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RIP Robin Williams

Robin Wiliams famous for his impressions, role as Genie in Aladdin, standup comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire and many other comedy roles has died at the age of 63.
posted by Carillon on Aug 11, 2014 - 837 comments

R.I.P. Menahem Golan

Menahem Golan has died at the age of 85. The name may mean very little to you at first glance, but for those of us who lived through the 1980's, he was a very big part of it. Here's an interview with the late producer and a bit more about his legacy.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 9, 2014 - 39 comments

The King of Paper Dolls is dead. Long live the art of Tom Tierney!

On a visit to Smithville, Texas, in 2012, the blogger behind My Big Gay Ears found himself talking with a local artist about paper dolls. The artist turned out to be Tom Tierney, a major force in reviving the tradition of drawing famous people in their skivvies (or swimsuits) and providing them with a 2-D wardrobe. He died last month at his home in Smithville (NYT obituary), leaving behind a memorable and varied body of work. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Aug 8, 2014 - 20 comments

R.I.P. Harun Farocki

Legendary experimental filmmaker Harun Farocki, whose films and installations critiqued institutions of power and explored complicated relationships with the image, passed away yesterday at the age of 70. [more inside]
posted by AtoBtoA on Jul 31, 2014 - 4 comments

"We're inspired and inspiring teachers. Schools don't let us teach!"

Originally published in 1962 as a short story in the Saturday Review, under the title "From a Teacher’s Wastebasket", Up the Down Staircase stands as the seminal novel of the American public school system. Its author, Bel Kaufman, died this week at age 103. Turned into a movie in 1967, the book and its author have an impact on teachers decades on.
posted by wheek wheek wheek on Jul 27, 2014 - 15 comments

"Beating the Globetrotters is like shooting Santa Claus."

Red Klotz, who led basketball’s biggest losers, the Washington Generals, dies at 93. In his time with the Generals, Mr. Klotz lost at least 14,000 games, or 15,000, or, according to some estimates, more than 20,000. “That sounds about right,” Mr. Klotz would shrug whenever someone tried to calculate the number. “I don’t count the losses,” he told the Washington City Paper in 2007. “It’s easier to keep track of the wins.” Mr. Klotz won six games, his biographer concluded. Or maybe it was four. Possibly just two. But definitely, beyond the shadow of any doubt, his team won one game for sure.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jul 20, 2014 - 24 comments

R.I.P. James Garner

James Garner, star of two classic television shows ("Maverick" and "The Rockford Files") and a wide slate of films including "The Great Escape", "The Americanization of Emily" and "Victor/Victoria", has died at the age of 86.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 20, 2014 - 149 comments

'Death will not correct / a single line of verse'

Tadeusz Różewicz (1921-2014) was a renowned Polish ‘poet, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, satirist and translator.’ Reckoned by Seamus Heaney as ‘one of the great European poets of the 20th century,’ he died in April at the age of 92: Guardian obituary; NYT obituary. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Jul 14, 2014 - 6 comments

Charlie Haden has gone Home

Charlie Haden, one of the most influential jazz musicians of our time, is going home Here is Charlie, singing the old ballad Wayfaring Stranger - a fitting song for this occasion. Previously (somewhat repetitive, for background [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae on Jul 12, 2014 - 59 comments

"a thousand libraries were lost"

Bob Abrahamian was a Chicago DJ, record collector, and chronicler of Chicago's soul history whose death in June at age 35 shocked soul music lovers around the world. The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Guarino says: "He left behind tens of thousands of 45-rpm records, but to those who knew him, it was the generous spirit in evangelizing the music that made the greatest impact." His work lives on on the site for his radio show, Sitting in the Park, which features exclusive music from and extensive interviews with 60s and 70s Chicago soul musicians. [more inside]
posted by carrienation on Jul 7, 2014 - 10 comments

Alfredo Di Stefano RIP

BBC: Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano, regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, has died. The 88-year-old suffered a heart attack on Saturday and had been in an induced coma in Madrid's Gregorio Maranon hospital. Real Madrid confirmed the news, saying Di Stefano, their honorary president, died at 17:15 CET (16:15 BST). The forward won five straight European Cups, scoring in each final between 1956 and 1960. Tim Vickery Article on Di Stefano.
posted by marienbad on Jul 7, 2014 - 5 comments

