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Andy Griffith Dies at 86.

Take down the fishin' pole and meet me at the fishin' hole: Reports are that entertainer Andy Griffith has died at the age of 86. A comedian, actor, and musician, he created an icon of American decency by portraying sheriff Andy Taylor in his fictional TV town of Mayberry, featured on the Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD. By all accounts, a kind a decent man. You can still visit his museum and peruse his archives.
posted by Miko on Jul 3, 2012 - 157 comments

“Don’t try to lock him up. He escapes, you know."

Born in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, member of the French resistance and the SOE, multiple escapee from Nazi execution, RIP Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld.
posted by Artw on Jun 30, 2012 - 20 comments

Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash

Nora Ephron, best known for writing the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, has died at 71 from pneumonia as a complication of acute myeloid leukemia. [more inside]
posted by brina on Jun 26, 2012 - 156 comments

RIP Andrew Sarris

RIP Andrew Sarris, the legendary film critic who popularized the auteur theory in the United States, sparred with arch-rival Pauline Kael, and helped define American film criticism. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Jun 20, 2012 - 17 comments

Can't we all just get along?

Rodney King, victim of a 1991 police brutality incident that became the catalyst for civil unrest and rioting a year later, was found dead by his fiancee at the bottom of his swimming pool. He was 47. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 on Jun 17, 2012 - 134 comments

RIP, Bob Welch

Bob Welch former member of Fleetwood Mac, founder of power trio Paris, and the solo artist behind the 70's hits "Ebony Eyes" and "Sentimental Lady" has taken his own life in Nashville, aged 66.
posted by jonmc on Jun 7, 2012 - 58 comments

No more tunes and numbers

Ray Bradbury has passed away.
posted by mightygodking on Jun 6, 2012 - 470 comments

Richard Dawson 1932-2012

Colin Lionel Emm, known to the world as Richard Dawson, has died. [more inside]
posted by evilcolonel on Jun 3, 2012 - 80 comments

Pete Cosey (October 9, 1943 – May 30, 2012)

Pete Cosey dead at 68. Though he had a career as a session guitarist prior to and had some important appearances after, Cosey is most well known for his brief time playing with Miles Davis (1973 - 1975) during an era of Miles' that has at times confounded critics*. Cosey appeared on Get Up with It, Dark Magus, Agharta and Pangaea with Miles. [more inside]
posted by safetyfork on Jun 3, 2012 - 14 comments

Lt. Commander Wesley Brown, April 3, 1927 -- May 22, 2012

Wesley Brown, the first black man to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, has died. He was 85 years old. [more inside]
posted by Rangeboy on May 25, 2012 - 15 comments

Robin Gibb dies at 62.

Robin Gibb, CBE, has died at 62 of colorectal cancer. The Guardian pays tribute in words and music. [more inside]
posted by lwb on May 21, 2012 - 63 comments

RIP

Jean Craighead George has died. [more inside]
posted by Aizkolari on May 17, 2012 - 52 comments

The Angel of The Gap

The Angel of The Gap. For almost half a century, Don Ritchie would approach people contemplating suicide at the edge of The Gap, just 50 metres from his home in Watsons Bay, his palms facing up [...] he would smile and say: "Is there something I could do to help you?". RIP Don Ritchie, Australian Local Hero of the Year for 2011, and saviour of at least 160 would-be suicides at Sydney scenic cliff & suicide spot, The Gap.
posted by UbuRoivas on May 14, 2012 - 45 comments

RIP mister bassman, Donald "Duck" Dunn

Millions may know him best from one of the only lines he delivered in the Blues Brothers movie: "We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline". Others who notice these things will remember him as the guy who also played the bass in the Blues Brothers band. And those for whom Stax records and the Memphis sound are important will know him as the four-string foundation of the great Booker T and the MGs, and the man who lent his solid, no-frills bass lines to many a tune by soul luminaries Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and lots of other greats. Memphis-born bassman Donald "Duck" Dunn has died while on tour (along with fellow legend and bandmate Steve Cropper) in Tokyo. RIP, Duck Dunn, and if there's any goat piss in heaven, I know you're gonna turn it into gasoline up there, too.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 13, 2012 - 112 comments

Nobody else had Denny Fitch, who beat those one-in-a-billion odds.

