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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

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

"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

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

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

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

R.I.P. Michael Sporn (1946-2014)

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]
posted by louche mustachio on Feb 7, 2014 - 6 comments

RIP Nelson Mandela

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.
posted by mathowie on Dec 5, 2013 - 359 comments

The Transfiguration of Arthur C. Danto

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]
posted by Lutoslawski on Nov 27, 2013 - 8 comments

"The shock value of what might be called death humor"

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.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 18, 2013 - 28 comments

Kumar Valavhadas Pallana (1918-2013)

5 Minutes With Kumar, episodes 2 - 3 - 4
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
OR
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE

An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
posted by carsonb on Oct 10, 2013 - 19 comments

The scrupulous gadabout genius

David Frost - RIP [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Sep 2, 2013 - 26 comments

...the firm resolve of a determined soul.

Thurman Munson In Sun And Shade [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 3, 2013 - 9 comments

Ryan Davis, 1979-2013

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]
posted by flibbertigibbet on Jul 8, 2013 - 61 comments

Godspeed Human Metronome

Alan Myers, drummer for Devo during their seminal '76-'85 period, has died. [more inside]
posted by item on Jun 26, 2013 - 74 comments

Crow Road

RIP Iain Banks. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 9, 2013 - 372 comments

"He had his life. And he did not yield."

The Final Days of 'Macho Man' Randy Savage [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 24, 2013 - 28 comments

"it’s one thing to survive, and another to live."

This past September, Jessica Ann Lum won a "Best Feature" award in the student-journalist category from the Online News Association, for her Master's project: "Slab City Stories." Less than four months later, on January 13, 2013, she passed away. She was 25. "Jessica loved to tell people’s stories. This is hers." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 1, 2013 - 12 comments

A Compassionate "Human Computer", RIP

Shakuntala Devi, the Indian "human computer," passed away on Sunday. The NY Times first did a profile on her when she visited the US in 1976, during which she computed the cube root of a 9 digit integer in her head, but could not remember that she had been to the US once before -- over 20 years prior. Bob Bemer (inventor of the Escape key previously) remembers meeting her in 1953 on the TV show You Asked For It (which had previously featured a race between an abacus and a calculator). Psychologist Arthur Jensen (who did controversial research on race and IQ) wrote a paper on Shakuntala's exceptional ability in 1990. Shakuntala made her living as an astrologer and authored numerous books mostly on mathematical puzzles and tricks, but also The World of Homosexuals (1977), one of the earliest ethnographic studies of gay people in India. Specifically about gays in her hometown of Bangalore, Shakuntala called for "not only the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India, but also its 'full and complete acceptance' by the heterosexual population so that the Indian homosexual may lead a dignified and secure life."
posted by bluefly on Apr 23, 2013 - 28 comments

A Little Bit of Home Has Been Lost

Scott Kennedy - Texan, comedian, founder of Comics Ready to Entertain (USO alternative for incredibly dangerous deployment locations), and co-founder of Gay Comedy Jam passed away on March 14th. The silence was deafening for one writer, who went on to intersperse pithy fury with honest admiration in an unforgettable mix of eulogy, obituary, and media rant. [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Mar 22, 2013 - 6 comments

Goodnight, Bebo

Bebo Valdes has passed away. A giant of Cuban music, he was a "big man whose music revealed a huge heart." He famously worked with Nat King Cole, and also handed down his musical chops to son Chucho, who would become one of the founding members of the band Irakere. There are some videos inside the fold to allow us to celebrate Bebo and his music. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Mar 22, 2013 - 11 comments

The best game you can name

Canada's legendary Stompin' Tom Connors died today at 77.
posted by mightygodking on Mar 6, 2013 - 119 comments

Showtime is over.

RIP Jerry Buss, self-made man, well-liked poker player, and owner of the LA Lakers for 34 years.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 18, 2013 - 11 comments

"Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself."

"He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the City of New York, and he fiercely loved its people. Above all, he loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II." - a self-written epitaph by the former 105th Mayor of New York City: Edward Irving Koch.
"Hizzoner" passed away on Friday morning at the age of 88, and the New York Times City Room blog spent the day collecting and posting stories about him. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 1, 2013 - 53 comments

To tell the story to someone else...

In 1974, Leon Leyson was one of a group of Jews who greeted Oskar Schindler when he visited Los Angeles. It was the first time the two had seen each other since the war. He began to introduce himself, but Schindler interrupted: "I know who you are," Schindler said, grinning at the middle-aged man before him. "You're Little Leyson." On Sunday, the youngest name on Schindler's List passed away at the age of 83. "The truth is, I did not live my life in the shadow of the Holocaust," he told the Portland Oregonian in 1997. "I did not give my children a legacy of fear. I gave them a legacy of freedom." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 14, 2013 - 35 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

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

No more tunes and numbers

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

RIP Эдуард Анатольевич Хиль

Eduard Anatolyevich Khil, aka Mr. Trololo, has died at the age of 77. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Jun 4, 2012 - 50 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

The British Les Paul is no more.

R.I.P. Herbert Maurice William 'Bert' Weedon, OBE
posted by unSane on Apr 20, 2012 - 13 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

"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

Rest in peace, Paul Motian.

Paul Motian (wiki) (myspace) (allaboutjazz), one of the great jazz drummers of our time, is dead at 80. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Nov 22, 2011 - 30 comments

Frances Bay, 1919 - 2011

Character actress Frances Bay has passed away at the age of 92. You may recognize her from Happy Gilmore, the work of David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart) and Seinfeld.
posted by brundlefly on Sep 17, 2011 - 17 comments

Let's get the chicks and kick it. Tony?

