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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, June 5, 2010

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Rue McClanahan, youngest of ‘Golden Girls’Vladimir I. Arnold, Russian mathematicianHans H. Baerwald, retired UCLA professorFrank W. Ballard, U of Connecticut puppeteerLouise Bourgeois, French-born sculptorHiman Brown, radio producerDorothy de Borba, child actress in ‘Our Gang’ comediesJohn W. Douglas, lawyer who championed civil and human rightsDaniel Douma, cofounder of LA Writers StoreRobert B. Dunlap, aka ‘Ballarat Bob,’ Death Valley prospectorRichard Dunn, longtime character actorWilliam A. Fraker, Oscar-nominated cinematographerJoe Gardi, football coach at Hofstra UCaffie Greene, South LA community activistChris Haney, cocreator of Trivial PursuitJack Harrison, survivor of ‘Great Escape’Robert Healy, journalist on Nixon’s enemies listStephen Clancy Hill, porn actor suspected of murderRichard Jackson, NASCAR team ownerLester Johnson, expressionist painterAndrew Koppel, son of ABC news anchor Ted KoppelBenjamin Lees, classical composerRichard (‘Duke’) Llewellyn, chairman and cofounder of college basketball awardDavid Markson, postmodern authorTeungku Hasan Muhammad di Tiro, founded Indonesian separatist movementWilliam L. Murphy, former Staten Island DAKazuo Ohno, Japanese dancerPeter Orlovsky, poet partner of Allen GinsbergTony Peluso, lead guitarist with the CarpentersSteve Reuther, film producerDuff Roblin, former premier of ManitobaVera Saeedpour, honored husband’s memory with Kurdish museumDr. Sherwin H. Sloan, fan of Wagner’s ‘The Ring’Joseph Strick, independent filmmakerGiuseppe Taddei, Italian operatic baritoneAndrei Voznesensky, Russian poetCharlie Wedemeyer, high school football coachDonald Windham, novelist and memoiristTobias Wong, witty artistic designerJohn Wooden, UCLA basketball coachAli-Ollie Woodson, lead singer of TemptationsRobert J. Wussler, CNN cofounderXu Yuyuan, man convicted of slashing children in ChinaFred Zusy, ‘50s AP Cairo bureau chief

Art and Literature

Louise Bourgeois (98) Paris-born US artist whose sculptures tackled themes relating to male and female bodies and anger, betrayal—even murder. In 2001, thousands of tourists saw Bourgeois’s work Spiders when it was exhibited on the plaza at Rockefeller Center for 10 weeks as part of a program to promote outdoor exhibits in New York; it featured a 30-foot-high spider, "Maman,” carrying a basket of eggs, flanked by two smaller spiders. Bourgeois suffered a heart attack on May 29 and died two days later, in New York City on May 31, 2010.

Lester Johnson (91) US artist whose expressionist brushwork at first depicted the human figure as isolated and somber. In the ‘70s, Johnson began painting women in colorful print dresses and men wearing bowler hats, crowding the canvas and moving through city streets. He died in Westhampton, New York on May 30, 2010.

David Markson (82) postmodern author who rummaged through art, history, and reality itself in such novels as Wittgenstein’s Mistress, and wrote crime fiction, poetry, and a spoof of Westerns made into the Frank Sinatra film Dirty Dingus Magee (1970). Markson suffered from cancer. He was found dead at his home in Greenwich Village, New York City on June 4, 2010.

Peter Orlovsky (76) poet who inspired Beat writers like Allen Ginsberg (d. 1997), with whom he had a romantic partnership for decades, and wrote quirky poetry of his own. Orlovsky had diabetes and had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for much of his life. He died of lung cancer in Williston, Vermont on May 30, 2010.

Andrei Voznesensky (77) one of the most popular Russian poets of the Soviet era. Voznesensky was one of the so-called "children of the ‘60s,” a generation that tasted intellectual freedom during the post-Stalin thaw. His verse thrilled readers but irked authorities. He suffered a stroke several years ago and died, reportedly of a second stroke earlier this year, in Moscow, Russia on June 1, 2010.

