2nd May 2016 – Jonathan Cainer, 58
Daily Mail astrologer.
3rd May 2016 – Kristian Ealey, 38
Brookside and Hollyoaks actor.
4th May 2016 – Bob Bennett, 82
US Republican Senator for Utah from 1993 to 2011. A supporter of the PATRIOT act, and an opponent of public health care, Bennett still lost a 2010 primary to a Tea party challenge.
“Bennett, a senator's son who later assumed his father's seat, didn't tiptoe around the controversial — or ever regret the tough decisions — as he strove to craft an image as a statesman even as Washington devolved around him into shrill partisan squabbling. It was an approach that ultimately led to his defeat, but not before, during three productive terms, he left his lasting mark in many areas. On the tangible, bring-the-bacon-home-to-Utah front, there was federal funding for a controversial, but now-popular light-rail system; big-dollar highway construction that included rebuilding I-15 through Salt Lake County; money for Olympic venues and community projects. On the intangible side was his policy savvy, as he became increasingly relied upon by government leaders as a wise sage.”
Thomas Burr, Bob Bennett, longtime Utah senator, dies at 82, The Salt Lake Tribune 4 May 2016
6th May 2016 – Patrick Ekeng, 26
Cameroonian international footballer who played as a defensive midfielder for Le Mans and Cordoba. He died during a match in Romania, playing for Dinamo Bucharest.
6th May 2016 – Reg Grundy, 92
Australian media mogul who created Grundy Studios, responsible for Neighbours.
6th May 2016- Candye Kane, 54
6th May 2016 – Chris Mitchell, 27
Scottish footballer who played for Falkirk and Queen of the South.
7th May 2016 – George Ross, 73
Scottish footballer who played nearly 400 league matches as a defender for Preston North End, and later managed Southport.
7th May 2016 – John Krish, 92
Director who became known for directing some of the more funereal Public Information Films of the 1970s. His most famous, The Finishing Line, concerns a school sports day on an active railway line, and is about the dangers of crossing lines.
“Krish’s most controversial film was The Finishing Line (1977), a 20-minute “comedy” made for the British Transport Commission, warning children of the dangers of trespassing on railway tracks. It portrayed a fantastical school “sports day” held on a working railway line, where schoolchildren participate in such games as “Fence-breaking”, “Stone-throwing”, “Last Across” and “The Great Tunnel Walk”. The end result is a row of bloodied bodies, “like the Somme from 1914”, in Krish’s words. “I made it as an emetic,” he explained. At initial screenings in schools the film had a huge impact, with some children fainting and others stunned into silence. When it was shown on television, however, there was an outcry which led to the film being banned for more than 20 years.”
8th May 2016 – William Schallert, 93
Familar American character actor who moved hundreds of appearances in film and TV over a seventy year career. He was the Messenger in Singin in the Rain, the Assistant Stage Manager in The Jazz Singer, and Dr Bramson in The Incredible Shrinking Man. He made an appearance as a Policeman in The Twilight Zone, made two appearances in One Step Beyond, and also appeared in Thriller and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. From Perry Mason to Dr Kildare, it was rare for a 1960s American TV programme not to have him show up at some point. A recurring role arrived in The Patty Duke Show, where he played Patty’s father, Martin Lane, or “Poppo” as she called him. (A nickname I am not encouraging Sarah to use.)
9th May 2016 – Gareth Gwenlan, 79
TV producer who worked on Reginald Perrin and Only Fools and Horses.
10th May 2016 – Gene Gutowski, 90
Producer of The Pianist, Cul-de-Sac and other Polanski films.
11th May 2016 – Bobby Carroll, 77
Scotish footballer who played for Celtic and St Mirren. His Celtic debut was in a 2-1 loss to Partick Thistle, but he was later the first Celtic player to score in a European game, in a tie with Valencia in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
11th May 2016 – Michael Ratner, 72
Human rights lawyer.
“As head of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner oversaw litigation that, in effect, voided New York City’s wholesale stop-and-frisk policing tactic. The center also accused the federal government of complicity in the kidnapping and torture of terrorism suspects and argued against the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency, the waging of war in Iraq without the consent of Congress, the encouragement of right-wing rebels in Nicaragua and the torture at the Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq war. “Under his leadership, the center grew from a small but scrappy civil rights organization into one of the leading human rights organizations in the world,” David Cole, a former colleague at the center and a professor at Georgetown Law School, said in an interview this week. “He sued some of the most powerful people in the world on behalf of some of the least powerful.”
