LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Stan Freberg, the spirited comic genius who lampooned American history in his landmark recordings "The United States of America" and was hailed as the father of the funny commercial, died Tuesday. He was 88.
The suicide of actor and comedian Robin Williams touched off a national conversation about depression. The overdose deaths of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, model Peaches Geldof and heavy metal frontman Dave Brockie were grim reminders of the scourge of drug use.
Edward Herrmann, the towering, melodious-voiced actor who brought Franklin D. Roosevelt to life in films and documentaries, won a Tony Award and charmed audiences as the stuffy dad on TV's "Gilmore Girls," died Wednesday. He was 71.