Comedy great Anne Meara

Comedy great Anne Meara, one half of the comedy team "Stiller & Meara," died at 85 on Saturday, her family said.

 Meara and her husband, Jerry Stiller, performed as the comedy team "Stiller & Meara" on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and other programs in the 1960s. They were married for 61 years and worked together almost as long, a family statement said.

 In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, comedian Ben Stiller and daughter Amy, and grandchildren.

Music of the Sixties Forever: The drummers of '60s British pop

Music of the Sixties Forever: The drummers of '60s British pop: Dave Clark and the British Invasion drumming superstars Rhythm magazine UK hitmakers The Dave Clark Five were one of the for...

Happy Rockefeller, Whose Marriage to Governor Scandalized Voters, Dies at 88


New York Times
MAY 19, 2015
Happy Rockefeller, the socialite whose 1963 marriage to Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York, soon after both had been divorced, raised a political storm in a more genteel time and may have cost him the Republican presidential nomination in 1964, died on Tuesday at her home in Tarrytown, N.Y. She was 88.
The family said in a statement that she died after a brief illness.
Beyond the 1964 nomination, won by Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona, the scandal helped scuttle any further presidential hopes Mr. Rockefeller had. While his governorship remained secure until 1973, he came no closer to the Oval Office than the vice presidency, to which President Gerald R. Ford appointed him in 1974, ending the musical-chairs turmoil set off by the Watergate scandal.
In an era when marital infidelity and divorce were toxic for presidential candidates, many Americans were shocked when Margaretta Fitler Murphy, called Happy, and Mr. Rockefeller, who was nearly 18 years older than she, married on May 4, 1963. He was in the second of his four terms as governor and a leading contender for the presidency at the time, having run strongly in 1960.
As the couple left for a honeymoon in Venezuela, exposés retailed gossip of their extramarital affair and detailed their out-of-state divorces — Mr. Rockefeller’s in 1962 from Mary Todhunter Clark Rockefeller, his wife of 31 years and the mother of his five children; Mrs. Murphy’s from Dr. James Slater Murphy, to whom she surrendered custody of their four children five weeks before marrying Mr. Rockefeller.
Many Republican leaders and voters were scandalized. Former Senator Prescott S. Bush, a Connecticut Republican and a longtime Rockefeller supporter (and the father of one future president and the grandfather of another), declared: “Have we come to the point where a governor can desert his wife and children, and persuade a young woman to abandon her four children and husband? Have we come to the point where one of the two great parties will confer its greatest honor on such a one? I venture to hope not.”
No divorced man had ever won the presidency. Former Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois, a Democrat who divorced in 1949, had been the most recent to try. He won his party’s nomination in 1952 and 1956 but lost to Dwight D. Eisenhower in back-to-back landslides. In Britain, Mr. Rockefeller was likened tendentiously to King Edward VIII, who abdicated in 1936 to marry a twice-divorced American socialite, Wallis Simpson. Polls that showed Mr. Rockefeller leading Mr. Goldwater quickly turned around.
“Only a few weeks ago Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller was far out in front,” The Philadelphia Inquirer said. “Now, abruptly, the picture has changed. The Rockefeller image has been damaged.”
Mr. Rockefeller faced the divorce issue squarely by taking his new wife on the campaign trail. She handled the glare of publicity well, gamely greeting crowds, even donning maternity clothes as the campaign, and her pregnancy, progressed. Some advisers opposed her involvement, but she was an unexpected hit, with many voters responding warmly to what they called her cheerful, artless charm.
 “The first shock waves generated by the marriage of Governor Rockefeller to the former Mrs. Murphy seem to have simmered down to a ripple,” Gwen Gibson reported in The New York Herald Tribune. “One look at this wholesome, dimple-chinned woman, and the most critical matron is apt to remark: ‘She doesn’t strike me as a femme fatale.’ ”
Still, Mr. Rockefeller’s primary results were dismal. His support faded, especially among women, and he withdrew from the race. Mr. Goldwater lost the election to his Democratic opponent, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in a landslide.
