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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, September 2, 2017

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Richard Anderson, TV and movie actorShelley Berman, 'sit-down' comedianAlex Arshinkoff, Ohio Republican Party chairmanMaurice Bluestein, engineer who improved accuracy of wind chill indexKatherine M. Bonniwell, 2nd woman to serve as publisher of 'Life' magazineHubert Brodell, longtime mayor of Jonesboro, Ark.Janine Charrat, French ballerina and choreographerMichael Cromartie, advised journalists on coverage of religionMireille Darc, French film actressHalim El-Dabh, composed music for Martha Graham balletsLarry Elgart, left, and his brother LesMichael Feldman, news photographer and photo editorElaine Ford, novelist who wrote of ordinary livesHannah Frank, film studies faculty member at University of North CarolinaRick Freeman, AP sports editorStephen Fybish, teacher and amateur climatologistLouise Hay, self-help writerJud Heathcote, Michigan State basketball coachMurray Lerner, Oscar-winning documentary filmmakerKaroly Makk, among Hungary's greatest film directorsRollie Massimino, legendary Villanova basketball coachCormac, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, former British archbishopNovella Nelson, film, TV, and stage actressSyd Silverman, former owner and editor of 'Variety'Sir David Tang, founder of Shanghai Tang fashionsSumiteru Taniguchi, survivor of WWII Nagasaki bombingJeffrey Tuchman, director of 1992 Clinton campaign filmHal Tulchin, director of 'black Woodstock'Luciano ('Lucky') Valera, New Mexico state legislatorGin D. Wong, LA architectEbrahim Yazdi, Iranian dissident politician

Art and Literature

Elaine Ford (78) author of novels about quiet lives and thwarted aspirations. Ford’s five published novels, like Monkey Bay, and her many short stories found their power in details and in ordinary, believable characters, often working women in Massachusetts or Maine who were confronting the consequences of choices made and paths not taken. Ford died of a brain tumor in Topsham, Maine on August 27, 2017.

Gin D. Wong (94) architect whose works have helped to shape the look of Los Angeles for more than 50 years. Wong's most notable projects include the LA County Museum of Art, LA International Airport, and the often-photographed Union 76 Gas Station in Beverly Hills. The latter, with its sweeping canopy, more resembles an alien space ship than a refueling stop. His other projects included CBS's Television City complex and such high-rises as the University of Southern California Tower at South Park Center and the 33-story downtown building formerly known as the ARCO Tower. Wong died in Beverly Hills, California on September 1, 2017.

Business and Science

Maurice Bluestein (76) mechanical engineer who helped to develop a new and more accurate formula for calculating the wind chill index, a number that tries to tell us how cold the weather might feel rather than simply how cold it is. Bluestein taught mechanical engineering at Indiana-Purdue University in Indianapolis for about 19 years. While there, he revised a textbook called Thermodynamics & Heat Power, originally written by Irving Granet. Bluestein died of esophageal cancer in Pompano Beach, Florida on August 28, 2017.

Katherine M. Bonniwell (70) former publisher of Life magazine who was widely considered a role model for female magazine managers. Bonniwell was publisher from 1988–91, a period marked by high magazine readership but also by advertising downturns and shifts in consumer interest. During her tenure, the magazine increased its circulation to 1.4 million from 1.2 million and won two National Magazine Awards. Bonniwell was the second woman to serve as publisher of Life. She also was worldwide director of circulation at Time Inc. and business manager for People magazine. She died of lung cancer in New York City on August 31, 2017.

Stephen Fybish (80) New York elementary schoolteacher and amateur climatologist who hoarded and disseminated weather data. Fybish conducted fieldwork, taking measurements and observing conditions first-hand, and was widely quoted whenever a reporter needed someone to verify a weather record or trend. He frequently reached out to journalists, statisticians, and fellow weather buffs and peppered professional forecasters with his findings. He once prompted the National Weather Service to correct a typographical error that had grossly underestimated the snowfall during the winter of 1874–75. Most of the details he dispensed were gleaned from his encyclopedic memory. Fybish died of diabetes in New York City on August 30, 2017.

