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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, August 4, 2018

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Tony Bullimore, British yachtsmanMary Carlisle, with Bing Crosby in 'Double or Nothing' (1937)Lorrie Collins, '50s rockabilly starRon Dellums, northern California's first black congressman and onetime mayor of OaklandAntonio Dias, Brazilian painterRick ('Zombie Boy') Genest, Canadian modelChristopher Gibbs, British antiques dealer and style-setterCharles Hamlen, manager of classical music artists who founded AIDS charityAnita Miller, Chicago publisherMoshe Mizrahi, Israeli film directorFakir Musafar, performance artist in 'modern primitivism'Dr. Robert G. Newman, pioneer in methadone treatment for heroin addictsWinston Ntshona, South African actorMichael A. Sheehan, US counterterrorism officialIsamu Shibayama, Japanese-AmericanRobert Silman, engineer who saved others' architectureNancy Tuckerman, lifelong friend and social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy OnassisNikolai Volkoff, wrestling villain

Art and Literature

Antonio Dias (74) Brazilian artist whose early paintings needled his country’s military dictatorship. Dias later turned to political conceptual art while in self-imposed European exile. In the mid-‘60s he emerged as a leading figure of Nova Figuração (New Figuration), a movement in Brazilian painting that used bold, graphic imagery to contest Brazil’s junta, which took power in 1964. Dias was being treated for lung cancer but died of a brain tumor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 1, 2018.

Anita Miller (91) helped to found an independent Chicago publishing house that found itself in a losing four-year legal battle with the estate of novelist John Cheever. A published author in her own right, Miller founded Academy Chicago Publishers with her husband, Jordan, in 1975. By the time it was acquired by Chicago Review Press as a separate imprint in 2013, they had hundreds of titles in print on a variety of subjects and genres. In the late ‘80s, Mary Cheever, John’s widow, agreed to a $1,500 advance to produce what the Millers envisioned as a collection of as many as 68 unpublished Cheever short stories. But neither party had vetted the vaguely worded contract with a lawyer, and the agreement led to four years of bitter litigation, four court judgments, and more than $1 million in legal fees. Miller wrote her own book on the case. She died in Chicago, Illinois on August 4, 2018.

Business and Science

Dr. Robert G. Newman (80) pioneered methadone maintenance as a safe substitute for heroin and struggled to redefine addiction as a chronic medical condition that cannot be cured. Newman created the world’s largest methadone maintenance program, establishing it in New York under Mayor John V. Lindsay in 1970. As an assistant health commissioner for the city, he devoted his career to destigmatizing opioid addiction and treatment. He also was president of Beth Israel Medical Center, where he presided over its partnership with St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and other institutions in 1997 to form Continuum Health Partners. As a hospital administrator, Newman advocated needle exchanges for addicts long before the AIDS outbreak generated broader support for such controversial programs. He was struck by a car in the Bronx in June and never recovered from his injuries. Newman died in New York City on August 1, 2018.

Robert Silman (83) structural engineer who rescued Frank Lloyd Wright’s cantilevered Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, shown above, from the edge of collapse and preserved dozens of other landmarks besides. Silman was president emeritus of the engineering firm Silman, headquartered in Manhattan, which he founded in 1966. Among the best-known projects he helped to engineer were the creation of the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, the restoration and expansion of Carnegie Hall, and the preservation of the Survivors’ Stairs from the World Trade Center. Silman died of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on July 31, 2018.

News and Entertainment

Mary Carlisle (104) Hollywood actress who enjoyed popularity in the ‘30s as a wholesome ingenue in musical comedies opposite singer Bing Crosby. With her blonde hair, blue eyes, and alabaster skin, Carlisle had the delicate beauty of an all-American porcelain doll. She appeared in more than 60 films in a career that lasted about a dozen years. Much to her dismay, she was typecast as the perpetual innocent, a decorative virgin. She began with minor parts in prestigious films, playing a newlywed in the star-filled hit melodrama Grand Hotel (1932). That year the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers selected her—along with starlets including Gloria Stuart and Ginger Rogers—as a “Wampas Baby Star,” which led to a publicity build-up that promised better roles; the parts were bigger but seldom better. Carlisle was believed to be 104 but never confirmed her age, even to her family. As a centenarian, she was known to tell visitors that her true age was “none of your business.” She died in Woodland Hills, California on August 1, 2018.

Lorrie Collins (76) one of the most dynamic female rockabilly stars of the ‘50s. Collins was the winner of talent contests in her native Oklahoma when she was 8, and by the time she turned 12 she was appearing onstage with her brother Larry, a guitar prodigy who sang high harmonies above her lead vocals. They dressed in flashy Western wear, and Larry, two years younger, played a double-necked electric guitar. The duo’s performances were well suited to TV variety shows. Lorrie was also highly photogenic—a factor that, combined with the novelty of the siblings’ youth, earned them regular invitations to appear on shows starring household names like Jackie Gleason and Dinah Shore. The Collinses' first big break came in 1954 on Town Hall Party, a variety show on Los Angeles station KTTV hosted by country singer Tex Ritter. As adults, Lorrie retired to raise a family and Larry became a songwriter. They reunited for a performance at a rockabilly festival in England in 1993, after which they continued to perform until Lorrie’s death from complications after a fall, in Reno, Nevada on August 4, 2018.

