Hollywood Icon Tony Curtis Died of a Heart Attack

A young Tony Curtis

The handsome and enigmatic star, Tony Curtis, with a memorable and diverse acting career that spanned over six decades and roles in over 140 Hollywood movies, died in his Nevada home of a heart attack.

The Oscar-nominated actor is still as popular posthumously as he was when alive thanks to his performances in films like Some Like it Hot‘ alongside Marilyn Monroe. Sir Michael Parkinson, who interviewed the star numerous times said in tribute: “He was a very fine actor. Some Like it Hot is one of the greatest comedies of all time.

The man who made it, Billy Wilder, did not suffer fools so for Tony Curtis to work with him and make that film shows just how good he was.

He was an extraordinary man. Hollywood tried to make him into a sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s but he was his own man.”

Tony Curtis with Marilyn Monroe in 1959

Curtis was a lady’s man and was married six times. He also had a slew of high profile girlfriends and was considered by many to be an absolute womaniser. His charm and wit led him to many adventures but also into difficult times with cocaine and alcohol abuse. One of the greatest tragedies of his life was when his 23-year-old son died of a heroin overdose in 1994.

When his acting career thinned out and the big screen no longer played such a central role in his life, Curtis took to painting.

Tony Curtis in his later days

I’m a recovering alcoholic. Painting has given me such a great pleasure in life, helped me to recover.” He certainly had a magic touch: the previous year he sold over $1 million worth of his art on the first day of an exhibition.

There was a vanity to the man and he underwent several bouts of surgery to keep himself looking young and fresh faced. He was plagues by ill health in his later years though, suffering from chronic pulmonary disease and pneumonia which left him in a coma for a number of days and following that he was confined to a wheelchair.

The actor’s family spokesman told the press that he passed away peacefully in his bed next to his wife.

Larry King says talking about depression is a good cure

Larry King

Larry King is a household name in America and has cast his influence across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans reaching shores across the world. The lively TV personality has anchored the entertainment industry for years and has notched an impressive amount of interviews down the years – more than 40,000 to date.

He has soldiered on dogmatically since 1987 when he suffered a heart attack and had to undergo quintuple bypass surgery.

Larry looks back at his life prior to the heart attack and pins the blame squarely on his three-packs-a-day smoking habit. The heart problems subsequently triggered depression and led him down the path to the darkest period of his life. Despite the crippling depression he remained open about his illness ad spoke honestly about it on his shows ‘Larry King Live’ and ‘Larry King Weekend’.

The famous Larry King mugshot

His family background is littered with stories of depression, his brother being the worst affected.

Larry’s first encounter with his own behavioural change disturbed him deeply: “What was most puzzling to me, I would be crying and not know why I was crying.”

After diagnosis of post heart-attack depression, King was put on antidepressants for a period of six months and while undergoing the treatment he said, The tough part is distinguishing between depression and bad news.”

Larry King confronts his demons

 

But Larry found a way out of the situation and soon got work on raising awareness of mental health conditions. Although he interviewed numerous celebrities in his career it was his special show on depression got really drew all the plaudits.

Celebrities including Drew Barrymore, Carrie Fisher, Mariel Hemingway and Brooke Shields poured their hearts out on the show and he sympathetically listened to their stories of depression and their remedies, solutions and recoveries, all the while understanding their situations.

King, with his undying spirit to fight depression insisted on creating awareness and is of the belief that the more knowledge you have, the better… This is not having a bad day. [These people] need comfort and understanding… The one thing you can’t do with a person with depression… is you can’t say ‘Feel good. Get out of bed. This is silly.’ That won’t work.”

John Candy died of a heart attack aged 43

John Candy in 'Uncle Buck'

John Candy’s unexpected death in 1994 came as a shock to his fans and was a loss to the film community. The larger than life comedy actor died aged 43 while filming ‘Wagons East’ in Mexico. He was found in his hotel room according to his spokesperson, Anna Perez. She spoke to the New York Times to inform them that the ‘Cool Runnings’ star had passed away.

None of us believed it would happen,” said Frank Hober, John’s brother-in-law.

John Candy in his healthier days

Candy was known for his size and it became almost a part of his ‘act’ but despite being overweight he always managed to look healthy which is incredible considering he was carrying 330lbs in weight and enjoyed smoking a pack-a-day.

John perhaps didn’t heed the lessons learned by his father’s death; a man who also died due to heart problems.

But John’s excesses were fuelled by deeper issues and it is widely reported that he suffered with anxiety and panic disorder while on set. His friend and producer, Peter Kaminsky, was among the first to flag the actor’s panic attacks.