Donald Windham (89) novelist and memoirist who wrote vivid accounts of literary life in New York, both fictional and factual, when he was a friend of Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. Windham died in New York City on May 31, 2010.

Tobias Wong (35) designer whose sendups of luxury goods and expropriation of work by other designers blurred the line between conceptual art and design. Shown above is Wong’s electric switch. He committed suicide at his home in New York City on May 30, 2010.

Business and Science

Vladimir I. Arnold (72) Russian mathematician who discovered important theorems that found application in astronomy, mechanics, and even weather forecasting. Arnold died of acute pancreatitis in Paris, France on June 3, 2010.

Daniel Douma (63) cofounder in 1982 of the Writers Store in Los Angeles, which provides software and computer help to screenwriters. Douma died of cancer in Florence, Oregon on June 1, 2010.


Hans H. Baerwald (82) retired UCLA professor and scholar of Japanese politics. Born to a German couple in Tokyo in 1927, Baerwald was fluent in four languages. He died of prostate cancer in Pope Valley, Calif. on June 2, 2010.

Vera Saeedpour (80) US-born widow who, in memory of her husband, started the first library and museum in the US dedicated to Kurds, an ancient, stateless people straddling three nations in southwest Asia. Saeedpour died of a heart attack in Schenectady, New York on May 30, 2010.

News and Entertainment

Frank W. Ballard (80) puller of strings who helped to bring the study of puppetry into the university curriculum and trained a generation of puppeteers. Considered one of the most eminent puppeteers in the US, Ballard was long associated with the University of Connecticut, which through his work became—and remains—a magnet for puppeteers in training. He died of complications from Parkinson’s disease, in Storrs, Connecticut on June 4, 2010.

Himan Brown (99) radio producer who, long before there was TV, created popular radio dramas like The Adventures of the Thin Man and Dick Tracy, using sound effects that delighted and terrified the shows’ listeners. Another of Brown’s creations was the radio drama Grand Central Station, but probably his most memorable was Inner Sanctum Mysteries, whose ominous sound of a creaking door became a signature of radio’s heyday. Brown died in New York City on June 4, 2010.

Dorothy de Borba (85) former child actress who played Dorothy in the Our Gang comedies of the early ‘30s. De Borba died of emphysema in Walnut Creek, California on June 2, 2010.

Richard Dunn (73) longtime character actor who frequently collaborated with comics Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim on Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup. Dunn had been unconscious at a hospital since May 3. He died in Hollywood, California on June 4, 2010.

William A. Fraker (86) six-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer, for Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), Heaven Can Wait (1978), 1941 (1980), WarGames (1983), Murphy’s Romance (1985), and a visual effects mention for 1941. Fraker died of cancer in Los Angeles, California, his birthplace, on May 31, 2010.

Chris Haney (59) cocreator of the popular Trivial Pursuit board game. A newspaper photo editor, Haney teamed up with Canadian Press sports reporter Scott Abbott in 1979 to invent Trivial Pursuit. Released in 1982, the game took off after a slow start and the duo sold the rights to toy giant Hasbro in 2008 for US$80 million. Haney died in Toronto, Canada on May 31, 2010.

Robert Healy (84) longtime reporter and editor for the Boston Globe who earned a place on the White House enemies list during Richard Nixon’s administration. Healy died of a massive stroke in Jupiter, Florida on June 5, 2010.

Stephen Clancy Hill (34) porn actor suspected of killing a colleague with a prop sword. Hill died after falling some 40 feet from a rocky hillside after a standoff with police, in Chatsworth, California on June 5, 2010.

Andrew Koppel (40) son of former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel. Andrew Koppel was found dead at a friend’s apartment after an all-day drinking binge, in New York City on May 31, 2010.

Benjamin Lees (86) American classical composer who spurned modern musical trends in favor of work that was lyrical, tonal, and widely described as approachable. Lees died of heart failure in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York on May 31, 2010.

