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Static at Rest: RIP Dwayne McDuffie

Dwayne McDuffie has died. If you recognize the name, odds are you already know his resume, but here goes: founder of Milestone Media, creator of Static, executive producer of Justice League Unlimited, writer of many comics and perhaps the most visible advocate of minority engagement in comic books. Details are non-existent at this point, but McDuffie was said to appear healthy and happy within the last week at appearances for the just-released All-Star Superman DVD.
posted by Etrigan on Feb 22, 2011 - 62 comments

Kenneth Mars RIP

Perhaps you remember him as the esteemed author of sure-fire flop Springtime for Hitler, or as an inspector with an artificial arm in Young Frankenstein, or maybe even for his impersonation of Henry Kissinger singing Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Takin' Care of Business ( I must hear this. I must.) Maybe you don't remember him at all, as he was a prolific voice actor and character actor. A That Guy. But if you do remember him, you probably remember him making you laugh really, really hard, which is a wonderful thing to be remembered for. I am sad to report that Kenneth Mars passed away on Saturday, February 12th, from pancreatic cancer.
posted by louche mustachio on Feb 14, 2011 - 45 comments

The silence of his departure

Jazz piano great Sir George Shearing has died at 91. [more inside]
posted by Bromius on Feb 14, 2011 - 27 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

farewell, Totico

Eugenio Arango, better known as Totico, a Cuban-born percussionist and singer who was one of the most celebrated figures in the drumming, dancing and singing culture of New York rumba, died on Jan. 21 in the Bronx, where he lived. He was 76.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 8, 2011 - 4 comments

"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." RIP Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation

"Kenneth Olsen, the computer industry pioneer who co-founded and led minicomputer king Digital Equipment Corp. for 35 years, died at the age of 84 on Sunday in Indianapolis." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Feb 8, 2011 - 28 comments

Houston loved her for it

"I never was one to like to be intimidated. So I just take it off the table. If it's not on the table they can't use it." Charlie, not a man for small gestures, took his secret off the table and put it on the front page of the Houston Post, whose October 7, 1988, edition carried the headline "Transvestite Now Claims Probe Linked to Lifestyle" and a color photograph of McGuire in full drag. [more inside]
posted by rtha on Feb 7, 2011 - 24 comments

Beyond the Pyramids, the Square

Egyptian artist and musician Ahmed Basiony died on January 28 from asphyxiation while participating in the popular uprising. 100radiostation.com has been playing his music continuously ever since. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Feb 7, 2011 - 13 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

RIP Milton Babbitt

Milton Babbitt, the quintessential american academic composer, died Saturday. Whatever you think of his music, he was one of the most significant composers of new music in the second half of the twentieth century. [more inside]
posted by MisterMo on Jan 31, 2011 - 23 comments

Gladys Horton, Marvelette, RIP

Gladys Horton, a founding member of the pioneering (yet undervalued by Berry Gordy and Motown) girl group The Marvelettes, who sang lead on their 1961 classic Please Mr. Postman has passed on. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 27, 2011 - 19 comments

"He died like he lived: Plans in the works for a boat trip to Cuba the following week, a novel in progress, and $4.44 in his bank account."

Poppa Neutrino (born William David Pearlman) (previously) has died at 77. (His daughter's obituary for him excerpted here). [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Jan 26, 2011 - 14 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 Trish Keenan

Trish Keenan, vocalist for the group Broadcast, has passed away after contracting H1N1 and pneumonia. [more inside]
posted by Dr-Baa on Jan 14, 2011 - 76 comments

RIP Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman passed away today. She was the most well known and influential composer of Jewish music and litergy in the United States. The Jerusalem Post says that "Friedman’s music is performed in synagogues around the world more than that of any other modern composer." Her most well known song is a setting of Mi Shebeirach, a prayer for healing.
posted by kdern on Jan 9, 2011 - 24 comments

Interesting profile of a unique person who somehow negotiated a life that fitted them in this world.

