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"

Peter Lieberson

Marvelous contemporary composer -- via the New York Times.

Miroslav Tichy

Amazing, subversive, voyeuristic, outsider photographer -- via pdnonline.com.

Hannah Kodicek aka Zuzana Oprsalova

Hannah Kodicek, right, with Rosta Cerny and puppets for the show Once Upon a Time. Photograph: Picasa
"A film-maker, actor, writer, educator and creator of children's television classics, who blended artistic vision with erudition and a childlike humour" -- via the Guardian.

Aldo Clementi

Composer -- via the Guardian.

Ray Smith

Proprietor of Ray's Jazz Shop -- via the Guardian and the Telegraph. 'Nuff said.

Barry Coward

Historian -- via the Guardian.

Alice Porcello

One of singing and dancing Kim Loo Sisters -- via northjersey.com.

Kerry Smith

Radio and television host -- via the National Business Review.

Elmer Carter

Former catcher for the Kansas City Monarchs -- via the Sacramento Bee.

Madelyn Pugh Davis

Comedy writer who shaped Lucille Ball's later career -- via the New York Times.

Lynne Topping Farrell

Actress and writer -- via tribstar.

Yoshiko Tanaka aka Yoshiko Odate

Singer and actress -- via Japan Today. Originally a ember of the famous girl group The Candies, she cemented her acting reputation with her role as Yasuko in Imamura's 1989 "Black Rain."

Babu Baral

Comedian -- via E Pakistan News.

Nicholas Selby

Actor -- via scotsman.com. He played Winchester in the 1965 BBC "Wars of the Roses," Duncan in Polanski's "Macbeth," Raleigh in "Elizabeth R" and Warleggen in "Poldark."

Patrick Cullinan

Poet -- Book South Africa.

Rami Reddy

Actor -- via bollywoodhungama.com.

Gerald Perry Finnerman

Director of photography -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com. The cinematographer on the original "Star Trek" series, he worked on "Kojak," "Moonlighting," "Mission: Impossible" and many others.

Rene Soulard

Artist and community activist -- via Capitol Hill Seattle blog.

Jeanne Leiby

Writer and editor of The Southern Review -- via ABC.

Grete Waitz

Marathoner -- via the New York Times.

Nikolai Pankratyevich Morozoff

" . . . ballet dancer, wheelchair athlete, wheelchair designer and manufacturer, mentor to other wheelchair-bound people and a proud and happy father" -- via the Sydney Morning Herald.

Jon Cedar

Actor -- via the Hollywood Reporter. His pop-culture claim to fame? Playing the role of Corporal Langenscheidt on TV sitcom "Hogan's Heroes."

Roy Edward Burris

Drummer for Merle Haggard, and co-writer of "Okie from Muskogee" - via The Republic.

Marian Marangelli

Actress -- via seacoastonline.com.

Anne Blonstein

Poet and translator -- via blog.saltpublishing.com.

Sol Saks

Comedy writer and creator of TV sitcom "Bewitched" -- via Reuters.

Blair Milan

Actor -- via the Sydney Morning Herald.

Larry "Bo," "Bobo" Osborne

MLBer played for the Tigers, Senators -- via sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com.

Donald Mayberry

Bassist -- via the Detroit Free Press.

Myrna Dell aka Marilyn Adele Dunlap

Actress -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.She worked extensively in film, working mainly in B pictures, including some of the entries in The Falcon private detective series and comedy shorts with both Edgar Kennedy and Leon Erroll. (She can be seen briefly in more "significant" films such as "Thirty Seconds over Tokyo," "The Spiral Staircase" and "The Furies.")

Here she is in the magnificently crummy 1951 Western, "The Bushwhackers." She's in good company -- here's a treasure trove of character actors: John Ireland, Lawrence Tierney, Wayne Morris, Jack Elam, Lon Chaney Jr. and Dorothy Malone!

Gerard Smith

Bassist for TV on the Radio -- via ABC.

Chris Hondros

Photojournalist -- via the New York Times. An incredibly talented, gutsy, determined pro.

Osamu Dezaki

Animator -- via animenation.net.

Vincenzo La Scola

Tenor -- via operafresh.blogspot.com.

Orrin Tucker

Bandleader -- via the New York Times. One of the last of the dance band leaders of the interwar period, he specialized in "sweet" jazz.

Ed "The Faa" Ford

Sports columnist and institutional memory -- via the New York Times.

Cyrus Harvey

A founder of Janus Films and Crabtree & Evelyn -- via the New York Times.

Joe Ruffilo

Scrap-metal sculptor -- via northjersey.com.

Reno Bertoia

Former MLB infielder -- via the Detroit Free Press.

Sawai Bhawani Singh Bahadur

The last Maharajah of Jaipur -- via the BBC.

Tim Hetherington

Photographer and film director -- via the New York Times. The co-creator of the acclaimed combat documentary "Restrepo" was killed by mortar fire while covering conflict in Misurata, Libya.

Elisabeth Sladen

Actress -- via the BBC. Will remember her fondly in her role as one of the most memorable and durable of BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who's companions, the intrepid journalist Sarah Jane Smith.


Stanley "Doc" Glenn

Catcher in the Negro Leagues -- via the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Violet Cowden

Aviatrix -- via the L.A. Times. One of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, during World War II. Her amazing story is outlined in a documentary by two friends of mine -- Mark and Christy Bonn's "Wings of Silver: The Vi Cowden Story."

Michael Sarrazin

Actor -- via the L. A. Times.