Acclaimed Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami has passed away. His better known films include Taste of Cherry (wikipedia) and The Wind Will Carry Us (wikipedia), the former of which, Ebert famously loathed.
Bob Elliott, the legendary radio comedian has passed away at 92. It all began in Boston in the late 1940s, when Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding started goofing around on the air during rain delays of Red Sox games. Soon, they were a hit nationally as well, with such well known characters as Wally Ballou the long-suffering radio newsman and the adventures of Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife. Bob and Ray's comedy career spanned decades until Goulding's death in 1990. [more inside]
Senator Daniel Inouye, Democrat and senior senator from Hawaii, has died at the age of 88 from respiratory problems. [more inside]
Malcolm Browne, the war correspondent who took one of the most iconic and disturbing photographs of the Vietnam conflict, has died. He was 81. [more inside]
Special effects legend Carlo Rambaldi, most famous as the creator of E.T. and the titular creature in Alien, has died at the age of 86. Here is a montage of his work.
Wesley Brown, the first black man to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, has died. He was 85 years old. [more inside]
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a press conference that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin. Mrs. Peters passed away from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85. [more inside]
"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."On Sunday morning, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away. He leaves behind a massive empire, several million mourning devotees worldwide, an extensive religious philosophy, a great deal of controversy and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities, a free university and schools, and other efforts which included supplying clean water to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
British photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was killed by artillery fire in Libya today. He was 41 years old. [more inside]
Knut, who charmed visitors to the Berlin Zoo as an orphaned cub in 2007, died in his enclosure today in front of a crowd of 600-700 people. Knut was only four years old, as opposed to the typical polar bear lifespan of 15-18 years. Tragedy seems to have followed Knut for his entire brief life: his twin died at only four days old, and the zookeeper who hand-raised him died in 2008. As Knut grew, he stopped being the cute cuddly cub everybody loved; like many zoo animals, his behavior became problematic, and people avoided visiting him. A post-mortem is scheduled for Monday.
Gravelly-voiced character actor James Gammon has passed away of cancer at the age of 70. His career spanned more than 50 years in television, (with roles from "Gunsmoke" to "Grays Anatomy",) film and theater, but most will probably remember him as either the cantankerous manager of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy "Major League" or as Don Johnson's crotchety, retired longshoreman father on the television show Nash Bridges. [more inside]
When "Proto-Pop" artist Larry Rivers' died in 2002, he left behind extensive archives of his letters, paperwork, photographs and film documenting the New York artistic and literary scene from the 1940s through the 1980s. They chronicle his friendships and relationships with dozens of artists, musicians and writers, from Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol to Frank O’Hara. Also included: films and videos of his two adolescent daughters, naked or topless, being interviewed by their father about their developing breasts. Now, one daughter, who says she was pressured to participate beginning when she was 11, is demanding that material be removed from the archive and returned to her and her sister. [more inside]
She's been called "the greatest posthumous success story in music history." But when she died of melanoma at age 33, few people outside of the Washington DC-area had heard of Eva Marie Cassidy. [more inside]
I hear babies cry and I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than we'll know. And I think to myself: What a Wonderful World
You may not know who Israel "Brudda Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole was, but you're probably familiar with his medley of "Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World," which has been included on several movie soundtracks and used on television shows & commercials throughout the world.... [more inside]
Edward M. Kennedy, Senator from Massachusetts, has died at age 77. After a rocky youth (including scandals of cheating and reckless driving), Kennedy followed his brothers into politics, making health care his cause, and eventually went on to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Anticipating his own death, he had been trying to create a quick transition for his replacement as a vote on health care reform rapidly approached.
Former Beatles roadie Neil Aspinall has died of lung cancer. He was the head of the Beatles’ Apple Corporation until about a year ago, when he resigned after the settlement of a long running dispute with Apple Computer. [more inside]
Milton Friedman has died. One of the most famous economists to come out of the Chicago school, his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom was a straightforward challenge to the predominant Keynesian model that government intervention was frequently necessary to prevent market failures, arguing instead that the way to true political freedom was through economic freedom. He was a devout monetarist and although conventional wisdom conflates conservatism with laissez-faire economics, he described his own philosophy as liberal in the Enlightenment sense of the word. His 1980 book Free to Choose, written with his wife Rose in conjunction with the PBS series of the same name, explained in layman's term his philosophy of how a truly free market works for the benefit of society.