Sam Roberts, Michael Ratner, Lawyer Who Won Rights for Guantanamo Prisoners, Dies at 72, New York Times 11 May 2016
12th May 2016 – Susannah Mushatt Jones, 116
Oldest woman in the world as of the start of 2016.
13th May 2016 – Bill Backer, 89
Advertising executive who wrote the song I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, and came up with the slogan “the real thing” for Coca-Cola.
14th May 2016 – Valerie Lush, 97
Familiar TV actress, often appearing as old women. She appeared in Rumpole of the Bailey, the Joan Hickson adaptation of Nemesis, and the Taggart three-parter, The Killing Philosophy (the first story to introduce Jardine).
14th May 2016 – Tony Barrow, 80
PR agent for The Beatles who came up with the phrase “The Fab Four”.
“When Beatlemania took hold on a worldwide basis, the phlegmatic Barrow was on hand to deal with crises such as Lennon’s unguarded remark to the London Evening Standard journalist Maureen Cleave that the group was more popular than Jesus, which resurfaced on the eve of their tour to the US in August 1966. Barrow arranged a press conference in Chicago at which Lennon apologised for the remark. Barrow also handled the retreat from the Philippines when the Beatles were deemed to have offended the president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, by failing to attend a reception. After Epstein’s death in 1967 and the Beatles’ decision to form the Apple company the following year, Tony Barrow set up his own PR firm to represent such acts as the Bay City Rollers and the Kinks. He also specialised in publicising European tours by American singers such as Andy Williams and the Jackson Five.”
Dave Laing, Guardian obit 18 May 2016
16th May 2016 – David Rendel, 67
Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury from 1993 to 2005. He stood for the leadership of the party in 1999, losing to Charlie Kennedy.
“Among many other issues, Mr Rendel is remembered for his association with successful campaigns for the West Berkshire Community Hospital and a cinema in Newbury. His support for the Newbury bypass brought him into conflict with environmental protesters, while his vote to ban hunting led to a call for his resignation among West Berkshire hunstmen. Mr Rendel was also a Newbury district councillor and represented Thatcham north and central wards on West Berkshire Council until 2015.”
John Herring, Former MP for Newbury David Rendel dies, Newbury Today 17 May 2016
19th May 2016 – John Berry, 52
Founding member of the Beastie Boys.
19th May 2016 – Alan Young, 96
Actor who will be known to many generations of children as the voice of Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales, or as the sidekick to Mr Ed.
“After working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation during the Second World War, Young moved to New York as a summer replacement for Eddie Cantor on his radio comedy show. He decided to stay on, with a tour as Liberace’s opening act, and in 1946 Darryl F Zanuck brought him to Hollywood to co-star with Jeanne Crain in Margie. He appeared with a young Natalie Wood in Chicken Every Sunday, and with Shirley Temple in Mr Belvedere Goes to College (both 1949) before landing his own television comedy variety show, The Alan Young Show, which ran from 1950 to 1953 on NBC Radio and won two Emmys.. In 1960, however, he moved back to America to work with George Pal on The Time Machine, an adaptation of HG Wells’s novel. After Mister Ed was put out to grass, and an unsuccessful stint on Broadway, Young dropped out of acting for nearly a decade to set up broadcasting facilities for the Christian Science Church, which he had joined as a child.Returning to acting, he appeared in television series and developed a new career as a voice-over actor on film and television. He voiced the Disney animated character Scrooge McDuck in the television cartoon series Duck Tales, and several characters in the Belgian comic franchise The Smurfs.”
19th May 2016 – Hugh Honour, 88
“In 1963, Honour was commissioned to write a critical biography of the neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova. Neoclassicism was deeply unfashionable, yet Honour found a wealth of untapped archival material that proved Canova to have been a central figure in European cultural and political life. To the frustration of other scholars in his field, he never finished the biography, but the complete catalogue is to appear posthumously. After Fleming’s death in 2001, Honour edited three volumes of Canova’s letters.In the 1970s, Honour’s work looked more to the east. On the basis of Chinoiserie, he was asked to curate a major touring exhibition and write a book on the European view of America, The New Golden Land (1976). In the following year, Honour and Fleming published The Penguin Dictionary of Decorative Arts (1977), a work of truly international scope; Honour had already published two books on European cabinetmakers and goldsmiths. There was, of course, a detailed entry for electroplate as well as for lacquer and Formica.”