Denny Fitch, one of 4 pilots who guided United 232 to a controlled crash landing in Sioux City, Iowa after a complete hydraulic fluid loss following an engine failure, has died of cancer. He was interviewed about the landing for Errol Morris' First Person series (YouTube) (previously). Denny's family also documented his journey with his incurable brain tumor on his website and blog.
posted by bluefly on May 13, 2012 - 22 comments

RIP Everett Lilly

Everett Lilly, founding member and mandolin player for the Lilly Brothers, has died. The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover (on banjo) had a longtime residence in Boston in the 1960s at the Hillbilly Ranch. Although the band disbanded and moved back to West Virginia following the death of Everett's son in an accident, their influence on the folk revival was substantial. Here is their classic rendition of "Sinner You Better Get Ready" from their 1961 Folkways album Bluegrass at the Roots. Everett's mandolin is upfront and sweet. RIP
posted by OmieWise on May 10, 2012 - 7 comments

Greg Ham found Dead

Men at Work's Greg Ham has been found dead. He was an Australian songwriter, actor and saxophone player known for playing multiple instruments in the 1980s band Men at Work. In addition to the saxophone, he played flute, organ, piano and the synthesiser. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Apr 19, 2012 - 86 comments

""For now, Dick Clark...so long." *salute*

Dick Clark, America's's Oldest Teenager, has passed away after suffering a massive heart attack at St. John's Hospital in LA, TMZ reports (and other media outlets confirm). [more inside]
posted by maryr on Apr 18, 2012 - 161 comments

one of the greats will be leaving the stage

The Band singer and drummer Levon Helm is in the final stages of cancer, according to a note posted on his website Tuesday by his wife, Sandy, and daughter, Amy. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 17, 2012 - 137 comments

A dreamer of dreams that is no longer

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, creator of the 911, head of Porsche Cars, has died. A sportscar most people can only ever dream of driving, yet even master it's full potential... Its cousin model the 935 won the LeMans in 1976. A marvel of engineering, built with a mid-rear engine, no other car debatably seems as gracious in elegance and as robust in power. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche creator of the 911, will certainly have touched many in awe, inspiration and confidence with his brilliant conception.
posted by Meatafoecure on Apr 6, 2012 - 49 comments

Eulogy for a pretty swell guy

Young Edd Gould always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld" series of online webtoons and comics. At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes" progressed from surreal shorts and one-shots into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters, full soundtracks, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers - Spares - WTFuture - Rock Bottom - Hammer & Fail (2). At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb and the UN Climate Change Conference, fielding offers from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube. Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia -- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away, prompting an outpouring of grief and gratitude from all the fans he'd entertained and inspired in his short 23 years.
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 2, 2012 - 5 comments

A Large & Startling Figure

"How do you like your blue eyed boy, Mr. Death?" Harry Crews has died at the age of 76. He was an author, a teacher, a boxer, a raconteur. But mostly, he was a writer.
posted by Optamystic on Mar 29, 2012 - 30 comments

Who Will Sing for Me? Earl Scruggs

Earlier this year, Steve Martin penned a loving tribute to Earl Scruggs, published in New Yorker. "Some nights he had the stars of North Carolina shooting from his fingertips. Before him, no one had ever played the banjo like he did. After him, everyone played the banjo like he did, or at least tried." A few minutes ago, Steve Martin offered a rare somber tweet: "Earl Scruggs, the most important banjo player who ever lived, has passed on." One could do worse than spend some time watching and listening to Earl Scruggs perform.
posted by spock on Mar 28, 2012 - 103 comments

Evil men with evil schemes, They can't destroy all our dreams!

Imagine one person in America directed Star Wars, the original Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes, Alien and Blade Runner -- basically, all the big sci-fi hits except Star Trek. In Japan, that man existed, and his name was Noburo Ishiguro. He directed Super Dimension Fortress Macross (which became the first part of Robotech), Space Battleship Yamato (called Star Blazers in the U.S.), the classics Super Dimension Century Orguss and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and more. Basically, he had his hand in almost all the major sci-fi anime of the '70s and early '80s except Gundam...

While many of his works were subjected to questionable translation practices (such as changing any mention of sake to "with water from a favourite spring on Earth" in Yamato) when they were adapted for Western audiences in the 1980s, the popularity of his works helped lay the foundation for anime fandom as we know it today.

On Wednesday, Studio Nue co-founder Haruka Takachiho reported that Noboru Ishiguro passed away at age 73.

