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"

Janet MacLachlan

Actress in film and television -- via the Los Angeles Times. Here is a wonderful and well-deserved tribute to her from the folks at Bright Lights Film Journal:

Louis Henkin

Created the field of human rights law -- via the New York Times.

Anne Schaddele Norris and Birger Juell

Couple who died together had memorable life together -- via Colleen Mastony at the Chicago Tribune.

John T. Williams

Carver whose death at hands of Seattle police sprks controversy -- via the Seattle Times.

Wilbur S. Pillman Jr.

Artist, actor, dancer was pillar of Mobile Mardi Gras scene -- via al.com.

Melvin Burnside

Restaurateur -- via the Chicago Tribune.

Elizabeth North

Novelist -- via the Guardian.

Richard C. Miller

Los Angeles photographer who was great at portraiture and more -- via the Los Angeles Times.

Benoit Mandelbrot

Mathemetician who invented fractal geometry -- via the New York Times.

Gloria Wasserman aka South Street Annie

Fixture of Fulton Fish Market and her fragmented life -- a great piece by Dan Barry in the New York Times.

Richard Maxwell

Literary scholar -- via the Independent. More here from Yale --

Belva Plain

This incredibly popular writer completed more than 20 novels -- via the Star-Ledger. She started when she was 63. She wrote everything in longhand.

Shannon Christie

Actress -- via Legacy.com.

Yannis Dalianidis

Greek director of popular films of the 60's; later success with sitcoms -- via protothemo.gr.

Carly Henley

Promising singer/songwriter -- via King5.com. This 20-year-old University of Washington student took her own life.

Barbara Billingsley aka Barbara Lillian Combes

Actress -- via ABC-TV. She will be forever remembered as Mrs. Cleaver in "Leave It to Beaver"; she became the iconic Baby Boom mom. She was the modern Hestia, goddess of the hearth. In pearls and high heels, she served and supported in her suburban kingdom -- sexless, secure and compliant. An aseptic ideal.

Her work in "Airplane!" proved she had a great sense of humor as well.



John Alberhasky Sr

Ran John's Grocery in Iowa City -- via the Iowa City Press-Citizen. In business since 1948, it's the last independently-owned grocery in the city.

Georges Salomon

Skiing pioneer, he invented the release binding -- via Planet Ski.eu.

Carla Del Poggio aka Maria Luisa Attanasio

Actress -- via la Repubblica.it.

Simon MacCorkindale

Actor, director and producer -- via the Daily Mail. Unfortunately, he will be best remembered in America as the star of NBC's short-lived "Manimal."

Cathy

Ack!! -- via lemondrop.com.

Selma Al-Radi

Dr. Al-Radi (left) receives the Aga Khan Award in Architecture in 2007.
Archaeologist who restored the fabulous Amiriya Madrasa in Rada, Yemen (pictures below). Margalit Fox's obituary in the New York Times is exemplary.

General Norman Johnson

Lead singer for the Chairmen of the Board - via The News of Today. Their big 1970 hit? "Give Me Just a Little More Time."

Nils Hallgren

Actor -- via Aftonbladet.se.

Donald H. Tuck

Bibliographer and historian of science fiction and fantasy -- via SF site.

Mary Malcolm

A prominent early BBC TV presenter -- via the Guardian. Interestingly, her mother was the illegitimate daughter of Edward VII and Lillie Langtry.

Clayton Smith

TV producer -- via the Guardian.

Alison Stephens

Classical mandonlinist -- via the Telegraph. Her work can also be heard on many film soundtracks.

Jiri Krizan

Screenwriter and human-rights activist -- via AP.

Raymond Castro

The man whose arrest sparked the Stonewall Riot in 1969, beginning the gay liberation movement -- via Steve Rothaus' Gay South Florida.

Charles W. Utter

One of the last of the crusty old-school newspaper editors with a heart of gold -- via boston.com. He helmed the Westerly Sun of Rhode Island. His paper was the first in the country to publish a report on the attack on Pearl Harbor; then he joined the Air Force, completed 30 missions and got shot down over Germany. He returned from the war and continued there until 1991.

Vernon Biever

Official Green Bay Packers photographer had been covering them since 1941 -- via WFRV-TV. He is one of only two men (his son is the other) to have covered all of the first 35 Super Bowls.

Huddy Combs aka Andre Hudson aka Huddy 6

Rapper -- via the New York Daily News.

Janet White Tucker

Singer and member of the White Sisters trio -- via tampabay.com.

Helga Goring

Popular film actress of East Germany -- via Welt Online.

Sue Miles

An activist, a key figure in the counterculture of the 1960s, and a noted restaurateur -- via the Guardain

Michel Hugo

Cinematographer -- via Variety. He served as d.p. on an astonishing variety of projects, including many now-obscure but vividly remembered TV series, movies-for-television, and cinema on the margins. It's a roll call of delicious strangeness! Misfires, cult hits, etc. The original "Mission: Impossible." "Head." "Bless the Beasts & Children." The original "The Night Stalker" TV film. "They Only Kill Their Masters." The remarkably funny "Shirts/Skins." Elizabeth Montgomery in "Mrs. Sundance." Dick van Dyke in "The Morning After." Martin Sheen in "The Last Survivors." The uniquely abysmal "Ode to Billy Joe." The Edward Herrmann/Blythe Danner Lou Gehrig bio. "The Manitou"! Andrew Stevens as "The Bastard"! "The Streets of San Francisco." "Terror from the Sky," the sequel to the TV-movie "The Savage Bees"! He worked on "The Octagon," ferChrissake. He wound up his career with stints on "Dynasty" and "Melrose Place." He could do it all.

Rodger Clayton aka Mr. Prinze

West Coast hip hop master -- via dubcnn.com. He was part of Uncle Jamm's Army; he produced "Dial-a-Freak."

Kostas Kafasis

Singer -- via zougla.gr.

Ashraf os-Sadat Morteza'i aka Marizeh

Iran's greatest female singer -- via Iran Focus. She lived in exile in Paris after 1993.

Eldon "E.C." Cunningham

Printmaker, artist and teacher -- via Westword.

Chance Conner

Journalist and writer -- via the Denver Post. He worked at the Colorado Daily, the Boulder Daily Camera and the Rocky Mountain News, among other places.

Abshir Noor Farah aka Ba'adle

Somali poet -- via Africa News.com.

Bill Griffith

A jack of all trades who owned a newspaper, played the trumpet, collected circus calliopes and much more -- via the Wisconsin State Journal. Here's a longer piece on him from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Maurice Allais

Nobel Prize-winning economist -- via the Telegraph. He issued prescient warnings against "casino practices" of stock markets; he also claimed to have disprove the Theory of Relativity. Unexplained fluctuations in the cosmos that conflict with the theory are still referred to as "the Allais effect."