It was a sad weekend as many titans of their time passed away. Let’s celebrate the lives of Bill Russell, Nichelle Nichols, and Pat Carol in our Hot Topics brought to you by Walton Arts Center

The NBA great Bill Russell has died at age 88, the family did release a statement on social media. the statement did not give the cause of death, but Russell was not well enough to present the NBA Finals MVP trophy in June due to a long illness.

Russell anchored a Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 titles in 13 years. His last two were as the first black head coach in any major U.S. sport. Russell was a hall of famer, five-time MVP, and 12-time all-star. He won with defense and rebounding and waged battles with Wilt Chamberlain. Russell also marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. and stood with boxer Muhammad Ali when he refused military induction. 

Also grabbing headlines over the weekend, actor Nichelle Nichols has died.  

The actor broke ground for Black women on television as the beautiful, no-nonsense communications officer lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” TV series. Martin Luther King told Nichols she was an inspiration, encouraging many to open their minds about civil rights.

Co-star William Shatner, who shared tv’s first interracial kiss with her, called Nichols a beautiful woman who did much to redefine social issues in the U.S. and throughout the world. She also inspired astronaut Mae Jemison, who was thrilled to meet Nichols before becoming the first Black woman in space. Nichols was 89. 

Pat Carroll, a comedic television mainstay for decades, and the voice Ursula in “The Little Mermaid,” has died. She was 95.  

Her daughter Kerry Karsian, a casting agent, said Carroll died at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Saturday. Carroll was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1927. Her family relocated to Los Angeles when she was 5 years old. She won an Emmy for her work on the sketch comedy series “Caesar’s Hour” in 1956, was a regular on “Make Room for Daddy” with Danny Thomas, a guest star on “The Dupont Show with June Allyson” and a variety show regular. 

Finally, we don’t want to alarm anyone, but! 

If you remember the cartoon from the 1960s “The Jetsons” – some big news out of Hanna-Barbera land. 

Some internet sleuths uncovered that the patriarch of the family, George Jetson, was born yesterday.  

According to the archives of this show, George Jetson was born on July 31 2022 and went on to have children Elroy and Judy with his wife Jane and was employed as a digital index operator at spacely’s space sprockets.

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