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"

Jorge Semprun

Novelist, memoirist and screenwriter -- via the New York Times.

Edgar Zivanai Tekere

Revolutionary -- via the New York Times. A compatriot of Mugabe, he helped free Zimbabwe. Later, he fought against Mugabe's oppression and was jailed for a second time.

Sir Patrick "Paddy" Michael Leigh Fermor

Brilliant travel writer, author, scholar and soldier -- via the Telegraph. He walked across Europe; he kidnapped a German general; a man of mythic stature.

Pilu Momtaz

Singer -- via the Daily Star.

Leon Botha

Artist, musician and DJ -- via boingboing.net. He suffered from progeria, a disease that rapidly advances the aging process. At 26, he had one of the longest lives recorded for a progeria sufferer; it looks as though he used the time he had to the utmost.

Gordon Lorenz

Record producer and songwriter -- via the Daily Post.

Joel Rosenberg

Fantasy/sci-fi author and gun rights activist -- via sfscope.com.

Hugh Stewart

Film editor and producer -- via altfg.com. He edited the 1934, vastly better version of Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

Donald Hewlett

Actor -- via the Guardian.

Maurice Garrel

Actor - via mauricegarrel.inmemoriam.org.

Glyn Hughes

Novelist, poet and painter -- via the Telegraph.

Alda Noni

Soprano -- via the Telegraph.

Armando Bandini

Actor -- via westernboothill.blogspot.com.

Jim Northrup aka the Silver Fox

MLB outfielder -- via MLB.com. He drove in the winning runs in Game 7 of the 1968 World Series.

Clara Luper

Civil rights activist -- via newsok.com.

Maqbool Fida Husain aka MF

Artist -- via the BBC.

Steve Popovich

Record exec -- via the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Leonard B. Stern


Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody-winning writer/producer/director -- via Yahoo News. A specialist in comedy, he had a hand in many classic American TV shows, including "The Honeymooners," "Get Smart" and "McMillan and Wife." He got his start in late-period Abbott & Costello and Ma and Pa Kettle movies. And hey! He co-created Mad Libs with Roger Price, the latter of Droodles fame.

The House of Sight and Sound -- Salina, KS

An oasis of a record store smack-dab in the middle of Kansas -- via mighty1090kaay.blogspot.com.

Harry Redmond Jr.

Special effects artist for film and TV -- via the Hollywood Reporter. His career began in 1931; he worked on the original "King Kong," "She," "Lost Horizon," and many more. Later worked extensively with Ivan Tors on his TV series ("Flipper," "Daktari" and "Ripcord").

Azam Khan aka Mahbubul Haque Khan

Composer, lyricist, musician and singer -- via bdnews24.com. The Guru of pop music in Bangladesh.

Martin Rushent

Legendary sound engineer and record producer -- via the Telegraph. Among his work -- engineer: "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Electric Warrior," "Octopus"; as producer, the Stranglers, the Buzzcocks, Generation X and Human League.

Philip Rose aka Philip Rosenberg

Theatrical producer -- via the New York Times. Beginning with his successful, groundbreaking production of "A Raisin in the Sun," he went on to produce such works as "Purlie," "The Owl and the Pussycat" and "Shenandoah."

Roy Skelton

Actor and voice artist -- via the BBC. The original voice of the Daleks!

Jose Pagan

Marvelous baseball player -- via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. His RBI double in the 8th inning of Game 7 of the 1971 World Series clinched the title for the Pirates.

Lilian Jackson Braun

Mystery writer -- via the New York Times.

Benny Spellman

Great R & B singer -- via WWL. His two big hits were "Lipstick Traces" and "Fortune Teller." He also sand backup on hits such as "Mother-in-Law" and "Trick Bag." A New Orleans institution!



Teck Murdock

Actor and singer -- via Legacy.com.

Ernestine Mercer

Singer and actress -- via Variety.

Peter Boom

Actor, singer, voice actor, lyricist, writer and activist -- via westernsallitaliana.blogspot.com.

Betty Taylor

Comic performer -- via the Orange County Register. With long-time partner Wally Boag, Taylor hosted Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue as Slue Foot Sue for 40 years of live performances.

Wally Boag

Comic performer -- via the Beverly Hills Courier. A legendary and world-record-holding presence at Disneyland, Boag's act is a classic, and inspired among many others Steve Martin.