Art Ginsburg, aka television's 'Mr. Food,' dies of cancer at 81
BY Wire reports
Thursday, November 22, 2012
11/22/12 at 5:06 AM
Art Ginsburg, the delightfully dorky television chef known as Mr. Food, died Wednesday at his home in Weston, Fla., of pancreatic cancer. He was 81.
Ginsburg - who enticed viewers for decades with a can-do focus on easy weeknight cooking and the tagline "Ooh! It's so good!" - had an unlikely formula for success in this era of reality cooking shows, flashy chefs and artisanal foods. With a pleasantly goofy, grandfatherly manner and a willingness to embrace processed foods, he endeared himself to millions of home cooks via 90-second segments syndicated to 125 local television stations around the country.
And although he published 52 Mr. Food-related cookbooks, selling more than 8 million copies, he was little known to the nation's foodies and mostly ignored by the glossy magazines. That was the way he liked it.
"They're on the Food Network. They're getting a lot of national publicity. And they're getting big money," he said of fellow food celebrities during a 2010 interview with The Associated Press. "I was always the hometown guy. I don't want to be the super ce- lebrity. When you need bodyguards, that's not my deal."
Ginsburg grew up in the meat business, and eventually started his own catering company. He made his television debut in 1975 in upstate New York on a local morning program. His Mr. Food vignettes were syndicated in nine television markets by 1980. His popularity peaked in 2007, when he was appearing on 168 stations.
Former Mouseketeer Bonnie dies at age 68
Former Mouseketeer Bonita Lynn Fields Elder, an agile dancer who showcased those skills on the 1950s children's show "The Mickey Mouse Club" and later performed on Broadway, died Saturday in Richmond, Ind., of throat cancer. She was 68 and had smoked for decades.
Elder was 12 in 1957, when her dancing abilities helped her win a slot on the third season of "The Mickey Mouse Club." She auditioned in California, where her family had moved from Indiana when she was 9.
Elder always went by her middle name of Lynn, but she adopted the stage name "Bonnie" - a shortened version of her first name - at the suggestion of the show's producers because there was already a cast member, a boy, named Lynn.
After the original "Mickey Mouse Club" show ended, Elder continued performing at California's Disneyland. Her cousin Robbin Myers recalled visiting Elder at Disneyland. They were chatting after one show when they heard someone behind them calling out "Bonnie!"
"We turned around, and it was Walt Disney, so we got to meet Mr. Disney!" she said.
Elder landed bit parts in several 1960s movies, including "Kissin' Cousins" with Elvis Presley and "Bye Bye Birdie" with Ann-Margret. She later appeared as a dancer on television shows and on Broadway before opening a dance studio in Santa Monica, Calif.
Elder appeared in 1980 on a televised program marking the 25th anniversary of "The Mickey Mouse Club." From 1981 to 1985, she took part in live Mouseketeer reunion shows at Disneyland.