Fred Thompson: He Didn’t Just Play a Lawyer on TV

With his imposing stature and deep voice, Fred Thompson, who played district attorney Arthur Branch on the long-running TV series Law & Order, was utterly believable as a tough-but-wise authority figure. But Thompson, who passed away Nov. 1 at age 73 in Nashville, didn’t just play a lawyer — he was one in real life. He first gained public attention as minority counsel for the Senate Watergate committee in 1973, when his questioning exposed a secret White House taping system. …

Maureen O’Hara: She Was Hollywood’s Redheaded Queen

With her flamboyantly fiery tresses, porcelain complexion and emerald green eyes, Maureen O’Hara was made for Technicolor. But it wasn’t on her Irish looks alone that O’Hara, who passed away on Oct. 24 at age 95 in Boise, Idaho, became the leading lady of such classics as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), How Green Was My Valley (1941) and The Quiet Man (1952). Her most compelling quality, she wrote in her 2004 autobiography, was “my inner strength, something I …

Cory Wells: He Was One Voice of Three Dog Night

You might not recognize Cory Wells by name, but you undoubtedly know his voice – in particular, his vocal on Three Dog Night’s 1970 chart-topping single “Mama Told Me (Not to Come),” in which he artfully feigns panic after wandering into a particularly debauched soiree: Want some whiskey in your water? Sugar in your tea? What’s all these crazy questions they’re askin’ me? Famous People We’ve Lost in 2015 » Wells, who passed away on Oct. 20 at age 74 in …

Yogi Berra: Baseball’s Master of Malapropisms

Baseball Hall of Famer Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra, who passed away Sept. 22 at age 90 in West Caldwell, N.J., had one of the most fantastic careers anybody could imagine. From 1946 to 1965, he was a 15-time All-Star, three-time American League MVP and member of 10 World Series champion teams as a New York Yankee. Famous People We’ve Lost in 2015 » But the public loved Berra perhaps even more for his inadvertent misuse of the English language, which was …

Jackie Collins: Writer of Steamy Bestselling Novels (and Joan’s Sister)

As a writer of steamy, salacious fiction about the rich and famous, Jackie Collins might have been a bigger star than her big sister Joan, the scheming Alex Carrington in the 1980s prime-time soap opera Dynasty. Jackie, who passed away Sept. 19 at age 77 in Los Angeles, churned out more than three dozen books — from Hollywood Wives and Rock Star to The Power Trip. Scantily clad beauties and shirtless male hunks on the covers gave a pretty good indication …

Judy Carne: ‘Sock It to Me’ Was Her ‘Laugh-In’ Line

Judy Carne sticks in our memories as the “Sock it to me!” character on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968-73). When she uttered the magic words, she’d abruptly be doused with water, fall through a trap door or suffer some other inglorious fate. Carne, who died on Sept. 3 at age 76 in Northhampton, England, had a life that mixed comedy with tragedy and resilience. Here are some facts about her and her famous line: Two years before Laugh-In premiered, Mitch …