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Guess St. Peter needed a good laugh

Phyllis Diller, dead at 95 I encountered her first on Scooby Doo and I discovered how funny she really was as an adult. She was on the Ed Sullivan show in 1969 and she sounded just as fresh and full of sass in an interview I heard taped last year.
posted by peppermind on Aug 20, 2012 - 131 comments

Tony Scott, 1944-2012

Tony Scott, younger brother of Ridley Scott, is perhaps best known for directing True Romance, but he had a long career making action films that had verve and a pulse, including an ongoing collaboration with Denzel Washington. His last film, Unstoppable, was one of his biggest critical and commercial hits, earning him widespread praise as the consummate mainstream Hollywood stylist. He committed suicide today at age 68.
posted by eugenen on Aug 19, 2012 - 171 comments

"The latest victim of the tumor has been my facial nerve."

Kathi Goertzen, a TV news anchor on KOMO in Seattle, has died after battling brain tumors for 14 years. In 2011, she candidly discussed how it felt to be in the public eye after a tumor caused one side of her face to become paralyzed. [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown on Aug 14, 2012 - 18 comments

RIP Joe Kubert

Comic book artist Joe Kubert has died. Kubert, who started a New Jersey school of cartooning that cemented his legacy as an industry great, has died after a hospital stay. He was 85.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Aug 12, 2012 - 41 comments

Farewell, Pushcart Queen

Farewell Pushcart Queen: Jean Merrill has passed away from cancer. Many of her 30 books were young adult stories which followed underdogs in conflict with powerful interests. Her most well-known books were The Pushcart War, about a confrontation between New York pushcarts and the trucking industry, and The Toothpaste Millionaire, about a young African American entrepreneur who challenges big business. (previously) [more inside]
posted by honest knave on Aug 12, 2012 - 33 comments

RIP Jason Noble

Diagnosed in 2009 with synovial sarcoma, Jason Noble of Rodan, Rachel's, and Shipping News passed away August 4th. Video: Rodan, Rachel's, Shipping News.
posted by safetyfork on Aug 10, 2012 - 24 comments

"Carlo Rambaldi was E.T.'s Geppetto"

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.
posted by brundlefly on Aug 10, 2012 - 19 comments

Mel Stuart goes to the great chocolate shop in the sky.

RIP Mel Stuart, 1928-2012. Best known for directing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — essentially an elaborate product-placement for Quaker Oats, which funded the whole thing to promote a new chocolate bar — the versatile Stuart was also a committed documentarian whose films for producer David L. Wolper included 1964's Four Days in November and 1973's Wattstax.
posted by Joey Bagels on Aug 10, 2012 - 27 comments

David Rakoff, 1964-2012

David Rakoff, essayist and humorist, died on August 9th. Huffington post obituary; The Awl obituary. If you're not familiar with his writing, a good place to start might be listening to any of of his appearances on This American Life.
posted by Greg Nog on Aug 10, 2012 - 136 comments

"I don't want to die doing drugs. I don't want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD'd and just faded into oblivion."

"Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at training camp at Lehigh University." Garrett's legal troubles and struggle with addiction were widely publicized over the years due to his high profile father. After leaving prison he fought hard to change this legacy and was employed as a trainer with the team at the time of his death. "Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart." [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Aug 7, 2012 - 17 comments

What I did for love

Composer Marvin Hamlisch is dead at 68. Mr. Hamlisch was one of only eleven people to win all four major US performing awards: Emmy Award (he won 4), Grammy Award, the Oscar (3 awards) and the Tony Award [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 7, 2012 - 63 comments

Robert Hughes died in New York yesterday.

Influential Australian art critic Robert Hughes, author of The Shock of the New and The Fatal Shore, has died aged 74.
posted by wilful on Aug 6, 2012 - 62 comments

Man, I don't know where we at

When the works of David Simon were translated to television, the job of portraying 15-year-old DeAndre McCullough from "The Corner" was given to Sean Nelson. DeAndre himself, then 23, appeared on screen in a cameo as an officer and in a non-fiction discussion at the end of the miniseries. Later, in the world of "The Wire," DeAndre returned as the bodyguard of Brother Mouzone.

David Simon: "He enjoyed acting, and showed some poise, but the jobs that offered the chance at a real career — the behind-the-camera production work, the path to union wages and benefits — those couldn’t hold him."

DeAndre McCullough was found dead on Wednesday in Baltimore. He was 35.
posted by rewil on Aug 4, 2012 - 38 comments

Gore Vidal October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012

Gore Vidal, arguably one of america's greatest living post-war writers, died Tuesday at the age of 86. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 31, 2012 - 141 comments

Mort de Chris Marker

Chris Marker, director of La Jetée and Sans Soleil, among many others, and co-writer of 12 Monkeys, has died at age 91. English obit. French obit. Article on Chris Marker in the Guardian from 2002. Another appreciation from 2002. La Jetée on YouTube. Previously. Previouslier.
posted by chavenet on Jul 30, 2012 - 68 comments

RIP Margaret Mahy

Acclaimed New Zealand children's and young adult's book author Margaret Mahy died in Christchurch yesterday aged 76. [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert on Jul 23, 2012 - 24 comments

Bob Babbitt 1937-2012

Bob Babbitt, longtime session musician and member of Motown's house band The Funk Brothers, has died at 74. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on Jul 20, 2012 - 21 comments

SNL writer Tom Davis, RIP

Comedy writing parter to Sen. Al Franken (the two went to high school together and shared an apprenticeship salary when first hired by Lorne Michaels as two of the first writers for Saturday Night Live), Tom Davis has died at 59 from throat cancer. In 2009 he published his memoir of those years, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss.
posted by aught on Jul 20, 2012 - 38 comments

A Writer, and a Friend, of the Highest Class

Journalist and critic AA Gill writes a moving, heartfelt and beautiful tribute to young colleague Amy Turner [more inside]
posted by chris88 on Jul 16, 2012 - 28 comments

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."

Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, died today at age 79. According to Covey's family, the death was due to "the residual effects of a bike accident he suffered this past April." The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People has sold more than 20 million copies since its initial publication in 1989, and is one of Time Magazine's "25 Most Influential Business Management Books." 7 Habits popularized the concepts of "win/win," "interdependence," and "paradigm shift" in self-help and managerial vocabularies.
posted by catlet on Jul 16, 2012 - 41 comments

When I die, bury me / In my high top Stetson hat / Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain / God'll know I died standin' pat.

It is a sad day in New Orleans. At the age of 80, Uncle Lionel has passed on. Uncle Lionel was the long-time bass drummer and sometime singer for New Orleans favorites the Treme Brass Band. (Watch the Treme Brass band playing one of their standards, "It Ain't My Fault".) Known to many as The Best-Dressed Man in New Orleans, he was a legendary and universally-loved fixture of the New Orleans music scene. Here is a video of him partying down at Sydney's Saloon on St. Bernard Ave, age 78. Here he plays drum and sings Let Me Call You Sweetheart at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe, earlier this year. And finally, here he is with Monty Banks singing Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? at the Spotted Cat in 2009. Funeral arrangements have not been announced, but rest assured there will be one hell of second line the day they lay Uncle Lionel down.
posted by Scientist on Jul 9, 2012 - 29 comments

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

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