James Hall, Guardian obit, 26 May 2016
21st May 2016 – Nick Menza, 51
Musician who worked as the drummer for Megadeath from 1989 to 1998, and returned on two later occasions to the band.
24th May 2016 – Lewis Fiander, 78
Australian actor best known in cult circles for an eccentric performance as Professor Tryst in the Doctor Who story Nightmare of Eden (encouraged by Tom Baker), but also appeared in Dr Phibes Rises Again and Pride and Prejudice.
24th May 2016 – Buck Kartalian, 93
Actor best known for his roles in Planet of the Apes and Cool Hand Luke.
24th May 2016 – Burt Kwouk, 85
Actor best known for his role as Cato in The Pink Panther films, but became acclaimed for his performances, including Tenko and Last of the Summer Wine.
““Peter and I fell about laughing so much that very often we were unable to complete the day’s work as scheduled, which the producers hated,” Kwouk recalled. “Cato and I are very different. He never stands still. I only move when I have to.” The death of Sellers in 1980 didn’t prevent Edwards from making The Trail of the Pink Panther (1982) by piecing together out-takes and clips from the previous films in the series. Kwouk was seen as Cato, bravely being interviewed about his boss, and again in Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), this time as proprietor of the Clouseau museum. Kwouk’s protracted association with the Pink Panther series ended with Son of the Pink Panther (1993), in which, in various disguises, he attacks villains on behalf of Roberto Benigni in the title role. Kwouk also appeared in three James Bond movies: Goldfinger (1964), as a nuclear scientist sent to oversee the bomb that China has given to Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) to blow up Fort Knox, but who is later double-crossed and shot; Casino Royale (1967), as a Chinese general; and You Only Live Twice (1967), as one of Blofeld’s gang of Spectre henchmen.”
Ronald Bergan, Guardian obit 24 May 2016
26th May 2016 – Ted Dumitru, 76
Romanian football manager who took charge of teams everywhere from Zambia to Turkey (including a spell at Besiktas), but became known for his time in South Africa in the 21st Century.
28th May 2016 – Edward O’Hara, 78
Labour MP for Knowsley South from 1990 to 2010. Fiercely proud of his Liverpool heritage, in a previous life he was a Latin teacher at Birkenhead School, where he taught his pupils to translate Beatles lyrics into Latin.
“His son Terry, 51, from Maghull, said: “He was a born educator. He was a teacher and classicist by background and he had a strong interest in educational matters and Greek cultural heritage.“He was a fluent Greek speaker and often spoke at rallies in support of the Greek Cypriot cause. After leaving politics he devoted himself to one of his life-long passions and became chair of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles. “He was also interested in wildlife matters like the protection of badgers and hunting – he was avowedly anti-hunting.”
Lorna Hughes, Former Merseyside MP Eddie O’Hara passes away at the age of 78, Liverpool Echo, 30 May 2016
29th May 2016 – Alan Devereux, 75
Actor who was the voice of Sid Parks in The Archers for over 50 years.
“He had joined The Archers, the world’s longest-running radio soap, set in the fictitious Midlands village of Ambridge, in 1963. (Episode one had been aired by the BBC on 1 January 1951.) When he was written out in 2010, listeners heard that Sid had suffered a heart attack while visiting his daughter, Lucy, and her family in New Zealand. Back at the Bull, Jolene (Buffy Davis), his third wife, was heartbroken – but not for long. She is now married to a scion of Ambridge’s first family, Kenton Archer, who inherited both Sid’s widow and his job running the Bull. Devereux was one of The Archers’ genuine brummies. Born and brought up in Sutton Coldfield, he went to drama evening classes and left school at 15 to join Birmingham Theatre School, then Birmingham Rep, the Alexander theatre and the Grand, Wolverhampton, as an actor and assistant stage manager. At the Alexander he met his wife, Christine, a lighting technician, whom he married in 1964. Their daughter, the actor Tracy Jane White, played Lucy for several years.”
Sue Arnold, Guardian obit 2 June 2016
30th May 2016 – Corry Brokken, 83
Dutch singer who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957.
30th May 2016 – Thomas Fekete, 27
Bassist for Surfer Blood.
31st May 2016 – Carla Lane, 87
Screenwriter who wrote the series Bread.
