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What did Northern Calloway (David) die from?

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by hitmansb, Aug 22, 2003.

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  1. hitmansb

    hitmansb Member

    Looking into Sesame Street history, I've noticed that Northern Calloway fell ill, and thus was written off the show. He seems to have died at a young age. Does anybody know what illness he had? Thank-you.
  2. billyk

    billyk Well-Known Member

    Wasn't it cancer he died from?
  3. jeffkjoe

    jeffkjoe Well-Known Member

    Stomach cancer.

  4. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    When did Maria and Luis start seeing one another, and when did they get married?
  5. ssetta

    ssetta Well-Known Member

    They fell in love and got married during the 1987-88 season.
  6. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I wonder then if she fell for Luis after breaking up with David maybe because she didn't want heartache while he was sick? Then, one is led to wonder does she really love Luis, or has he been a crutch all these years, because David was at the wedding as I remember.
  7. dbarrie

    dbarrie Well-Known Member

    That's interesting (and sad). I remember when I heard about his death, but from a source that was probably less than reliable. Some trash mag wrote that he was fired from the show for "going insane," and that he died about a week or two later from a heart attack linked to his so-called mental state. This source also implied that this was the reason why David's death was not written into the SS storyline. Obviously this is false. It came from some piece of garbage my mom used to read. Do you all remember hearing freakish junk that was written about Northern Calloway at the time of his death. I also recall having seen a not-so flattering photo of him in this mag (I think it was the Star or the Sun).
  8. dbarrie

    dbarrie Well-Known Member

    Calloway was about 39 years old when he died (1950-late 1989/early 1990).
  9. hitmansb

    hitmansb Member

    Thanks for answering...I always wondered what happened...now I know.
  10. dbarrie

    dbarrie Well-Known Member

    I would take all this info directed about Calloway with a huge grain of salt. He probably did die of stomach cancer. This stuff about "going insane" is probably not true, or it may be half-true. The only reason I put it on was because that's what many fans were probably told to believe, just like a lot of these so-called "news" publications love to destroy celebrities who are admired or respected by the general public.
  11. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I'd ignore the stuff about him going crazy altogether. The cancer was what caused him to die. The other is just too far-fetched to have any realiability.
  12. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Unfortunately, he did have an issue outside of Sesame Street in the early eighties. There are a lot of misconceptions and rumors about these events. Here are two articles from around 1980 that describe the incident.

    Even though these events are quite discouraging and very heartbreaking, try not to let them dilute your enjoyment of Northern's talented and versatile performances on Sesame Street. I have been told by numerous people how much he loved working on Sesame Street and that people loved him as well.


    The Nashville Tennessean
    September 20, 1980
    Sesame Street Actor Charged In Neighborhood Rampage Here
    by Randy Hilman

    An actor on the popular children's television series Sesame Street was charged here yesterday with staging a rampage on Graybar Lane after apparently going berserk, police said.

    Northern J. Calloway, 32, of New York City, was subdued by three police officers after having beaten a woman with an iron rod, smashing the windows of one house, breaking into and vandalizing a second residence and breaking the windshield of an automobile, officers said.

    "I'm David of Sesame Street and they're trying to kill me," screamed Calloway after metro ambulance personnel strapped the man--dressed only in a tee-shirt--onto a stretcher near the intersection of Graybar Lane and Benham Avenue.

    "I still don't know what went wrong with him." said Sgt. Joel Goodwin. "When the officers finally captured him, he was saying all kinds of strange things, and he appeared to be trying to eat the grass."

    The sergeant said Calloway was taken first to Vanderbilt Hospital for emergency treatment of cuts he suffered while breaking out the windows of two homes.

    Later, he was transported to Middle Tennessee Health Institute for observation. The children's actor has been charged with aggravated assault in connection with the beating of Mary Stagaman, 27, a resident of Villager Condominiums, 3600 Hillsboro Road. She was listed in stable condition in Vanderbilt Hospital's intensive care unit with head injuries and broken ribs.

    Miss Stagaman, director of marketing for the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, had received Calloway as her house guest following his performance Saturday in "David of Sesame Street" at the center. Calloway plays the role regularly on the popular children's program on educational television.

    TPAC officials expressed surprise that the actor still was in Nashville, noting that Calloway, who mentioned that he was exhausted from his hectic performing schedule, claimed he had to return to New York last Sunday for Monday morning taping sessions of Sesame Street.

    "The whole thing is a mystery to me," said Warren Sumners, TPAC managing director. "It's not uncommon for a performer like this to be tired and be on tight schedules. But he was marvelous to work with.

    "He must have come back to Nashville sometime this week," Sumners added.

    Goodwin said police received a call about 9 a.m. yesterday that a naked person was running through the neighborhood, screaming and wreaking havoc. When officers Raymond McWhorter and James Murphy arrived on Graybar Lane, they saw a "wild man wearing only a T-shirt" running down the street, the sergeant added.

    "The two officers chased him on foot and caught up with him at one point, but he was real sweaty and slipped free. Officer (Steve) Anderson joined in the chase and the three of them caught Calloway at Glen Echo Road and Benham Avenue and put the cuffs on him. He was wild."

    Goodwin, tracing the path of the man during the 45-minute incident, said Calloway apparently left Miss Stagaman's condominium shortly before 9 a.m. and began running back and forth the 1900 block of Graybar Lane, moving in an easterly direction.

