Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo and former president and star programmer at HAL Laboratories (he was one of their first programmers), main coder of Earthbound, programmer of NES/Famicom Balloon Fight, coder on some early games in the Kirby series and many other games besides, and the author of the Iwata Asks columns on Nintendo's website, has died at 55 of a bile duct growth. Kotaku article. The Verge.
Omar Sharif, 83, a Star in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ Dies. [New York Times]
Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor who rode out of the desert in the 1962 screen epic “Lawrence of Arabia” into a glamorous if brief reign as an international star in films like “Dr. Zhivago” and “The Night of the Generals,” died on Friday in Cairo. He was 83. His death, at a hospital, was caused by a heart attack, his agent, Steve Kenis, said. Mr. Sharif — who later became as well known for his mastery of bridge as he was for his acting — was a commanding, darkly handsome presence on screen. He was multilingual as well, and comfortable in almost any role or cultural setting.
RIP, Jobst Brandt. Brandt established a reputation among cyclists first with his book The Bicycle Wheel, later with his promotion of slick-treaded clincher tires for road bikes, and finally with his presence on Usenet, where he and Sheldon Brown (RIP) were the Pillars of Hercules of technical knowledge about bikes, with Brown on the east coast and Brandt on the west, Brown with his jovial personality, and Brandt with what can euphemistically be described as an insistence on intellectual rigor.
James Salter, a ‘Writer’s Writer’ Short on Sales but Long on Acclaim, Dies at 90 [New York Times]
James Salter, whose intimately detailed novels and short stories kept a small but devoted audience in his thrall for more than half a century, died on Friday in Sag Harbor, N.Y. He was 90. His wife, Kay Eldredge, confirmed his death, saying he had been at a physical therapy session. He lived in Bridgehampton, N.Y. Mr. Salter wrote slowly, exactingly and, by almost every critic’s estimation, beautifully. Michael Dirda once observed in The Washington Post that “he can, when he wants, break your heart with a sentence.”Previously. Previously.
He was a prophet without imprimatur in his own city. Charles Correa, who passed away late on the night of 16 June, was among the great architects of our times. His institutional buildings across the world are all iconic. Yet, Mumbai, his lifelong home, boasts just one* residential tower designed by him – an irony as much as a travesty. Though the cubist Kanchanjunga is eye-catching, it’s still high-rise: a genre caustically savaged by this patron saint of low-slung architecture.[more inside]
The hard-working son of a plumber, who dined with kings and queens and slept in alleys and ate pork n' beans, the man of the hour, the man with the power, the hit-maker, the record-breaker, who had style and grace, a pretty face, made backs crack and livers quiver, the "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, a multiple time world champion of professional wrestling, father of two sons who themselves have become talented wrestlers, has gone to his final ten-bell count.
Professional wrestler Tommy Rogers (real name Thomas Couch), best known as one half of the tag team The Fantastics, has passed away at the age of 54. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Rogers "...had been having legal troubles in recent years stemming from fighting. He was to be sentenced tomorrow over a fight with police officers and feared a long prison stay." [more inside]
Ruth Rendell, crime writer, dies aged 85. [The Guardian]
Ruth Rendell, one of Britain’s best-loved authors, who delighted fans for decades with her dark, intricately plotted crime novels, has died at the age of 85, her publisher has announced.[more inside]
Long time Parks and Recreation writer and recurring character, inventor of the Humblebrag, curator of the goofiest segment on Comedy Bang Bang, and very sexy drummer for the joke band Don't Stop Or We'll Die, Mr. Harris Wittels passed away today suddenly. He will be missed. (Many links extraordinarily NSFW) [more inside]
Carlos Llaguno Garcia, the Mexican born chef who rose from being an undocumented immigrant to executive chef at Les Halles, has died of cancer. He was 38. Carlos gained some minor television fame when he took his former mentor, Anthony Bourdain, on a tour of Puebla and Mexico City for No Reservations, and also appeared in his role as the restaurant's executive chef when Bourdain and chef Eric Ripert went back to work in the Les Halles kitchen for the show.
Marcus Borg has died at age 72. The liberal Christian theologian was one of the leading figures in the modern-day "quest for the historical Jesus," participating in the Jesus Seminar and writing prolifically about how best to interpret the Bible. [more inside]
Robert Stone, Novelist of the Vietnam Era and Beyond, Dies at 77 [New York Times]
"Robert Stone, who wrote ambitious, award-winning novels about errant Americans in dangerous circumstances or on existential quests — or both — as commentary on an unruly, wayward nation in the Vietnam era and beyond, died on Saturday at his home in Key West, Fla. He was 77.[more inside]
Kent Haruf, ‘a great writer and a great man’, dies aged 71 [The Guardian]
"Pan Macmillan, Haruf’s UK publisher, said that the novelist died on Sunday 30 November, praising his “beautifully restrained, profoundly felt novels” which it said “reflected a man of integrity, honesty and deep thoughtfulness”."
Ex-Maple Leaf coach Pat Quinn dead at 71 [Toronto Star]
"Former Toronto Maple Leaf coach and general manager Pat Quinn has died at the age of 71. Quinn died Sunday night in Vancouver after a lengthy illness, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Vancouver Giants said Monday. Quinn, who was co-owner of the WHL’s Giants, was 71.
Rest In Power: John Holt, composer of The Tide Is High, early hero of the Legalize It movement, and singer of the spookiest reggae song ever, "Ali Baba", passed away October 19th. Long Live His Music.