2nd June 2016 – Sir Tom Kibble, 83
Scientist who worked with Peter Higgs, and established the framework for the Higgs-Kibble mechanism, but unlike Higgs, was never awarded the Nobel Prize.
“The seeds of the current standard model of particles and forces were sown in 1967 when Kibble made his unique observation, which showed how these mathematical concepts apply to the real world. Kibble demonstrated how the mechanism gives mass preferentially, and, critically, leaves the photon massless. His breakthrough proved an epiphany for Salam and also for the American theorist Steven Weinberg. Salam forever referred to the Higgs-Kibble mechanism in recognition of its practical application; Weinberg gave prominence to Kibble’s breakthrough when he applied it to build the modern theory of the weak force. The resulting “Weinberg-Salam model” led to the Nobel physics prize in 1979, which the duo shared with Sheldon Glashow, not Kibble. The ideas in Kibble’s 1967 paper were also keys to the mathematical proof by Gerard ’t Hooft and Martinus Veltman that the above model is in fact a viable theory of the weak and electromagnetic forces. The Nobel prize of 1999 recognised the work of ’t Hooft and Veltman.”
Frank Close, Guardian obit 8 June 2016
3rd June 2016 – Dave Swarbrick, 75
Noted British singer/songwriter and folk musician, who played with Fairport Convention for a number of years. His health had suffered since developing emphysema in the 1990s, and in 1999, the Telegraph published his obituary.
“On April 29 1999, the Daily Telegraph ran a lovely obituary of the former Fairport Convention violinist and singer Dave Swarbrick. It described him as "a small, dynamic, charismatic figure" who could "electrify an audience with a single frenzied sweep of his bow". There was only one problem: he wasn't dead. The paper subsequently apologised for the ill-timed obit, which was shown to Swarbrick as he recovered from a serious illness at a hospital in Coventry. His wife, Jill, said: "He read the obituary and didn't quarrel with any of the spellings or the facts - apart from the obvious one." The following August, Swarbrick made his first public appearance after being hospitalised - at the Cropredy folk music festival, where he took delight in signing copies of the obit for fans. "It's not the first time I've died in Coventry," he said at the time.”
Stuart Jeffires, It’s not the first time I’ve died, The Guardian 15 June 2004
“His first album as a fully fledged member of Fairport Convention was Liege & Lief (1969), which broke new ground in marrying traditional songs with rock. Two members of the band, Sandy Denny and Ashley Hutchings, walked out after disputes about the direction of their music. This left Swarbrick and the guitarist Richard Thompson to take their place at the core of the band. Over the next 15 years Fairport Convention undertook world tours and made more than a dozen albums.After Richard Thompson’s departure in 1970, Swarbrick developed into a surprisingly sensitive songwriter, and also took on the role of lead singer. In 1971 he was the prime creative drive behind Fairport Convention’s most ambitious project, Babbacombe Lee, an album based on the story of John Lee, a convicted murderer who was reprieved after three attempts to hang him at Exeter in 1885 had failed.”
Telegraph obit (the actual 2016 one)
3rd June 2016 – Muhammad Ali, 74
“You know I’m bad.
just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.
I’m so fast, man,
I can run through a hurricane and don't get wet.
When George Foreman meets me,
He’ll pay his debt.
I can drown the drink of water, and kill a dead tree.
Wait till you see Muhammad Ali.”
Muhammad Ali, poem before Rumble in the Jungle, 1974
Widely regarded as the greatest boxer, if not the great sports person entirely, to have ever lived. If you don’t believe, just ask him.
“I knew I had him in the first round. Almighty God was with me. I want everyone to bear witness, I am the greatest! I'm the greatest thing that ever lived. I don't have a mark on my face, and I upset Sonny Liston, and I just turned twenty-two years old. I must be the greatest. I showed the world. I talk to God everyday. I know the real God. I shook up the world, I'm the king of the world. You must listen to me. I am the greatest! I can't be beat!”
Muhammad Ali, as reported by BBC: When clay shook up the world, BBC Sport 24 February 2004
Ali’s career spanned a gold medal in the 1960 Olympic games, a ratio of 56 wins in 61 matches, the legendary fights with Joe Frazier and George Foreman, and two reigns as the undisputed world champion.
4th June 2016 – Istvan Halasz, 64
Hungarian footballer, who played at the 1978 World Cup.
