They touched us in so many ways … their talents, their deeds, their special gifts. Time for our look back at those who left us in the year gone by. With Lee Cowan, we say “Hail and Farewell”:
As Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters sang in “Sunday in the Park With George,” “Move On” – that’s something we’ve been trying to do all year, to move a little closer to normalcy. But we nevertheless ended the year with more COVID deaths than last year, and a whole new variant that’s threatening our holidays once again.
There were more school shootings, and a deadly line of tornadoes that cut a scar across the nation’s midsection in December – not exactly shared. So much for normal.
Broadway, though, re-opened (cautiously), and with it a new revival of the groundbreaking musical “Company,” although nevertheless reeling from the loss of its creator,.
From “Into the Woods” to “Follies” to “Sweeney Todd,” Sondheim was one of the most influential composer-lyricists Broadway has ever known. A standing ovation to him.
left us after decades of powerful performances that elevated the lives of Black Americans and their stories.
, “I wanted to address certain issues, and I chose to use my career as my platform.”
“And how did you go about doing that?” he asked.
“Just simply ruling out what I wouldn’t do.”
Of all her roles, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” she considered her most important.
There were other fighters, like Gloria Richardson, who pushed aside a National Guardsman’s rifle.
Lucille Times staged a one-woman bus boycott six months before Rosa Parks.
And they both lived long enough to seereach the peak of politics. He was the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and National Security Advisor, and later, President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State.
“People look to you and trust you because you’re serving selflessly as the leader – not self-serving, selflessly,” Powell said.
To all of those who served our country – oversea and at home – we salute you.
Hammeringserved America in uniform, too, surpassing Babe Ruth as baseball’s home run king, on April 8, 1974.
As broadcaster Vin Scully said following Aaron’s 715th home run, “What a marvelous moment for baseball, for the country, and the world … a Black man is getting a standing ovation in the thorough South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol!”
Aaron’s reaction: “I just thank God it’s all over with. Thank you very much.”
And we can’t forget. As manager he took his beloved LA Dodgers to two world championships and four pennants. As he told CNN’s Larry King, “I love every day of my life, Larry!”
loved every day of HIS life, too. With his identifying characteristics suspenders he reigned as king of the TV interview, but he wasn’t really royalty …
… Not like Britain’s, the Duke of Edinburgh. He cut a dashing figure by his wife Queen Elizabeth’s side for royal weddings and funerals, defending the monarchy for nearly three quarters of a century.
was royalty in his own way, but he’ll always be remembered as “Captain” von Trapp – already if he wished he was remembered for something else.
, “Have you ever sung ‘Edelweiss’ in public after that?”
“You average, you were hoping I might sing it for you here now? … It’s a wrap!” Plummer laughed.
He won his first Academy Award at age 82. “You’re only two years older than me, darling,” he said, holding is Oscar. “Where have you been all my life!”
To you Captain, Auf Wiedersehen!
Another Captain left us this year – “The Love Boat”‘s Captain Stubing, played by Gavin MacLeod.
Piloting a cruise ship was quite a promotion from the struggling writer he once played being bossed around by Lou Grant. Of all the rolesplayed, the gruff, hardworking newsman on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was really his favorite.
Lou: “You know what? You’ve got spunk!”
Mary: “Well… “
Lou Grant: “I HATE spunk!”
He said it was because everyone on that cast was family. That includedas Phyllis. Also a noticable part of the “Young Frankenstein” household, as Frau Blücher. Except for the horses, she made everyone laugh.
As did a chorus of other actors to whom we bid a fond farewell:
won an Oscar playing Cher’s mother in “Moonstruck.” She was 89.
Sally Ann Howes was Truly Scrumptious in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” We lost her at 91.
And we lost, too. She played one of the worst – and funniest – moms ever, in “Arrested Development”:
Lucille Bluth: “I’ll be in the hospital bar.”
Michael Bluth: “You know, there’s isn’t a hospital bar, Mother.”
Lucille Bluth: “Well, this is why people hate hospitals!”
was a powerful emotional actor, but he came to prefer lighter fare, and he was good at it, right up to the end.
Child actor Jane Withers found humor in being a brat, but later in life she was known as Josephine the Plumber in good-natured commercials for Comet Cleanser.
could sell almost anything. He invented gadgets to solve problems we didn’t already know we had, and sold ’em by the millions. His inventions will be cluttering our closets for years to come.
Spencer Silver invented that slightly sticky glue that ended up on the back of Post-It notes. So, remember to thank him.
And we lost the creator of The Game of Life, Reuben Klamer. He died at 99. Maybe helping entertain people is the meaningful to longevity.
Comedianhad us laughing until he was 93. His thick Yiddish accent brought the Borscht Belt to Broadway. His advice: “There’s only one way that you can always look young – hang around with very old people.”
Comedian Mort Sahl was one of the first to make us laugh at politics. “There’s an official portrait of the president which shows him next to a globe with the trouble spots of the world marked in black,” he once noted. “He’s standing next to this black globe.” We lost him at 94.
became the living embodiment of Mark Twain over the years.
“Man is really the most interesting jackass there is,” he said in his one-man show, “Mark Twain Tonight!” “He’s the only one that’s got the true religion … several of them! He loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.”
He died this year, at 95.
When it came, though, to staying strength, Norman Lloyd had them all beat. He started out with Alfred Hitchcock back in 1942, in “Saboteur.” Seventy years later, he took a turn with Amy Schumer in “aim Wreck,” at age 100.
