Two More TV Favorites Have Signed Off
-- posted on November 10, 2006
Many of you may have seen the segments of "Ask The Fruitcake Lady" that appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. If so, you probably got a good chuckle or two from Marie Rudisill, (The Fruitcake Lady). I had the great fortune to have worked on many of those segments as Marie's sound guy. Unfortunately, Marie passed away on Saturday in Hudson, Florida where she lived.
You can see Jay's written tribute to Marie at the NBC website (see the following link) and there are a few video clips of her segments posted there as well:
>>>Jay's Thought's on the Tonight Show's Fruitcake Lady<<<
If you were a fan, you can send an email to her family via a link on that web page. I'll always remember Marie as the crusty old character for those segments. But she actually had a very sweet disposition when the camera wasn't recording. She was always cheerful and fun with all of us on the crew. Even though she was a curmudgeon on camera, that was mostly an act. She was really a wonderful old lady and she never failed to ask how we (the crew) were doing. Of course, she asked that question from her wheelchair... even with all of her own aches and pains. She was a very caring person who had lived a facinating 95 year life.
She was discovered years ago and would fly out to Los Angeles to make fruitcakes on the Tonight Show with celebrities. But they soon found out that her wit was as funny as her fruitcakes were good. But after awhile, she was too frail to fly, so we taped her segments at her home and in a hotel suite in Tampa.
Yeah, that nasty old lady you saw and laughed at in the segments was an act. Remember her fondly!
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And by now you have probably heard that CBS journalist Ed Bradley has passed, due to lukemia. This is again the loss of an icon in the television industry.
Ed was a news correspondent during the Viet Nam war, nearly losing his life there, and for the past many years, has been a friendly face on 60 Minutes, which I have done much work for over the years.
I never worked directly with Ed, having turned down a job I so regretted afterward, of spending a week following B.B. King around on a concert tour. DUH!!!
But I would see Ed on occasion on a job location I would be at. My friends who worked with him said there was no kindler, gentler man in the television business. I now regret I never got to work with him.
Goodbye Ed. Thanks for all your words and your views on this world of ours. You will be terribly missed!