Rue McClanahan (76) Emmy-winning actress who brought man-eating Southern belle Blanche Devereaux to life on the hit TV series The Golden Girls (1985-92). McClanahan had an active career on off-Broadway and regional stages in the ‘60s before she was tapped for TV in the ‘70s for the key best-friend character on the hit series Maude, starring another future Golden Girl, Beatrice Arthur (Dorothy; d. 2009). McClanahan was the youngest, by at least 10 years, of the four actresses (the other two were Estelle Getty [Sofia], who died in 2008, and Betty White [Rose], still working at 88) who played the Golden Girls, well-dressed, sharp-tongued, over-50 women who shared a house in Miami. She had undergone treatment for breast cancer in 1997; in 2009, she had heart bypass surgery. She died of a brain hemorrhage in New York City on June 3, 2010.

Kazuo Ohno (103) Japanese modern dancer who brought the Butoh dance style, characterized by slow movements executed in a low crouched stance and often performed in whiteface, to international audiences. Ohno died of respiratory failure in Yokohama, Japan on June 1, 2010.

Tony Peluso (60) lead guitarist with the Carpenters for 12 years and a successful Motown and Latin music producer. Peluso died of heart disease in Los Angeles, California on June 5, 2010.

Steve Reuther (58) film producer whose credits include Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, and the hit romance The Ugly Truth (2009). Reuther died of cancer in Santa Monica, California on June 5, 2010.

Dr. Sherwin H. Sloan (72) ophthalmologist who retired early to pursue an obsession that won him another title—leader of the Ringheads, a nickname for followers of Richard Wagner’s four-opera cycle known as The Ring. After watching the Seattle Opera present it in 1975, Sloan eventually experienced all 15 hours of the musical drama 90 times. He died of pneumonia in Hollywood, California on May 31, 2010.

Joseph Strick (86) independent filmmaker who brought James Joyce’s Ulysses (1967) to the big screen and won an Oscar for best documentary short subject for Interviews with My Lai Veterans (1971). Strick died of congestive heart failure in Paris, France on June 1, 2010.

Giuseppe Taddei (93) Italian baritone who made his Metropolitan Opera debut to glowing notices in the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff in 1985 at the astonishing age of 69 (although he would gladly have sung there decades earlier, he said, if only the Met had asked him nicely). The Met’s three previous invitations—in 1951, ‘58, and the early ‘80s—were lacking in diplomacy, Taddei said. He died in Rome, Italy on June 2, 2010.

Ali-Ollie Woodson (58) singer who led the Motown quintet the Temptations in the ‘80s and ’90s and helped to restore it to glory with songs like "Treat Her Like a Lady." Woodson died of cancer in Los Angeles, California on May 30, 2010.

Robert J. Wussler (73) CNN cofounder who became the youngest president of the CBS-TV network when he took over at age 39. Wussler started his 21-year career at CBS working in the mailroom and eventually became executive producer of CBS News, then formed his own production company. In 1980, Ted Turner recruited him to join TBS and to help develop CNN. Wussler won seven Emmys. He died in Westport, Connecticut on June 5, 2010.

Fred Zusy (96) former Cairo bureau chief for the Associated Press in the ‘50s whose short-lived expulsion from Egypt by that country’s government raised questions about government censorship in the name of national security; when Egypt was warned the expulsion could harm relations with the US, it reversed course. Zusy died in Kensington, Maryland on May 30, 2010.

Politics and Military

John W. Douglas (88) lawyer who championed civil and human rights as an assistant US attorney general in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and later in private practice. The son of former Senator Paul H. Douglas (D-Ill.), John Douglas died of a stroke in Washington, DC on June 2, 2010.

Jack Harrison (97) survivor of the March 24, 1944 Great Escape plot by Allied prisoners in a German prison in World War II. As a camp gardener, Harrison helped to dispose of the dirt excavated from three escape tunnels. The breakout was celebrated in the 1963 film The Great Escape. Harrison died in Bishopton, Scotland on June 4, 2010.