In 2016 Lloyd told CBS News, “When I look back on what is a long life, I think how lucky I was. It was just luck!”
And he was ready for more. He died at 106. Farewell to him.
So many, however, weren’t as lucky to live that long. Suzzanne Douglas (“Tap”) died of cancer at just 64.
We lost actor(“Sex and the City”) to cancer, too, at only 57.
, who first strode into the limelight on the average streets of Baltimore as Omar Little in “The Wire” died at only 54.
And– “Bosom Buddies” with everyone, it seemed – was only 66. Farewell to him, and all those we cheered on screens large and small:
‘ gritty, funny, and shocking films revolutionized Black cinema.
Photographer Corky Lee gave us pictures of Asian American life often left out of the history books.
Italian film director Lina Wertmüller broke new ground for women – the first to be nominated for a best director Oscar. She died this year at 93.
And Halyna Hutchins had just started creating her own view of the world as a cinematographer, when she was killed by a prop gun on a movie set. She was only 42.
Music can help heal from loss.died this year at 84, seven years after his brother Phil. Their sweet harmonies made them teen idols back in the ’60s.
The Monkees were ’60s teen idols, too; never mind that the group was made-for-TV., the “quiet Monkee,” died this year at 78.
As drummer for The Rolling Stones,was the “quiet one,” with a sweet, shy smile, keeping the beat right there in the back.
As co-founder of The Supremes,was rarely front-and-center, but she was always there – a true “dream girl.” Farewell to her.
And to Chick Corea, who fused jazz and rock and Latin and already classical music into his own rare sound. He died this year, at 79.
Earl Simmons, better known as, transmuted his troubled soul into rap music that spoke to his generation. He died this year, at only 50.
The troubled souls of vampires were‘s specialty. She brought the undead to life on film and in books. She died this year at 80.
Andwrote brilliantly about the world she observed, and the culture of the time she lived in. She died this past week at 87.
In 2010told the “I was a children’s librarian, and a little boy said to me, ‘Where are the books about kids like us?'” Cleary wrote her books for children, creating a large number of loveable characters, including a motorcycling mouse named Ralph.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”‘s creator, author, left us, too, this year. He was 91.
Not all of those who entertained us – however, left us with a smile.
Famed conductor James Levine‘s career ended when sexual misconduct claims arose.
mythical music producerdied in prison doing time for murder.
, who masterminded the Watergate break-in, died at 90.
And goodbye to, architect of one of the most audacious Ponzi schemes ever. He died in prison, at 82.
Lucky for us, there are crusaders out there seeking out wrongdoing. Michigan Senatorwas one of them.
While we’re up on Capitol Hill, remember “Schoolhouse Rock”? We can thank songwriter Dave Frishberg for making the time of action of legislating (“I’m Just a Bill”) a little more understandable, following a lonely bill all the way up the chain to the White House.
lost his bid for the White House to Ronald Reagan in the ’80s, but had already been there in 1976, as President Jimmy Carter’s VP. He died at 93.
served four presidents during his long career in Washington – twice serving as America’s Secretary of Defense.
But it waswho ended up one of the longest-serving Republican leaders in Washington – a poor kid from Russell, Kansas, who sought his party’s nomination for president several times before finally getting it in 1996, only to lose to Bill Clinton. The statesman and veteran left us at 98.
“Weekend Update”‘shonored Dole on “Saturday Night Live” in the way that comedians do:
Macdonald: “Well, how are ya’, Senator?”
Dole: “Norm, Bob Dole knows how much it meant for you to play me on the show the next four years … and Bob Dole feels your pain!”
Macdonald died this year at just 61.
was a very real newsman, reporting the news with integrity, and insight for over 30 years.
In 1977told “60 Minutes,” “Freedom is not just limited to ’60 Minutes,’ or The New York Times; it also method Hustler Magazine.”
Flynt was on the other side of that spectrum. He and his Hustler Magazine became doubtful vehicles to test the First Amendment.
exercised his First Amendment rights on the radio – never shy to say what he thought. He told “60 Minutes” in 1991, “I think I just happen to be saying what a whole lot of people think, that don’t have the chance to say themselves. That’s why they call me the Most Dangerous Man in America!”
It might feel like there is a big divide in this country, but there are those whose actions have bridged that chasm – making us feel a little bit closer.
For nearly 50 years on NBC, weathermanalways found a little something to celebrate, rain or shine.
When the skies get cloudy, we have this tune, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” performed byto cheer us up.
And we had more than a few dark skies over our CBS family this year.
“Sunday Morning” producer Judy Hole embodied everything this show is known for. It won’t be the same without her.
We lost Ray Brady, who reported the financial news here at CBS for almost three decades.
Cameraman Izzy Bleckman took to the backroads with Charles Kuralt, and he brought the beauty of the world to us here at “Sunday Morning.”
Goodbye, friends, one and all.
There are many, many more we’ve failed to mention – those who delighted us with their dances (, Jane Powell); inspired us with their music (Sarah Dash, Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains); left us with wisdom, love, and the satisfaction of lives well lived.
To all of them, we bid a fond “Hail and Farewell.”
Story produced by Mary Lou Teel. Editor: Steve Tyler.
EDITOR’S observe: An earlier version of this video featured a photograph of The Supremes’ Florence Ballard instead of Mary Wilson. “Sunday Morning” regrets the error.
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