By now surely you have heard that Aaron Spelling, the TV-producing giant who popularized cruise-directing cupids, wish-granting midgets, and John Forsythe's disembodied, mission-deploying voice, died Friday evening at the age of 83, after having a stroke last weekend. In order to help you make sense of the LAT's considerable Spelling R.I.P. coverage, a round-up:
· Their obit relates some of the dramatic highs and lows of Spelling's life. Among the lows: A Variety headline that read "Aaron Spelling's Dynasty is Dead," with no quotes around "Dynasty," and being called a "Jewbaby" in his youth. (Little known fact: Charlie's Angels' original title was Stanley's Jewbabies, but network suits bristled at the ethnic implications.)
· 7th Heaven creator Brenda Hampton, a show executive produced by Spelling, shares some of his more intimate quirks, including his habit of calling everyone "lover," and his bourgeois tastes (he liked Chinatown knockoff-wear and In-N-Out burgers).
· The burial was a small, intimate affair, but a larger memorial is planned for next month, which should be the has-been TV star event of the century.
· Daughter Tori Spelling's rushed journey home didn't quite allow for her to be bedside as her father slipped into the campy afterlife (a reader spotted her dining at the Toronto Four Seasons with husband Dean McDermott Friday, 5:45 pm EST), but she did manage to release a statement, which contained this beautiful sentiment: "I am grateful that I recently had the opportunity to reconcile with my father, and most grateful we had the chance to tell each other we loved one another before he passed away." Spelling did not specify whether these tender words were related through cell phone conversation or heartfelt text message.