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Wisława Szymborska is dead

Wisława Szymborska is dead.
posted by R. Schlock on Feb 1, 2012 - 60 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

Jonathan Keith Idema

"It will probably always be unclear who, exactly, Jonathan Keith Idema really was".
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Jan 26, 2012 - 33 comments

"I need to feel the winter, grey colour to me is the most poetic. It allows me to leave the prison of my imagination, everything that is grey suits me."

Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos has passed away. "[He was] possessed of a singular style that has long divided critics... visually evocative, often beautiful, his films contain long sections with little or no dialogue." In 1995, he won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes for Ulysses' Gaze, and three years later, the Palme D'Or for Eternity and a Day. A career in clips. [more inside]
posted by phaedon on Jan 26, 2012 - 9 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

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

RIP Ronald Searle

Ronald Searle, creator of St. Trinian's, dies at 91.
posted by Ideefixe on Jan 3, 2012 - 36 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

"Philosophy of language is the foundation for all the rest of philosophy"

Eminent analytic philosopher, logician, anti-racist activist, Tarot scholar, and Catholic Sir Michael Dummett has died at 86.
posted by bodywithoutorgans on Dec 29, 2011 - 29 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

To tweet, perchance to dream

The final tweets of some notable people who died this year. Some other final tweets.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 27, 2011 - 31 comments

What next?

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

Eduardo Barreto 1954 – December 15, 2011

Comic book artist Eduardo Barreto, best known for his work on such DC titles as New Teen Titans and various Superman projects, not to mention his work on the Judge Parker newspaper strip, has died at the age of 57. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 16, 2011 - 8 comments

RIP Christopher Hitchens

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

Northern Calloway, Sesame Street's David: 1948 to 1990

Between February 1989 and May 1990, there were three significant deaths in the Sesame Street world. The first was Joe Raposo, a significant musician for Sesame Street and Electric Company. The last was Jim Henson, mourned by Big Bird, remembered by Frank Oz, and celebrated in song by many (from the St. John's Memorial, detailed here). The second person to die in this time period was Northern Calloway, Sesame Street's David. Unlike Joe and Jim, there were no television tribute to Northern's life and career on Sesame Street or Broadway. Instead, David, once a young, cool, urban guy, who was studying to be a lawyer while working at Mr. Hooper's storeand the initial romantic interest of Maria, left the show through a letter, read by Gordon. The story behind David is told below the fold. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 12, 2011 - 25 comments

Jerry Robinson, Batman artist and Joker creator, RIP

Jerry Robinson, Batman artist and creator of the Dark Knight's arch-nemesis The Joker, died yesterday in his sleep at the age of 89. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on Dec 8, 2011 - 21 comments

Christopher Logue, 1926-2011

"Almost everything I do is based on other texts anyway. Without plagiarism, there would be no literature. I'm a rewrite man." The poet Christoper Logue has died, aged 85. Logue had a varied career, at various points serving in the British Army (and being arrested for espionage after a drunken threat to sell secrets), writing pornography under the nom de plume Count Palmiro de Vicarion, recording George Martin-produced, "heroically daft" jazz recitals of the poems of Pablo Neruda (YT) and regularly contributing to the British satirical magazine Private Eye, where he edited Pseuds' Corner, while finding the time to be arrested again, for civil disobedience as part of Bertrand Russell's Committee of 100. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Dec 4, 2011 - 14 comments

Howard Tate, soul man, 1939-2011

The man who lent his wonderfully warm and soaring voice to the rolling soul ballad Get It While You Can, the limber southern funk of Eight Days on the Road, the coolly driving How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark, the mellow soul lilt (with breathtaking falsetto interjections!) of I Learned It All the Hard Way and so many other delightful soul numbers has died. Farewell Howard Tate. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 4, 2011 - 17 comments

Most of his noteworthy accomplishments happened in said middle part

A life well remembered: a quirky obituary endears a Connecticut professor to a new audience
posted by Frank Grimes on Dec 2, 2011 - 20 comments

All Hail King Zog!

Leka I Zogu died November 30, 2011 at the age of 72. When he was less than 48 hours old, Mussolini's troops invaded Albania and drove out his father, King Zog I of Albania, and the rest of the royal family. He spent the rest of his life fleeing invading armies, stockpiling weaponry, trading commodities, attempting coups, returning to Albania (three times), and eventually settling into a quiet life in the very country where he refused to relenquish his claims to the throne. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Dec 2, 2011 - 39 comments

The Little Mole Lives On

Zdeněk Miler, the animator of the beloved Krtek ("Little Mole") animations died today. Conceived in 1954 after stumbling on a mole's burrow on his evening walk, Krtek appeared in about fifty films all drawn by Miler. The first Krtek film ("How Krtek Got His Pants"), originally an educational video about the manufacture of linen, won first prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1957. The Krtek films have been aired in about eighty countries. Miler's young daughters did the uber-cute vocalizations for Krtek, and were the films' test audience as Miler tweaked the films per their suggestions. Here are some perennial favorites: Krtek and the Radio, Krtek and the Green Star, Krtek at Christmas, Krtek and the Robot. Miler, like most film buffs, was surprised that Krtek had remained largely unknown in the United States. "Pretty much the whole world knows Krtek," Mr. Miler said. "America, which is usually first in everything, is last in this. I always look at American history," he said, "and it is a very hard one. People came. They conquered a continent. They suffered hardships, and that hardship is reflected in its movies. I look at children there and think what they are watching is a reflection of that hardness. If you look at America, it is epic. Whereas here, it is more poetic. I feel here there is more lyricism."
posted by Atrahasis on Nov 30, 2011 - 23 comments

"You can’t regret your fate, although I do regret my mother didn’t marry a carpenter."