Jack Bruce, best known as bass player and vocalist for 60s supergroup Cream has died of liver disease at the age of 71. [more inside]
BKS Iyengar, one of the most prominent founders of modern yoga practice, has passed away. His 1965 book Light on Yoga (pdf link) sold millions of copies and began the growth of yoga into its current popularity. Namaste, Guruji. [more inside]
Walter Dean Myers, a best-selling and deeply respected children's author and tireless champion of literacy and education, died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness. He was 76 years old. [more inside]
Gerry Goffin, lyricist for many of the songs that those of us over 50 grew up on, passed away Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, at age 75. [more inside]
Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has died at age 54. In his 20 years with the San Diego Padres, Gwynn racked up over 3,100 hits, a .338 career batting average--the 18th-best of all time--and eight batting title, the second-most in Major League history.
Beloved British writer Sue Townsend, best known as the creator of the Adrian Mole books has died aged 68. Townsend's creation was unleashed on the world in 1982 with his last literary outing in 2011's Aidrian Mole's Royal Wedding. While Mole remains her best known creation (and made the jump to TV) she was also a playwrite, had written other novels [more inside]
Less than 24 hours after delivering his first promo on Monday Night RAW in years, which came only days after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, WWE is announcing that Warrior, formerly Jim Hellwig, best known as the Ultimate Warrior, has passed away at the age of 54. (And before anybody asks, this appears to be real, rather than of the "ghost Warrior appears in a mirror but only Hulk Hogan can see him" variety.)
Dave Lamb of folk duo Brown Bird (previously), husband of bandmate MorganEve Swain, died yesterday at the age of 35 after a year-long fight with leukemia. [more inside]
James Rebhorn, an actor often playing a man in a suit, Dies at 65 after a 12-year struggle with skin cancer.
Mr. Rebhorn had memorable supporting roles in major films and worked consistently in television and theater. He appeared in more than 50 films, including “Meet the Parents,” “Independence Day,” “My Cousin Vinny” and “Cold Mountain.”He penned his own obituary which can be read here.
From writing about Tree-Living Anarchists to a recent GQ story on Drone pilots, Matthew Power wrote "The kind of stories I've gotten to do have involved fulfilling my childhood fantasies of having an adventurous life." He had an adventurous life and brought us along with him. RIP.
Harold Ramis, SCTV alumni, Ghostbuster, and director of films such as Caddyshack and Groundhog Day (previously discussed on the blue here and here, among other moments), passed away this morning at 69.
Maggie Estep, the writer-poet-performance artist and all-around cool person who came to some fame while living in the East Village in the early 1990s, has died. After suffering a massive heart attack on Monday, Estep died at age 50. Before publishing her first novel, Maggie worked as a horse groom, a go-go dancer, a dishwasher, a nurse’s aide, and a box factory worker. She initially received national attention in the 1990s, when MTV covered the spoken-word movement on an all-poetry episode of "Unplugged." [more inside]
Shirley Jane Temple Black, actress and US Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, has passed away, aged 85.
Can you believe he even existed? Did we conjure him up in a strangely unexplainable collective? On January 19th, the animation world lost one of its most idiosyncratic and principled voices, Michael Sporn. Sporn not only gathered accolades for his work, including an Oscar nomination for his short Dr. Desoto (excerpt) and four Emmy awards, he also won the respect of the animation community and the affection and high regard of those who worked with him, and for his wonderful Splog, which has been linked previously, 1 2 High quality clips of his work can be viewed at his website (see link in the comments.) [more inside]
Great Train Robbery brazen villain, rock star, former fugitive and former prisoner, and cultural icon, the always colourful Ronnie Biggs, has died. [more inside]
Nelson Mandela has died peacefully at home at age 95. The Globe and Mail has a good roundup of information and resources about his life. The PBS Newshour already has a show online about his life and moments after the news broke even The Onion chimed in. Rest in peace, Madiba.
Last month, we lost one of the great philosophers of the 20th century. Arthur C. Danto was perhaps the most eminent voice in contemporary aesthetics. Always on the cutting edge, Danto shined a light on aesthetics in the post-art world. [more inside]
Cheb i Sabbah's family has announced his passing at the age of 66. His unique world music creations have been cherished by dancers, trancers, and thinkers alike for decades. [more inside]
R.I.P. Lou Scheimer - Mr Filmation - an Emmy and Grammy Award–winning American producer of cartoon and live TV - has died. He was a co-founder of Filmation, a company known mostly for minimally-animated but US produced cartoons (often with reused backgrounds) and a small cast of stock voice actors (including himself) that dominated the airwaves for decades . [more inside]
Laughing Past The Grave
We realize we aren’t supposed to speak ill of the dead, but we adore it, often to a perfectly scandalous degree, when others do, and especially when it’s funny.
5 Minutes With Kumar, episodes 2 - 3 - 4
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE
An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE
An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
One of the 20th century's most prolific and well regarded authors of crime fiction, Elmore Leonard, has died at the age of 87, following a stroke two weeks ago. Leonard's novels and short stories were frequently adapted to movies and television, with particular acclaim in the cases of Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, and Justified.
Eydie Gormé dies at 84. They met as cast members of the Steve Allen Show in the 1950s, and it was the start of something big. Known ever since as "Steve and Eydie," they became fixtures of Las Vegas and television variety shows. But Eydie had many hits of her own along the way, such as Blame It On the Bossa Nova, and she became famous in Latin America for her Spanish recordings like Amor. [more inside]
Walter De Maria, R.I.P. (LAT) The famed but reclusive sculptor and composer was 77. In a loving tribute, Jerry Saltz writes of De Maria's Earth Room (previously), and of the effect it had on him personally.
Toshi Seeger has passed. In the fullest sense of the word, the partner of Pete Seeger, and of some seventy years, has passed away. Pete once said that without Toshi, "the world would not turn nor the sun shine.” She was 91.
Ryan Davis, co-founder of gaming website Giantbomb, passed away on July 3rd. He was 34 years old. He had been married less than a week and was on his honeymoon. [more inside]