"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"
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"
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Comedy writer -- via the New York Times. With Arnie Rosen, he wrote many episodes for Phil Silvers' "Sgt. Bilko" TV show, and created many of Jackie Gleason's greatest characters for him. Most memorably he paired Gleason with his great comic foil, Art Carney. When we think of the great writers of early TV, we think of the Simon brothers, Larry Gelbart, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner; Jacoby was one of many other unsung creatives who made us laugh.
Teacher was early American enthusiast of English fantasy literature -- via the L.A. Times.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Composer, songwriter, musician and film music executive -- via the Hollywood Reporter.
Radio host on WTJU-FM and traditional-music expert -- via readthehook.com.
Actor on stage, in film and television -- via legacy.com and the Burlington Free Press. He won an Obie for his work in a production of "The Iceman Cometh." He could be seen in TV series as varied as "Gunsmoke," "Law and Order," "The Bob Newhart Show" and "Dark Shadows." Most memorably, he played an assassin in "Three Days of the Condor" and could be seen in fare such as the original "The Thomas Crown Affair."
Pullman porter, Negro Leagues baseball player, manager for club whose members were excluded by others because of their faith -- via the Denver Post.
Composer -- via the Guardian. One of the great composers of the 20th century, albeit one of many whose use of atonality and serialism made their music irritating and incomprehensible to the general public. However, his Third Symphony, the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," which testified to the Holocaust, became one of the greatest-selling compositions of the last 50 years. The public caught up with him.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
First bass player for Merseybeat group The Searchers -- via the Liverpool Echo
Ever-present actress in scads of British films and television shows -- via the Guardian
One of the last of the film poster artists who painted by hand -- via britmovie.co.uk
Minister of the Ugandan Parliament and disability rights activist -- via disabledfeminists.com.
Legendary, award-winning film producer -- via AFP. He made some the best and worst and strangest films in history. The good: "Bitter Rice," "La Strada," "Nights of Cabiria," "Serpico," "The Bounty," "Blue Velvet," "Army of Darkness." The bad: "Dune" (at least the release cut), "Mandingo," "Lipstick," "Orca," the 1976 "King Kong," "Death Wish," "Year of the Dragon." The just plain weird: "Barbarella," "Danger: Diabolik," the 1980 "Flash Gordon," "Goliath and the Vampires," numerous Italian sex farces, and the Conan movies. What a career!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Award-winning costume designer for stage, film and television -- via the L.A. Times. Interesting sidebar -- a privileged youth, he summered in Austria in the 1930s. He saw the rise of Hitler, and out of conscience he raised $200,000 to help the Jews escape. Finally, he was caught organizing against the Nazis and thrown out of the country. An honorable man.
Respected BYU coach who played six games with the Cardinals in 1951 -- via the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Actor/singer/dancer worked on stage, in radio and on television -- via http://groups.google.com/group/alt.obituaries. His first Broadway credit? 1937.
Film and television director and producer -- via the Telegraph. He learned the trade on pivotal British films such as "Tight Little Island," "The Blue Lamp" and "Passport to Pimlico." He moved on to classic TV series like "The Avengers" and "Z Cars." He's supposedly the one who put Cathy Gale in the catsuit. Oh, you devil!
Monday, November 8, 2010
"The magician's magician" -- via the New York Times. He produced, directed, invented and conceived some of stage magic's most impressive tricks and illusions,including sawing some one in half with a length of rope and two ways to make an elephant disappear.