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Conway Funeral Home

8219 Northern Boulevard
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 639-3220
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Jackson Heights NY Obituaries and Death Notices

Don Rickles, Comedy's Equal Opportunity Offender, Dies at 90 - New York Times

Saturday, April 08, 2017

His wife survives him, as do a daughter, Mindy Mann, and two grandchildren. Mr. Rickles’s son, Lawrence, died in 2011.Donald Jay Rickles was born in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens on May 8, 1926, to Max Rickles, an insurance salesman, and the former Etta Feldman. During World War II, he honed his comedic skills while serving in the Navy. (“On the ship that I went over to the Philippines,” he told The New York Times in 2015, “out of 300 men I was the class comedian.”) After being discharged, he followed his father into the insurance business, but when he had trouble getting his customers to sign on the dotted line, decided to try acting.He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, an experience that he later said gave him a greater sense of himself. But he found it difficult to get acting jobs and turned to stand-up comedy.For a while, he pursued acting and comedy simultaneously. He did his stand-up act at Catskills resorts and in strip clubs, and his movie career got off to an auspicious start with a small part in the 1958 submarine drama “Run Silent, Run Deep,” starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. But the bulk of his film work in the 1960s was in low-budget beach movies: “Bikini Beach,” “Muscle Beach Party” and “Pajama Party,” all in 1964, and “Beach Blanket Bingo” in 1965.By that time, his comedy career had begun gathering momentum. Focusing less on prepared material and more on interaction with his audience, he had found his voice. He was not the first insult comedian — and in fact an earlier master of the comic insult, Jack E. Leonard, was known to complain that Mr. Rickles’s act was too similar to his — but he soon became far and away the most successful.Bookings in the late 1950s at the Slate Brothers nightclub in Hollywood and the lounge of the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas spread the word. During his Slate Brothers engagement, Carl Reiner recalled in “Mr. Warmth,” the biggest names in show business felt that “if they hadn’t been insulted by Rickles, they weren’t with it.”His appearances insulting celebrities on the Dean Martin roasts and his sparring matches with Carson cemented Mr. Rickles’s reputation, but his unscripted brand of humor proved an uneasy fit for weekly television. A variety show in 1968 and a situation comedy in 1972, both called “The Don Rickles Show,” were short-lived, as was “Daddy Dearest,” a 1993 sitcom in which he and the comedian Richard Lewis played father and son. The closest thing to a hit show he had was “CPO Sharkey,” a Navy comedy, which aired from 1976 to 1978.Critics were often not sure what to make of Mr. Rickles. John J. O’Connor of The Times wrote in 1972 that for some his humor “will always remain tasteless,” while for others “it has its delicious moments of madness.” Tom Shales of The Washington Post, 26 years later, was more enthusiastic, praising him as “mythic, timeless, fearless — endowed by the gods with some absurd miraculous gift.”No critic, however thoughtful, could quite explain Mr. Rickles’s durability in show business, given that until the end of his career he was peppering his act with slurs and stereotypes long out of favor. And yet he not only got away with it, bu...

Irene Jedrlinic, mother of former Newser, dies at 68 - New York Daily News

Monday, October 24, 2016

Irene Jedrlinic, the mother of former Daily News reporter Nicholas Hirshon, has died of a heart attack. She was 68.Jedrlinic, who was born in Jackson Heights and grew up in Flushing, worked for 41 years for the Social Security Administration before retiring in 2013.She graduated from the High School of Performing Arts and Queens College before earning a master’s degree in English from Queens College in 1976. Her thesis was an analysis of the concept of fortune in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.She married Elliot Hirshon on Oct. 15, 1983, and lived with him in Forest Hills, Queens. The couple celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary the day before Jedrlinic’s Oct. 16, death. Together they frequently attended shows on Broadway and the Public Theater. She saw the original Tony Award-winning productions of “Sweeney Todd,” “Nine,” “Fun Home” and “Hamilton” (twice).Once her son began rooting for the Mets and Islanders in 1999, Jedrlinic went to dozens of games at Shea Stadium, Citi Field, Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center, including the NHL playoffs in 2013 and 2016, the 2013 MLB All-Star Game and the 2015 World Series.In recent ye...

