TRANSITION

Rodney Dangerfield, 82

Dangerfield was the patron saint of losers everywhere. Dangerfield (born Jacob Cohen) didn't hit it big until his mid-40s, when he started roasting himself with lines like "I was very, very ugly. When I was born the doctor slapped my mother." Within a few years, he had come up with his trademark quip, "I get no respect," and Dangerfield became a hangdog icon, appearing regularly on TV and in films. He also opened one of the country's first comedy clubs, Dangerfields, and helped launch the careers of Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Carrey, for which he deserves more than a little respect.

Janet Leigh, 77

She took the most famous shower in movie history, and her demise in "Psycho" will always be the first thing that Leigh is remembered for. Also that she was the wife of Tony Curtis, and the mother of Jamie Lee. But movie fans who grew up with her in the ' 50s and ' 60s cherish her brittle blond beauty, the sharply chiseled face atop that voluptuous body. Leigh paid her dues in such costume dramas as "Prince Valiant" and "The Vikings," but her taut, anxious steeliness--so memorable in "The Manchurian Candidate," "Touch of Evil," "Harper"--belonged in contemporary times. Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles cast her as a terrorized woman because she wasn't the victim type: this was not a woman who would go gently.

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