Friday, June 24, 2011

Jack Sheldon and Gene Colan

Of course, lots of famous people I admire die all the time, but never two in one day that I've actually met!

I'm saddened to say the passings of Jack Sheldon and Gene Colan.

I met Jack a few years ago at a Ronnie Schell comedy benefit at San Francisco State University. He was there with the also now late Merv Griffin. Jack and Merv used to work together and they went on stage with some fun patter about celebrities and music and comedy. Merv sang a few songs and Jack played his trumpet.

Jack was better know to us kiddies as the singer for "Conjunction Junction" and "I'm Just a Bill" for "Schoolhouse Rock". He even sang a parody of "Bill" on the "Simpsons" once called "I'm an Amendment to Be". He was a jolly guy when I met him backstage and really enjoyed cutting up with Merv, who was also a great guy.

Gene Colan appeared at a signing at Lee's Comics in 2007. He was already in ill health and the reason that he was doing the signing in the first place was to earn money to pay for his medical bills. Gene was very soft-spoken and very cordial and signed my Marvel book and also the second volume of Dark Horse's "Creepy" reprints.

I saw him soon after at the Cartoon Art Museum and I believe also at Wondercon and was thinking to myself, "This guy isn't sick, he does more traveling than me!" He was with his second wife, Adrienne at the time, who later, in a bizarre set of circumstances physically assaulted Gene and then took her own life in 2010. At the time of me meeting her, Adrienne appeared to be normal. Apparently, not so.

Although he did work for "Daredevil" and "Iron Man", it was his work for "Howard the Duck" and "Tomb of Dracula" that I admired most. He even did some work for "Cracked"!

I miss them both.

UPDATE: Seems that reports of Sheldon's death are greatly exaggerated! Details later...


Eric said...

Looks like the reports on Jack Sheldon were a bit premature. Sadly, Gene Colan's passing is still true.

Mark Arnold said...

Thanks for letting me know. Seems that he just had a stroke...

Joe Torcivia said...

" He even sang a parody of "Bill" on the "Simpsons" once "

And he did something similar on that great first season of Johnny Bravo -- teaching Johnny the secrets of sensitivity!