The Passing of the Vast Right-Wing Conspirator

The New York Times reports the death of Richard Mellon Scaife, the Mellon heir and noted financial backer of conservative organizations and publications such as the Heritage Foundation, The American Spectator, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy, following his battle with cancer. Scaife is perhaps best known for funding a staggering number of anti-Clinton projects in the 1990s that set the stage for the Whitewater investigation, efforts which won him derision from some quarters and approbation from others. [more inside]
posted by kewb on Jul 4, 2014 - 42 comments

The Preacher

Bobby Womack--one of the last surviving soul greats from the Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding generation--has died. Nicknamed "The Preacher" for his authoritative, church-trained voice and the way he introduced songs with long discourses on life, Womack never had the success of contemporaries like Marvin Gaye, Al Green or Otis Redding. For a good part of his career, he was better known as a songwriter and session musician. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Jun 27, 2014 - 46 comments

everyone was aware of the fact that tuesday was the deadline

how a woman's plan to kill herself helped her family grieve
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jun 24, 2014 - 55 comments

They moved my bowl

Charlie Barsotti, one of the great cartoonists, passed away. Charlie drew close to fourteen hundred cartoons for The New Yorker over the years, beginning in the nineteen-sixties and continuing right through last week’s issue.
Many more here. Previously.
posted by growabrain on Jun 22, 2014 - 45 comments

Gonna Get Me a Piece of the Sky

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]
posted by still_wears_a_hat on Jun 20, 2014 - 22 comments

Adios, Señor Blues

The great jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader Horace Silver has died at age 85. [more inside]
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner on Jun 18, 2014 - 39 comments

The Final Countdown

Casey Kasem, the resonant voice of Top 40 radio and a vocal fixture on cartoon programs for the past 40 years, has died, according to his daughter. He was 82. [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Jun 15, 2014 - 82 comments

Alain Resnais, 1922-2014

Alain Resnais, the French filmmaker who helped introduce literary modernism to the movies and became an international art-house star with nonlinear narrative films like “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Last Year at Marienbad,” died on [March 1] in Paris. He was 91. NYTimes Obit [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Jun 6, 2014 - 28 comments

Now reunited with Allan Melvin

Ann B. Davis, known as Schultzie from the Bob Cummings Show, and even better known as Alice from The Brady Bunch, has died. TV Land Remembers Davis.
posted by Melismata on Jun 2, 2014 - 31 comments

RIP

Knowlton Nash, former long-time host of CBC's flagship news program The National, died yesterday, aged 86. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on May 25, 2014 - 24 comments

I feel that picture you love lives in you.

Camille Lepage, a 26 year old photojournalist who dedicated her burgeoning career to reporting what the media seemed to ignore, was killed Tuesday while on assignment documenting the conflict in Central African Republic. As well as some amazing photography from her most recent work in CAR, Lepage worked in South Sudan on stories about young men drawn into the war, birth in a refugee camp, and less formal photography on instagram.
posted by ChuraChura on May 19, 2014 - 21 comments

HR Giger has died.

Swiss media report that HR Giger, famous for his dark and iconic Alien design, has died. He leaves behind a large body of work, much of it displayed in his own museum.
posted by Zarkonnen on May 13, 2014 - 147 comments

Canadian national treasure Farley Mowat dies at 92

Author, environmentalist, and activist Farley Mowat, OC, died Tuesday at his home in Port Hope, Ontario, six days short of his 93rd birthday. [more inside]
posted by gingerest on May 7, 2014 - 82 comments

I've looked at Abbey Road from both sides now...

Flickr user Harvezt brings you The Dark Side of the Covers, which recreates 33 rock album covers as seen from the OPPPOSITE direction. Some of the covers are iconic, others are obscure, some of the interpretations are simple and obvious, others are creative and... interesting. (And some are NSFW, but then, some of the original covers were NSFW).
posted by oneswellfoop on Apr 15, 2014 - 15 comments

A book that reads as satire to adults & documentary to teens

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]
posted by Mezentian on Apr 10, 2014 - 69 comments

Irene Fernandez 1946 - 2014

Malaysian human rights activist Irene Fernandez died on March 31st 2014 at age 67 from heart failure. She was arrested and charged with one year imprisonment in 1996 for "publishing false information with the intention to harm" after publishing a report on abuses of migrant workers in detention camps in Malaysia, and was acquitted in 2008 after multiple delays due to losses of important files. She received a Right Livelihood Award in 2005 for her human rights and migrant advocacy work. She is remembered by activists in Malaysia and overseas, politicians, and international media. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 10, 2014 - 5 comments

