exordia

"By writing or reading obituaries, we can discover ways to make our time on earth more worthwhile, more productive, more meaningful to others."
Alana Baranick, "Life on the Death Beat"


"'I always read the obituaries in The Times,' I explained to her. 'They make me bloody glad to be alive.'"
John Mortimer, "Rumpole's Return"

David Randolph, aka David Rosenberg


Choral master led the best "Messiah"s in New York for decades -- via the New York Times

Rosa Rio


This talented organist began playing for silent movies at the age of nine -- in 1911! When the sound era arrived in 1927, she made the transition to network radio, working there for 22 years on such shows as "The Shadow," "Front Page Farrell" and Bob and Ray. Then she moved to TV, working in programs such as the Today Show, as well as numerous soap operas. In the end, she went back to her beginnings, accompanying silent film both live and for video release. WOW! The definition of an entertainment survivor! She was 107 years old.

UPDATE: Here's the New York Times obituary, which contains more information, including the fact that she accompanied Mary Martin when that performer successfully auditioned for Cole Porter . . . and a very funny anecdote about live radio, a studio audience and undressing . . .

Phyllis Douglas aka Phyllis Hodges Boyce


Erstwhile actress played little Bonnie Blue Butler in "Gone With the Wind" and grew up to play roles in camp classics such as the original "Star Trek," "Batman" . . . and "Atlantis, the Lost Continent"! Via the Palm Springs Desert Sun

Guy Adkins


Beloved Chicago actor who died young -- via the Chicago Sun-Times

Dave Fisher


Singer was driving force behind urban folk group the Highwaymen -- via the New York Times

Miguel Delibes


Spanish novelist -- via the Independent

Jadin Wong


Pioneering Asian performer -- via the San Francisco Chronicle

Stefanos Lazaridis


Brilliant stage designer -- via the Times of London

Doris Eaton Travis


Last of the Ziegfield girls -- via the New York Times

Andor Lilienthal


Last original chess grandmaster -- via the New York Times

Mac Mohan

Indian actor best known for villainous film roles -- via the Times of London

Adele Mara, aka Adelaide Delgado


Actress, singer, dancer and WWII pin-up queen -- via the L.A. Times

William Lubtchansky


Cinematographer worked with Truffaut, Godard, Lanzmann, Rivette and others -- via the New York Times

Dustin Shuler


Artist best known for his "Spindle" sculpture -- via the Chicago Sun-Times

Francisco Aguabella


Percussionist played in all manner of genres -- via the L.A. Times

Frank Frazetta


Fantasy illustrator par excellence -- via the New York Times

Lena Horne


One of the 20th century's greatest singers; this performer overcame race prejudice to score success as an actress as well. Her activism and sheer bravery makes her one of the most remarkable beacons of light we have seen. Via the New York Times. Among the songs she made uniquely hers: "The Man I Love," "the Lady is a Tramp," and "Stormy Weather" --