(Via Topless Robot & Anime News Network)
posted by radwolf76 on Mar 22, 2012 - 62 comments

Ralph McQuarrie, 1929–2012

Ralph McQuarrie, legendary concept artist for Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and many other projects, has passed away at the age of 82. Previously, here and here.
posted by brundlefly on Mar 3, 2012 - 85 comments

Passing of a Virtuoso

RIP Maurice André [more inside]
posted by plinth on Feb 26, 2012 - 13 comments

The More You Love a Memory, The Stronger and Stranger It Is

Dmitri Nabokov the son of Vladimir Nabokov, who tended to the legacy of his father with the posthumous publication of a volume of personal letters, an unpublished novella and an unfinished novel that his father had demanded be burned, died on Wednesday in Vevey, Switzerland. He was 77.
posted by chavenet on Feb 25, 2012 - 15 comments

Dory Previn, 1925 - 2012

"Whether writing as herself, or through one of the many voices she heard in her head, Previn's sinister riverboat chansons revealed the pain, games, lies and loneliness behind the L.A. free love myth. 1971's Mythical Kings And Iguanas was, perhaps, the peak point of Previn's eerily confessional style containing the searingly honest Lemon Haired Ladies and The Lady With The Braid, both of which recount encounters between young men and single older women in chilling detail. Her third album, Reflections In A Mud Puddle was a concept album based upon her life with her father, and contained the astonishing Doppelganger, a Weillian Sympathy For The Devil in which the world's evils are found to lurk in all of us. " Singer-Songwriter Dory Previn has died. (previously on Metafilter).
posted by The Whelk on Feb 22, 2012 - 13 comments

The Syrian Army is simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.

Marie Colvin, an American journalist working for The Sunday Times of London, and French photographer, Rémi Ochlik were killed this morning in the city of Homs, Syria. The two Western journalists were among 20 people killed in a makeshift media center, raising suspicions that Syrian security forces targeted their location by tracing satellite signals. Their deaths follow 19 days of shelling that activists say killed hundreds of trapped civilians in one of the deadliest campaigns in nearly a year of violent repression by the government of President Bashar al-Assad. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Feb 22, 2012 - 104 comments

Motor City is Burning

Michael Davis, bass player for the bands MC5 and Destroy All Monsters, passed away at 68 on February 17, 2012 from liver failure.
posted by Smart Dalek on Feb 19, 2012 - 28 comments

She is gone

She is gone. A Valentines story of love and loss.
posted by ColdChef on Feb 14, 2012 - 28 comments

"I like to feel that it’s my job to instigate the process with a cool drawing that inspires everyone else here into making something really cool, and worth the effort."

Adam Adamowicz, concept artist behind the hugely popular video games Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, passed away this week after a long struggle with cancer.
posted by restless_nomad on Feb 11, 2012 - 37 comments

Jeff Zaslow has given his last lecture

Author and Wall Street Journal writer Jeff Zaslow died in a car accident yesterday. [more inside]
posted by get off of my cloud on Feb 11, 2012 - 17 comments

Don Cornelius, Soul Train creator, RIP

Over its amazing 35 year run, Soul Train provided American television viewers with an incredible panorama, a veritable cornucopia of black popular music, and of course, entertained everyone with their legendary line dance segments. The man who created and hosted the show from its beginnings up until 1993, Mr. Don Cornelius, was on Wednesday found dead in his home, an apparent suicide.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 1, 2012 - 79 comments

R.I.P Clare Fischer

The great pianist-arranger-composer Clare Fischer has died. Besides being a mean pianist who even Herbie Hancock called a huge influence, very few could claim the achievements of this man, who worked with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, the Hi-Los and other jazzmen to Prince, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Paul McCartney, Prince, and so many more.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Jan 28, 2012 - 9 comments

"Brother Epstein, huh? I can see the headlines: 'Puerto Rican Jew enters monastery, becomes the first 'Schlamonk."'

Dear Mr. Kotter,
Please excuse Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo DeHuevos Epstein from class. He has an appointment in heaven.
Signed,
Epstein's Mother
[more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 26, 2012 - 88 comments

The days of our kind are numbered.

Nicol Williamson passed away on December 16th in Amsterdam from esophageal cancer at the age of 73. You might remember him as Merlin in Excalibur or Father Morning in Exorcist III. Rest in Peace
posted by tribalspice on Jan 25, 2012 - 37 comments

May no act of ours bring shame...