Teungku Hasan Muhammad di Tiro (84) founder of Aceh’s separatist movement. The former leader of the now-dissolved Free Aceh Movement died just one day after the government restored his Indonesian citizenship, revoked because of his independence struggle in exile. Di Tiro died from multiple organ failure after 11 days in a hospital in Aceh’s provincial capital of Banda Aceh, where he was being treated for a failing heart, leukemia, and a lung infection, on June 3, 2010.

Duff Roblin (92) most significant premier of Manitoba in the 20th century, a pragmatic visionary. Roblin was elected premier of the province for three terms in the ‘50s and ‘60s and later served in the Senate. He died in Victoria, Manitoba, Canada on May 30, 2010.

Society and Religion

Robert B. Dunlap (87) one of the last Death Valley prospectors who dynamited and burrowed through the Panamint Valley in search of riches. Dunlap was known for his tall tales and a brush with the homicidal Manson family in 1968, when they settled at Barker Ranch, 20 miles east of Trona, a year before their arrest. At the time, Dunlap was a sort of caretaker at Barker Ranch, where he kept a pack of wild burros for prospecting expeditions. He died of cancer in Loma Linda, California on June 1, 2010.

Caffie Greene (91) longtime community activist who played a key role in the effort to bring a major hospital, the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, to South Los Angeles after the 1965 Watts riots. Greene, who suffered from several ailments including pneumonia and heart failure, died in Lynwood, California on June 1, 2010.

William L. Murphy (65) former Staten Island (NY) district attorney who over more than 20 years in office prosecuted a notorious child kidnapper, a corrupt city official, and the killer of two New York City detectives. Murphy died of complications from diabetes in the New Brighton neighborhood of Staten Island, New York on June 4, 2010.

Xu Yuyuan (47) man convicted of slashing 29 children and three teachers with a knife in one of a series of recent assaults on schools and kindergartens in China. Although no one died in the April 29 attack, it was one of five major assaults against schoolchildren in the last two months that killed 17 and hurt more than 50. Xu Yuyuan was executed in China on May 30, 2010.


Joe Gardi (71) former Hofstra University football coach (1990-2005). Gardi was 119-62-2 in 16 seasons at Hofstra, ranking second in school history in wins and winning percentage (.650). Under Gardi, Hofstra—which has since dropped football—upgraded from Division III to I-AA and won its first NCAA playoff victories. Gardi died of a stroke in Manhasset, New York on June 2, 2010.

Richard Jackson (74) former NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup Series team owner. Jackson fielded cars in NASCAR’s top two levels for 26 years. In 1974 he formed Precision Products Racing with his brother, Leo Jackson Jr., then formed Richard Jackson Motorsports in ‘90. That team ran until 2001. Jackson died in Asheville, North Carolina on May 31, 2010.

Richard (Duke) Llewellyn (93) chairman and cofounder of the John R. Wooden Award that goes to college basketball’s player of the year. Working with former UCLA coach Wooden, a friend for more than 60 years, Llewellyn founded the Wooden Award in 1976. Both men died on the same day. Llewellyn died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles, California on June 4, 2010.

Charlie Wedemeyer (64) football coach at Los Gatos (Calif.) High School who inspired athletes and others with his long-term battle against Lou Gehrig’s disease. Despite his illness, Wedemeyer led Los Gatos to seven league championships while posting a 78-18-1 record. His inspirational life story has been chronicled in a PBS-TV documentary and a TV movie, Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story (1988), starring Michael Nouri. Wedemeyer died after developing pneumonia following surgery, in San Jose, California on June 3, 2010.

John Wooden (99) Midwesterner who migrated to UCLA and became college basketball’s most successful coach, earning the nickname the Wizard of Westwood and an enduring place in sports history while guiding the Bruins to an unprecedented 10 national championships in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Wooden had been hospitalized since May 26 and died in Los Angeles, California on June 4, 2010.

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