Harold earned five Emmy nominations in his career, several for his work as Rhoda's father on the sitcom of the same name.
She was born in Switzerland, and was never a household name, but she did yeoman's work on stage early in her career. She held her own opposite Robert Preston and Rosemary Harris in the original Broadway production of The Lion in Winter, playing the French princess Alais (did you know Christopher Walken played the young Prince Phillip in that original production?).
She went on to appear in Broadway revivals of Cyrano de Bergerac and Private Lives. She turned her hand to the written word, and adapted several Feydeau farces with writing partner and fellow actor Paxton Whitehead; those adaptations played Broadway, and were also seen at major regional theatres such as the Old Globe and the Mark Taper Forum. She wrote many teleplays, and penned over a hundred episodes of Ryan's Hope. Suzanne died August 19 at the age of 72.
This Canadian actress and musical performer was probably best known to American audiences for her recurring role on the 70's sitcom Soap. And for her marriage. In her early life, she appeared in several musicals in Canada, and landed in the Toronto production of Godspell, in which she understudied Gilda Radner. It was in that production that she met Martin Short, who would become her husband in 1980.
Five years later, she retired from the business in order to raise their children. Nancy died from cancer on August 21, about a month shy of her 59th birthday.
Here's a guy whose work, I am ashamed to admit, I did not know, but he deserves a mention as the founder of one of the UK's leading theaters:
He was one of Ireland's most recognizable natives, appearing for years on an Irish soap called Glenroe. American audiences might know him from appearances in the feature films The Secret of Roan Irish and Circle of Friends. But his biggest contribution was to the stage, where he spent most of his career. In 1975, he was a co-founder of the Druid Theatre Company in Galway, which specializes in native Irish plays. He played the title character in the theater's first production, The Playboy of the Western World, and created the role of Mick Dowd in the world premiere production of Martin McDonagh's A Skull in Connemara. He was also in the world premiere of Brian Friel's Translations. The Druid's cultivation of Irish playwrights such as McDonagh and Friel helped their work become internationally known. Lally died August 31 at the age of 64.
Enough of the actors! Here's a guy who had a hand in some of the best known standards from the mid-20th century:
George David Weiss
He earned a degree in music theory from Julliard before turning his attentions to songwriting back in the 1950s. He provided Elvis Presley with one of his signature tunes, "Can't Help Falling in Love," and did the same for Louis Armstrong with "What a Wonderful World." He took a South African Zulu song from the 20s, and reworked it to become "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (the opening phrase of the song, "Wimoweh, Wimoweh," is roughly translated from the Zulu to mean "I bet I can sell a million copies of this stupid song"). Weiss was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984, which meant they must have forgiven him for his Broadway scores. His biggest stage hit was Mr. Wonderful, starring Sammy Davis, Jr., and he provided the score for the Shirley Jones/Jack Cassidy flop, Maggie Flynn. Most egregiously, he hooked up with a group of folks who thought the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice would make a good musical. It didn't, and the final product, First Impressions (which was actually the novel's working title) remains a footnote in the careers of its stars, Polly Bergen and Hermione Gingold.
Weiss served as president of the Songwriters Guild of America for
almost 20 years, during which time he fought to preserve composers' copyrights in the digital age. He died last month at the age of 89.