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Don Knotts, Jack Wild

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            DEAD END - Friday, March 3, 2006        
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"Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the 
grave. Our birth is nothing but our death begun." Bishop Hall

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Welcome to another edition of Dead End.

This week several famous actors passed away. Don Knotts, 
famous for his role as Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, 
died at age 81. British actor Jack Wild -- the Artful Dodger 
in the 1968 film "Oliver!" and star of TV's "H.R. Pufnstuf" 
in 1969 -- died after suffering from mouth cancer. Darren 
McGavin, actor in hundreds of television and film roles, and 
Dennis Weaver, of TV's "Gunsmoke," "Gentle Ben" and "McCloud, 
both died this week. We also bid farewell to author Octavia 
Butler, one of the few African-American females to find 
success writing science fiction novels.
Remember you can comment on any part of this issue or read   
comments by visiting: Dead End Blog


              DON KNOTTS, ACTOR, DEAD AT 81

"The Andy Griffith Show" and "Three's Company" star Don 
Knotts has died of lung cancer in Los Angeles at age 81. 
Knotts -- best known for playing deputy Barney Fife in the 
1960s and Ralph Furley in the 1970s -- died at Cedars Sinai 
Medical Center Friday, the Los Angeles Times said Saturday.
His longtime friend and co-star, Andy Griffith, was one of 
the last people to see him Friday night. Knotts won five 
Emmys for his work on "The Andy Griffith Show." Knotts most 
recently voiced the part of Turkey Major in Walt Disney's 
"Chicken Little." He appeared as a guest on NBC's "Las Vegas" 
and Fox TV's "That '70s Show" last year. His many film 
credits include "The Apple Dumpling Gang," "Pleasantville," 
"Cat's Don't Dance," "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," "The Ghost 
and Mr. Chicken" and "The Reluctant Astronaut." He was born 
Jesse Donald Knotts in Morgantown, W.Va., on July 21, 1924, 
the youngest of four brothers.

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British actor Jack Wild -- the Artful Dodger in the 1968 
film "Oliver!" and star of TV's "H.R. Pufnstuf" in 1969 -- 
has died at the age of 53. Despite having his tongue and 
voice box removed in 2000, the former teen idol died 
Wednesday night of mouth cancer, the BBC reported. Wild was 
16-years-old when he was nominated for an Oscar for his role 
in "Oliver!" He went on to star in the surreal kids' show
"H.R. Pufnstuf," which played on U.S. TV from September 1969 
to January 1970. After that, roles appeared to dry up for 
the teen idol. In a recent interview, communicating through 
his wife, Wild admitted spending the "70s and 80s in a drunk-
en haze." He sobered up in 1990 and returned to the screen 
with a small role in the 1991 film, "Robin Hood: Prince of 
To view more information on Jack Wild and other long-lost 
stars, visit the Where Are They Now archives: http://archives.gophercentral.com/newsletter_77.html


Actor Darren McGavin, who had hundreds of television, movie 
and theatrical credits under his belt, has died at 83. 
McGavin was known on television as Mike Hammer, Mickey 
Spillane's tough-talking New York detective, and Carl 
Kolchak, the cynical newspaper reporter in the horror series 
"Kolchak: The Night Stalker." He went on to earn substantial 
roles in movies including "Summertime"; "The Man With the 
Golden Arm," in which he played Frank Sinatra's drug dealer; 
"The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell"; and "A Christmas 
Story." He also acted on Broadway and off in plays including 
"Death of a Salesman," "The Rainmaker" and "The King and I." 
He and his first wife, Melanie York, were divorced in 1969. 
That year he married Kathie Browne, who died in 2003. He is 
survived by four children from his first marriage, York, 
Megan, Bridget and Bogart. 

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Author Octavia Butler, one of the few African-American 
females to find success writing science fiction novels, has 
died in Seattle at age 58. Butler died Friday at Northwest 
Hospital of head injuries suffered in fall at her home in 
Lake Forest Park, Wash., the Seattle Times reported Monday.
Butler's heros and heroines were often people of color and 
she used her fantasy worlds and creatures to tackle current 
issues such as intolerance, poverty and the environment, the 
newspaper said. Her novels included "Kindred," "Parable of 
the Talents" and "Fledgling," which came out last fall. 
Butler won a $299,000 genius grant from the MacArthur Found-
ation in 1995 -- the only science fiction writer to ever 
have won the award -- and "Parable of the Talents" took 
science fiction's highest prize, the Nebula Award, in 2000.
Butler is survived by two aunts and several cousins.


Emmy Award-winning actor Dennis Weaver, of TV's "Gunsmoke," 
"Gentle Ben" and "McCloud," has died at his Ridgeway, Colo., 
home at age 81. Weaver died Friday from complications of 
cancer, his publicist, Julian Myers, told KMGH-TV, Denver, 
Monday. Weaver started his TV career in 1955 as Deputy 
Chester Goode in the CBS western, "Gunsmoke." He stayed with 
the role for nine years and won an Emmy for the 1958-1959 
season. He moved on to the family drama, "Gentle Ben," in 
1966, co-starring with a 600-pound black bear and in 1970, 
jumped into the title role in "McCloud," where he spent the 
next seven years portraying a modern day cowboy fighting 
crime in New York City. An environmental activist, Weaver's 
southwestern Colorado luxury home was built using 3,000 
recycled tires and 3,000 aluminum cans, KMGH said. He called 
the highly energy efficient abode his "earthship." Weaver is 
survived by his wife, three sons and three grandchildren

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Notable deaths this week in history...

In 1993, pioneering researcher Albert Sabin, who developed 
the vaccine that is the main defense against polio, died at 
the age of 86.

In 1998, Fred W. Friendly, former CBS News executive who 
was a prominent figure in the evolution of news coverage 
on television, died at 82.

In 2003, Fred Rogers, the television show host known for 
his educational children's program Mister Rogers' Neighbor-
hood, died at the age of 74.

Also in 2003, singer and songwriter Hank Ballard, who wrote 
and recorded such hits as Chubby Checker's "The Twist," 
died at the age of 75.

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