He would just stand backstage before he went on with his eyes shut, breathing in and out,“

Eating, ingesting, smoking, for John, it was a way of swallowing that anxiety.”

John Candy goes Grizzly Adams

He was a likeable character and his choice of role reflected that. Viewers will always be able to look back on a man who made them laugh right from his early days with the SCTV Network to some of his most memorable films such as ‘Splash’, ‘The Great Outdoors’ and the excellent ‘Uncle Buck’.

 

Bill Clinton turns to veganism after heart operation

bill-clinton

High levels of cholesterol are a growing problem these days and are attributed to the types of food we eat and the stressful lifestyles many of us have. Furthermore, If “bad” cholesterol isn’t dealt with quickly it can have dire consequences, as former president, Bill Clinton found out.

On September 7, 2004, three years after his presidency ended, Clinton went to hospital complaining of chest pains. He was rushed into surgery and underwent a successful quadruple coronary artery bypass.

Although Clinton had a healthy diet, his low-density lipoprotein levels (or “bad“ cholesterol) were well known. According to a report by CNN at the time. Clinton’s cholesterol levels in his final year of being president were at 177 but rose to over 200 within the following year. An acceptably healthy reading of cholesterol levels is below 130.

Bill Clinton now

Clinton underwent the bypass when results from angiograms showed that he had a partial coronary blockage, which was reportedly a result of fatty “plaque”.

In an interview with Larry King on CNN, Clinton said: “Some of this is genetic, and I may have done some damage in those years when I was too careless about what I ate.”

He also said that without the surgery, “there is virtually 100 percent chance I’ll have a heart attack.”

Since then he has extolled the virtues of the raw food diet which has seen him shed weight and regain a vitality he’d forgotten since his youth.

Clinton-vegan-diet-Ellen-Show

Clinton, the 42ndPresident of the United States, led the country from 1993 to 2001. He was regarded by many as the Golden Boy but will more likely be remembered for his less decent actions, namely impeachment after the sex scandal involving 22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky. Despite the public disgrace Clinton continues to be a public figure and a representative of his nation, recently involved in pushing Obama’s successful drive for a second term.

His post-presidential career saw him explore many different areas, including creating the William J. Clinton foundation, which supports a variety of humanitarian causes. He continues to be involved in his nation’s politics, including Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008.

Andy Irons died of a heart attack after drug cocktail

Andy Irons

After the saddening and untimely death of world champion surfer, Andy Irons, in November 2010 his family released the results of his autopsy. It was initially thought his death came as a result of Dengue ever but the coroner’s report indicated that he in fact died of a heart attack around 30 hours after taking cocaine.

The toxicology report found a mixture of chemicals in his blood including Xanaxwhich Irons used to help with anxiety and insomnia, as well asbenzoylecgonine, a by-product of cocaine ingestion.

The autopsy was carried out by a Tarrant County medical examiner who ruled out Dengue fever after he discovered a severe blockage of the heart’s main artery which led to a cardiac arrest.

Andy Irons surfing

Irons’ family requested an independent review of the autopsy which was conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio who concluded that Irons had a heart attack due to hardening of the arteries, stating that, “A plaque of this severity, located in the anterior descending coronary artery is commonly associated with sudden death.”

Di Maio also added that Irons was already at a disadvantage due to a genetic predisposition which caused the early onset of artery hardening, a condition normally associated with people nearing their 50s. According to his family, Andy also suffered with typhoid in 2006 which could have added to the problems with his heart.

With heart attack as the primary cause of death the autopsy listed an ‘acute mixed drug ingestion’ as a secondary cause.

The full report was made available on June 20th, 2010 after an injunction to keep the details surrounding his death expired. The records were kept on hold after the family placed the injunction while Andy’s wife Lyndie was pregnant. Given her loss and the additional stress of the pregnancy they felt it best to wait until some time after she had given birth to their son.

rip_andy_irons

Irons pulled out of the Rip Curl Searchsurf contest in Puerto Rico after he came down with flu-like symptoms and was put on an intravenous drip to avoid the risk of dehydration after which he boarded a plane from Miami to his home in Hawaii. For reasons unknown, Andy missed the connecting flight and booked into a Dallas hotel where he passed away in the night.

 

Michael Clarke Duncan Passes Away Aged 54 After Heart Attack

Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan was an American actor born December 10, 1957 and will be remembered fondly for his portrayal of John Coffey in the smash hit film, The Green Mile, a touching story of a gentle giant of a man wrongly sentenced to death for the murder of a young girl who lived at the house where he tended the gardens. The role won him an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination, unsurprisingly given his utterly believable and moving performance.