6th June 2016 – Jerome Bruner, 100
Pyschologist who made inroads in cognitive learning.
“He spent his life studying human perception, and the ways the stories we tell about the world influence how we think and learn about it. Along the way, he helped revolutionize American psychology. When Bruner went to graduate school at Harvard University in the 1930s, most psychological research examined the behavior that people exhibited in the face of external pressures and stimuli. But that model didn’t take account of our individual minds, which filter and interpret everything we experience. Bruner resolved to study what he called “cognitive psychology”—how people think and reason, not just how they react and respond. For education, especially, the implications were enormous. Bruner found that even very young children constructed their own knowledge—that is, they made sense of new information based on prior experience and understanding. The job of the teacher was to help students build upon what they already knew.”
Jonathan Zimmerman, An Unfinished quest in education, The Atlantic 7 June 2016
6th June 2016 – Sir Peter Shaffer, 90
Playwright who wrote Amadeus.
“Shaffer was never an experimenter, although he was always a brilliant craftsman who knew when to borrow to his advantage, most notably the Brechtian devices that he used to tremendous effect in The Royal Hunt of the Sun about the conquest of Peru by the Spanish. The play existed in draft form before Five Finger Exercise, but did not see the light of day until 1964 when it opened at Chichester before moving in triumph to the National Theatre. Many were dazzled by the combination of Shaffer’s metaphysics, Michael Annals’ design and John Dexter’s staging. The script included the seemingly impossible stage direction “They cross the Andes,” and when Shaffer offered to change it, Dexter swiftly replied: “If you are thinking of removing that, I am not doing the play.” As Shaffer was later to acknowledge, it was Dexter, who also directed Equus, who “helped me to discover the grammar of a bolder kind of theatre”, without which plays such as The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Equus and Amadeus stood in danger of coming across as classy tosh.”
Lyn Gardner, Guardian obit 6 June 2016
6th June 2016 – Theresa Saldana, 61
Actress who appeared as Lenore in Raging Bull and in The Commish as Scali’s wife, Rachel.
6th June 2016 – Kimbo Slice, 42
Former MMA star, and undefeated boxer, who was proficient in judo and muay thai, and had crossed over to films and TV.
6th June 2016 – Viktor Korchnoi, 85
Renowned Russian chess player.
7th June 2016 – Stephen Keshi, 54
Football manager who took Nigeria to the last sixteen of the 2014 World Cup.
8th June 2016 – Sascha Lewandowski, 44
Football maanger who had been manager of Bayer Leverkusen in 2012-13, and had been manager of Union Berlin until March 2016, when he resigned due to ill health.
9th June 2016 – Bernard Shrimsley, 85
Former editor of the The Sun and the Daily Mail.
“In 1953, he joined the Daily Mirror’s Manchester office as a reporter, working his way up to deputy news editor. Then he spent three years as news editor, and eventually deputy editor, of the Sunday Express, also in Manchester. He returned to the Mirror as northern editor, where he attracted the attention of the group’s chairman, Cecil King, who invited him to London and imposed him on the editorial director, Hugh Cudlipp. He was duly appointed as a features executive. As a former Mirror editor, Mike Molloy, recalled, Shrimsley “buzzed with ungrounded electricity”. He recalled that his tenure was “something of a rest cure for the staff, as he insisted on doing all of the work himself, including rewriting everyone’s copy.” Having fallen foul of Cudlipp, Shrimsley went off to Liverpool to edit the Daily Post until he received a call from Murdoch, who was then on the verge of buying the Sun. Murdoch was initially undecided whether to appoint Shrimsley as his first editor, but plumped for Larry Lamb instead, handing Shrimsley the deputy editorship. The two men formed a formidable working relationship.”
Roy Greenslade, Guardian obit 10 June 2016
10th June 2016 – Gordie Howe, 88
Ice hockey player who had a career stretching over thirty years, and won the Stanley Cup four times in the 1950s with the Detroit Red Wings. He was widely considered one of Canada’s finest sports people.
11th June 2016 – Shaibu Amodu, 58
Football coach who was in charge of Nigeria on six different occasions from 1994, thrice qualifying his country to the World Cup, but each time being sacked and replaced by a European manager.
12th June 2016 – Chris Warren, 49
Singer/songwriter who performed The DX theme tune for WWE.
12th June 2016 – Janet Waldo, 96
Voice actress who was the voice of Penelope Pitstop and Judy Jetson.
