We are sad to have to report the deaths of three famous names from the worlds of show business and sports.
Mary Wilson has died at her home in Las Vegas at 76 of undisclosed causes.
As part of the groundbreaking trio The Supremes, Wilson was part of a string of genre-busting Motown hits that are as popular now as when they were first released, including “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Baby Love,” and “Where Did Our Love Go?” Wilson continued with the Supremes for seven years after Diana Ross left, headlined in Vegas and made some albums, but sadly did not enjoy the solo success of Diana Ross. She lamented that the Supremes had a dozen #1 hits, and she would’ve loved to have had just one.
She also wrote books, appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” and went back to school to get her associate degree in 2001 because she felt she’d been taken advantage of as a girl by not understanding what she was signing away in her record contract (a great lesson for all young musicians!) She also lobbied for legal reforms of the music business and was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame with the Supremes in 1988.
Just two days before her death, she released a YouTube video in which she appeared happy and healthy, saying she was about to release some new music. So fans will have more to look forward to and remember her by. For more info, check out www.marywilson.com.
Veteran actor Christopher Plummer also passed away peacefully last week at 91 at his home in Connecticut.
While his stage and screen career spanned over five decades and included such hit films as “Up,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Insider” and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 2012’s “Beginners,” he will always be most remembered as Captain Von Trapp in the beloved 1965 musical “The Sound of Music.” Ironically, he had such a hard time playing such a humorless character that for years, he referred to the film as “The Sound of Mucus.” But he later came around to embrace it.
Still, fans will always cherish the scene where Plummer sang the beautiful old Austrian folk song, “Edelweiss.” Although I hate to break it to you, but every part of that last sentence is a popular misconception. “Edelweiss” was written for the show by Rodgers & Hammerstein (it was the last lyric Oscar Hammerstein II wrote before he died), and while Plummer’s voice was heard on the beginning and end of the song, most of it was him lip-synching to a track by Bill Lee, a singer who often dubbed non-musical actors and was known as the male Marni Nixon.
Finally, Marty Schottenheimer, the eighth-winningest coach in NFL history, died Monday at 77 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. He won 200 regular season games coaching the Browns, Chiefs and Chargers and was the inventor of the conservative play strategy that came to be known as “Martyball.”