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]
posted by zarq on Nov 28, 2011 - 39 comments

"To say that this hypothesis was controversial was akin to saying that Napoleon had a bit of a thing about the Russians."

American biologist Lynn Margulis has died. Prolific and determined, Margulis was best known for her development of Endosymbiotic Theory, the now widely-accepted idea that complex cells began as a combination of simpler, prokaryotic ones, and the Gaia Hypothesis, which posited the Earth as a type of living organism. Some of her later ideas, including the claim that HIV is not the cause of AIDS or that caterpillers and butterflies were once separate organisms, received less support, but Endosymbiotic Theory, in the words of Richard Dawkins, remains "one of the great achievements of twentieth-century evolutionary biology."
posted by Tubalcain on Nov 23, 2011 - 32 comments

Anne McCaffrey, 1926-2011

Anne McCaffrey, author of Dragonriders of Pern, the first woman to win a Hugo award, is reported dead.
posted by Zarkonnen on Nov 22, 2011 - 222 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

RIP Gary Garcia

Gary Garcia, half of the musical duo Buckner & Garcia, died on November 17, 2011 at his home in Florida. The duo is best known for their 1982 top ten hit Pac Man Fever. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Nov 20, 2011 - 36 comments

Andy Rooney passed away at the age of 92

Andy Rooney passed away last night at the age of 92. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Nov 5, 2011 - 148 comments

Mister Sports, Mister Action, Mister Jim Ed Poole

Tom Keith, sound effects wizard on A Prairie Home Companion and longtime host of MPR's Morning Show, has died.
posted by mefireader on Oct 31, 2011 - 74 comments

How's about that, then? Now then, now then. Goodness gracious. As it appen's. Guys and gals. Jewelry jewelry... etc

RIP Sir Jimmy Savile, English disc jockey, television presenter and media personality. Quite a personality. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 29, 2011 - 40 comments

RIP Dan Wheldon

Two time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon has died of his injuries after a 15-car crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. [more inside]
posted by Dr. Zira on Oct 16, 2011 - 156 comments

Dennis Ritchie has died

According to breaking news, Dennis Ritchie, inventor of the C programming language, co-author with Brian Kernigham of the famous book on it, and creator with Ken Thompson of the Unix operating system, has died. [more inside]
posted by grimjeer on Oct 12, 2011 - 242 comments

Now Robert Buckman, there's an atheist I could never get tired of hearing from!

Robert Buckman, Oncologist, Comedian, Good Without God, died this weekend at age 63.
posted by Chuckles on Oct 11, 2011 - 15 comments

R.I.P. Professor Derrick Bell

Derrick Bell, Law Professor and Civil Rights Advocate, dies at 80. Bell was a pioneer of critical race theory and the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School. Bell was also a lover of gospel music, and hosted an annual gospel choir concert.
posted by likeatoaster on Oct 6, 2011 - 25 comments

Charles Napier, 1936-2011

Thank you Charles Napier, 1936-2011
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Oct 6, 2011 - 31 comments

Steve Jobs, RIP

According to a press release issued by Apple, co-founder Steve Jobs has passed away.
posted by ancillary on Oct 5, 2011 - 1524 comments

"I tried to get killed in Birmingham and go home to God because I knew it would be better for you in Birmingham"

Civil Rights leader Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth passed away this morning at the age of 89. [more inside]
posted by ndfine on Oct 5, 2011 - 31 comments

All This Remains

Folk guitar legend Bert Jansch has passed away aged 67. [more inside]
posted by motty on Oct 5, 2011 - 47 comments

Tiger Pataudi

Mansoor 'Tiger' Ali Khan, erstwhile Indian cricket captain, has died. His legacy evokes a previous era in Indian history: a last-generation Royal blinded in one eye as a young man, he captained the Oxford then the Indian teams (his father had played for Oxford and England before captaining India), and married movie actress Sharmila Tagore with whom he had children who went on to become movie stars themselves. Some memories of a man known for his cricketing skill, style and charisma.
posted by the mad poster! on Sep 22, 2011 - 20 comments

RIP, Bert Winthrop, Space Artist

NASA artist Herbert "Bert" Winthrop, has died at 95. [more inside]
posted by Ideefixe on Sep 18, 2011 - 9 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

Reaper, Reaper

Richard Hamilton, early pop artist, has died age 89. [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Sep 13, 2011 - 12 comments

Techno Journalist Dan Sicko Passed Away

Journalist and Detroit techno historian, Dan Sicko passed away Sunday, August 28th from a rare form of eye cancer. [more inside]
posted by p3t3 on Aug 29, 2011 - 14 comments

Jimmy Kimmel's Uncle Frank had died

"Uncle Frank" of late night TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live has died at 77
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Aug 23, 2011 - 9 comments

Jack Layton has passed away

Jack Layton has passed away after a long battle with cancer. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Aug 22, 2011 - 389 comments

Robert Breer, 1926-2011

On August 12th, pioneering experimental animator Robert Breer passed away at the age of 84. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Aug 19, 2011 - 5 comments

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