Paterno, Joseph Vincent (Joe Pa)
Born: December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York.
Died: January, 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.
Vocation: Football Coach
Employer: Penn State, Retired.*
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 22, 2012 - 172 comments

What is Dub?

Speaking of Dub (the real kind), just over one year ago the music world lost one of its pioneers in the realm of dub and roots. Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson produced some of the most hard driving reggae ever released. RIP. [more inside]
posted by Jibuzaemon on Jan 21, 2012 - 9 comments

RIP Johnny Otis

Chances are that sometime, somewhere, out of the corner of one ear, at least, you've heard the iconic (yet all-but-forgotten) "Willie and the Hand Jive". Set to a Bo Diddley beat, it was an infectious little number that made quite a splash back in its day. Here's a fun live version of the bouncy tune, complete with the three largest dancing girls you're ever likely to see, and here's the original 1958 recording. The composer of the tune, the son of Greek immigrants who decided that the world of black music was where he wanted to be, was one Johnny Otis, who has just died at the grand old age of 90. Shortly after its release, "Willie and the Hand Jive" was covered by early rock icons like Bo Diddley and, across the pond in England, Cliff Richard. But apart from his most famous tune, Johnny did a LOT of recording and performing throughout his lengthy career, so there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 19, 2012 - 42 comments

R.I.P. Everything Man

The world just got a little less funky. Jimmy Castor passed away today. You might know him as the doo-wop Junior who replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers. You might know him forYou Might know his hits Troglodyte, Hey, Leroy, or maybe the Bertha Butt Boogie. You might even know his Magic Saxophone. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Jan 16, 2012 - 18 comments

Ben Breedlove

This is My Story: Part One, Part Two. (youtube videos) Ben Breedlove passed away on December 25, 2011. (Last link contains autoplaying video) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 30, 2011 - 10 comments

So Do My Heroes

The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. - Justice Anthony Kennedy
John Geddes Lawrence, the defendant in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional across the country, died on Nov. 20, according to an obituary posted by R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. He was 68. [more inside]
posted by rtha on Dec 28, 2011 - 33 comments

Long Live Cheeta

News organizations from around the world are reporting on the death of Cheetah-Mike, the chimp who purportedly played Cheeta, the companion to Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan from the MGM and RKO film series of the 30s and 40s. If this is one of the original film Cheetas, it would make Cheetah-Mike, at 80, the longest-lived captive chimp on record. But there’s reason to doubt he’s both that old and was in the films with Weissmuller. First, because this is significantly longer than chimps usually live, and second because this has happened once before.
posted by Toekneesan on Dec 28, 2011 - 34 comments

The continued decline of the American manufcaturing sector...

On December 19th, Ford closed the doors of their St Paul auto plant, ending 800 jobs and 86 years of history. The plant was closed as part of Ford's move to end the Ford Ranger in North America, a truck that will still be available overseas. Born of the 80s gas crisis, the Ranger has been Ford's compact truck for almost forty years. Ford blames demand for large trucks and the shrinking gap in price between the compact and full-sized truck markets, spurring concern about the future of the compact truck market in North America.
posted by Stagger Lee on Dec 23, 2011 - 93 comments

Thanks for all the music, Warren

Warren Hellman, billionaire, financier, and sponsor of the best free music festival around, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, died today in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 18, 2011 - 35 comments

What next?

Kim Jong Il is dead.
posted by meows on Dec 18, 2011 - 440 comments

RIP Christopher Hitchens

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011
posted by naju on Dec 15, 2011 - 491 comments

The Little Anarchist Collective That Could

George Whitman, founder of the Parisian landmark bookstore Shakespeare And Company, has died at the age of 98
posted by The Whelk on Dec 14, 2011 - 49 comments

"If I am kept away from writing I become physically unwell. It is art and the creation of art that sustains me." Russell Hoban 1925-2011

Depending on when and what you started reading you may know Russell Hoban as the author of the children's book Bread and Jam for Frances or the post-apoocalyptic sci-fi novel Riddley Walker. Hoban also wrote Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas which was made into a one-hour Christmas Special originally aired by HBO in the 70's and re-released as recently as 2008. He published one book of poetry, The Last of the Wallendas, which included many dark poems such as The Dream of the Kraken. Hoban died in London last night, aged 86. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Dec 14, 2011 - 83 comments

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