Rogers Goddard, at their house on Coldwater Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills (near Mulholland Drive). She was due there at 6:30 pm, but arrived an hour late by taxicab. The couple said Kupcinet only toyed with her food during the meal. Marcia Goddard told two officers from the L.A. County Sheriff's Office that during dinner with Kupcinet "... her lips seemed numb. Her voice was funny. She moved her head at odd angles." The Goddards also noticed that her pupils were constricted. Mark Goddard told authorities that he confronted Kupcinet about her altered state during the meal, and she began to cry, putting her arm around him. At one point during the meal, Kupcinet told her friends an unsubstantiated story about a baby that had been abandoned on her doorstep earlier that day. At 8:30 pm, a taxicab arrived to take her home, and she promised to telephone the Goddards soon.

Karyn Kupcinet's West Hollywood Apartment
Kupcinet apparently went straight home after dining with her friends. She was visited by freelance writer Edward Stephen Rubin shortly afterward. The two were then joined by actor Robert Hathaway around 9:30 pm. They told detectives they watched TV, including The Danny Kaye Show, with Kupcinet. They all drank coffee until she fell asleep, sitting next to them on the couch. She awoke and went to her room. The men either turned the TV set off or simply lowered the volume (three days later it was still playing with a low volume), and made sure the door was locked behind them before departing at about 11:15 pm. Hathaway said he and Rubin returned to his place and were later joined by Kupcinet's boyfriend, Andrew Prine, who was also Hathaway's neighbor. The three young men watched television and talked until approximately 3:00 am.

The Goddards went to Kupcinet's apartment on November 30, after she failed to telephone the couple as promised. Mark Goddard stated that he had a "funny feeling" that something was wrong. Upon arriving at Kupcinet's apartment, the couple found her nude body lying on the couch. Mark Goddard initially assumed that she had died from a drug overdose.

Karyn Kupcinet's West Hollywood Apartment
Upon searching Kupcinet's apartment, police found prescriptions for Desoxyn, Miltown, Amvicel, and other medications. Authorities also found a note written by Kupcinet that reflected in some detail her emotions regarding issues in her life (i.e., parents, self-image, problems with boyfriend) and people she admired.

Coroner Harold Kade concluded that due to a broken hyoid bone in her throat, Kupcinet had been strangled. Her death was officially ruled a homicide.