14th June 2016 – Henry McCullough, 72
Guitarist known for his run in Wings.
14th June 2016 – Ann Morgan Guilbet, 87
American actress who appeared in grumpier Old Men and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
14th June 2016 – Ronnie Edwards, 83
Actress known for her role in The Waltons.
15th June 2016 – Gypsy Joe, 82
15th June 2016 – Bob Holman, 79
Co-founder of the Easterhouse Project.
“Bob’s attitudes to poverty and inequality and criticism of those whom he characterised as running a “welfare industry” – highly paid heads of voluntary organisations and directors of social services – were profoundly shaped by his Christian faith, which he had come to as a teenager. He saw in the life of George Lansbury, the MP for Poplar in London, pacifist, Labour leader and cabinet minister, who lived simply in his East End constituency, the epitome of the Christian socialism that he, too, sought to practise. Holman wrote a biography, Good Old George (1990). Later there came other labours of love: a biography of Keir Hardie, and another, Woodbine Willie (2012), about the pacifist clergyman and poet Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy. In 1989 Bob helped to establish Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse (Fare), a grassroots organisation, especially for families and young people. It encourages neighbours to work with one another; to keep young people out of the care and criminal justice systems; and to lift people’s aspirations, while trying to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Terry Philpot, Guardian obit 15 June 2016
15th June 2016 – Lois Duncan, 82
American author, who wrote the novel I Know What you Did last Summer, which later became a series of horror films.
“She published several YA novels in quick succession, including Love Song for Joyce (Funk and Wagnalls, 1958) and A Promise for Joyce (Funk and Wagnalls, 1959), both under the pseudonym Lois Kerry. Duncan relocated to Albuquerque, N.M. in 1962 with her children after her first marriage ended in divorce. In addition to writing books, she worked on freelance magazine articles and also began teaching in the journalism department at the University of New Mexico. When she married Don Arquette in 1965, Duncan said in her biographical writings that she felt freer to concentrate more effort on writing YA novels, which wasn’t a particularly lucrative pursuit at the time. Beginning with the publication of Ransom (Doubleday), in 1966, Duncan’s books for teens, though rooted in real-life settings, took on a more suspenseful and sometimes supernatural tone. Ransom was a finalist for the Edgar Award in 1967. Continuing in this vein, she became lauded by critics as a master of the teen suspense genre. She published prolifically throughout the 1970s, creating such works as I Know What You Did Last Summer (Little, Brown, 1973), which spawned a feature film franchise in the 1990s; and Killing Mr. Griffin (Little, Brown, 1978), which was a NBC TV movie in 1997.”
Shannon Maughan, Publishers Weekly obit 16 June 2016
16th June 2016 – Jo Cox, 41
Labour MP for Batley and Spen from 2015 to 2016, who had worked for Oxfam and was a campaigner for refugees.
““I’ve been in some horrific situations where women have been raped repeatedly in Darfur,” she told the Yorkshire Post in December last year. “I’ve been with child soldiers who have been given Kalashnikovs and kill members of their own family in Uganda. In Afghanistan I was talking to Afghan elders who were world weary of a lack of sustained attention from their own Government and from the international community to stop problems early. That’s the thing that all of that experience gave me – if you ignore a problem it gets worse.”
18th June 2016 – Bill Ham, 79
Former manager of ZZ Top.
18th June 2016 – Paul Cox, 76
Highly regarded Dutch/Australian film director whose films helped develop the Australian film industry in the 1970s and 80s.
“The film that launched him to international fame was Lonely Hearts (1981), a compassionate and, at times, very funny tale about two offbeat characters falling in love. It was followed by Man of Flowers (1983), which premiered at Cannes in 1984 and secured Cox’s place as an idiosyncratic director who adapted European Romanticism to the contemporary Australia screen. While Cox’s reclusive male lead Charles Bremer (a role that won Norman Kaye the Best Actor Award at the Australian Film Institute in 1983) was consequently depicted as an eccentric individual who lived alone, Bremer’s engagement with the arts was filmed in lush colours and in an emotional and expansive way: besides Lisa, the young model who stripped for him to the love duet from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Bremer loved music, opera, painting, flowers and collecting decorative art objects.”
