Well done to me! I finally scored with my list of Star Trek veterans with the sad passing of D.C. Fontana, however I missed out on Robert Walker though… I am a bit surprised that the media haven’t made more of her death as she was a trailblazer in her industry and that it’s the 40th anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Anyhow, less nerdiness, on with the show.
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- D. C. Fontana, 80, American television writer (Star Trek, The Streets of San Francisco, The Waltons).
- Robert Walker, 79, American actor (Ensign Pulver, The Ceremony, Star Trek).
- Rosa Morena, 78, Spanish flamenco pop singer and actress, cancer.
In Other News
John Barrowman has had a series of spinal injections after he was rushed to hospital with a neck injury. He said before the procedure that he was to have “some small needles then some very big ones put into my neck”. The star of Doctor Who updated fans on social media after he was taken to hospital in Bristol on Saturday. Barrowman, 52, had been due to start his ‘Fabulous Christmas Tour’ at the city’s Hippodrome that day, but the show was cancelled. He posted a short video on Instagram at 02:00am saying he would be having the injections at the base of the neck to help support the head. Obviously his ego has grown out of all proportions. He then posted an update to say the injections were finished and they were “a bit uncomfortable”. Barrowman said the injury had made it “impossible to sing and move” in an Instagram message to fans on Saturday afternoon. Such a shame that the NHS is available to anyone.
Troubled TV star James ‘Arg’ Argent has reportedly been hospitalised after suffering a second drug overdose in just two months. It has been claimed paramedics rushed to his lavish Essex home on Wednesday evening, after worried pals feared the worst as the ex-TOWIE star has been missing for 48 hours. This health scare comes just months after TOWIE veteran Gemma Collins was forced to call 999 over fears her on/off boyfriend had collapsed while alone in his home. Arg was “disorientated” and “out of it”, but initially refused to get in the ambulance after medics decided he need to be hospitalised. The source told the publication: “Arg was disorientated and looked like he hadn’t eaten in days. “He has been in denial of how bad it’s got and convinced everyone he’s fine but that couldn’t be further from the truth- he’s been suffering with depression and has been in a bad place for years.” After failing to turn up at events booked into his schedule this week, fears for the state of his welfare began to grow. Having spent the night in hospital, Arg discharged himself as he had plans to fly to Belfast for a PA with former Westlife star Brian McFadden.
On This Day
- 1660 – A woman (either Margaret Hughes or Anne Marshall) appears on an English public stage for the first time, in the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare’s play Othello.
- 1963 – Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707, is struck by lightning and crashes near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 people on board.
- 1966 – The Greek ship SS Heraklion sinks in a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200.
- 1969 – Olympic Airways Flight 954 strikes a mountain outside of Keratea, Greece, killing 90 people in the worst crash of a Douglas DC-6 in history.
- 1972 – United Airlines Flight 553, a Boeing 737, crashes after aborting its landing attempt at Chicago Midway International Airport, killing 45. This is the first-ever loss of a Boeing 737.
- 1980 – Former Beatle John Lennon is murdered in front of The Dakota in New York City.
- 1988 – A United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II crashes into an apartment complex in Remscheid, Germany, killing 5 people and injuring 50 others.
- 2010 – With the second launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and the first launch of the SpaceX Dragon, SpaceX becomes the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.
- 2013 – Metallica performs a show in Antarctica, making them the first band to perform on all 7 continents.
- 1980 – John Lennon, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1940)
- 1983 – Slim Pickens, American actor (b. 1919)
- 2008 – Oliver Postgate, English voice actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1925)
- 2016 – John Glenn, American astronaut and senator, first American to go into orbit (b. 1921)
THE FINAL HOURS OF JOHN LENNON December 8th, 1980. Five gunshots ring out in New York, ending the life of one of the world’s most influential musicians and sending millions of fans into mourning. John Lennon had been living quietly in the city and had just made his comeback after five years away from the studio. “John and I were gloriously happy in the first week of December,” his widow later recalled. “In our minds, we were a team – old soldiers.” So exactly what happened on that fateful day?