Transgender lawyer killed under tube train in London last year bravely created her own life.
posted by maiamaia on Jan 9, 2011 - 37 comments

Bobby Farrell is no more

One of the 'Dutch' (actually from Aruba and the band from Germany) most prided disco icons, Bobby Farrell, frontman of Boney M., passed away in st. Petersburg. A Crazy Dancer who arguably never got any real money for his success which was the story for this commercial. Most recent appearance of Boney M., a creation of Frank Farian (previously) was probably Ma Baker's sample in Lady GaGa's Pokerface.
posted by stFire on Dec 30, 2010 - 24 comments

Clifford Doerksen

19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.
So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 29, 2010 - 73 comments

We are those lions

Jayaben Desai passes away. Ms. Desai came to national prominence in the UK for her leading role in the 1976-78 strike at Grunwick Processing's photo processing labs in North London, a dispute that shattered stereotypes about south Asian women workers in Britain, in the face of police violence, the antics of the McWhirter brothers and ambiguous support from the official trade union movement. [more inside]
posted by Abiezer on Dec 28, 2010 - 5 comments

He counted them all out...

BBC Correspondent Brian Hanrahan, who rose to fame during his coverage of the Falklands Conflict in 1982, has died at the age of 61. [more inside]
posted by penguin pie on Dec 20, 2010 - 10 comments

Being thrown out of this place is significantly better than being thrown out of a leper colony.

Director Blake Edwards, Dies at 88. A prolific writer and director, honorary Oscar recipient, and husband to Julie Andrews, Edwards died of complications from Pnuemonia. He was the director of such classics as Days of Wine and Roses, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Victor/Victoria and, of course, the Pink Panther film series. Does your dog bite?
posted by Joey Michaels on Dec 16, 2010 - 57 comments

You've got to end this war in Afghanistan.

A top-ranking American diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, dies. [more inside]
posted by mooselini on Dec 14, 2010 - 40 comments

Enrique Morente, gigante de flamenco, fallece a 67

Enrique Morente, a controversial, influential giant among flamenco singer-songwriters, died today in the Madrid clinic La Luz, where he had been in an induced coma for the last several days. He was said to have been suffering from stomach cancer, and last week had entered the hospital for surgical intervention for hemorrhaging. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Dec 13, 2010 - 4 comments

"When a politician cheats, his betrayed wife often suffers in silence."

Elizabeth Edwards has died of breast cancer. She was an attorney, author, and advocate for same-sex marriage rights. [more inside]
posted by saturday_morning on Dec 7, 2010 - 162 comments

Resting, missed the final note, but you hear the part. (4, 2, 5)

Frank W. Lewis, longtime cryptic crossword setter for The Nation, passed away on Nov. 18 at the age of 98. Although best known for his puzzles, of which he set nearly 3000 over sixty years, Lewis also had a distinguished career with the War Department. His work on the team deciphering Japanese shipping codes during World War II led to awards for Exceptional Civilian Service, Outstanding Civilian Service, and Bletchley Park Service. [more inside]
posted by ecurtz on Dec 5, 2010 - 16 comments

Elaine Kaufman (1929-2010)

Elaine Kaufman, who became something of a symbol of New York as the salty den mother of Elaine’s, one of the city’s best-known restaurants and a second home for almost half a century to a bevy of writers, actors, athletes and other celebrities, died Friday in Manhattan. She was 81.
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 3, 2010 - 21 comments

Everybody dies

Sam Cohen, Father of the Neutron Bomb RIP. Remembered by many for his influence on Alex Cox's movie, Repo Man. He wrote an interesting autobiography. It was initially published on the web but now has become a rare book. [more inside]
posted by warbaby on Dec 2, 2010 - 28 comments