Victoria Duckett, Sight and Sound obit (via the BFI), 5 August 2016
“The auteur was often described as the father of independent cinema in Australia. While such an honour is, in reality, almost always shared (George Miller and Byron Kennedy funded the first Mad Max completely independently, for example) there is no under-estimating the film-maker’s influence. And there’s no doubt he was feisty until the end. Many people who collaborated with Cox speak about his big heart, his passion, his hatred of injustice. He certainly didn’t seem like the kind of bloke you’d want to get off-side. Cox never forgave, to put it lightly, the producers of 1999’s Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (one of several collaborations with actor David Wenham) after they fired him from his own film. In post-production the producers hired Cox back after, according to him, the original print was tampered with beyond repair. For the record, I still think Molokai is a very fine film – moving and beautifully shot, with one of Wenham’s best performances. Perhaps the director was too close to it to recognise its virtues.”
Luke Buckmaster, Every Australian film maker owes something to director Paul Cox, The Guardian 20 June 2016
“Most of the films we made in the early days came out of sheer tenacity, madness and a total lack of what was considered the normal approach. We were determined though to show the humanity in all of us. As Anne Frank said at the end of her diary, “You have to keep believing that people are basically good.” We are surrounded today by so much evil and ignorance and it’s pretty frightening but I have to remain optimistic and be honest with the feelings inside me. Every thinking artist aims to create something that is true. Although you can’t claim it as “the truth,” I always strove for artistic honesty and that meant I never had any interest in compromising with the pressures and demands of the commercial film industry. As soon as I see a film that has the ring of the dollar to it—whether it’s about cancer or anything else—I turn off. I make films for fellow dreamers, not bums on seats.”
Paul Cox, to Richard Philips, Veteran filmmaker Paul Cox discusses his latest feature, World Socialist, 16 November 2015
19th June 2016 – Anton Yelchin, 27
Actor who appeared in the recent remakes of Star Trek as Chekhov. He died after an accident with a car.
20th June 2016 – Eamonn Dolan, 48
Manager of Reading FC’s youth academy.
22nd June 2016 – Joan Acker, 92
Sociologist who specialised in gender and class.
“Class Questions: Feminist Answers provides a rich and insightful history of class analysis in the Marxian, Weberian, and feminist theory traditions, emphasizing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Acker's treatment of the long debate over capitalism and patriarchy is particularly useful. In her view the only meaningful approach to class is one that is understood to be gendered and racialized. In this sense, she prefers "verbal forms, such as gendering, or adjectival forms, such as racialized, that better capture the sense of process and diversity" as opposed to the omnipresent noun, which all too often "reifies processes and practices" (5). And while class must (as Marxists have always insisted) be seen as related to relations of production and paid labor, it must also, she argues, be seen as encompassing relations of distribution and unpaid labor too.”
John Bellamy Foster, Joan Acker’s Feminist Historical-Materialist Theory, Monthly Review 26 June 2016
22nd June 2016 – Harry Rabinowitz, 100
British conductor and composer. He conducted the music on Chariots of Fire (and many other films), as well as composing the music for I Claudius and The Frost Report.
“When you stand in front of a body of musicians, you don't know them. Say you've got 80 players with 10 years of experience at each chair, so you're looking at 800 years of experience and they're looking at you and you know that within the first three to five minutes they will have decided whether to ever look at you again or to ignore you completely.”
Harry Rabinowitz, to Peter Korn, Portland Tribune, 17 January 2008
23rd June 2016 – Ralph Stanley, 89
Blues musician who was known for being part of The Stanley Brothers with his late brother, Carter.
23rd June 2016 – Michael Herr, 76
Author who wrote the novel Dispatches, about the Vietnam War.
“It took Herr eight years to write Dispatches, in part because he went home from Saigon with a bad case of what might now be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder. He had gone to Vietnam as a correspondent, incongruously, for Esquire magazine. An American general asked him whether he was there to write about military fashion, and another whether he was there to write humour. No, he told them. He wrote little for Esquire, but took advantage of the US government’s decision to allow correspondents extraordinary access – they could catch military helicopters, Herr said, like taxis – to go to war with the grunts. He shared their discomforts and their fears, witnessed their death and mutilation and recorded their language. His own language, a stream of consciousness pulsing with energy, but masterfully controlled, captured the fear and the horror, but also the excitement, of the war in the jungle and paddy fields. “So much beauty”, he recalled, “and so much pleasure”. He recorded with a connoisseur’s expertise such details as the many ways in which soldiers would wish each other good luck, and the degrees of madness that were deemed acceptable – and those, such as booby-trapping the latrines with a powerful explosive, that were not.”