Sir David Tang (63) outspoken socialite and entrepreneur who founded the Shanghai Tang fashion brand. Hong Kong-born, British-educated Tang was a businessman who operated private clubs and restaurants and held exclusive distribution rights to Cuban cigars in Asia. He was knighted in 2008 for his charitable work in both Britain and Hong Kong, the same honor his grandfather, businessman and philanthropist Tang Shiu-kin, also received. David Tang died of cancer in London, England on August 29, 2017.


Hannah Frank (33) faculty member in film studies at the University of North Carolina/Wilmington who joined the faculty in 2016. Frank died suddenly of a possible case of pneumococcal meningitis. After consulting with the New Hanover County Health Department, the school said it wanted to assure the campus that the strain of meningitis is not considered contagious and that there is no need for protection of those who made contact with Frank unless there is an outbreak. Frank died in Wilmington, North Carolina on August 28, 2017.

News and Entertainment

Richard Anderson (91) actor best known for costarring simultaneously on TV’s The Six-Million-Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman in the ‘70s. The Six-Million-Dollar Man brought a new wave of supernatural heroes to TV. Based on the novel Cyborg by Martin Caidin, it starred Lee Majors as US astronaut Steve Austin, who is severely injured in a crash. The government saves his life by rebuilding his body with atom-powered artificial limbs and other parts, giving him superhuman strength, speed, and other powers. Anderson played Oscar Goldman, Majors' boss at the secret government spy agency the astronaut went to work for after becoming a cyborg. The show began as a TV movie in 1973, and when it proved a hit it was turned into a weekly series in ’74. Its popularity led to a 1976 spinoff show, The Bionic Woman, starring Lindsay Wagner. Anderson took on the Oscar Goldman role in that show, too, sometimes appearing from week to week on both series. He also appeared in many films, including Paths of Glory, The Long Hot Summer, Compulsion, The Wackiest Ship in the Navy, Gathering of Eagles, Johnny Cool, Seven Days in May, and Kitten with a Whip. He died in Beverly Hills, California on August 31, 2017.

Shelley Berman (92) comedian who won gold records and appeared on top TV variety shows in the ‘50s and ‘60s delivering wry monologues about the annoyances of everyday life. Berman was a pioneer of a new brand of comedy that could evoke laughter from such trivialities as air travel discomforts and small children who answer the telephone. He helped to pave the way for Bob Newhart, Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, and other standup comedians who fashioned their routines around the follies and frustrations of modern living. Late in his career, Berman played Nat David, father of Larry David, on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. With dialogue improvised by its cast, the comedy series gave Berman the opportunity to return to his improv roots and introduced him to a new generation of TV viewers. He died of Alzheimer's disease in Bell Canyon, California on September 1, 2017.

Janine Charrat (93) French ballerina who became a major choreographer at a time when few women were engaged in that pursuit and survived a midcareer accident that left her badly burned. Best known later in life as a choreographer, Charrat began her career as a child star. At 12 she appeared to great acclaim in Jean Benoît-Lévy’s 1937 film La Mort du Cygne (The Death of the Swan). Charrat’s talent and charisma and her unusually early interest in choreography led to a collaboration with Roland Petit while she was still in her teens. Out of that alliance came the creation of her first major piece, “Jeu de Cartes,” which established her as an important new and notably female voice in the dance world. She died in Paris, France on August 29, 2017.

Mireille Darc (79) French actress who performed with some of France's leading directors and had a long relationship with actor Alain Delon. With a distinctive blonde bob, Darc was long seen as a sex symbol and was a fixture on French screens in the ‘60s and ‘70s. She performed in some 50 films, including Jean-Luc Godard's Weekend and Yves Robert's The Tall Blond with One Black Shoe. She turned to TV series in the ‘90s and directed documentaries. Darc had been in a coma when she died in Paris, France on August 28, 2017.

