Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Those we lost in 2017, Part 1

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PETER SARSTEDT

Date of death: 8 January 2017
Age at death: 75
Cause of death: Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a degenerative disease involving the gradual deterioration and death of parts of the brain.

Comments:
Peter Sarstedt was a British singer, instrumentalist and award-winning songwriter who was best known for his 1969 hit "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?" and the lesser hit “A Frozen Orange Juice”. He continued to tour throughout the 1980s, '90s and 2000s, mainly in 1960s revival-type shows, until his retirement in 2010 due to ill health. Sarstedt lived in a retirement home in Sussex, England from 2013, the same year as his PSP was misdiagnosed as dementia.
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MICHAEL CHAMBERLAIN

Date of Death: 9 January 2017
Age at death: 72
Cause of death: Complications from acute leukaemia

Comments:
Michael Chamberlain was the husband of Lindy Chamberlain and the father of 9 week old Azaria when the baby was taken from their tent by a dingo at Uluru in 1980. The disappearance sparked one of Australia's most sensational legal cases, resulting in a conviction for murder of Lindy and accessory after the fact for Michael. Lindy Chamberlain received a life sentence in 1982 and was imprisoned for more than three years before new evidence forced a royal commission that ultimately resulted in the 1988 release of the Chamberlains by the Northern Territory Criminal Court of Appeal. A fourth inquest by NT coroner Elizabeth Morris in 2012 completely exonerated them. The case had a severe impact on Michael Chamberlain's life, wrecking his marriage, splitting his family apart and destroying his career as a Seventh Day Adventist pastor. In 2002 he obtained a PhD and a Bachelor of Teaching, thereafter dedicating himself to teaching.

Michael and Lindy Chamberlan display a photograph of Lindy with baby Azaria, following acquittal after their first trial
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SIR JOHN HURT

Date of death: 25 January 2017
Age at death: 77
Cause of death: Pancreatic cancer

Comments:
Sir John Hurt was an English actor whose screen and stage career spanned more than 50 years, Regarded as one of Britain’s finest actors, some of his most memorable works are Midnight Express, The Elephant Man, and Rob Roy. I will remember him best for The Storyteller series, I used to watch it with my daughter when she was small and recently delighted in watching them again with Kate.

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MARY TYLER MOORE

Date of death: 25 January 2017
Age at death: 80
Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest

Comments:
An American actress best known for her roles in the television sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977) and The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966), as well as roles in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Ordinary People, Mary Tyler Moore’s characters often broke from stereotypical images of women and pushed gender norms. She became an inspiration to younger actresses and was also active in charity work.

With Dick Van Dyke, 1964, looking very un-Laura Petrie-ish
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BARBARA HALE

Date of death: 26 January 2017
Age at death: 94
Cause of death: Complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Comments:
Barbara Hale was an American actress best known for her role as legal secretary Della Street on more than 270 episodes of the long-running Perry Mason television series from 1957 to 1966, earning her a 1959 Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. That's her above with Raymond Burr as Perry Mason.  She reprised the role in 30 Perry Mason movies for television. She also played Al Jolson’s second wife in the 1949 flick Jolson Sings Again, with Larry Parks.
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BILL PAXTON

Date of death: 25 February 2017
Age at death: 61
Cause of death: A stroke resulting from complications following heart surgery

Comments:
American film actor and director, best known for his roles True Lies (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Twister (1996), Titanic (1997), U-571 (2000), Vertical Limit (2000), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and Nightcrawler (2014). 

Upon learning of his death, a number of storm chasers paid tribute to his Twister role by spelling his initials across Kansas and Oklahoma via the Spotter Network:

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BILL LEAK

Date of death: 25 February 2017
Age at death: 61
Cause of death: Heart attack

Comments:
Bill Leak was an Australian editorial cartoonist, caricaturist and portraitist. His cartoons were published in the Bulletin from 1983, in The Sydney Morning Herald until 1994, when he was recruited by News Limited to contribute to The Daily-Telegraph-Mirror and later to The Australian. Leak's editorial cartoons for The Australian were at the centre of several controversies.

Leak entered paintings into the Archibald on several occasions, having won the People's Choice Award in 1994 for his portrait of Malcolm Turnbull and the Packing Room Prize twice, in 1997 and 2000 for his portraits of Tex Perkins and Sir Les Patterson respectively. 

Bill Leak with his portraits of Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna

Bill Leak’s portrait of Sir Donald Bradman
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CHUCK BERRY

Date of death: 18 March 2017
Age at death: 90
Cause of death: Reputedly death was due to cardiac arrest.

Comments:
Called by Bob Dylan "the Shakespeare of rock 'n' roll", Chuck Berry was one of the first popular acts to write as well as perform his own music, which melded elements of blues, rockabilly and jazz into some of the most timeless songs of the 20th century. With songs like Sweet Little Sixteen, Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B Goode in the late 1950s, Berry helped lay the foundation for modern rock music and was a major influence on scores of 1960s bands, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and musicians including Bruce Springsteen and Keith Richards. When he was buried his famous red guitar was bolted to the inside of the coffin lid. 
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DON RICKLES

Date of death: 6 April 2017
Age at death: 90
Cause of death: Kidney failure

Comments:
Don Rickles was an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author who was best known as an insult comic. 

An anecdote: 
Warned not to target mobster "Crazy" Joe Gallo in a performance at the Copacabana in 1972, he instead ribbed him mercilessly. Gallo accepted Rickles's ribbings in good humor and invited him to Umberto's Clam House after the show. Rickles declined the offer. That night, a gunfight erupted at Umberto's, killing Gallo.




Rickles

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