Arthur Laurents (wiki), writer of the libretti for West Side Story and Gypsy, among many other things, has died at the age of 93. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on May 6, 2011 - 15 comments

| | | | | |

/ / R | | P \ \ for the recently departed John McCracken (1934 – 2011), a West Coast artist who brought a New Age openness to Minimalist sculpture, along with a vocabulary of bright, sleek slabs, blocks and columns that balanced teasingly between painting and sculpture. [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Apr 11, 2011 - 5 comments

I am a stand-up comic. Before that, I was a drug counselor. Before that, I was a drug addict. Before that, I was 12.

Comedian Mike DeStefano has died of a heart attack at 44. DeStefano told wrenching tales from his life as a recovering drug addict, like the MOTH monologue in the title link, which begins with a very bad day he had while caring for his wife as she was dying of AIDS (NSFW language). [more inside]
posted by itstheclamsname on Mar 8, 2011 - 24 comments

"I didn't think it would be me."

R.I.P., Frank Buckles, last American World War I veteran, who just passed away at 110 years old. Previously.
posted by bwg on Feb 28, 2011 - 51 comments

RIP, Candy Licker

"The "chitlin' circuit" sounds like something that's gone, and with good reason. After all, the name itself derives from the "soul food" of chitterlings (fried pig intestines) that was a staple at early performances. But from CC Blues Club on Thomas Street to the Cannon Center downtown, thousands of Memphis music fans flock to hear stars like Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush sing what's too risqué for radio play, and to watch dancers shake what's too big for TV. That's both the beauty of the chitlin' circuit and the reason for its survival. While its roots run back to racial segregation, it thrives today because performers give audiences what they can't get through mainstream media. It's called "grown folks music," and it's all in the name of the blues."
Soul-blues singer Marvin Sease has died at age 64. Here's a comprehensive playlist of his (sexually-explicit/NSFW) songs on YouTube, including the one that never received any radio airplay but whose title the former gospel singer took as his professional nickname: Candy Licker [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 9, 2011 - 15 comments

Over the Hills and Far Away

Guitarist Gary Moore, former member of Thin Lizzy and accomplished solo artist, passed away today at the age of 58. [more inside]
posted by Askiba on Feb 6, 2011 - 37 comments

Charlie Louvin 1927 - 2011

Country music legend Charlie Louvin has passed on. Charlie rose to fame with his brother Ira as the Louvin Brothers, whose career was cut short by Ira's death by automobile accident in 1965. Charlie continued to record and perform solo, and though his popularity never quite reached the heights that it did with his brother he retained a loyal fanbase until the very end. [more inside]
posted by item on Jan 26, 2011 - 32 comments

His camera became a political voice for the forgotten ones.

"All my life I’ve focused on the poor. The rich ones have their own photographers."
Social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin's 'life was about seeing. In the literal sense, he was an optometrist. In a more figurative sense, through the lens of his camera, he saw things and people that were often ignored — the poor, the oppressed, the "forgotten ones," as he called them.' "A librarian in Buffalo's Communist Party, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957, and was named "Buffalo's Top Red" in the Buffalo Evening News. Losing business and facing intense social persecution, Rogovin turned to photography in order to create images that conveyed his desire for a more equal and just society, and to give voice to others who were persecuted, who were invisible to most." Mr. Rogovin died on January 18th at his home in Buffalo at the age of 101. Previously on Metafilter [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 21, 2011 - 9 comments

Roland Kayn 1933 - 2011

On January 5th, 2011 largely unknown modern composer, and pioneer of long format compositions on early computer systems Roland Kayn "... left this world today from his home". [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Jan 21, 2011 - 8 comments

RIP Kihachirō Kawamoto

On August 23rd, the great Japanese stop-motion animator and president of the Japan Animation Association Kihachirō Kawamoto passed away at the age of 85. Here is a selection of his beautiful short films (available on DVD) __ Farce Anthropo - Cynique (1970) - The Demon (1972) [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Sep 22, 2010 - 6 comments

R.I.P. Arnol'd

The great[pdf] Russian mathematican Vladimir Igorevich Arnol'd, foremost modern practitioner of classical mechanics, influential teacher, namesake of a minor planet, and semi-nude cross-country skier has died.
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 11, 2010 - 10 comments

Lynn Redgrave Passes Away

After the actress Lynn Redgrave learned she had breast cancer in December 2002, she chose to undergo surgery, followed by a half-year regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. She also asked her daughter Annabel Clark, then a photography student at Parsons School of Design, if she would photograph the course of treatment and recovery. [One photo maybe NSFW]
Sadly, after battling the disease for more than seven years, the Oscar and Tony-nominated actress passed away yesterday at the age of 67. Her official site. Some Slideshow Galleries. BBC Report. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 3, 2010 - 36 comments

Beloved Herring Maven, RIP

Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Mr. Ira Stadlen (Stage name: "Captain" Allen Swift) has passed away at the age of 87. Throughout his career, Mr. Stadler voiced characters in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, as well as cartoons such as Underdog, Tom and Jerry and Diver Dan, but some might remember him most as the man who saved Howdy Doody. His nephew has posted a remembrance on his blog, which includes a link to a "novelty 45" mp3 recording of Swift's "Are You Lonesome Tonight." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 28, 2010 - 13 comments

Dede Allen, 1923-2010

Dede Allen, editor of such films as Bonnie and Clyde, Dog Day Afternoon and Night Moves has died at the age of 86.
posted by brundlefly on Apr 19, 2010 - 22 comments

RIP Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren, one of pop's sharpest, most fantastic minds has died at his home in New York, aged 64.
posted by RegMcF on Apr 8, 2010 - 95 comments

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