"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]
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.
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.
Journalist and Detroit techno historian, Dan Sicko passed away Sunday, August 28th from a rare form of eye cancer. [more inside]
"Uncle Frank" of late night TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live has died at 77
On August 12th, pioneering experimental animator Robert Breer passed away at the age of 84. [more inside]
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along the line, you might've heard one of the biggest hits to ever come out of the world of jazz: it was a song originally made famous by Les McCann and Eddie Harris back in 1969, called Compared To What.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.
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.
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]
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]
"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.
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]
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]
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.
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]
RIP Wild Man Fischer (NYTimes link) Only saw him once, opening for the Mothers of Invention.
M.F. Husain, Indian painter, passed away at age 95 in England, on the 9th of June 2011. [more inside]
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."
"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)
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.
Jeff Jones, comic book artist, science fiction and fantasy artist, and former member of The Studio, died today of emphysema and bronchitis. [more inside]
Bill Gallo, longtime NY Daily News Sports Cartoonist, is dead at age 88. If you grew up in the NYC area anytime from the the 50s until this April, you've probably seen one of Gallo's cartoons in the Daily News. Although he covered all sports and their fans, blue collar sports like boxing and baseball were his real love. Gallo was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY as part of the Class of 2001 and some of his work hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. [more inside]
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]
"A ballet dancer needs a mirror to perfect her style, her technique. A singer needs the same -- an aural mirror."In 1950 and '51, Japan’s first reel-to-reel tape recorders, the "G-Type" (for gov't use) and the "H-1" (for home use) were released by a company named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. Music student Norio Ohga was unimpressed by the wobbly sound of "Talking Paper," so he wrote a note complaining to the firm's founders, who hired him. Mr. Ohga never achieved his original dream of becoming a baritone opera singer, but the future President of TTK, (later renamed Sony,) would still make an indelible, global impact on the world of music -- including the development and introduction of the compact disc. Mr. Ohga died on April 24, 2011. [more inside]
Louisiana-born, Texas-based record producer Huey Meaux, the so-called "Crazy Cajun", has died. He was the man behind Barbara Lynn's 1962 hit You'll Lose a Good Thing. Three years later, in a move to cash in on the British Invasion, he created a faux-British rock band called "the Sir Douglas Quintet" around San Antonio-born singer-songwriter Doug Sahm, and produced their hit, She's About a Mover. Meaux also produced Tex-Mex rocker Freddy Fender's bilingual hit Before the Next Teardrop Falls as well as Fender's Wasted Days and Wasted Nights. Sadly, however, Meaux had a very ugly darker side: he was arrested not once but twice on child-sex charges, doing prison time in the late 60s, and an 11-year bid from '96 to '07. Some of the ugly details of this side of his life are detailed in this Houston Press article from 1996, shortly after his arrest, which will pretty much make your skin crawl... Well, so long Huey.
"I said that I wasn't a sex symbol and that if anybody tried to make me one I'd shave my head tomorrow". The rumors have been swirling all day, but sadly appear to be confirmed - Marianne Joan Elliot-Said aka punk legend Poly Styrene has passed away after battling breast cancer. Her new album , Generation Indigo is scheduled to be released today. [more inside]
"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."On Sunday morning, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away. He leaves behind a massive empire, several million mourning devotees worldwide, an extensive religious philosophy, a great deal of controversy and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities, a free university and schools, and other efforts which included supplying clean water to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
Bill Blackbeard, founder of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art, passed away March 10. The Comics Journal calls him "without question or quibble the only absolutely indispensable figure in the history of comics scholarship for the last quarter century." [more inside]
Hazel Dickens, bluegrass and country singer, daughter of West Virginia, half of the singing group Hazel & Alice, and a voice for American miners, died on Friday at a hospice in Washington, D.C. She was 75. [more inside]
Iraq Vet Who Advocated For Others Kills Himself "Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren't alone." - Clay Hunt died March 31 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The article states he had been dealing with "survivors guilt" and frustrated by a difficult disability claim process from wounds received in Iraq.
/ / 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]
I'll never forget the day that I realized that over half of the movies I truly loved were all directed by one guy. To name just a few of his brilliant films: 12 Angry Men, Anderson Tapes, Dog Day Afternoon (NSFW), Serpico and of course, the grand-daddy of conspiracy love stories Network. Sidney Lumet. RIP (prev)
Boat builder, model enthusiast, author, World War 2 veteran, and all-around fascinating character Harold H. "Dynamite" Payson passed away last week at the age of 82. [more inside]
Still the spring winds come and the young girls walk by in their beautiful way. All is never lost. And in the face of eternity, what we consider all and everything is truly nothing
Joe Bageant, influential voice of the silent underclass and cartographer of the American Hologram, has died at 64. Bageant, author of Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War and a prolific essayist known for his humor and irreverent style (shades of Thompson at his most human echo), spent a career reporting the rise and fall of the American working class and documenting the colorful lives of the people therein. [more inside]
Film legend Elizabeth Taylor died today at the age of 79. The two-time Oscar winner, who was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in February for symptoms of heart failure, was reported to be feeling stronger as recently as late February. She celebrated her 79th birthday on February 27th. [more inside]
RIP Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins - "It is with deep sadness that we announce Pinetop Perkins passed away peacefully at home on Monday, March 21, 2011 in Austin, TX at the age of 97." One of the last great Mississippi bluesmen, having played with Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, and for a number of years, the great Muddy Waters. Pinetop & friends at his 95th birthday; Pinetop Perkins with Willie Big Eyed Smith; Muddy Waters with Pinetop Perkins, 1970s [more inside]
Knut, who charmed visitors to the Berlin Zoo as an orphaned cub in 2007, died in his enclosure today in front of a crowd of 600-700 people. Knut was only four years old, as opposed to the typical polar bear lifespan of 15-18 years. Tragedy seems to have followed Knut for his entire brief life: his twin died at only four days old, and the zookeeper who hand-raised him died in 2008. As Knut grew, he stopped being the cute cuddly cub everybody loved; like many zoo animals, his behavior became problematic, and people avoided visiting him. A post-mortem is scheduled for Monday.
Korg founder Tsutomu Katoh has died of cancer. Korg has been an enormously influential maker of electronic musical instruments as well as tools like tuners and metronomes. There has rarely been a time when I've been involved in making music without some sort of Korg gear around. Tsutomu will be missed by many. [more inside]
Agnes Milowka, vivacious and courageous cave diver, was found dead last week in Australia's Tank Cave. [more inside]