Mr. Rockefeller resumed life as governor in Albany, and his wife gave birth to two sons, Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller Jr. in 1964 and Mark Fitler Rockefeller in 1967. She appeared with the governor at official and unofficial functions, and when he was an undeclared candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968, she took an active part in his effort to win support, becoming a political asset in the view of many.
Though Mr. Rockefeller did not enter primaries, he campaigned, sought uncommitted delegates and cited his availability for a draft. Richard M. Nixon was nominated on the first ballot and went on to defeat Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey for the presidency.
In 1974, as her husband awaited Senate confirmation as vice president, Mrs. Rockefeller learned she had breast cancer and had two mastectomies, five weeks apart. Weeks earlier, President Ford’s wife, Betty, also had a mastectomy. They and Shirley Temple Black were among the first to announce mastectomies publicly and were widely credited with raising national awareness for the early detection of breast cancer.
During his vice presidency, Mr. Rockefeller and his wife lived in their own home in Washington, though the official vice-presidential residence was established during his tenure at the former home of the chief of naval operations on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory. They hosted several official functions there.
As the nation’s second lady, Mrs. Rockefeller was a low-key presence in Washington, and often spent time in New York and at the Rockefeller estate at Pocantico Hills, N.Y. Mr. Rockefeller served until a defeated President Ford left office in January 1977.
A year after Mr. Rockefeller died, in 1979, Ronald Reagan became the only divorced man elected to the presidency. His 1949 divorce from the actress Jane Wyman was not a major campaign issue in 1980, largely because it had occurred three decades earlier and because divorce, in a nation where it had become commonplace, no longer seemed a serious blemish on a candidate’s character.
Margaretta Large Fitler was born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., on June 9, 1926, one of two children of Margaretta Large Harrison Fitler and her first husband, William Wonderly Fitler Jr., a yachtsman and heir to an $8 million cordage fortune. A scion of Main Line privilege, Happy — she acquired the nickname for her sunny disposition — was a descendant of Gen. George Gordon Meade, who commanded Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg. She and her brother, William, were often left in charge of servants, and her parents divorced when she was 10.
She was a popular but indifferent student at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr. After graduating in 1944, she became a wartime driver for the Women’s Volunteer Service in Philadelphia. She made her debut in 1946 and married Dr. Murphy two years later. They had four children, three of whom survive her: James B. II, Margaretta M. Bickford and Carol M. Lyden. The fourth, Malinda M. Menotti, died in 2005.
Mrs. Rockefeller is also survived by her sons with Mr. Rockefeller, Nelson Jr. and Mark, and 14 grandchildren.
Dr. Murphy, a boyhood chum of Mr. Rockefeller’s brother David, followed his father, Dr. James B. Murphy, a renowned cancer researcher, into the Rockefeller Institute in New York in 1950. He became a noted virologist there. The Murphy and Rockefeller families were neighbors in Manhattan, had summer homes in Seal Harbor, Me., and shared social orbits. The Murphys even built a home near the Rockefeller estate, Kykuit, at Pocantico Hills, overlooking the Hudson River in Westchester County.
In 1958, Mrs. Murphy became a volunteer in Nelson Rockefeller’s first campaign for governor. After his election, she became his confidential secretary — and, later reports said, his mistress.
After Mr. Rockefeller’s death, Mrs. Rockefeller and her sons gave up the Pocantico Hills mansion, which had been home to generations of Rockefellers; it was given to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and opened for public tours in 1994. But she kept a Japanese house designed by Junzo Yoshimura on the estate and an apartment in New York. She had lived in her home in Tarrytown for more than 50 years.
Mrs. Rockefeller continued her husband’s activities as a patron of the arts and philanthropist, and for many years maintained a busy schedule of social, cultural and charity functions, squired by her sons and members of the Rockefeller clan. Her name and picture were often in society columns, alongside political, business and entertainment leaders and royalty.

