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"

Roderick Mann

Entertainment journalist -- via the L.A. Times

Dodge Morgan

First American to circumnavigate the globe solo -- via the New York Times

Eileen Nearne

An intelligence agent and radio operator in occupied France. She survived capture and torture by the Gestapo, and imprisonment in concentration camps. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre. A woman who risked her life, and sacrificed her mental well-being, in the Allied cause in World War II. Via the Telegraph

'As the World Turns'

54-year-old CBS soap opera, which broadcast its last episode today -- via Yahoo News. A brief blast from the New York Times about it as well. Irna Phillips, who is credited with creating the soap opera genre on radio in 1932, and who died in 1973, helped create this series. Only one of her creations, "Days of Our Lives," remains on the broadcast menu.

Can you name the three honored actors in this "As the World Turns" scene?

Caterina Boratto

Italian actress in film and television -- via Leggo.it. She can be seen in "Juliet of the Spirits" (above), "8 1/2," "Castle Keep" and "Salo." She worked between 1937 and 1993 -- quite a long career!

Beatrice Sinclair

Hotelier whose venue became the inspiration for "Fawlty Towers" -- via the Telegraph

Jack Shelley

Long-time Iowa journalist and broadcaster -- via the Des Moines Register

Arrow aka Alphonsus Cassell

Noted soca singer -- via Stabroek News. Soca is an acronym for soul calypso -- a fusion of lyrical calypso with an insistent, oftern electronic, beat. His biggest hit was "Hot, Hot, Hot."

Don Lang

Infielder for the Reds and the Cardinals -- via Jack Morris, Bill Schenley, alt.obits at google and the Ventura County Star. At the time of his death, one of the oldest living former major leaguers.

Al LaMacchia

Pitcher for the Browns and Senators (OK, and a noted baseball scout for decades afterward) -- via the L.A. Times

James E. Winner Jr.

Inventor and businessman best known as the creator of car-security device "The Club" -- via Business Journal
Daily

Gary Corry

Radio writer and promotions director who created a vibrant, humorous alter ego, 'Red Neckseron' -- via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Edwin Newman

An excellent journalist and broadcaster, and a witty and erudite expert on the English language -- via the New York Times

Mark Gordon

Chicago actor was a key part of the improvisational scene -- via the Hollywood Reporter. He can be seen in several early Woody Allen films.

Jouko Lehtola

Finnish rock photographer -- via yle.fi

Gunnar Hoffsten

Swedish jazz trumpeter and composer -- via Corren.se

Barbara Holland

Writer and essayist who gained greatest acclaim for her defense of smoking, drinking and other hedonisms -- via the New York Times.

Michael Dennsion

Costume designer -- via the Hollywood Reporter

Jaroslaw Kukulski


Songwriter -- via thenews.pl

Gus Williams

Aboriginal singer -- via ABC News

Charles Ansbacher

Orchestra conductor -- via the Boston Globe

E.C. Tubb

Prolific science-fiction author -- via the British Science Fiction Association. His output is prodigious -- more than 140 novels and more than 230 short stories and novellas. Here's one list of his pen names --
Chuck Adams, Stuart Allen, Anthony Armstrong, Ted Bain, Alice Beecham, Anthony Blake, L. T. Bronson, Raymond L. Burton, Julian Carey, Morley Carpenter, Judy Cary, Julian Cary, J. F. Clarkson, Norman Dale, Robert D. Ennis, James Evans, James Farrow, James R. Fenner, R. H. Godfrey, Charles S. Graham, Charles Grey, Volsted Gridban, Alan Guthrie, D. W. R. Hill, George Holt, Gill Hunt, Alan Innes, E. F. Jackson, Gordon Kent, Gregory Kern, King Lang, Mike Lantry, P. Lawrence, Chet Lawson, Nigel Lloyd, Robert Lloyd, Frank T. Lomas, Ron Lowman, Arthur Maclean, Carl Maddox, Philip Martyn, John Mason, Carl Moulton, L. C. Powers, M. L. Powers, Edward Richards, Paul Schofield, John Seabright, Brian Shaw, Roy Sheldon, John Stevens, Eric Storm, Andrew Sutton, Edward Thomson, Ken Wainwright, Frank Weight, Douglas West, Eric Wilding and Frank Winnard.

Harold Gould ak Harold V. Goldstein

Memorable actor of stage and screen -- via the Washington Post

Safah Abdul Hameed

Iraqi TV journalist -- via the BBC.

Ronald W. Walters

Political analyst and scholar -- via AP.

Alberto Graves Chakussanga

Angolan journalist and broadcaster -- via Committee to Protect Journalists

Ludvig Eikaas

Norwegian artist -- via Dagbladet.no.

Lewis Nkosi

Author, journalist and critic -- via Times Live

Swarnalatha

Award-winning film playback singer -- via thebollywoodactress.com.

FYI: a playback singer is one who pre-records songs for use in Bollywood films. While Hollywood, etc. has come to rely on post-dubbing of singing voices for those of film actors not quite up to stuff, in Bollywood the recorded songs are played back, and mimed and lip-synched to, by the actors in a given shot.

Peter Gubser

Scholar, author and humanitarian -- via the Washington Post

Susan Kerchmar

Cafe owner with a remarkable life story -- via the Elyria, Ohio Chronicle-Telegram. Another striking aspect of this obituary is that it is written by one of the most talented and respected obituarists of the day, Alana Baranick. The depth and richness of the story, and the care with which photographic illustrations have been contributed by the family, carefully captioned and displayed, gives this obituary a thoroughness and three-dimensionality that vividly evokes the person portrayed.

Joseph Gelberman

Rabbi and psychotherapist -- via belief.net. He was "a pioneer of the interfaith movement," and a Holocaust survivor.

Rebel Randall aka Alaine Brandes

Model and actress -- via Final Farewell Forum and glamourgirlsofthescreen.com.

Billie Mae Richards

Voice actor -- via the CBC.She will be best remembered as the voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the 1964 Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated TV special.

Kei Tani aka Yasuo Wantanabe


Comedian, actor and musician -- via the Japan Times.

Kevin McCarthy

Actor on stage and film and television -- via the L.A. Times. He will be best remembered for his role in the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Pogo Poge aka Morgan Branch White


This incredibly popular, wacky and personable Denver DJ made the reputation of KIMN-AM -- via the Denver Post. An entire generation grew up listening to him during the early days of rock 'n' roll.

Claude Chabrol

Brilliant French film director, and a member of the fabled New Wave -- via the New York Times.