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"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

Eugene McDaniels, RIP

Somewhere along the line, you might've heard one of the biggest hits to ever come out of the world of jazz: it was a song originally made famous by Les McCann and Eddie Harris back in 1969, called Compared To What. If you were in the right place at the right time, you might've even caught them doing it live. Or, if you were born a little too late for all that, you might've heard the song performed by John Legend and the Roots. Well, the man who wrote the song, Gene McDaniels, has just left us at age 76. RIP Gene McDaniels.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 2, 2011 - 25 comments

Frank Bender and the "team of experts whose consultative skills and talents are always free"

When forensic sculptor Frank Bender, Esquire's Man of the Month in April 2004, died this week the world mourned one of the foremost skull-to-face recreationists. What fewer people knew was that his passing created an opening in The Vidocq Society a members-only crime-solving organization he co-founded in 1990, dedicated to working on long-unsolved murders. Membership is limited to 82 members, one for each year of Inspector Vidocq's life. The organization does have a newsletter available online and guests and associates sometimes tag along to their monthly luncheons, Cuisine & Crime Solving.
posted by jessamyn on Jul 31, 2011 - 18 comments

Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)

Amy Jade Winehouse was found dead in her London home at the age of 27. CNN and BBC are providing breaking coverage of the story. The powerful British soul and R & B singer had a history of struggling with drugs and alcohol. [more inside]
posted by KillaSeal on Jul 23, 2011 - 322 comments

The Way Of All Flesh

British figurative painter Lucian Freud, whose uncompromising, fleshy portraits made him one of the world's most revered and coveted artists, has died aged 88. Tate Gallery Google image search. [NSFWish]
posted by chavenet on Jul 21, 2011 - 42 comments

‘Ike ‘ia no ka loea i ke kuahu

"I knew that by assembling seven different people and forcing them to live together, the show would have great philosophical implications". Television genius Sherwood Schwartz, dies at 94.
posted by mazola on Jul 12, 2011 - 81 comments

Another Gladiator Gone

American football player John Mackey has died at 69. Mackey, who scored a 75-yard touchdown for the Baltimore Colts in their victory in 1971's Super Bowl V, suffered from dementia. His wife Sylvia petitioned the NFL to create the 88 Plan, a program that pays for health care for NFL veterans with dementia. By 2007, Mackey, then 65, could not recognize former teammate Ralph Wenzel or distinguish coffee from soup. When the 88 Plan (so-named after Mackey's jersey number) was implemented in 2006, the NFL maintained that the plan, and the 97 players who then qualified for its assistance, "doesn't imply any link between football and brain damage". [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Jul 7, 2011 - 45 comments

Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen 1912-2011

Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen, son of Charles, last monarch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, died on July 4 at the age of 98. [more inside]
posted by dhens on Jul 5, 2011 - 24 comments

Cy Twombly, 1928-2011

Born in Lexington, Virginia in 1928, friends with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, and victim of art vandalism, artist Cy Twombly died today . Some of his works can be seen here and here.
posted by TedW on Jul 5, 2011 - 71 comments

Comic Book Artist Gene Colan RIP

Comic book artist Gene Colan died on June 23, 2011. Colan began his comic book career in 1944, and after service in WWII went on to illustrate a wide range of comic book characters for both Marvel and DC. The artist might be best known for his 70 issue run in Marvel's Tomb of Dracula in the 1970's. Colan's lush moody style was also well-suited to Batman, as evidenced by his work on Batman and Detective Comics in the 1980's. Other titles and characters associated with Colan include Howard the Duck, Daredevil (including an 81 issue run from 1966-1973), Doctor Strange, and Captain America. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on Jun 24, 2011 - 26 comments

'Jackass' Star Ryan Dunn Dead in Car Crash

'Jackass' star Ryan Dunn has died at age 34 from injuries sustained in a car crash .
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo on Jun 20, 2011 - 269 comments

when the change was made uptown and the big man joined the band

King of the World, Master of the Universe: Rest in peace, Clarence Clemons. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jun 18, 2011 - 144 comments

Outsider Even By Outsider Standards.

RIP Wild Man Fischer (NYTimes link) Only saw him once, opening for the Mothers of Invention.
posted by Danf on Jun 18, 2011 - 35 comments

"India's Picasso"

M.F. Husain, Indian painter, passed away at age 95 in England, on the 9th of June 2011. [more inside]
posted by bardophile on Jun 11, 2011 - 7 comments

A Time to Keep Silence

Writer, traveler, and kidnapper of Nazi generals, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor -- Paddy to friends and fans -- is dead at 96. A silver lining: his biographer Artemis Cooper reports that the long-awaited final installment of his trilogy recounting a year-long walk across Europe as a young man in the 1930s, "has existed for some time, and will be published in due course."
posted by villanelles at dawn on Jun 10, 2011 - 41 comments

Jorge Semprun has died.

Jorge Semprun, author, resistance fighter, Holocaust survivor, has died.
posted by OmieWise on Jun 10, 2011 - 5 comments

Falling Comet

"In 1955 "Rock Around the Clock" went to the top of the charts and turned Bill Haley into the king of rock and roll. Twenty-five years later, he was holed up in a pool house in Harlingen, TX, drunk, lonely, paranoid, and dying. After three decades of silence, his widow and his children tell the story of his years in Texas and his sad final days." (Via)
posted by zarq on May 25, 2011 - 34 comments

Huguette Clark dies, many questions remain

The reclusive 104-year-old heiress has died, but the recent public fascination with her has led to an investigation into the handling of her money. You may remember last year's MeFi post dedicated to Huguette Clark. The hospital in which she lived for the past 22 years confirmed that she died Tuesday morning, just shy of her 105th birthday. The investigation of the people handling her fortune continues.
posted by lily_bart on May 24, 2011 - 12 comments

Jeff Jones RIP

Jeff Jones, comic book artist, science fiction and fantasy artist, and former member of The Studio, died today of emphysema and bronchitis. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on May 19, 2011 - 31 comments

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