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DEPARTURES

When Lucille Ball’s heart gave out, Americans responded with a flood of heartfelt emotion normally reserved for only the most intimate of friends. In a sense, the pumpkin-haired co-creator and star of “I Love Lucy” was just that. Durning the Golden Age of TV, she turned up weekly in the living rooms of 40 million viewers. In reruns, she is bound to continue entertaining well into the 21st Century. Perhaps President Bush summed it up best. The whole world, he declared, loved Lucy. Overall, the year took a heavy toll on Hollywood. Others who died included actors Bette Davis and Lord Laurence Olivier; Man of 1,000 Voices Mel Blanc, and songwriters Irving Berlin (“God Bless America,” “White Christmas”), Johnny Green (“Body and Soul”), Sammy Fain (“Love Is a Many Splendored Thing”) and Sammy Lerner (“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man”). Oh yes, another major Los Angeles voice was lost in 1989. The feisty Los Angeles Herald Examiner expired as a result of dwindling circulation and ad revenues, leaving the city with only one regional newspaper. Other notable passings: local TV news ace Bill Stout, former Roman Catholic archdiocese leader Cardinal Timothy Manning, boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson, innovative dance troupe founder Alvin Ailey and the Pan Pacific Auditorium. The latter, Los Angeles’ primary example of the Streamline Moderne architectural style of the 1930s, was destroyed in a suspicious fire.


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