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Farina, Dennis

Lives in Phoenix

Dennis Farina
Dennis Farina, 2007. Photo by David Shankbone .

(1944.02.29-    )  Actor.

Farina is an ex-Chicago policeman who turned to acting, playing a lot of cops.  He has made nearly 50 film appearances including Big Trouble (2002), Snatch (2000), and Saving Private Ryan (1998).

He is a sometimes Phoenix area resident and reportedly gets his hair clipped by Stan Demory at the Phoenician who also does Fife Symington, and Dan Quayle.

Fay, Dorothy

Born in Prescott

(Dorothy Fay Southworth, 1915.04.04-2003.11.05)  Actor.

Sometimes billed as Dorothy Fay Ritter, she may be more widely recognized as the wife of singing cowboy Tex Ritter (1905-1974), or the mother of actor John Ritter (1948-2003).  She died less than two months after the unexpected death of her son.

Faye, Alice

Married in Yuma

Alice Faye
Alice Faye, 1938.

(Alice Jeanne Leppert, 1915.05.05-1998.05.09)  Actor, singer.

To quote A&E's Biography, "She rose from the mean streets of New York's Hell's Kitchen to become the most famous singing actress in the world."  On September 4, 1937, the 22 year old starlet interrupted her career long enough to take a plane from Los Angeles to Yuma.  There she married to 24 year old singer Tony Martin.  According to the nationwide Associated Press report, "Miss Faye was attired in a powder blue suit and wore an orchid corsage."  The AP also reported Martin's age as 22.  They were divorced in 1940.

Finkbine, Sherri

Lived in Phoenix

(Sherri Chessen, c. 1942-    )  Television performer.

In 1962 Sherri Finkbine was Miss Sherri on the popular children's show Romper Room which was produced and broadcast locally from the studios of KTAR Channel 12 (now KPNX) at 1101 N. Central in Phoenix.  Mrs. Finkbine was also the mother of four healthy children who was then expecting her fifth.  During this pregnancy she took the prescription tranquilizer Thalidomide.  That drug was soon to be linked with thousands of serious birth deformities (mainly in Europe, Australia and Canada since the FDA had been slower than its counterparts in those countries to approve the drug).  The Finkbines decided to seek an abortion rather than risk the birth of a tragically deformed child.

At the time abortions were illegal Arizona as in the rest of the nation.  The Arizona law which was adopted in 1901 allowed an abortion only if it was clearly necessary to save the mother's life.  Abortions would not become legal nationally until January 2, 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision in the landmark case, Roe v. Wade.

When Mrs. Finkbine was in her third month of pregnancy, she, her teacher husband, and the Good Samaritan Hospital filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment making the abortion legal.  The case caused a national furor.  Some public reaction was so intensely negative--including anonymous death threats in the mail and on the phone--that the FBI stationed agents in the Finkbine home.  She was dismissed from her job and Mr. Finkbine was suspended from his teaching position.

When the Arizona court turned down her plea, the Finkbines traveled to Sweden where she received an abortion.  The fetus had no legs and only one arm.  On January 31, 1965, Mrs. Finkbine gave birth to her fifth child, a healthy baby girl. 

The Finkbines were divorced in 1974.  In 1991, Sherri married a obstetrician and gynecologist who had practiced in a Scottsdale hospital that had turned down her abortion 30 years before.  Had the scheduled physician declined to perform the abortion, her future husband would have been the next in line to be scheduled.

In 1992 HBO made the movie A Private Matter of the Finkbines personal tragedy.  Sissy Spacek was cast as Mrs. Finkbine, Aidan Quinn played her husband and Estelle Parsons played her mother.

Fishel, Danielle

Born in Mesa

(Danielle Christine Fishel, 1981.05.05-    )  Actor.

Best known for her roll in the television sitcom Boy Meets World (1993-2000) as Topanga Lawrence, Danielle was born in Mesa.  She remained in the state for all of three weeks when her family moved to Yorba Linda, California.

Foss, Joe

Lived in Scottsdale

Died in Scottsdale

(Joseph Jacob Foss, 1915.04.17-2003.01.01)  Marine pilot, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (1943), governor of South Dakota (1955-1957), president of the American Football League (1960-1966), host of American Sportsman (1964-1967), president of the National Rifle Association (1988-1990).

Raised on a farm outside Sioux Falls, the young farm boy was captivated by the exploits of Charles Lindberg who had visited a nearby airport. He supported himself waiting tables while at the University of South Dakota, earning a business degree in 1940, and at the same time managed to complete a civilian pilot training program.

Frost, Lee

Born in Globe

(1935.08.14-    )  Director, writer, actor, cinematographer.

Lee is a modestly prolific movie director with some consistency. His movies are consistently mediocre if not awful, and are typically sexploitative. The 28 titles for which he is given directorial credit by the Internet Movie Data Base include Hollywood's World of Flesh (1963), Chain Gang Women (1971), The Thing with Two Heads (1972) and The Boob Tube Strikes Again! (1977). As a director he might be billed as R. L. Frost, R. Lee Frost and David Kayne. As an actor or writer he might also be credited as Carl Borcht, Les Emerson, F. C. Perl or  Elov Peterssons.

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