In the morning, John and Yoko leave their apartment and have breakfast at the Cafe La Fortuna, on West 71st Street. John eats Eggs Benedict and follows it with a cappuccino and Gitane cigarette. He then decides to get a haircut, after which the couple return to their sprawling 34-room apartment and welcome photographer Annie Leibovitz inside to undertake a photoshoot for Rolling Stone. Lennon wants to be photographed naked, clinging to a clothed Yoko. Leibovitz has no problem with that, and the photos are taken. The resulting picture makes the cover of Rolling Stone magazine weeks later.
After the shoot, San Francisco radio producer Dave Sholin arrives to conduct what becomes John’s last interview. During the three-hour session, the musician poignantly says: “We’re either going to live or we’re going to die. I consider that my work won’t be finished until I’m dead and buried – and I hope that’s a long time.” Following the interview Sholin offers John and Yoko a lift to the recording studio.
Outside the apartment, the pavement teems with office workers heading for the subway. Among them is Mark Chapman, 25, determined to kill Lennon, who he sees as a “phony” – a left-wing activist with a millionaire lifestyle. Despite the mild weather, Chapman wears thermal underwear, green trousers, a shirt and sweater, and a long green overcoat, complete with a fake fur hat, gloves and a green scarf. A Charter Arms .38 snub-nosed revolver is concealed in the inside pocket of his coat. He hands John a copy of “Double Fantasy” to sign. John writes: John Lennon 1980. Handing it back, he looks his killer in the eye and asks: “Here, is that what you want?” before hopping into the car. John and Yoko then spend four-and-a-half hours working at The Record Factory. Before leaving the studio, Lennon enjoyed a corned beef sandwich with the plan to have a larger meal once he got home.
The couple take a short limousine drive back to their apartment, however there is a vehicle parked directly in front of the entrance to the block, so John’s limo stops outside the building’s gateway and Yoko climbs out, followed by John carrying a tape recorder and cassettes. John stares at Chapman as he passes by and, as he moves off, the killer springs into action. As John walks by, Chapman says, “Mr. Lennon.” John starts to turn just as Chapman, dropping into a combat stance, pulls out the gun. The first two shots hit John in the back, spinning him around, while another two hit him in the shoulder. A fifth misses. Each bullet passes through the body and slams into a wood and glass windbreak behind him. As Chapman looks on in silence, Lennon staggers up the five steps into the building’s office, mumbling “I’m shot” before falling face-down. Night man Jay Hastings had been reading a magazine but, when John stumbles in, he hits the alarm button under the desk, summoning police. Yoko rushes to cradle her dying husband and screams for a doctor. Outside, Chapman removes his coat – so police will see he isn’t armed – and begins flicking through a copy of JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Within two minutes, the street is full of sirens. As Chapman is cuffed, two officers hoist the musician on to their shoulders and place him in the back of a squad car. Jay remembers hearing John’s bones creak as they pick him up. As his partner runs red lights heading to St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, Officer James Moran turns and asks John, “Are you John Lennon?” As he slips away, John nods slightly and moans: “Yes.” It is the last thing he ever says.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Teri Hatcher (54), Dominic Monaghan (42), Nicki Minaj (36), David Harewood (53), C. Thomas Howell (53), Jeffrey Wright (54), Ellen Burstyn (87), Kristofer Hivju (41), Tom Hulce (66), Nick Park (61), Frankie Muniz (34), Margaret Cho (51), Marisa Tomei (55), Jeff Bridges (70), Tony Todd (65), Tyra Banks (46), Pamela Stephenson (70), Jay-Z (50), Brendan Fraser (51), Julianne Moore (59), Amanda Seyfried (34), Daryl Hannah (59), Jean-Luc Godard (89), Ozzy Osbourne (71), Paul Nicholas (75), Lucy Liu (51), Britney Spears (38), and Nelly Furtado (41).