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"

Diane Cilento

Actress on stage, in film and television -- via the Telegraph. Oscar-nominated for her work in "Tom Jones"; Tony-nominated for her work in "Tiger at the Gates."

Mikko Laine

Guitarist -- via SMN News.

Shmuel Shilo

Actor and director -- via Israeli National News.

David Bedford

Composer, musician and arranger -- via the Telegraph.


David I. Mitchell

Tony-winning set designer -- via the New York Times. He creared the sets for "Annie," "Barnum," "The Gin Game," "La Cage aux Folles."

Uan Rasey

Trumpeter -- via Spinner. Coming out of east Montana, he made it to Hollywood and into the MGM orchestra, where he would play for films from the late '40s through the '70s. A magnificent tone and a big-hearted, outspoken guy. Particularly known for his hauntingly beautiful contributions to the score from "Chinatown."

Peter Przygodda

Great film editor -- via Mubi. Worked on almost 100 films over a 40-year span, including those of Wim Wenders (including the magnificent "Wings of Desire"), Hans-Jurgen Syberberg and Volker Schlondorff.

Muzaffer Tema

Actor -- via habermonitor.com.

Kay Armen aka Armenuhi Manoogian

Singer, actress and composer -- via Legacy.com.

Kenneth H. Dahlberg

World War II fighter ace, entrepreneur and inadvertent Watergate figure -- via the Washington Post. He had quite a life. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross; he was shot down three times and survived a P.O.W. camp; he startedMiracle Ear and Buffalo Wild Wings; and the Watergate scandal broke when his check to the Committee to Re-elect the President was found in the account of a Watergate burglar.

Steve Jobs

Computer entrepreneur -- via the New York Times.

Charles Napier

Actor -- via the Bakersfield Californian. A familiar face, and a good actor confined largely to character roles -- specializing in villainy or comedy. He worked in 194 film and TV roles between 1968 and 2011. He is best known for his appearances in such classic films as "Supervixens," "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," "The Blues Brothers," "Melvin and Howard," "Rambo First Blood Part II," "Miami Blues," "Silence of the Lambs," "Philadelphia" and the first two "Austin Powers" films. In television, he appeared in everything from "Mannix" to "Curb Your Enthusiam." His kitschiest role may have been as the space hippy Adam in the original "Star Trek" episode, "The Way to Eden."

Fred L. Shuttlesworth

Minister and civil rights activist -- via the New York Times. A strong and courageous fighter for what is right.

Eric "Hi Fi" Kish


Rockabilly musician and motorcycle craftsman -- via the Huffington Post. Frontman for Hi Fi and the Roadburners.

Bryan Tilling

Sound editor - via the Daily Mail.

Bert Jansch

Amazing and influential folk guitarist and singer; member of groundbreaking group Pentangle -- via the Guardian. A beloved genius.



Francois Abu Salem

Actor and director -- via AFP.

Denis Cannan

Playwright and screenwriter -- via the Times of London. Most memorably, he adapted John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera" with Christopher Fry for the Peter Brook film version in 1953.

Eddie Bockman

Former MLB third baseman and scout -- via yardbarker.com.

Alan Pokipala aka Braddah Poki

Musician and radio host -- via the Maui News.

Ruby Langford Ginibi

Author and historian -- via the Australian.

Betty Luster Prentis

Dancer and singer -- via Satellite News. She is best remembered for her starring role in the 1956 short promotional film "Mr. B Natural," which later became a camp classic thanks to the TV/movie comedy show "Mystery Science Theater 3000." She passed away on May 25, 2011, but her death was not generally reported until recently.

Peter Sykes


Guitarist for band This Many Boyfriends -- via NME.

Maple Batalia

Actress and model - via globaltvbc.com.

Denise Gence

Actress -- via voy.com.
http://www.ina.fr/art-et-culture/arts-du-spectacle/video/CAC92055513/denise-gence-oh-les-beaux-jours-de-samuel-beckett.fr.html

Clarence Johnson

Singer and record producer; an early member of the Chi-Lites -- via the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hella Haasse

Writer -- via the Washington Post.

Peter Gent

Athlete and writer -- via the L.A. Times.

Gaspar Henaine Perez aka Capulina

Comic -- via the Associated Press.

Roger G. Kennedy

Director of the National Park Service, leader of the Smithsonian, scholar and author -- via the New York Times.

Bettye Fitzpatrick

Actress -- via the Houston Chronicle.

Pierre Dansereau

Ecologist -- via Radio Canada.

Tatyana Lioznova

Film director -- via the Telegraph.

Ida Landau Fink

Writer -- via the Jewish Women's Archive.

Harry "Cuby" Muskee

Blues singer -- via nrc.nl.

Vasillaq Vangjeli

Actor and comedian -- via top-channel.tv.

Emanuel Litvinoff

Poet and memoirist -- via the Telegraph. He notably stood up to the horrible anti-Semitism of T.S. Eliot.

Micky Correa

Jazzman -- via bluerhythm.wordpress.com.

Knut Steen

Sculptor -- via christinaskreiberg.blogspot.com.

Peter Newmark

Scholar of the art and science of translation -- via the Guardian.

Wes Blomster

Classical music critic -- via the Boulder Daily Camera.

Dragan Klaic

Theatre scholar and cultural commentator -- via the Guardian.

Ian Kemp

Musicologist and scholar -- via the Telegraph.

Paul Kirby

Nashville guitarist and singer -- via Billboard.

Brooke Ostrander

Keyboardist -- via samessenger.com. He started the band Rainbow with Chaim Witz and Stanley Eisen; later they became Wicked Lester. Finally Ostrander quit, becoming a studio musician and music educator. His bandmates? They changed their names to Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and the band changed its name to Kiss.

"Country" Johnny Mathis

Singer and songwriter -- via the Tennessean.