After hie excellent starring role in The Green Mile he turned his hand to a variety of styles and featured in movies ranging from comedy to superhero flicks. In Daredevil he played the evil Kingpin, while in the puerile Talladega Nights he played the manager of the ill-fated Ricky Bobby’s race team. He has also lent his unique voice to various animated films.

His death came at the incredibly early age of 54 after he suffered a heart attack on July 13, 2012. The condition was referred to as ‘Myocardail Infarction’ [MI], a form of heart attack caused by loss of blood flow to the heart resulting in the death of heart cells.

At the time of the attack his girlfriend, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, performed CPR before the paramedics arrived. He was taken to hospital and on August 6 was placed in an intensive care unit. He never recovered from the attack and on September 3 he passed away.

Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile

Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile

The cause of Michael Clarke Duncan’s heart attack was unknown but in general it can be caused by high levels of cholesterol which accompanies bad diet, as well as lack of exercise, and now some scientists claim that bad oral hygiene can contribute to heart conditions courtesy of plaque build up.

Eating plenty of greens and fresh fruit along with some mild exercise every day can go a long way towards avoiding such illnesses.

Images:

uk.movies.yahoo.com

hollywoodreporter.com

Neil Armstrong Takes One Small Step Into the Unknown

Neil Armstrong on the Gemini 8 in 1964

Neil Alden Armstrong, born on August 5, 1930 was the first man to set foot on the moon (whether you believe it happened or not), placing him up there amongst those never-to-be-forgotten pioneers who have inspired and captivated our imaginations throughout history.

His career path took him on an interesting journey, from aerospace engineer and university professor to test pilot, United States Naval Aviator to becoming a NASA astronaut during the height of the Cold War.

He will be remembered for his landmark statement as he set foot on the surface of the moon in 1969, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” He actually corrected the press after the Apollo 11 mission when he stated that he actually said, “This is one small step for a man…”

Neil Armstrong in his later years

Neil Armstrong in his later years, still smiling after possibly seeing the world from a unique perspective.

Armstrong was the candidate to head the mission which was America’s response to Russia putting man into orbit via their Sputnik programme. The USA couldn’t be seen to be behind their arch rivals (enemies is too strong a word) and before the world knew it they were planting a flag on the surface of that dusty old rock which follows us everywhere and the world, barring the eastern block, had a jolly big party.

Two days after his 82nd birthday, on August 7, 2012, Armstrong was admitted to hospital for a procedure to relieve blocked coronary arteries. The operation itself was a success but he fell ill afterwards due to possible infection.

He remained in Columbus, Ohio hospital until August 25 when he passed away at 2:45pm due to rising complications resulting from the surgery; a man who, if the stories are true, was lucky enough to have seen the earth as no others may possibly be able to – far from the madness, a green blue orb spinning gently and peacefully in the inkiness of space.

One small step for a man, now into the unknown.

Images:

space.com

techi.com

 

Andy Irons: acute mixed drug ingestion led to heart attack

After his shocking and untimely death in November 2010, the family of world champion surfer Andy Irons have released the results of his autopsy. Contrary to initial reports at his time of death which suggested his death came as a result of Dengue ever, the findings indicate that he in fact died of a heart attack around 30 hours after taking cocaine.

The toxicology report found a cocktail of chemicals in his bloodstream including Xanax which Irons took for anxiety and insomnia, along with benzoylecgonine, a by-product of cocaine ingestion.

The autopsy was carried out by a Tarrant County medical examiner who quickly ruled out Dengue fever after discovering a severe blockage of he heart’s main artery which led to cardiac arrest.

Andy Irons at the US open.

Irons’ family then requested an independent review of the autopsy which was conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio. He concluded that Andy Irons had suffered from hardening of the arteries, saying that, “A plaque of this severity, located in the anterior descending coronary artery is commonly associated with sudden death.”

Di Maio also added that Irons had a genetic predisposition which caused the early onset of artery hardening, a condition normally associated with people nearing their 50‘s. According to his family Irons also caught typhoid in 2006 which could have contributed to the problems with his heart.

Andy Irons in action - at home amongst the waves.

With heart attack as the primary cause of death the autopsy listed an ‘acute mixed drug ingestion’ as a secondary cause.

[adsense]”The family believes Andy was in some denial about the severity of his chemical imbalance and tended to blame his mood swings on himself and his own weaknesses, choosing to self-medicate with recreational drugs,” said the Irons family in their statement.

