Tag Archives: obituaries

Shirley Temple dies at 85; sadly media fails to fully exploit tragedy

11 Feb

WOODSIDE, California—Shirley Temple, the famous child actress, died at home yesterday at age 85.

“It’s sad when anyone dies,” said Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. “But it’s especially sad when there’s nothing tawdry we can rub in the faces of our viewers, you know?” He sighed. “It’s just so upsetting.”

Upmarket media was equally upset. “There’s really no flimsy metaphor about society as a whole that we can use as an excuse to relate scurrilous gossip here,” said Sia Michel, arts editor of the New York Times. “There isn’t really any scurrilous gossip, period.”

Although Temple had been on a temporary 64-year hiatus from the film industry, she had started a comeback in the last few years, most recently appearing on the Red Skelton Hour in 1963, where she received generally positive reviews. “We had hoped for her to come back on the show soon, but then we found out Red passed away in 1997,” said her longtime agent.

Deep fears for America’s competitiveness as Russell Johnson, “The Professor” on Gilligan’s Island, dies at 89

17 Jan

SEATTLE—concern over America’s scientific and engineering capabilities grew today as Russell Johnson, better known as “The Professor” on Gilligan’s Island, died yesterday at age 89.

The cause was a falling coconut, family members reported.

Johnson was well-known for his pioneering ability to build sophisticated telecommunications products using only items commonly found on desert islands. After developing a series of radio receivers out of palm fronds in the 1960s, he went on to develop a range of mobile devices using fish parts, rocks, and native vegetation.

Working before the rise of the venture-capital industry, Johnson’s many startups were funded primarily by longtime friend and neighbor Thurston Howell III, who made a second fortune commercializing Johnson’s many inventions.

Although Johnson had been less active in recent years, he said recently that he felt vindicated to learn that his signature “clamshell” phone was experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

%d bloggers like this: