Back to Life In Legacy Main Page Pages for Previous Weeks Celebrity Deaths Message Board
Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hold pointer over photo for person's name. Click on photo to go to brief obit.
Click on name to return to picture.

Sidney Lumet, film directorJohn Adler, former US congressman (D-NJ, 2009-11)Edward Bigelow, NYC Ballet dancerBaruch S. Blumberg, biochemist who discovered hepatitis B virusMyles Burke, police chief of Cape Breton, Nova ScotiaMike Campbell, white Zimbabwean farmerDaniel Catán, Mexican opera composerL. J. Davis, business journalistDick Dorso, Hollywood talent agentKevin Jarre, screenwriterTy Jurras, Vermont innkeeperCharles Laufer, publisher of teen fan magazinesGerald A. Lawson, developed home video game systemArthur Lessac, voice and speech therapistKeith Mastronardi, Wall Street traderJohn McCracken, Minimalist artist and sculptorNed McWherter, Tennessee governorJuliano Mer-Khamis, Israeli-Arab actorRoger Nichols, Grammy-winning sound engineerJesse Outlar, Georgia sportswriterAnge-Felix Patasse, African politicianWilliam H. Prusoff, developed early AIDS drug componentGil Robbins, folk singer and guitaristMandi Schwartz, Yale hockey playerGene Shefrin, Hollywood publicistHedda Sterne, Abstract Expressionist painterHansjoachim Tiedge, West German spy who defectedOrrin Tucker, bandleader remembered for 1939 hit recordRandy Wood, founder of Dot Records

Art and Literature

John McCracken (76) Minimalist artist and sculptor known for his painted planks. McCracken died in New York City on April 8, 2011.

Hedda Sterne (100) artist whose association with the Abstract Expressionists became fixed forever when she appeared prominently in a now-famous 1951 Life magazine photograph of the movement’s leading painters. The last surviving artist from the Life photograph, Sterne died in New York City on April 8, 2011.

Business and Science

Baruch S. Blumberg (85) biochemist who shared the 1976 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus, showed that it could cause liver cancer, then helped to develop a powerful vaccine to fight it, saving millions of lives. Blumberg collapsed and died, apparently of a heart attack, shortly after giving a keynote speech at a NASA conference at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, in Mountain View, California on April 5, 2011.

Ty Jurras (95) former wine industry publicist who operated a well-regarded Vermont bed and breakfast inn during a second career as an innkeeper (1977-85). Jurras died of complications from a fall, in Los Angeles, California on April 6, 2011.

Charles Laufer (87) journalism graduate from the University of Southern California who built a publishing career with youth-oriented fan magazines such as Tiger Beat. Laufer died in Northridge, California on April 5, 2011.

Arthur Lessac (101) speech therapist who gave voice, acting, and movement lessons for decades. Over the years Lessac’s students included Martin Sheen, Faye Dunaway, Michael Douglas, and Frank Langella. He died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles, California on April 7, 2011.

Keith Mastronardi (31) Wall Street trader and father of three. Mastronardi was killed in a freak fall from his fifth-floor upper East Side Manhattan apartment. Sources said he had been drinking and had tried to open a window to let cigarette smoke out of the apartment when he fell, on April 3, 2011. The city medical examiner’s office ruled his death an accident.

William H. Prusoff (90) pharmacologist at the Yale School of Medicine who, with a colleague, developed an effective component in the first generation of drug cocktails used to treat AIDS. Prusoff died in New Haven, Connecticut on April 3, 2011.

News and Entertainment

Edward Bigelow (93) longtime dancer and administrator at the New York City Ballet who originated many dramatic character roles including the Mouse King in George Balanchine’s Nutcracker. Bigelow was killed in a car accident when he lost control and collided head-on with a truck in Sharon, Connecticut on April 4, 2011.

Daniel Catán (62) Mexican composer known for bringing Spanish-language operas into the international repertory, including an adaptation of the film Il Postino that starred Plácido Domingo in its world premiere in 2010. Catán died in his sleep six days after his 62nd birthday, in Austin, Texas, where he was working on an opera based on the 1941 Frank Capra film Meet John Doe, on April 9, 2011.

L. J. Davis (70) magazine journalist who wrote articles about money and business, real estate and home renovation, the Industrial Revolution and Brooklyn, where he lived, for Harper’s, New York, and the New Republic, among other publications. Davis was found dead in his Brooklyn, New York home on April 6, 2011.

Dick Dorso (101) Hollywood talent agent, TV writer and producer, and haberdasher. Dorso as a talent agent represented such entertainers as Artie Shaw, Judy Holliday, Ethel Merman, Gordon McRae, the Andrews Sisters, and Doris Day. He died in Los Angeles, California on April 6, 2011.

