The entertainment world lost a few giants last week, and like the rest of the world, my wife, Gena, and I offer their families, friends and fans our most heartfelt condolences.
America's most infamous late-night sidekick, Ed McMahon, favorite "angel," Farrah Fawcett, and the "King of Pop," Michael Jackson, made their final exits, and even in death, they were as big as they were in life. The magnitude of their presence, power in their presentation and the caliber of their giftedness placed them among the most elite of stars.
You might not agree with all that Michael, Farrah and Ed did. You might not like all the ways they managed who they were and what they had. But you can't deny the monumental impacts they had upon entertainment and this world and how most people enjoyed what they offered. They will be greatly missed.
Like you, I have vivid memories of each of them. I was honored to meet two.
Who could ever forget Ed McMahon's curtain call for Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show," "He-e-e-e-re's Johnny!"? I was a guest on Carson's "Tonight Show" several times through the years, and I had the privilege to talk with Ed during my visits. Every time I spoke with him, I easily could tell that he really enjoyed what he was doing on the show. He always knew his was a supportive role and never lost that perspective. He truly was a man's man, and I thought that before ever knowing he was a former Marine. Being an honorary Marine myself, I say to Ed even now, "Semper fidelis!"
I never had the honor of meeting Farrah, but I always admired her for her activism in organizations that benefit victims of domestic violence. After creating a name for herself in the hit '70s television show "Charlie's Angels," she didn't merely stick with roles that were based upon beauty. I know her award-winning performance in "The Burning Bed" as a battered and abused wife helped to open people's eyes and liberate many homes from enabling domestic violence.