“Take it with a grin of salt.” Sad news from the woods: “Yes, the Associated Press This Morning Announced the Death of ‘Yogi Bear,'” by Rick Chandler, SportsGrid, September 23, 2015.
David T. Wright offers an obituary:
Yogi Bear, 1949-2015
Yogi Bear, beloved cartoon character, died today after a long illness due to complications from liver disease. Best known for his iconic television show aimed at children, Bear had a checkered career with numerous ups and downs.
Bear began his career working as a stage hand and occasional extra for Walt Disney Studios and later Warner Brothers Cartoons. His fortunes took an upturn when a talent scout for the new Hanna Barbera studio caught Bear’s standup act at a Sunset Strip nightclub in the early 1950s.
His career exploded, but the long, grueling hours and athletic demands of cartoon work took a toll on his physical and emotional well-being, leading to problems with substance abuse and gambling. He hit bottom in the early 1970s as his performance style fell from favor, losing his hilltop mansion and for a time sleeping in $10-a-night dives on skid row. However, he managed to revive his fortunes somewhat in the 1980s by making public-service television advertisements for the U.S. Forest Service, leading to appearances on talk shows and, ultimately, a stint on “Hollywood Squares.”
Bear’s long-time partner and collaborator, Boo-Boo, is expected to attend the funeral on leave from a rehabilitation facility. The two became estranged in the 1990s after Boo-Boo turned state’s evidence against Yogi after a dispute over the division of the proceeds from hijacked picnic baskets, resulting in charges that led to a stint in prison for Bear. Boo-Boo later brought and won a palimony suit at a trial that was marked by accusations of physical and sexual abuse, infidelity, and honey addiction. The two recently reconciled and produced the short-lived reality television show “Bears in the Woods,” but the magic was gone.