Too many goodbyes on Wednesday

Mar 30, 2002 by Ian Evans

Our 4 day return trek from LA to Toronto on Amtrak is now over. Without any news or web access during our return trip, we missed the news of the passing of three great entertainment figures that entertained us throughout the years:

March 27, 2002: Director Billy Wilder died from pneumonia at age 95. The Oscar®-winning director Double Indemnity and Some Like it Hot also directed Best Picture winner The Apartment, Audrey Hepburn’s Sabrina, Stalag 17, and Marilyn Monroe’s The Seven Year Itch.

“The great master is finished here,” said his Apartment star Shirley MacLaine. “He will write and direct another masterpiece in heaven. I learned more from him than anyone else.”

March 27, 2002: Actor/pianist Dudley Moore, the “sex thimble”, died at age 66 from pneumonia, complication arising from progressive supranuclear palsy the disease he has been battling for sveral years. Moore first came to public attention when he teamed with schoolmate Peter Cook. They went on to do the British sketch comedy series Not Only…But Also. Moore’s film career included the original Bedazzled, 10 and his Oscar®-nominated turn in Arthur.

His Arthur co-star Liza Minelli said “I am deeply saddened by the death of my dear friend, Dudley Moore. He was a unique individual that was multi-talented. He could make the world laugh and brought joy to millions.

March 27, 2002: Milton Berle, “Mr. Television”, also died Wednesday at the age of 93. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer back in April 2001. Berle started his career in vaudeville. He hosted NBC’s Texaco Star Theater from 1948-1953. Ratings for the show were massive, often reaching an 80% share, which compares to a 49% share for the best-rated Super Bowl.