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Don Rickles, Comedy's Equal Opportunity Offender, Dies at 90 - New York Times

Saturday, April 08, 2017

His wife survives him, as do a daughter, Mindy Mann, and two grandchildren. Mr. Rickles’s son, Lawrence, died in 2011.Donald Jay Rickles was born in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens on May 8, 1926, to Max Rickles, an insurance salesman, and the former Etta Feldman. During World War II, he honed his comedic skills while serving in the Navy. (“On the ship that I went over to the Philippines,” he told The New York Times in 2015, “out of 300 men I was the class comedian.”) After being discharged, he followed his father into the insurance business, but when he had trouble getting his customers to sign on the dotted line, decided to try acting.He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, an experience that he later said gave him a greater sense of himself. But he found it difficult to get acting jobs and turned to stand-up comedy.For a while, he pursued acting and comedy simultaneously. He did his stand-up act at Catskills resorts and in strip clubs, and his movie career got off to an auspicious start with a small part in the 1958 submarine drama “Run Silent, Run Deep,” starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. But the bulk of his film work in the 1960s was in low-budget beach movies: “Bikini Beach,” “Muscle Beach Party” and “Pajama Party,” all in 1964, and “Beach Blanket Bingo” in 1965.By that time, his comedy career had begun gathering momentum. Focusing less on prepared material and more on interaction with his audience, he had found his voice. He was not the first insult comedian — and in fact an earlier master of the comic insult, Jack E. Leonard, was known to complain that Mr. Rickles’s act was too similar to his — but he soon became far and away the most successful.Bookings in the late 1950s at the Slate Brothers nightclub in Hollywood and the lounge of the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas spread the word. During his Slate Brothers engagement, Carl Reiner recalled in “Mr. Warmth,” the biggest names in show business felt that “if they hadn’t been insulted by Rickles, they weren’t with it.”His appearances insulting celebrities on the Dean Martin roasts and his sparring matches with Carson cemented Mr. Rickles’s reputation, but his unscripted brand of humor proved an uneasy fit for weekly television. A variety show in 1968 and a situation comedy in 1972, both called “The Don Rickles Show,” were short-lived, as was “Daddy Dearest,” a 1993 sitcom in which he and the comedian Richard Lewis played father and son. The closest thing to a hit show he had was “CPO Sharkey,” a Navy comedy, which aired from 1976 to 1978.Critics were often not sure what to make of Mr. Rickles. John J. O’Connor of The Times wrote in 1972 that for some his humor “will always remain tasteless,” while for others “it has its delicious moments of madness.” Tom Shales of The Washington Post, 26 years later, was more enthusiastic, praising him as “mythic, timeless, fearless — endowed by the gods with some absurd miraculous gift.”No critic, however thoughtful, could quite explain Mr. Rickles’s durability in show business, given that until the end of his career he was peppering his act with slurs and stereotypes long out of favor. And yet he not only got away with it, bu...

Irene Jedrlinic, mother of former Newser, dies at 68 - New York Daily News

Monday, October 24, 2016

Irene Jedrlinic, the mother of former Daily News reporter Nicholas Hirshon, has died of a heart attack. She was 68.Jedrlinic, who was born in Jackson Heights and grew up in Flushing, worked for 41 years for the Social Security Administration before retiring in 2013.She graduated from the High School of Performing Arts and Queens College before earning a master’s degree in English from Queens College in 1976. Her thesis was an analysis of the concept of fortune in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.She married Elliot Hirshon on Oct. 15, 1983, and lived with him in Forest Hills, Queens. The couple celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary the day before Jedrlinic’s Oct. 16, death. Together they frequently attended shows on Broadway and the Public Theater. She saw the original Tony Award-winning productions of “Sweeney Todd,” “Nine,” “Fun Home” and “Hamilton” (twice).Once her son began rooting for the Mets and Islanders in 1999, Jedrlinic went to dozens of games at Shea Stadium, Citi Field, Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center, including the NHL playoffs in 2013 and 2016, the 2013 MLB All-Star Game and the 2015 World Series.In recent ye...