Enid Nemy and Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on May 20, 2015, on page A21 of the New York edition with the headline: Happy Rockefeller, 88, Whose Marriage to Governor Scandalized Voters, Dies. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe

"Star Trek" Actress Grace Lee Whitney Dies at 85

Grace Lee Whitney, who played Captain Kirk's assistant on the original "Star Trek" series, has died. She was 85.
Her son Jonathan Dweck said she died of natural causes Friday in Coarsegold, California, about 50 miles north of Fresno.
Whitney played Yeoman Janice Rand in the first eight episodes before being written out of the series. In her autobiography, she wrote that she became an alcoholic before getting treatment and regaining her career with the help of Leonard Nimoy, who starred as Spock in the series.
She returned for the movie franchise, appearing in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," ''Star Trek III: The Search for Spock," ''Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country."

Dweck said his mother wanted to be remembered more as a successful survivor of addiction than for her "Star Trek" fame.

JFK’s pilgrimage to see his sister’s grave in Derbyshire

At about 4.10pm on Saturday, July 29, 1963, the President of the United States, John F Kennedy, whirled into the village of Edensor in Derbyshire.
The whirr of the President’s US Army helicopter caught the Edensor villagers by surprise and they rushed from their homes in shirt-sleeves and carpet slippers to join a posse of security men waiting for the touchdown in a field at the back of the churchyard.
After visiting Ireland, JFK had flown to RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire and then made a private hour-long pilgrimage from there to Edensor.
-constructed bridge that the estate workmen had put up.
For a brief moment he stood in the quiet Derbyshire churchyard beside the grave of his sister, Kathleen Devonshire.
Although his visit was informal, every movement the President made was scrutinized by a weighty corps of security men – including one who waited near the grave guarding the flowers until Mr Kennedy arrived.

Seventy policemen were ranged round the church and patrolmen checked the names of reporters and photographers entering the village.
JFK, his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver and members of the Devonshire family placed three sprays of roses and a spray of carnations by the simple memorial stone.
The vicar, one of the few non-security people to see the President’s arrival, commented: “He said ‘Hello’’ and I asked him if this was his first visit to the grave. He replied that he had been here several years ago.”
Kathleen, known as Kick, Kennedy was born on February 20, 1920 in Brookline, Massachusetts, the second daughter and fourth child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy.
On May 6, 1944, Kathleen Kennedy married William ‘Billy’ Cavendish, the Marquess of Hartington, the eldest son of the 10th Duke of Devonshire, whom she had met during her first trip to England in 1938.

Her mother Rose disapproved strongly of the marriage – the Kennedy family were Roman Catholic and the Dukes of Devonshire were Anglican.
At a ball at the Dorchester Hotel, London on June 12, 1946, Kathleen, who now lived in the city, met wealthy British aristocrat Peter Fitzwilliam, the 8th Earl Fitzwilliam, of Wentworth House.
It was a fundraising event for the widows and dependents of Commando soldiers killed or seriously injured during the war.
Born on December 31, 1910, Peter Fitzwilliam was separated from his wife Olive Dorothea ‘Obby’ Plunket with an 11-year-old daughter.
Commissioned into the Royal Scots Greys’ supplementary reserve in 1929, he served with the Commandos during World War Two and later served in the Special Operations Executive, gaining a Distinguished Service Order.
 “Whatever the indignities of the situation, Kathleen was deeply embroiled in her affair with Peter,” claims Lynne McTaggart in Kathleen Kennedy: Her Life and Times, adding: “She was blindly, recklessly in love, probably for the first time. She didn’t seem to care any more whether the affair was kept secret or her reputation remained unsoiled.”
The Kennedy family was outraged, particularly Kathleen’s mother, Rose. “She threatened to disown Kathleen and refuse to ever see or speak to her again if she married Fitzwilliam,” McTaggart’s book says.
Tragically, when the couple were on their way to a romantic location in the South of France on May 13, 1948 before planning to meet Joseph Kennedy in Paris to discuss their intention to marry, their ten-seater private jet crashed in stormy weather, instantly killing all on board.
Only Joe Kennedy attended Lady Kathleen’s London funeral mass and later burial at Edensor on May 20, 1948.
Kathleen’s epitaph reads ‘JOY SHE GAVE JOY SHE HAS FOUND’ with the acknowledgement that she was ‘widow of the Major Marquess Hartington, killed in action, and daughter of the Hon Joseph Kennedy, sometime Ambassador of the United States to Great Britain’.
Peter Fitzwilliam’s funeral at Wentworth had taken place on the previous day.
After visiting his sister’s grave in July 1963, JFK walked the 100 yards through the churchyard to where cars were waiting.
Then, as he stepped into the car, the crowd of around 25 reacted with a flutter of restrained applause. JFK stood back, smiled, waved and ducked into the Bentley.
Within minutes of driving through the grounds to Chatsworth House, he was airborne again and on his way back to RAF Waddington. From there he was to move on to have talks with prime minister Harold McMillan.
Several months after JFK’s assassination, Robert Kennedy visited his sister’s grave at Edensor on January 25, 1964. Flying from London with his wife in a pink and blue helicopter, it was reported Robert Kennedy placed daffodils and tulips on his sister’s grave. Later, he and his wife lunched with the Duchess of Devonshire and her younger daughter, Lady Sophia Cavendish.

Music of the Sixties Forever: 'Louie Louie' singer Jack Ely dies at 71

Music of the Sixties Forever: 'Louie Louie' singer Jack Ely dies at 71: Photo by Don Ryan AP PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) —Jack Ely, the singer known for Louie Louie, the low-budget recording that became one t...

