Archive for October, 2015

Tony Randall

Posted in Westchester Hills Cemetery with tags , , on October 21, 2015 by Cade

randall2February 26, 1920 – May 17, 2004

When an actor has the fortune of landing a successful and iconic role, it’s never entirely fair when the public places said actor into the pigeonhole of that role for the rest of his/her career. Despite any other accomplishments, the actor is constantly equated to that one role and is often forced to accept the public’s unwillingness to move on in order to continue to make a livelihood. Tony Randall is one of the prime examples of spending an entire career in the shadow of an iconic role.  And that role, of course, was….the voice of the brain gremlin in Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

Kidding, of course. Randall, despite his many accomplishments on Broadway (Inherit the Wind, Oh, Captain!) and in film (Pillow TalkWill Success Spoil Rock Hunter?) found his biggest success playing Felix Unger opposite Jack Klugman’s Oscar Madison in the 1970’s television version of the Neil Simon classic The Odd Couple. Not that Tony minded. He would happily reprise the role alongside Klugman many times, for many reasons, in the many years afterward. He was no one-trick-pony, though. He found success throughout his career in different projects and guest appearances and he remained busy up until the end. Tony Randall contracted pneumonia following heart surgery in 2004 and died during the recovery.

Burial

Westchester Hills Cemetery – Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Specific Location

Wind your way up the hill toward the back of the cemetery until you reach a white, family mausoleum on your right with the name CHAIKIN on it. Tony is buried about 4 rows behind/below this mausoleum, a few feet to the northwest of a large tree.

westchester_randall

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Ron Silver

Posted in Westchester Hills Cemetery with tags , on October 19, 2015 by Cade

silver2July 2, 1946 – March 15, 2009

Ron Silver was an actor, director and political activist who was known for his television roles that included appearances on Rhoda, Wiseguy and The West Wing. He also served as the president of the Actor’s Equity Association – the live theatre labor union – for nearly a decade. In addition to his many professional credits, he was very outspoken in the political arena, particularly in regard to issues surrounding Israel. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Independent to support President George W. Bush. This perceived “flip-flop” strained many of his working relationships with some of his more liberal fellow Hollywoodites. In 2007, long-time smoker Ron Silver contracted esophageal cancer. He succumbed to the disease two years later.

Burial

Westchester Hills Cemetery – Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Specific Location

At the back of the cemetery in the southeast corner, at the top of the hill along the treeline.

westchester_silver

George and Ira Gershwin

Posted in Westchester Hills Cemetery with tags , on October 13, 2015 by Cade

gershwin2September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937
December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983

The mere utterance of few names in American music make as immediate and complete of an impact as the name “Gershwin”.

The composer/lyricist brothers (George/Ira, respectively) had a profound influence on music in the early 1900’s. George’s body of work covers everything from Classical to Popular, with stops on Broadway and in opera along the way. The younger Gershwin landed his first music job shilling songs in New York’s fabled Tin Pan Alley at the age of 15. Ira waited a little longer, but by the time the brothers teamed up for the first time with 1924’s Lady Be Good, their golden touch was evident. The duo would go on to write 11 stage musicals (spawning many more reviews after their deaths) and introduce to the world classic standards like “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” “Embraceable You,” “They Can’t Take Away From Me,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “I Got Rhythm,” etc. etc. etc… Just for good measure, they also wrote the ridiculously popular American Opera Porgy and Bess. George’s work in Classical music spawned the hits “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris.”

Their lasting contributions to music far outweighed the time they worked together. In 1937, after less than 20 years in the business, George died rather suddenly from a brain tumor. After taking a few years off in the wake of losing his brother, Ira once again went back to work, writing lyrics for composers like Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern. He left Broadway but continued writing for films in Hollywood. Ira died in California at the age of 86, some 46 years after his brother. They are interred together in a family mausoleum in their native New York.

Burial

Westchester Hills Cemetery – Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Specific Location

Near the entrance to the cemetery, the Gershwin mausoleum is the third one on your right as you enter.

westchester_gershwin