    "From what we can tell, he smashed out a large plate-glass window and storm door at 2000 Graybar Lane, but didn't enter the residence there," Goodwin said.

    Cut from the broken glass, Calloway then ran to a residence at 1932 Graybar Lane, broke into the home, and demolished the interior of that residence.

    The owners of the homes could not be reached for comment.
    Goodwin said Calloway then ran out into the street and took a schoolbook bag from a youngster waiting for the school bus. After taking the bag, he picked up a large rock and smashed out the windshield of a parked Volkswagen, the officer added.

    "He tried to get into a number of cars and left a trail of blood wherever he ran," Goodwin said. One man, Douglas Wright, of 1770 Hillmont Drive, said he fired a shot at the man.

    "My wife and I saw the man run, naked, into our garage," said Wright.

    The Nashville Tennessean
    September 21, 1980

    An actor on the television series "Sesame Street" says he doesn't know what caused him to go on an alleged rampage in which police say he ran nearly naked through a neighborhood, breaking windows.

    "It will be a sad, sad thing for the children to hear about this," said Northern J. Calloway, who plays the affable David on the award-winning Public Broadcasting Service children's series.

    "I can't remember a thing. I've never had a spell like this before," Calloway, 32, said. General Sessions Judge Gale Robinson ordered Calloway held without bond on aggravated assault charges and approved his transfer to the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute.

    During the alleged rampage Friday morning, a Nashville woman with whom Calloway reportedly was staying was seriously injured after being beaten with an iron.

    Screaming "I'm David of 'Sesame Street' and they're trying to kill me," Calloway, wearing only a T-shirt, was strapped by ambulance workers onto a stretcher at a city intersection and covered with a sheet. The New York actor was taken to Vanderbilt Hospital for treatment of cuts police said he received while breaking out windows in two homes.

    Calloway was in Nashville last weekend to perform at the opening of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and officials said they thought he had left town last Sunday.

    Police said Mary Stagaman, 27, marketing director for the arts center, was beaten on the head and chest with an iron. She was in serious condition Saturday in Vanderbilt Hospital's intensive care unit, suffering from broken ribs and head injuries.
  13. dbarrie

    dbarrie Well-Known Member

    Why would they publish such garbage like that, and brainwash people? Do you remember reading that story about Calloway? Hoe long had he been ill for? Why didn't SS do a tribute to "David" or write his death into the show?
  14. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I think he had already left the show by the time of his death, and they might have done a "dedicated to" at the end of some show or something, who knows.

    It's the same with the press everywhere: sensationalism. The Sun, Nat'l Enquirer, The Post---they all report lies, and only about 1% of their magazines are truth...and that's just the jokes! LOL!!

    Consider the sources when you read a story, and don't forget the whole Bert/Ernie gay fiasco started by a californian radio station...morning DJ's. Ugh. :rolleyes:
  15. jeffkjoe

    jeffkjoe Well-Known Member

    I hate to burst your bubble, but I grew up in Nashville, and I remember reading that article when I was young. My views of Northern Calloway went immediately south after reading that.

    The Tennessean is the standard newspaper for Middle Tennessee, like the Chicago Tribune or San Francisco Chronicle.

    Face the facts. Northern Calloway became a strange man. That's why he was on the Street off and on during the 80's.
  16. Splurge

    Splurge Well-Known Member

    I noticed something recently. In a Friday episode shown in 1981, (I think) this being the episode where Fred Rogers pays a visit to the street, in the credits "Northern Calloway" as "David" was noticeably missing. Later on, of course, he would be back. I wonder if that was a season in which he didn't appear on the street, but was still shown is skits.

    It's sad the way things happened with him, because he was a young guy with such potential.
  17. Hays

    Hays Well-Known Member

    Phil, I appreciate your attempt to find facts in this matter. I think it's even more sad when people are embarrassed about the truth. I agree, it doesn't undo the work he did for SS.

    IMDB lists cause of death as stomach cancer. Mental illness is rarely listed as a cause of death (though it probably wasn't in this case, anyway.)
  18. Stupendous Man

    Stupendous Man Active Member


    What about the song sung by David and Olivia in #1563 ("I Sing a Song"?), where David is trying to cheer Olivia up? Was that just a re-used insert from an earlier season?
  19. Dantecat

    Dantecat Well-Known Member

    Yes It Was.
  20. gfarkwort

    gfarkwort Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="I'm David of Sesame Street and they're trying to kill me," screamed Calloway after metro ambulance personnel strapped the man--

    "When the officers finally captured him, he was saying all kinds of strange things, and he appeared to be trying to eat the grass."

    shortly before 9 a.m. and began running back and forth the 1900 block of Graybar Lane, moving in an easterly direction. [/QUOTE]
    There was an episode of X-Files where a couple had to drive east or they would die from there head exploding..The couple was thought to be going crazy by the police who were pursueing them because they were speeding...But the whole thing was caused by a radiation leak......Maybe there was some kind of small radiation leak in Mary Stagaman's house and Northern Calloway was exposed to it just enough that he had to run east but then later it wore off and thats why Northern didn't remeber doing that. And the small amount of radiation caused his stomach cancer as well. "assuming that the rampage really happend which I doubt.".....no offense to anyone but I don't belive anything the police say....or southern reporters. :boo:
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