RIP the Number One Box Office Draw from 1939 to 1940

Mickey Rooney the former child star, who made his stage debut at the age of 18 months and was in show business for over 8 decades, died Sunday, aged 93. He was known for his relationship with MGM where he played such roles as Andy Hardy and starred in several pictures with Judy Garland. For a period of two years, he was considered the top star in Hollywood. [more inside]
posted by inturnaround on Apr 6, 2014 - 83 comments

Peter Matthiessen

Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing. "He is the only writer ever to win the National Book Award for nonfiction and fiction, but it’s not just the writing: Born into the East Coast establishment, Matthiessen ran from it, and in the running became a novelist, a C.I.A. agent, a founder of The Paris Review, author of more than 30 books, a naturalist, an activist and a master in one of the most respected lineages in Zen. As early as 1978, he was already being referred to, in a review in The New York Times, as a 'throwback,' because he has always seemed to be of a different, earlier era, with universal, spiritual and essentially timeless concerns." Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86.
posted by homunculus on Apr 5, 2014 - 40 comments

"This will be final message from Saigon station"

"At that point when you say who were the people who stayed to the last, at that point I still had with me in Saigon, a couple of pretty determined and brawny types with whom I was able to get on the Embassy fence and we physically were lifting these people across. And we had a couple of military officers in the crowd with whom we had a deal that if they pick out of the crowd the people that we want, then in the end we will lift them in and they can go too. Well we did that. We made deals like that with the police all through the day. We were able to move people through the city of Saigon by making deals with police officers and saying, "Put your families in among these people and when we safely put them on the plane or safely put them on the bus then we are going to take you too. That worked very well." -- On Monday, The Washington Post published the obituary of Tom Polgar, the last CIA head of station in Vietnam and linked to his memories of the years he spend in Vietnam and the final evacuation of Saigon, written in 2013 for the Pushing on blog, which is largely dedicated to the War on Vietnam and the fall of Saigon.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 3, 2014 - 22 comments

RIP Hobie

Hobie Alter, inventor of the hugely popular Hobie Cat line of catamarans, has died. [more inside]
posted by Aizkolari on Apr 1, 2014 - 23 comments

RIP Frankie Knuckles.

Ever wonder where the "House" in "House Music" comes from? In 1977, a young DJ named Frankie Knuckles started DJing at a club called the Warehouse in Chicago, bringing the new style of continuously mixing dance records with him, and perfecting it, just as cheap electronic drum machines enabled anyone to put together a dance record in their basement. All the people whose minds were being blown by the new music went to the local record stores to demand "Warehouse Music", and the world of music was changed forever. Frankie Knuckles died today, leaving a legacy that started in the '70s and carries on to the Grammy-winning success of acts like Daft Punk today.
posted by empath on Mar 31, 2014 - 73 comments

R.I.P. Lorenzo Semple Jr.

It would be hard to find two more disparate and distinctive genres than the playful TV adventure shows of the 1960's and the paranoid conspiracy thrillers of the 1970's. Yet they both owe a great deal to the same man: Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., who not only had a hand in the "Batman" TV show but also penned "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor", died today at the age of 91.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 28, 2014 - 19 comments

David A. Trampier, 1954-2014

Legendary old school tabletop RPG artist David Trampier (mentioned previously a few times on the blue) created some of the most striking iconic art which helped define the look of 1st edition Advanced D&D. He grew disillusioned with the business in the late eighties and cut off all contact with his former employers (ceasing cashing royalty checks), disappearing with such finality that Dragon Magazine assumed he was dead. By chance, some fifteen years later he appeared in a local news story in Carbondale, Illinois where he was working as a taxi driver. He politely but firmly rejected all invitations to step back into his previous career. This week he passed away at the age of 59. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on Mar 28, 2014 - 64 comments

"He was a lucky man in every way."

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.
posted by Fizz on Mar 25, 2014 - 58 comments

Scumdogs of the Universe: Hang thy heads in grotesque sorrow

Oderus Urungus, the founder and lead singer of Gwar, has died.
posted by skycrashesdown on Mar 24, 2014 - 85 comments

Why yes, I am reading that newspaper.