Halim El-Dabh (96) Egyptian-American composer best known for the Eastern-infused ballets he wrote for dancer and choreographer Martha Graham (died 1991). El-Dabh was professor emeritus of music at Kent State University, specializing in composition and African ethnomusicology. He settled in the US in 1950, and his music, critics agreed, was unlike anyone else’s. His most famous composition is almost certainly the score for Clytemnestra (1958), one of four ballets for which Graham commissioned him. The only full-evening-length dance she choreographed, it is widely considered her masterwork, spanning more than two hours and reworking the mythic Greek tragedy of murder and retribution. El-Dabh died in Kent, Ohio on September 2, 2017.

Larry Elgart (95) bandleader who, with his brother, Les, recorded “Bandstand Boogie,” the theme song for the long-running TV dance show American Bandstand, and later scored a surprise hit with Hooked on Swing, a medley of swing classics set to a disco beat. After playing alto saxophone with Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey, and other bands, Elgart teamed up with Les, his older brother, to record a series of successful albums for Columbia that brought swing music into the ‘50s and beyond. Les Elgart died in 1995. Larry Elgart died in Sarasota, Florida on August 29, 2017.

Michael Feldman (70) top photo editor whose 40-year career took him from the streets of Philadelphia to major international sporting events including the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup. Feldman spent 20 years as a photography news leader at the Associated Press before his 2008 retirement. He worked as a staff photographer for United Press International in Philadelphia early in his professional career. Among other assignments, he covered the US's bicentennial in 1976, a deadly '78 standoff between police and the radical group MOVE, the assassination of mob boss Angelo Bruno, and Philadelphia’s pro sports scene, aiming his lens at stars including the Philadelphia Phillies’ Pete Rose and the 76ers’ Julius Erving. Feldman died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 30, 2017.

Murray Lerner (90) filmmaker whose documentaries captured some of the world’s greatest folk and rock musicians in their defining performances. Lerner filmed the Newport Folk Festival for four years in the early and middle ‘60s, including the much-referenced moment when Bob Dylan plugged in an electric guitar. He returned to that event for the next three years, coming away with hours of film of Dylan, Joan Baez, Mississippi John Hurt, Johnny Cash, Donovan, Peter, Paul & Mary, and more. His first documentary made from that footage, Festival, came out in 1967, and the film was nominated for an Oscar. But an entirely different type of music brought him his only Oscar, for From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, named best documentary feature in 1981. Lerner died of kidney failure in Long Island City, Queens, New York on September 2, 2017.

Karoly Makk (91) one of Hungary's greatest film directors whose Cats’ Play was nominated for an Oscar in 1975. Makk's film Love, one of the best films about the aftermath of the failed 1956 anti-Soviet uprising and life under tyranny, won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in ’71. Between 1955–87, six of his films, including Liliomfi, Another Way, and The Last Manuscript, were nominated for the top Palme d'Or award at Cannes. Makk was successful in many genres, including comedies and dramas. He died in Budapest, Hungary on August 30, 2017.

Novella Nelson (78) versatile actress whose long career included prominent roles in the hit Broadway musical Purlie in 1970 and the film Antwone Fisher more than 30 years later. Over 50 years Nelson performed in classical and contemporary works in New York and at regional theaters around the US. She was also a stage director, a consultant to impresario Joseph Papp at the Public Theater, and a cabaret singer before she began to appear on TV and in movies. But her face—and the authority she brought to her numerous and varied roles—was usually more familiar than her name. She died of cancer in Brooklyn, New York on August 31, 2017.

