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"

Bill Hunter

Actor -- via ABC News. A sterling example of the Australian regular guy in film. "Muriel's Wedding," "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," "Gallipoli," "Strictly Ballroom," . . .

"Macho Man" Randy Savage aka Randall Mario Poffo

Professional wrestler, actor and spokesperson for Slim Jims -- via the L.A. Times.

Anton Hammerl

Photojournalist -- via the Atlantic. He was killed on April 5; those who witnessed his death were imprisoned by the Libyan government until two days ago.

Randall L. Wreghitt

Theatrical producer -- via Playbill, Theatermania, Broadway World, and Broadwaydotcom. Responsible for so many great shows -- all of McDonagh, "Grey Gardens," "Metamorphoses," Kate Burton's "Hedda Gabbler," and hits by Ken Lonergan, Nicky Silver and Douglas Carter Beane.

Michael William Coplestone Dillon Onslow, 7th Earl of Onslow

Noble, member of the House of Lords, deejay, photographer, insurance agent, farmer and gadfly in the Socratic sense -- via Lancaster Online and the Associated Press. The gentleman described sounds quite like a free and whimsical spirit. Who wrote this? The lede is wonderful; the tone is pithy, and it's still clear, concise and compelling. One of the best obits I've read in a long time. The quote in paragraph Five is the same used in a different, much more comprehensive and equally entertaining eulogy in the Telegraph. Check out the third-to-last sentence in the AP story -- well played.

Bill Skiles

Comedian -- via businessinsider.com. One half of the comedy team of Skiles and Henderson.

Barbara Stuart

Actress -- via barbarastuart.com. She worked extensively in film and television; she may dwell in the popular imagination as Bunny, the girlfriend of Sgt. Carter, in the U.S. TV series "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C." She had small but memorable parts in the film comedies "Airplane!" and "Bachelor Party" as well.

Edward Hardwicke

Actor -- via The Stage. The son of Sir Cedric Hardwicke, he was a delightful actor in his own right. He wil be best remembered as Dr. Watson to Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes in all but the first two series of memorable Granada TV treatment of Holmes' career.

Harmon Killebrew aka The Killer aka Hammerin' Harmon

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer -- via the New York Times. A more personal tribute from Hal Bodley on MLB.com. An incredible and incredibly powerful hitter for the Senators, who became the Twins when they moved to Minneapolis in 1961. His #3 is retired by the Twins. Also, a good and gentle man! One of my heroes.

George Bloomfield

Director, writer and teacher -- via voy.com. He helmed many episodes of "SCTV"!

Hilton Rosemarin

Set decorator -- via voy.com.

Kimberly Ann Delfin aka Popsicle


Dancer and actress -- via the Orange County Register.

Bob Flanigan

Vocalist and founding member of the Four Freshmen -- via the L.A. Times.

Kiyoshi Kodama

Actor and TV host -- via MSN Japan.

Pam Gems

Playwright -- via the Guardian.

Odell Brown

Jazz and R & B organist and songwriter -- via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

M-Bone aka Montae RayTalbert

Rapper -- via the L.A. Times.

Joseph Wershba

Journalist -- via the L.A. Times. Starting in radio in 1944, he worked on newspapers and in television, most notably with Edward R. Murrow on the expose of the machinations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Bruce Ricker

Documentary filmmaker -- via artsjournal.com. He produced the great "Thelonius Monk: Straight, No Chaser," and directed films about Budd Boetticher, Johnny Mercer, Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck.

Jim Dickson

Record producer and manager -- via allthatjazz.com. He produced the Dillards and Hamilton Camp, then began to manage the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons.

Terence Longdon

Actor -- via the Telegraph. Best remembered as Drusus in "Ben-Hur," he starred in a British TV series, "Garry Halliday."

John S. Carter


A & R exec, manager, producer and songwriter -- via Billboard. He wrote the lyrics for the Strawberry Alarm Clock's 1967 hit "Incense and Peppermints." (The band hated the lyrics, and a visiting friend, Greg Munford, actually sings them!)

Mary Murphy

Actress -- via the L.A. Times. Her biggest role was as the female lead in "The Wild One"; she also appeared in "The Desperate Hours," "The Mad Magician" and "Junior Bonner."

Jeffery Williams

Military historian -- via the Telegraph.

Birgitta Trotzig

Writer -- via the Canadian Press.

Jim Heise

MLB pitcher, school administrator and baseball coach -- via West Virginia Illustrated. He played eight games for the Senators in 1957; interestingly, his father pitched one game for the Cardinals in 1934.

Mel Queen

MLBer -- via the Washington Post. Interestingly, he learned three different positions in his playing career -- third baseman, outfielder and pitcher. He went on to serve as manager, exec and pitching coach, primarily for the Blue Jays. He is popularly considered to have revived the career of Roy Halladay; he also helped Hentgen, Stottlemyre and David Wells.

Jack Richardson

Music producer -- via the Canadian Press. Best known for his work with the Guess Who, he also produced records for Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, Poco and Badfinger.

Patrick Galvin

Poet, playwright, songwriter and memoirist -- via the Irish Times.

Huseyin Zan

Actor -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.

Badal Sircar

Playwright and director -- via NDTV.

Lloyd Knibb

Drummer with the Skatellites -- via Spinner.com. One of the key developers of the ska beat!

Vivian Myerson

Vivian Myerson and her husband Seymour display a brick and rock allegedly thrown through their window by an L.A.P.D. "surveillance" unit. (Courtesy LA Times)
Activist who won important case against police harassment -- via the L.A. Times.

Bernard Greenhouse

Cellist and founder of the Beaux Arts Trio -- via the New York Times.