Irvin Kershner, 1923-2010

Irvin Kershner isn't a household name. Often incorrectly billed as Irving, Ervin, or Irwin, the director's filmography includes such films as the uninspiring sequel Robocop 2, the subpar "unofficial" James Bond film Never Say Never Again, and The Luck of Ginger Coffey, which, according to Kershner's site has in recent years become a cult film, but whose cult status is hardly evident elsewhere on the internet. So why should we care that Irvin Kershner has just died at age 78? Kershner directed the best of the Star Wars movies, and one of the best "second act" films ever, The Empire Strikes Back. Just before he died, Kershner spoke with Vanity Fair about the film, 30 years after its release in 1980.
posted by ocherdraco on Nov 29, 2010 - 64 comments

Break Out The Rye Bread, Heaven.

Dave Niehaus, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Seattle Mariners, has passed away at the age of 75. [more inside]
posted by The Hamms Bear on Nov 10, 2010 - 35 comments

“If you don’t like him, you don’t like ice cream.”

Legendary baseball manager George "Sparky" Anderson dead at 76. Ernie Harwell on Sparky. Interview on Santa Clarita community access. "Mr. President, I know you love those Cubs, but if you knew these Tigers, you'd love 'em more. Hall of Fame entry. He was a crummy player, though. Remembering Anderson's class. STAY CLASSY, SPARKY! The End of a Sparkling Life.
posted by klangklangston on Nov 4, 2010 - 54 comments

From Shakespeare To The Sitcom

Graham Crowden, character actor, has died at 87 after a 52 year career on stage, television, and film. In the United States he may be best known for playing the whimsical Tom Ballard alongside Stephanie Cole's cynical Diana in the BBC series Waiting for God, often shown on PBS. Born in Edinburgh in 1922, he had a distinguished career on stage, particularly at Olivier's National Theatre, undertaking (among other roles) The Player King in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In 1974, citing an inability to commit to a single role, he turned down the part of the Fourth Doctor, which eventually went to his friend Tom Baker. A few years later, in 1977, he played in Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky. He had another star turn on television in a previous BBC series, A Very Peculiar Practice, as the physician Jock McCannon. His last role was in 2008 in an episode of Foyle's War, "Broken Souls." Said his agent Sue Grantley to the BBC, "We will all miss him enormously."
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy on Oct 30, 2010 - 23 comments

Sad To Know (You're Leaving)

Reggae legend Gregory Isaacs has died after a battle with cancer. [more inside]
posted by analogue on Oct 25, 2010 - 42 comments

z^2 + c

Nassim Nicholas Taleb states on his website and Facebook account that his occasional collaborator (and fractal pioneer/popularizer) Benoit Mandelbrot has died.
posted by Jpfed on Oct 15, 2010 - 112 comments

RIP Hermann Scheer (1944-2010)

Hermann Scheer - long-serving German parliamentarian, "Europe's Al Gore," father of the feed-in tariff, and perhaps the most important green politician of our time - died yesterday at the age of 66. [more inside]
posted by gompa on Oct 15, 2010 - 8 comments

Joan Sutherland (1926-2010)

Dame Joan Sutherland has died at the age of 83. One of the most remarkable female opera singers of the 20th century, she was dubbed La Stupenda by a La Fenice audience in 1960 after a performance as Alcina. She possessed a voice of beauty and power, combining extraordinary agility, accurate intonation, "pin point staccatos, a splendid trill and a tremendous upper register, although music critics often complained about the imprecision of her diction. Her friend Luciano Pavarotti once called Sutherland the "Voice of the Century", while Montserrat Caballé described the Australian's voice as being like "heaven".
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 11, 2010 - 16 comments

"You don't believe in God? Really?" Then I took out my pistol, and shot him.

The trick is to give without looking to receive - to give of yourself to your family, your friends, your community, and the world community with love. The King of Rock and Soul Solomon Burke, Archbishop of the House of God For All People and member of the Hall of Fame died on a plane (2) after arriving in Amsterdam. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Oct 10, 2010 - 47 comments

Some like a defiant one.

