Finally, and this is a late addition, there is the actor and activist Dennis Weaver, whom I loved in both the television series Gunsmoke and McCloud. The 81-year-old died Friday from cancer at his home in Colorado.
Weaver had a long, successful career in TV that started with the 1952 show Horizons West and ended with last year's series Wildfire. But he will be best remembered, I think, for playing Gunsmoke's lovable Chester and for his 1970s portrayal of US Marshal Sam McCloud (who was - no offense, Chuck Norris - way cooler than Walker, Texas Ranger, if you ask me).
He ought to be remembered by those who love the planet too: In recent years, Weaver devoted himself to social-justice and environmental concerns, founding the nonprofit Institute of Ecolonomics and working to end pollution. If you get the chance, do seek out the Hydrogen Hero's 1993 documentary Drive to Survive, which champions the use of alternative-fuel vehicles.
Not only did Dennis Weaver entertain us for more than half a century, he worked to make a better, cleaner, safer world. Goddess bless him.
Condolences to all the loved ones and admirers of Octavia Butler, Don Knotts, Darren McGavin and Dennis Weaver. They made a real difference in the lives of millions of people. For that, we owe them thanks, and I wish them all godspeed.