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Subject: Zoftig stand-up comedienne Totie Fields suffering years w/health issues, resulting in a leg amputation in 1976, and a year later cancer forced removal of a breast.

Totie Fields continued to work, but within 2 years, she died on the eve of her headlining at Vegasí Sahara Hotel.
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Date Posted: Sunday, August 04, 11:16:03am
In reply to: Later elected to Hawaii's territorial House of Representatives in 1953, then elected to the territorial (later a state) Senate in 1957, an office he held for 58 years, until his 2012 death. 's message, "Future U.S. Senator to Hawaii, Daniel Inouye fought in WWII, losing his right arm to a grenade wound. Returning to Hawaii, Inouye earned a law degree." on Sunday, August 04, 10:41:21am

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Fields was plagued with health problems the last two years of her life. In April 1976, her left leg was amputated above the knee when surgery to remove a blood clot failed. This caused her to use a scooter for mobility. Fields' last television appearance before her surgery was in a rare straight dramatic guest-starring role on the CBS-TV drama series Medical Center, which aired on February 23, 1976. In that episode, "Life, Death, and Mrs. Armbruster", Fields played Phoebe Armbruster, a hospital janitor plagued by heart problems.

In June 1977 a much-thinner Fields starred in the Home Box Office special series Standing Room Only, beginning her
show seated in a wheelchair. As the audience welcomed her, she stood up, causing the cheering audience to stand with her.

Said Fields: "I've waited all my life to say this
...I weigh less than Elizabeth Taylor!"

While still recovering from the amputation, Fields suffered[when?] two heart attacks.

In October 1977, Fields was diagnosed with breast cancer and her right breast was removed. However, Fields continued to perform, incorporating her health problems into her act. As a result, this changed the tone of her humor. Actor Van Johnson, who was a friend of Fields, was said to have remarked, "When Totie lost weight, she wasn't funny anymore."

Nevertheless, in 1978, during the last year of her life, Fields was voted "Entertainer of the Year"
and "Female Comedy Star of the Year" by the American Guild of Variety Artists.

On August 2, 1978, Fields was scheduled to begin a two-week engagement at Las Vegasí Sahara Hotel when, on the eve of the opening, she was stricken at home by a blood clot, suffering a fatal pulmonary embolism. She was rushed to nearby Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, but was pronounced dead soon after.

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