Dead: June 24, 1987
High of his Life: I think being on one of the most acclaimed sitcoms of all-time, The Honeymooners, garners some credibility. That, along with his contributions to the Smokey and the Bandit movies. He was a smart business man and owned percentages of all his shows. Although he is mostly beloved as a comedic actor with a short fuse, he had his stint as dramatic actor. He got acclaim for the movies The Hustler and Requiem for a Heavyweight (no pun intended- he’s not actually the boxer, but fat jokes were bound to come).
His catchphrase, “One of these days, Alice, pow right in the kisser,” would become the silver-lining for abusive spouses the world ’round.
Low of his Life: He was a chain-smoker, consuming about five packs a day. He was also quite fond of his alcohol. The combination plus a few unexplained late nights led not only to two failed marriages but to a myriad of complications including diabetes, liver and colon cancer, phlebitis, and thrombosed hemorrhoids. Talk about having some serious medical baggage. I guess it was a good thing he had the money to pay for that bill, but still, having all of those conditions at one time has to suck.
Who Sees Him as a Hero: Over-the-hill comedians, war vets, and other really old people.