Saturday, May 28, 2011

Farewell Jeff Conaway And Joseph Brooks.

We've lost two great, underrated American celebrities this weekend. Actor Jeff Conaway of Taxi and Grease fame and Joseph Brooks who wrote and composed Debbie Boone's hit song You Light Up My Life.

Read all about them here. From Wikipedia.

Jeff Conaway.

Jeffrey Charles William Michael Conaway (October 5, 1950 – May 27, 2011) was an American actor, best known for his roles in the movie Grease and the television series Taxi and Babylon 5.

Conaway began acting on Broadway at two. He appeared in the play All The Way Home in 1960 and the 1977 Disney film, Pete's Dragon.

He was best known for playing Kenickie in the 1978 motion picture musical Grease and for his role in the television series Taxi, where he played cocky, vain, struggling actor Bobby Wheeler from 1978 to 1981.

He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1978 for his role as Wheeler.

From 1994-1999, he played Sergeant Zack Allan, on Babylon 5. From 1989-1990, he was cast on The Bold And The Beautiful, in the role of Mick Savage.

In the mid-1960s, he was the lead singer and guitarist for a rock band, The 3 1/2.

He was married thrice and his second marriage from 1980 to 1985 was to Olivia Newton-John's sister Rona.

A drug addict for most of the 1980s, he died of a drug overdose.

Joseph Brooks.

Joseph Brooks (March 11, 1938 – May 22, 2011) was an American screenwriter, director, producer and composer.
He composed the song You Light Up My Life for the film of the same name that he also wrote, directed and produced.

In his later years he became the centre of a scandal after being accused of a series of casting-couch rapes.

He was indicted in 2009, but committed suicide on May 22, 2011, before he could be brought to trial.

In the 1960s, Brooks composed advertising jingles for clients including Pepsi (You've Got A Lot To Live) and Maxwell House (Good To The Last Drop Feeling).

He received numerous Clio Awards for his work, as well as a People's Choice Award.

In October 1977 You Light Up My Life reached Number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts and held the top position for 10 consecutive weeks, then the longest run in the chart's history.

With sales of over four million copies in the US, the song became the biggest hit of the 1970s.

The passionate ballad earned Brooks a Grammy Award for Song Of The Year, as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe Award and an American Society Of Composers, Authors And Publishers Award.

The song was Debby Boone's first solo hit record and only top 40 pop hit.

Brooks was married with two children. His brother is Institutional Investor Magazine founder Gilbert Kaplan.

In June 2009, Brooks was arrested on charges of raping or sexually assaulting 11 women lured to his East Side apartment from 2005 to 2008.