Philadelphia native and comedian David Brenner has passed away at age 78. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets on Mar 16, 2014 - 33 comments

You're A Monk, I'm A Monk, We're All Monks

Gary Burger, lead singer and guitarist for seminal proto-punk band The Monks, passed away early Friday morning after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 71. [more inside]
posted by Fuzzypumper on Mar 14, 2014 - 33 comments

"In a world..."

Hal Douglas, who for many of us was THE voice of movie trailers in the 1990's, has passed away at age 89. The Guardian pays tribute with a half dozen of his best trailers. And then, of course, there's the legendary trailer for "Comedian".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 13, 2014 - 59 comments

Journalist Matt Power Passes in Uganda. RIP

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.
posted by history is a weapon on Mar 11, 2014 - 19 comments

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."

Sherwin Nuland, surgeon and award-winning author who challenged idea of dignified death, has died at age 83. The son of first generation immigrants, Nuland survived a troubled childhood and succeeded in medical school only to face near-paralyzing depression, for which he was successfully treated with electroconvulsive therapy (first-person TED talk). His award-winning book, "How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter", included realistic descriptions of the process of death and helped to frame the national debate on assisted suicide. [more inside]
posted by warm_planet on Mar 6, 2014 - 13 comments

Perfect Lives

"And let it be set down, Bob was one of the most amazing composers of the 20th century, and the greatest genius of 20th-century opera. I don’t know how long it’s going to take the world to recognize that. And it hardly matters. He knew it. That the world was too stupid to keep up was not his problem." Robert Ashley dies at 83. [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Mar 4, 2014 - 14 comments

Adios Maestro

Paco de Lucia (1947 - 2014) legendary flamenco guitarist and composer has died aged 66.
His death is an ‘irreparable loss’ to world of culture.
Entre dos Aguas and his YouTube page and a brief biography.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 26, 2014 - 36 comments

Hopefully he didn't cross the streams

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.
posted by mightygodking on Feb 24, 2014 - 351 comments

"That’s an awful long nap she’s taking"

"I thought you were sleeping. It seems silly now, but you must understand, when one sees a person slumped over inside a parked car, the most reasonable conclusion is rarely that the person slumped over is dead. It was the lights from the dashboard that caught my eye." – This Crappy Obituary – For the Woman I Found Dead in the Starbucks Parking Lot. You know you should never read the comments, but read the comments.
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 15, 2014 - 95 comments

Morrie Turner, December 11, 1923 – January 25, 2014

"Morrie Turner, a cartoonist who broke the color barrier twice — as the first African-American comic strip artist whose work was widely syndicated in mainstream newspapers, and as the creator of the first syndicated strip with a racially and ethnically mixed cast of characters — died on Saturday in Sacramento. He was 90. " [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 13, 2014 - 20 comments

Eye of the beholder

Nigerian photographer J.D Okhai Ojeikere passed away last weekend, but at the age of 83 he left behind a truly incredible body of work celebrating Nigerian culture. These photos from his Hairstyles series are part of an archive of nearly 1000 pictures showing the intricate hair-dos of African women taken at work, social engagements and in the streets of Lagos. The beautifully composed black and white images draw attention to the sculptural quality of the hair, almost elevating it to an art form in itself. It goes without saying that his work is a unique treasure of historical and anthropological importance.
Via
posted by infini on Feb 13, 2014 - 6 comments

Shirley Temple Black, 1928 - 2014

Shirley Jane Temple Black, actress and US Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, has passed away, aged 85.
posted by crossoverman on Feb 11, 2014 - 136 comments

God Is Love

Out in a forgotten, dusty corner of Southern California, just east of the Salton Sea, Leonard Knight let his love and devotion to the Lord inspire a Technicolor vision on the desert floor. His creation came to be known as Salvation Mountain. On Monday, Leonard Knight passed away at the age of 82. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Feb 11, 2014 - 21 comments

Stuart Hall, 1932 - 2014

Stuart Hall, influential theorist and founder of New Left Review, has died aged 82. Born in Jamaica on February 3rd, 1932, Stuart Hall became a beacon of the New Left in Britain, a hugely influential cultural theorist (as one of the founding figures of British Cultural Studies) and an incisive critic of Thatcherism.
posted by daniel_charms on Feb 10, 2014 - 21 comments

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