Tony Curtis, Hollywood Legend, Navy Man, star of The Defiant Ones, Some Like It Hot and The Great Race, has passed away. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman on Sep 30, 2010 - 76 comments

Arthur Penn (1922-2010)

Arthur Penn, the director of Bonnie and Clyde, Little Big Man, The Miracle Worker, and Night Moves, has died of congestive heart failure one day after his 88th birthday.
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 29, 2010 - 34 comments

Eddie Fisher RIP

Princess Leia's dad died l Carrie's tweet l Eddie Fisher RIP l [He] became one of the last great young crooners of the pre-rock and roll period, with 35 of his recordings reaching the Top 40 through the end of the decade l His career as a pop singer was overshadowed by his marriages to Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor l When Eddie Fisher was with Debbie Reynolds. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 24, 2010 - 38 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

The Lady Was a Spy

Eileen Nearne was found dead in her flat in Torquay on September 2, apparently alone and forgotten. But it turns out, she was neither.
posted by CheeseLouise on Sep 15, 2010 - 18 comments

From Grunge to Baroque via Hell

Photographer Corrine Day has died. She is probably best known for nurturing the early career of Kate Moss [nsfw]. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Sep 1, 2010 - 24 comments

Satoshi Kon, director of Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress, dead at 47

Satoshi Kon, the director of such celebrated anime movies as Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Paprika, has died (reportedly of cancer) at the age of 47. Kon's movies dealt with the slipperiness of the boundaries between performance and reality, truth and illusion. His death leaves the status of his next movie, The Dream Machine (Yume miru kikai), in doubt. As outsourcing and a long recession have taken their toll on Japan's increasingly insular anime industry, David Cabrera notes, I cannot think of a single person alive in the Japanese animation industry who would have been a greater loss than Mr. Kon.
posted by Jeanne on Aug 24, 2010 - 99 comments

Off-road crash victim hailed as hero

8 poeple died on Saturday, August 14th when an off-road truck race driver accidentally veered into the crowd of spectators in California's Mojave Desert. Andrew Therrien , 22, was there and pushed three people out of the way when the truck jumped off course, saving their lives. One of them was his three-year-old daughter. Therrien was killed instantly.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo on Aug 16, 2010 - 76 comments

You'll Be Missed, Ms. Lincoln

Not just a singer, but a songwriter. Not just an actress, but an activist. Abbey Lincoln helped to push the expectations that the jazz loving public had of jazz vocalists beyond the stereotype of sexy chanteuse delivering someone else's lyrics. From sexy and sultry (as in this clip from "The Girl Can't Help It") to quirky and passionate to elegant and expressive, Ms. Lincoln was a true original in every sense of the word. [more inside]
posted by jeanmari on Aug 14, 2010 - 21 comments

A rat race is for rats. We're not rats. We're human beings.

Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders famous work-in, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech (behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address [more inside]
posted by Len on Aug 11, 2010 - 40 comments

Tony Judt has passed

Historian Tony Judt has passed away at the age of 62. Suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Judt had recently published Ill Fares the Land, a call for the US to adopt social democratic policies. [more inside]
posted by dhens on Aug 7, 2010 - 60 comments

VQR editor takes his own life

Heartbreaking news for people who care about reading. Founded in 1925, the Virginia Quarterly Review has become the standard-bearer for long-form narrative journalism - "the sort of articles that make readers want to become writers." "The Life and Lonely Death of Noah Pierce" is a great example of what this kind of writing can achieve, but it's not the only one. The essential Bookslut has called the VQR "the best fucking magazine on the planet right now." Last week Mefi's own Waldo made the blog post we all dread having to make. His friend and boss, the VQR's genius editor Kevin Morrissey made his will, left his affairs in order, called the police to report a shooting that had not yet happened, and took his own life. Previously on the blue.
posted by rdc on Aug 2, 2010 - 53 comments

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