"Partridge Family" Child Star Suzanne Crough Dies in Nevada

The youngest daughter on hit 1970s television show "The Partridge Family" has died.
Suzanne Crough Condray, who played Tracy Partridge, was found dead Monday night at home in Laughlin, near Las Vegas. She was 52.
Her husband, William Condray, said his wife was a patient and loving wife, mother and grandmother.
"She was madly in love with her granddaughter," Condray said of their 1-year-old granddaughter, Evelena.
Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said Tuesday that an autopsy was scheduled Wednesday. Her cause of death is pending the results of forensic laboratory testing.
The child actress was featured on "The Partridge Family," which ran on ABC from September 1970 to March 1974.
The show revolved around a widowed mother and her five children who formed a band. The series starred Shirley Jones, with her real-life stepson David Cassidy as the resident heartthrob.
Crough as Tracy played the tambourine as a member of the TV family's band. She was often the warm backdrop that set up the zingers flung out by her on-screen brother Danny, played by Danny Bonaduce.
She also appeared in commercials as a child but largely stayed out of the limelight as an adult, according to
The former actress did attend the occasional "Partridge Family" reunion, including interviews and other celebrations.
Crough lived for years in her native California with her husband and two daughters, including a first-born who she said looked just like her, according to a 1993 USA Today report. She had also owned the Book Center bookstore in Temecula, California.
Her tearful husband said Tuesday that he met his wife decades ago, starting as friends before dating. The couple had plans to mark their anniversary this summer.
"My wife and I were going to celebrate 30 years of marriage in July," he said.

Services have not been set.

Family of Kennedy crash victim hopes to improve her legacy


She was the pretty, young woman who drowned in a Chappaquiddick Island waterway in 1969 after U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge and fled, derailing his presidential aspirations.
But that’s about all most people know about Forty Fort native Mary Jo Kopechne, surviving family members say.
They believe she deserves a better legacy.
Kopechne’s family hopes a book they’re about to be release, entitled “Our Mary Jo,” and a scholarship fund started in her name at Misericordia University in Dallas will finally give her a proper identity.
“Mary Jo always got lost in the shuffle of Chappaquiddick,” said co-author William Nelson, whose mother was Kopechne’s first cousin. “In many ways, her book and her scholarship kind of take Mary Jo back from Chappaquiddick. They finally bring her back to the Wyoming Valley.”

Barely mentioned
Unlike anything ever written about Kopechne, the book doesn’t dwell on Chappaquiddick and how Kopechne died. In fact, it’s barely mentioned. The 180-page book focuses on her life, the potential of the rising political operative, and the impact of her death at age 28, her family says.
The granddaughter of two coal miners from Luzerne County, Kopechne would go on to help craft and type the speech Robert F. Kennedy delivered in March 1968 announcing his bid for the presidency.
Kopechne, whose family roots in the Wyoming Valley can be traced back 250 years, is buried at St. Vincent’s Cemetery on Larksville Mountain, the fifth generation of her family laid to rest there.
Nelson’s grandfather, and then his father, served as cemetery caretaker. He grew up in a house across the street and used to frequent the cemetery, which became a constant destination for media crews fascinated with the case.
“People with cameras were always coming up to me and asking, ‘Do you know where Mary Jo is at?’” recalled Nelson, 43, who was born three years after Kopechne died. “That began the mystery for me.”
At the time of her death, Kopechne was an up-and-coming Washington, D.C. political operative, who worked tirelessly on Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign before his assassination. She later met her political idol’s brother, Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose car crash off a bridge near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, ended her life and his chances to become president like his brother, John F. Kennedy.
As Kopechne remained trapped in the submerged car, Kennedy left the scene and didn’t report the crash until 10 hours later. The senator, who claimed he “panicked” after several attempts to dive in the water to rescue her, quickly pleaded guilty to a minor fleeing the scene charge and received no prison time. He remained in office until his August 2009 death at age 77.
For 46 years since the tragedy, Kopechne’s name has been synonymous with what became known as the “Chappaquiddick incident.” An advertisement for the book says, “Millions of people know Mary Jo Kopechne’s name, but only a few people know who she was.”
The inspiration for the book came about three years ago when Nelson and his mother were sifting through the hundreds of sympathy letters sent to Kopechne’s parents from around the world. Some of those letters are being revealed publicly in the book for the first time.
The book glosses over how Kopechne died because “Chappaquiddick was never about Mary Jo,” Nelson said.
“Chappaquiddick was about a lot of other people — who did what and what they didn’t do,” Nelson said. “We came to the realization Mary Jo owes Chappaquiddick no debt.”
Pursuit of justice
The book explains that Kopechne’s parents died — Joseph in 2003 and Gwen in 2007 — believing justice was never served in Kopechne’s case.
“Let’s be honest. They felt slighted by what happened,” Nelson said during a recent interview at his sister’s house in Wilkes-Barre. “They lost their only daughter and nothing really was ever done.”

