Monday, August 11, 2008

Isaac Hayes, 1943-2008. R.I.P.

Singer/actor Isaac Hayes was found dead in his Memphis home yesterday next to a running treadmill. Hayes died ten days shy of his 66th birthday.

Hayes was best known for two things. He was known first for singing the theme of the movie Shaft for which he won an Academy Award. Hayes was also known to younger audiences as the voice of Chef on the long running animated series South Park. Hayes left the series in 2006 after an episode that lampooned Scientology, of which Hayes was a member. However, there has been some dispute to this as Hayes left the series after suffering a stroke thus leaving some debate as to whether he left of his own volition or was somehow compelled to do by his fellow Scientologists.

Hayes was working on his first album since 1995 at the time of his death. He will also have a cameo role in the film Soul Men starring Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac, who died on Saturday. The film is due out in November.

However, Hayes lived the past couple years of his life perhaps its best to remember him as the characters in South Park remembered Chef "as the jolly old guy who always broke into song."

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