Signing Off The Air For The Last Time

I was just mulling over the unfortunate fact that a lot of big-time TV folks have bitten the dust over the last few weeks and months — “Honey West” star Anne Francis (January 3 at 80), “Ozzie and Harriet” star David Nelson (January 11 at 74), “Batman” star Michael Gough (March 17 at 94), early live TV director Sidney Lumet (April 9 at 86), “M*A*S*H” director Jackie Cooper (May 4 at 88), “The Cosby Show” star Clarice Taylor (May 30 at 93), “Gunsmoke” star James Arness (June 3 at 88), and “Columbo” star Peter Falk (June 23 at 83), among others.

How can one explain this apparent surge? Well, it could just be a coincidence, but it could also be something else. TV only really came into its own in the fifties and sixties… most of the big names on the small screen at the time were then in their thirties and forties, which would place them in their eighties or nineties now… which
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