Nelson wrote an excerpt about their agony printed on the back cover of the book: “I watched Gwen and Joe — Mary Jo’s parents — wait their entire lives for justice for their daughter. They died without receiving it, perhaps because they were waiting on justice based on her death. We seek justice of a different kind — a justice based on her life.”
The book and scholarship do that, Nelson said.

The Kopechne book coincidentally is being released just after the recent dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. Several representatives for the institute did not return emails and calls about whether any members of the Kennedy family planned to purchase the book or donate to the scholarship fund.
“Do I have any thoughts on Mr. Kennedy? No,” said Kopechne’s cousin and co-author of the book, Georgetta Potoski of Plymouth.
In addition to being cousins, Potoski, 72, and Kopechne, who would have turned 75 this year, were great friends growing up.
Before their deaths, Kopechne’s parents gave Potoski all the sentimental things they kept of Kopechne, including old photos, the hundreds of sympathy letters and even a carbon copy of Robert Kennedy’s speech that Kopechne helped create.
“We had all these photographs, all these stories and all these letters,” said Potoski, chairwoman of the Plymouth Historical Society.
From them, the book, “Our Mary Jo,” was launched.
“This book introduces Mary Jo Kopechne to a world that has long remembered her, tussled over her and felt bereft for not ever really knowing her,” Potoski said. “It is told here by the family to whom she belonged and to whom she was loved.”
In the book, family members describe a tale of one mother that always made her kids wave to Kopechne while passing the cemetery where she’s buried.
“Now, their children do the same thing,” Potoski said. “In addition to all the reasons this book was written, it is certainly for all those people who still wave to Mary Jo.”
Kopechne ‘changed history’
Nelson and Potoski are well aware Kopechne’s death greatly influenced American politics.
“Her death changed history, because ...,” Nelson said, before his mother jumped in.
“Because Ted Kennedy never made it into the White House,” Potoski said.
The family thinks 46 years later, people are still fascinated with Kopechne. A certain mystery surrounds her because almost all media stories focused on Kennedy, they said.
“People are still upset about what happened in 1969. People thought something should have been done for her,” Nelson said. “We wanted it to be a living breathing thing. We didn’t want it to be a plaque on a tree or something.”
They chose to start scholarship in her name at Misericordia University in Dallas because of her deeply held Catholic beliefs.
The first 250 people to pledge $100 toward the scholarship will receive a copy of the book. Additional copies will be sold for $24.95. It will be released only locally at first because “this is where Mary Jo was from,” Potoski said.

The $25,000 in initial seed money from donors will ensure that a fundraising protocol is established so the scholarship will “continue to benefit students in perpetuity,” said Michele Zabriski, director of development at Misericordia.
Any student in good academic standing who demonstrates a financial need will be eligible for the annual scholarship. Kopechne’s family said they wanted as many students as possible to have a chance at receiving the financial aid in Kopechne’s memory. The annual gift, they said, will make sure her legacy lives on — only now in a positive way.
After the first prototype of the book was handed over to the family recently, Nelson took his 6-year-old son, Gavin, to Kopechne’s grave. After explaining to his son who Kopechne was, he took a photo of Gavin holding the book at her grave site.
“It was very symbolic of the reasons why we wrote this book,” Nelson said. “To show future generations who this woman was and what she would have accomplished.”
570-821-2055, @cvbobkal
The family of Mary Jo Kopechne, the Forty Fort native killed in 1969 when U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, has written a book called “Our Mary Jo.” Proceeds of the book will go to a scholarship fund in Kopechne’s name at Misericordia University in Dallas.
The first 250 people to pledge $100 toward the scholarship will receive a copy of the book. Additional copies will be sold for $24.95.
Donations can be sent to:
Misericordia University
Mary Jo Kopechne Scholarship Fund
301 Lake St.
Dallas, PA 18612

ONLINE: Information about the scholarship can be found on the “Mary Jo Kopechne Scholarship” page on Facebook.