Godfrey Hodgson, Guardian obit 5 July 2016
24th June 2016 – Bernie Worrell, 72
Musician who was the keyboardist for Parliament Funkadelic.
25th June 2016 – Patrick Mayhew, 86
Tory MP for Tunbridge Wells from 1974 to 1997, and the Northern Ireland Secretary under John Major.
“Stormont seemed a strange place to send a man renowned for bluntness. But Mayhew managed to placate Ulster’s tribes as he edged toward dialogue with Sinn Fein, with Republicans and Loyalists equally ready to press their point with atrocities and Unionists constantly threatening to walk out. His revelation of the secret contacts and his agreement to a “framework document” with Dublin brought cries of betrayal. But Mayhew – the first secretary of state to address an Orange Lodge – was sincere in reassuring Unionists he would not make a one-sided agreement. Some colleagues feared one concession too many to Sinn Fein, and he crossed swords with the home secretary Michael Howard. Yet it was Mayhew who, after the IRA called a supposedly permanent ceasefire in 1994, insisted talks could not begin without a physical handover of weapons.”
27th June 2016 – Mack Rice, 82
Song writer who wrote Mustang Sally.
27th June 2016 – Aharon Ipale, 74
Actor who appeared in Fiddler on the Roof, and The Mummy.
28th June 2016 – Scotty Moore, 84
Guitarist who was best known for being a backing musician to Elvis Presley in the 1950s.
28th June 2016 – Betty Brown, 88
“A non-conflicted egalitarian, Baillie Brown teamed up with firebrand socialist Jimmy Reid to take on Ted Heath’s Government in 1973 and helped to launch the Clydebank Rent Strike, despite government threats of imprisonment. However Betty Brown’s politics stretched beyond making sure local people would not suffer punishing rent increases. The lady with no formal education had already marched side by side with Jimmy Reid in the UCS sit-in of 1971. And Brown was a strident peace campaigner, who went on to achieve a poignant legacy in having the Dove of Peace incorporated into the Clydebank coat of arms.”
Brian Beacom, Herald Scotland obit, 5 July 2016
29th June 2016 – Rob Wasserman, 64
Bass player who worked with Pete Seeger and Lou Reed.
30th June 2016 – Gordon Murray, 95
The creator of Trumpton.
“Justin Johnson, children’s programmer at the British Film Institute described Murray as “a true hero of children’s TV and someone who touched the hearts and minds of many generations of children.” He added: “The Trumptonshire Trilogy was a beautifully observed picture of everyday middle England. Ordinary, everyday people doing everyday tasks. It worked because the scripts were always well constructed with believable characters. Every week, Lord Belborough on his train, the Trumptonshire clock or the Fire Engine being called out.” Narrated by Brian Cant, the trilogy ran for a total of 39 episodes between 1966 and 1969, but they were broadcast, often out of sequence, throughout the Seventies and Eighties.”
30th June 2016 – Sir Geoffrey Hill, 84
One of the most highly regarded English poets of the 20th Century.
“For the Unfallen, eventually published in 1959, and all Hill’s subsequent books, dwell on blood and religion; his treatments of violence range from Funeral Music (from King Log, 1968), a remarkable sequence on the astonishingly violent battles of the Wars of the Roses, to his careful and sensitive elegies for Holocaust victims. From his earliest poetry he was intensely interested in martyrs, whether of the religious controversies of the 16th and 17th centuries, or totalitarian regimes of the 20th; and he aimed at a scrupulous weighing of the appropriate words by which their witness could be mediated. By making historical atrocities more immediate, and refusing to abandon the memory of the dead, Hill was also tacitly calling attention to more contemporary political predicaments. His poetry was deliberately unfashionable – Hill emerged at the same time as the Movement poets, writers such as Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis, and the contrast between them could not have been greater. Hill’s work was steeped in history (and occasionally myth), unashamed of intellectual and scholarly breadth; Movement poetry was cautious, rooted in a defiantly ordinary contemporary English postwar vision, scornful of “pretension”. Nonetheless, Hill’s beautifully cadenced verse, with a recondite vocabulary enjoyable for its very strangeness, was unignorable, and he found a place in anthologies throughout the years.”
Robert Potts, Guardian obit 1 July 2016