Kevin Jarre (56) author of the screenplays for the movies Glory (1989), which won three Oscars, including one for actor Denzel Washington, and Tombstone (1993). Jarre died unexpectedly of heart failure at his Santa Monica, California home on April 3, 2011.

Gerald A. Lawson (70) largely self-taught engineer who became a pioneer in electronic video entertainment, creating the first home video game system with interchangeable game cartridges. Lawson died of complications from diabetes in Mountain View, California on April 9, 2011.

Sidney Lumet (86) director of such gritty classics as Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, and Network. The stars of Lumet’s films won Oscars, and he was nominated four times as best director but never won until 2005, when he received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement. He died of lymphoma in New York City on April 9, 2011.

Juliano Mer-Khamis (52) Israeli-Arab actor and political activist who directed a children’s theater in the West Bank city of Jenin. Mer-Khamis, who led the Freedom Theater, was born to an Israeli Jewish mother and a Palestinian Christian father. He was shot to death in his car by Palestinian militants, in Jenin, Palestinian Territories on April 4, 2011.

Roger Nichols (66) recording engineer who gave the music of Steely Dan its sonic signature. Nichols’ long list of credits also included work with Placido Domingo, Roseanne Cash, Frank Sinatra, and the Beach Boys. Winner of seven Grammys for sound engineering, he died of pancreatic cancer in Burbank, California on April 9, 2011.

Gil Robbins (80) singer, guitarist, and songwriter with the ‘60s folk group the Highwaymen ("Michael, Row the Boat Ashore") and father of actor Tim Robbins. Gil Robbins died of prostate cancer two days after his 80th birthday, in Esteban Cantú, Mexico on April 5, 2011.

Gene Shefrin (90) former Hollywood publicist who represented Don Rickles, Guy Lombardo, and Dick Clark during a career spanning 42 years. Shefrin, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, died in Encinitas, California on April 6, 2011.

Orrin Tucker (100) bandleader whose orchestra had the 1939 hit "Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!,” sung by "Wee Bonnie Baker." Tucker later owned the Stardust Ballroom in Los Angeles. He died in the San Gabriel Valley, California on April 9, 2011.

Randy Wood (94) founder of Dot Records in the ‘50s who often had white singers record rhythm and blues hits by black artists, helping black musicians—and early rock music—to break into the commercial mainstream. Wood died of complications from injuries suffered in a fall downstairs at his La Jolla, California home, on April 9, 2011.

Politics and Military

John Adler (51) New Jersey politician who worked his way up from Cherry Hill town councilman to US congressman. Adler was among the Democrat members of Congress who lost their jobs in the November 2010 election. He had been hospitalized since March, when he underwent emergency surgery after contracting staph bacterial endocarditis, an infection in the tissue around the heart. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 4, 2011.

Mike Campbell (78) white Zimbabwean farmer who won a landmark case in South Africa’s highest court challenging the seizure of his farm by President Robert Mugabe’s government. But ultimately Campbell’s farm was seized and his house burned down by government thugs. He died of complications from a savage 2008 beating by Mugabe loyalists, on April 6, 2011.

Ned McWhirter (80) former two-term Democrat governor of Tennessee who once was a political adviser to then-President Bill Clinton. A child of sharecroppers who rose to become a millionaire businessman, McWherter was governor (1987-95) after 20 years in the state legislature. He died of cancer in Nashville, Tennessee on April 4, 2011.

Ange-Felix Patasse (74) African politician who led the desperately poor nation of Central African Republic for 10 years before being ousted in a 2003 coup. Patasse died of complications from diabetes in neighboring Camaroon, Africa on April 5, 2011.

Hansjoachim Tiedge (73) top West German counterintelligence officer who defected to East Germany in 1985. The head of West Germany’s domestic intelligence agency was fired shortly after the defection for having allowed Tiedge to remain in his job hunting for East German spies despite a serious drinking problem and debts. Tiedge died near Moscow, Russia on April 6, 2011.

Society and Religion

Myles Burke (49) police chief of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Burke was found dead of natural causes in a car in a hotel parking lot in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was attending meetings with police agencies from across the province, on April 9, 2011.


Jesse Outlar (87) sportswriter, editor, and columnist who spent 41 years at the Atlanta Constitution. In 1973, after leaving an Atlanta Falcons game, Outlar was shot in the stomach by a robber; he recovered and returned to work within two months, retiring in ‘88. He died in Peachtree City, Georgia on April 9, 2011.

Mandi Schwartz (23) Canadian-born Yale hockey player whose struggle with leukemia inspired thousands of people to volunteer as bone marrow donors. Schwartz died in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada on April 3, 2011.

Previous Week
Next Week

Return to Main Page
Return to Top