Syd Silverman (85) last in a line of family members who steered the Hollywood trade publications Variety and Daily Variety from the days of vaudeville to the era of megabudget cinema. Silverman, whose grandfather founded Variety on a $2,500 loan in 1905, was owner and publisher of the Variety publications for more than 30 years, a period of astonishing change in the industry and a time of increasing competition for the stories and advertising dollars spun off by Hollywood. He sold the publications to Cahners Publishing in 1987 but remained under contract with Variety for another five years. Crain’s New York Business estimated the deal was worth $60 million. Variety Inc. is now owned by Penske Media Group. Silverman died in Boca Raton, Florida on August 27, 2017.

Hal Tulchin (90) TV director who in 1969 filmed the Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of six free Sunday concerts. Stevie Wonder was there, as were other popular music acts, each of which could have attracted a big crowd on its own: the 5th Dimension, Abbey Lincoln, B. B. King, Sly & the Family Stone, Herbie Mann, Hugh Masekela, Gladys Knight & the Pips, David Ruffin, Mahalia Jackson, and the Staple Singers. The series, partly overlapping with another music festival being held in upstate New York that summer, became known as “the Black Woodstock.” But unlike the Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York, a countercultural milestone that spawned an Oscar-winning documentary and a No. 1 soundtrack double album, the Harlem series was destined for near obscurity. Little of Tulchin’s project has been seen publicly. He tried, unsuccessfully, to interest networks in using his footage for a documentary; another plan to make a documentary ended in 2007. Tulchin died in Bronxville, New York on August 29, 2017.

Politics and Military

Alex Arshinkoff (62) Republican political boss credited with mentoring a generation of young politicians and helping to elect presidents. Arshinkoff was one of Ohio’s most powerful and longest-serving party chairs, a man once credited by former President George W. Bush as the most effective chairman in America. Republican chairman for Summit County, Arshinkoff had been undergoing dialysis for several years and had been in deteriorating health since a 2012 car accident. He died in Columbus, Ohio on August 28, 2017.

Hubert Brodell (88) longtime former Jonesboro, Arkansas mayor. Brodell was mayor of the northeast Arkansas city from 1986–2004 after a lengthy career in the insurance industry. He died in Jonesboro, Arkansas on August 28, 2017.

Jeffrey Tuchman (62) man who directed The Man from Hope, the promotional film that introduced Bill Clinton to America at the 1992 Democrat National Convention. Tuchman's other directing credits include White House: Inside with the President’s Photographer (1994); Mavericks, Miracles & Medicine (on which he was also executive producer and writer), a four-part series seen on the History Channel in 2003 that explored medical history; and Save Our History: Voices of Civil Rights, a 2006 Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning oral history, also for the History Channel. But it was the Clinton film that kick-started his career; 10 hours of footage and 1,000 pages of interview transcripts were edited into about 14 minutes of video that was broadcast on network TV from the convention in New York that July and distributed during the fall campaign to potential supporters. Tuchman died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, California on September 2, 2017.

Luciano ('Lucky') Valera (82) longtime New Mexico state legislator who used his budget savvy to guide the state through turbulent economic times. Varela, who at one point during his long career in public service was state controller, represented a state House district in the Santa Fe area from 1987–2016. A Democrat, he was chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee and was regarded as a top budget expert. He played a major role in 2010 legislation aimed at curbing the practice of allowing retired state workers to return to work while still collecting pension benefits. In the 2016 legislative session, he sponsored unsuccessful legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and repeal dozens of tax breaks in state law. He died in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 2, 2017.

Ebrahim Yazdi (85) one of Iran’s most influential dissident politicians who once served as foreign minister. Yazdi was a close ally of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, late leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Yazdi's party, the Freedom Movement of Iran, was part of the revolution but later turned against the clerics as they consolidated power and crushed dissent. Yazdi was purged from office in the early ‘80s; he was foreign minister in 1979 and a lawmaker until ’83. He was frequently sentenced to prison over security charges. Yazdi supported moderate President Hassan Rouhani. He was in Izmir, Turkey for medical treatment after being denied a US visa, when he died of cancer on August 27, 2017.