The full report will be available on June 20th once the injunction to keep them private has expired. The records were kept on hold after the family placed the injunction while Andy’s wife Lyndie was pregnant. Given her loss and the additional stress of the pregnancy they felt it best to wait until some time after she had given birth to their son.

Andy Irons sizes up the surf.

The events leading to his death began with Irons pulling out of the Rip Curl Search surf contest in Puerto Rico after he came down with flu-like symptoms. He was put on an intravenous drip to avoid the risk of dehydration after which he boarded a plane from Miami to his home in Hawaii.

For some reason Andy Irons missed the connecting flight and booked into a Dallas hotel where he passed away in the night.

Please share your thoughts on Andy Iron’s autopsy findings by leaving a comment.

Read our previous report on Andy Irons and other stars who died young including Matt Hughes, River Phoenix, Heath Ledger and Greg Giraldo.

images: surfexperience.blogspot.com, continentseven.com, guardian.co.uk, surfingmagazine.com, byosmosis.tv

Google celebrates 'polar immortal' Ernest Shackleton's birthday with a doodle

Google is rolling out the doodles at an incredible rate these days and are certainly brightening up our desktops and searches. Today is the turn of Ernest H. Shackleton, a member of the ‘polar immortals’ who set a record for the furthest venture south in the Antarctic.

The Irish born adventurer (February 15th, 1874) possessed incredible skill in maintaining high morale amongst his men, although this didn’t become evident until later in his travels. He tasted his first real adventure while serving as third officer under Captain Scott on his Discovery Expedition between 1901 and 1904, in a time known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and despite being sent home before the quest ended on the grounds of poor health, the experience whet his appetite for more.

Determined not to be seen as a failure, Shackleton went back to Antarctica in1907 as leader of the Nimrod Expedition and by January 1909, along with three companions, he made the record breaking journey to the Farthest South Latitude 88°23’S (190km from the South Pole).

That achievement won him a knighthood by the hand of King Edward VII.

In 1912 the race to the South Pole was over after Roald Amundsen’s conquest, and Shackleton sought a new quest, the only one that remained in fact – a journey across the Antarctic continent from sea-to-sea via the pole.

He made the necessary preparations for a conquest of such magnitude and in 1914 he set out on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The voyage lasted three years but was beset by disaster when his ship, the Endurance became stuck in pack ice and was slowly crushed, before the crew were able to reach their start point.

Shackleton bravely led his men across the tundra, keeping their spirits high and exploiting the wilderness to their escape; losing not one single life in the process.

[adsense]These events set his heroic status in stone, but still not satisfied with the accumulation of experiences he had gathered, he went back to the Antarctic in 1921, as part of the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, upon which he intended to carry out a series of scientific research projects and surveys. Sadly he never made the journey, for while his new ship, the Quest was moored in South Georgia, Shackleton passed away aged 47 after a heart attack. His wife asked that he buried on the mountainous island, and her wishes were respected.

Despite his many great adventures and achievements, he always lived in the shadow of his former captain, Robert Falcon Scott, and it was only after his death that people began to realise just how valuable his journeys were.

Please share your thoughts on the life and adventures of Ernest Shackleton by leaving a comment.

Read about other doodles including: Robert Indiana’s Love, Jules Verne, Paul Cezanne, Thomas Edison, Jane Austen and Robert Burns.

images: ralphmag.org, google.com

Fantastic Four producer Bernd Eichinger dies

Award-winning German producer Bernd Eichinger has died in Los Angeles, where he had been living for years. He was 61 years old.

Eichinger’s production company, Constantin Film, said the filmmaker suffered a heart attack during dinner with friends and family on Monday, according to Reuters.

“We’re all shocked by this incomprehensible news and feel for the family, who have our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences,” Deutsche Welle cites the statement from the company as saying.

Eichinger began his career over 30 years ago and was hailed as one of Germany’s leading figures in the film industry. Apart from producing, the star also directed and as a screenwriter, received an Oscar nomination for the 2004 film “Downfall,” a depiction of Adolf Hitler’s final days in the bunker in Berlin.

Other prominent films, which Eichinger produced include “Perfume,” based on a novel by Patrick Sueskind, “The Neverending Story” and “Nowhere in Africa,” which won the Oscar for best foreign film in 2003, Deutsche Welle reports. He won numerous “Best Producing” awards in his native Bavaria.

The filmmaker also had his hand in a few Hollywood blockbusters, including “Resident Evil”, “Resident Evil: Extinction” and the two “Fantastic Four” films.

Click here to read about Christ Koulis’ heart attack and how career women are at a greater risk of heart disease.

Images: Wikipedia and gemstone on Flikr.