Society and Religion

Michael Cromartie (67) led a generation of journalists toward more informed coverage of religion’s evolving connection with politics and public policy. A onetime agnostic, Cromartie embraced Christianity as a teenage conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, then became an acolyte of Charles W. Colson, Nixon administration special counsel who was convicted in the Watergate scandal. Cromartie veered toward evangelism and conservatism after he was the victim of a violent hotel room robbery. He died of glandular cancer in Arlington, Virginia on August 28, 2017.

Louise Hay (90) from a 1984 best-seller, Hay built a self-help publishing empire that has attracted millions of devotees with its messages about the power of thought and attitude. In books like You Can Heal Your Life, The Power Is Within You, and Meditations to Heal Your Life, she delivered an upbeat message with a metaphysical underpinning. She wrote that there is a link between thoughts and disease and life’s other misfortunes and urged people to find a positive way to spin even the worst of them. Hay became an early example of the self-improvement gospel that has sprung up over the last several decades. She died in San Diego, California on August 30, 2017.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (85) former Roman Catholic archbishop of Westminster, England (2000-09), a position that made him leader of the Church in England and Wales. A native of England, Murphy-O'Connor was ordained in 1956 and recognized as a bishop and archbishop for his efforts to promote closer relations between his country's Anglicans and Catholics. His long career was marred by his role in transferring a priest who had confessed to abusing young boys. Murphy-O'Connor was a bishop in 1985 when he moved Michael Hill into the chaplaincy at Gatwick Airport. Hill was jailed in 2002 after pleading guilty to six offenses of indecent assault against three boys. Murphy-O'Connor said he was deeply ashamed of the way he had handled the case and apologized to Hill's victims. He said he had been “naïve and ignorant” and guilty of making a “grave mistake.” He died of cancer in London, England on September 1, 2017.

Sumiteru Taniguchi (88) survivor who devoted his life to seeking to abolish nuclear weapons after he was burned severely in the 1945 atomic bomb attack on his hometown of Nagasaki. Taniguchi was 16 and was on the job delivering mail on August 9, 1945, when a US atomic bomb was dropped on the city. The blast, little more than a mile away, threw him from his bicycle, almost killing him. The Nagasaki attack killed more than 70,000 people; the bombing of Hiroshima three days earlier killed an estimated 140,000. Taniguchi could lie only on his stomach for nearly two years as he was treated for the burns that exposed flesh and bones. He later formed a survivors' group and had since led a national effort against nuclear proliferation. He died of cancer in Nagasaki, Japan on August 30, 2017.


Rick Freeman (40) editor whose sense of humor made him a welcome tone setter in a veteran newsroom during his 15 years with the New York sports department at the Associated Press. Freeman joined the AP in 2001 and became a valued member of the sports desk, capable of handling just about any editing shift on the department's schedule. He died of brain cancer in Cleveland, Ohio, shortly after he had been diagnosed with an aggressive tumor known as a glioblastoma, on August 31, 2017.

Jud Heathcote (90) coach who led Michigan State and Magic Johnson to the 1979 NCAA championship. Spartans coach Tom Izzo was hired by Heathcote and was promoted to replace him when he retired in 1995. Heathcote won three Big Ten titles and appeared in nine NCAA tournaments during his 19-year career at Michigan State. He got his start as a head coach in college at Montana in 1971. He died in Spokane, Washington on August 28, 2017.

Rollie Massimino (82) basketball coach who led Villanova's storied run to the 1985 NCAA championship and won more than 800 games in his career. Massimino was men’s basketball coach at Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale. Best known for that national title at Villanova, he also coached at Stony Brook University, the University of Nevada/Las Vegas, and Cleveland State University. He spent the last 11 years at Keiser, where he started the basketball program. Massimino faced numerous health issues in recent years, yet never stopped coaching. He died of cancer in West Palm Beach, Florida on August 30, 2017.

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