Rick ('Zombie Boy') Genest (32) Quebec model known for his head-to-toe tattoos and participation in the Lady Gaga music video “Born This Way.” Genest held the Guinness World Book of Records citation for the most insects tattooed on a human body (178) and the most bones inked on a human body, at 138. But while his outward appearance may have been intimidating, he was unfailingly mild-mannered and polite. He apparently committed suicide in Montreal, Canada on August 1, 2018.

Charles Hamlen (75) cofounder in 1977 of one of classical music’s leading management agencies, IMG Artists, which represents many of the biggest stars in the field. Hamlen helped to build the careers of young stars, including violinist Joshua Bell, then left the business to raise money to help people with AIDS. In 1993 he founded Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS, a charity that staged benefit concerts that raised millions for AIDS groups. He died of leukemia in New York City on August 1, 2018.

Moshe Mizrahi (86) Israeli director whose Madame Rosa, one of several movies he made in France, won the Oscar for best foreign-language film in 1978. Born to a Jewish family in Egypt that emigrated to Palestine when he was a teenager, Mizrahi did not begin directing feature films until 1970. Two films that he shot in Israel—I Love You Rosa (1972) and The House on Chelouche Street (1973)—were nominated for Oscars for best foreign-language film. So when he asked Simone Signoret, the French star known for her smoldering sexuality, to star in Madame Rosa as an aging former prostitute and Holocaust survivor—a frumpy character with frizzy hair who wears unappealing makeup and dresses—she put aside her resistance to the part because she admired his work. Mizrahi died of pneumonia in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 3, 2018.

Winston Ntshona (76) black South African actor whose performances on Broadway in two short antiapartheid dramas earned him a Tony Award in 1975 with his costar, John Kani, but led to their imprisonment in ’76. Ntshona’s theatrical career was connected to Kani’s. Both were factory workers in the mid-‘60s when they joined the Serpent Players, a mixed-race troupe that white playwright Athol Fugard had helped to form. South African blacks could not be employed as “artists” at the time, so Ntshona and Kani were classified as servants to Fugard in the identification passbooks that blacks were required to carry. Ntshona, Kani, and Fugard collaborated in the early ‘70s on the plays Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island. Ntshona and Kani performed in both plays in London, on Broadway, and around the US and South Africa for over 30 years, beginning when apartheid was the official government policy and continuing well after its dissolution. Ntshona died in New Brighton, a township near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on August 2, 2018.

Nikolai Volkoff (70) ex-weight lifter who played a Soviet villain in the professional wrestling ring and battled the likes of Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan. Volkoff portrayed a Communist heel with convincing panache, wearing Soviet-style apparel, like an ushanka fur cap, into the ring and singing the country’s national anthem before matches. It was an ideal Cold War shtick in wrestling, where good vs. evil is a constant story line. But even as the act turned him into a major star and brought him championship titles, Volkoff was uncomfortable in the Soviet guise. He was actually a Croatian born in Yugoslavia as Josip Hrvoje Peruzovic. He had recently been hospitalized with heart problems and died in Glen Arm, Maryland on July 29, 2018.

Politics and Military

Ron Dellums (82) antiwar activist who championed social justice as northern California’s first black congressman. A former US Marine who got his start in politics on the City Council of liberal Berkeley, Dellums defeated a labor-backed Democrat to win his first election to Congress in 1970. He retired in 1998 and was elected mayor of his native Oakland in 2006. He died in Washington, DC on July 30, 2018.

Michael A. Sheehan (63) former top counterterrorism official for the US State Department and the Pentagon who sounded an early, and unheeded, warning about Osama bin Laden and the dangers of Al Qaeda before 9/11. Sheehan started a counterterrorism career of more than 30 years as an Army Green Beret, leading a clandestine hostage-rescue assault team in Panama in 1979. Fluent in Spanish, he later carried out antidrug and counterinsurgency missions in El Salvador, Colombia, and Honduras. A year after retiring from the Army, he was named, in 1998, the State Department’s chief of counterterrorism and soon was raising alarms about Al Qaeda and its leader. In a secret memo written that year, after the bombings of two US embassies in East Africa, Sheehan urged the Clinton administration to step up efforts to persuade Afghanistan and its neighbors to cut off financing to bin Laden and stop giving Al Qaeda sanctuary. His warnings were ignored by both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush until after 9/11. Sheehan died of multiple myeloma in Bethesda, Maryland on July 30, 2018.

Isamu Shibayama (88) until he turned 11½, Shibayama’s childhood was idyllic. His father was a successful textile importer and dress-shirt wholesaler in Lima, Peru. His house was staffed by servants. The boy was chauffeured to private school. He spent summers living on the coast with his grandparents, who owned a department store, and swimming in the Pacific. Then, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The Shibayama family, joining nearly 2,000 others of Japanese heritage living in Peru, were rounded up by the police, turned over to American troops, and shipped to prison camps in Texas and other states, where they remained from 1942–44, sharing the fate of tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans who were also interned. Shibayama embarked on what proved to be a 30-year struggle to become an American citizen. In 1952, although still classified as an illegal immigrant, he was drafted into the Army and deployed to Germany; he was honorably discharged in 1954. He died in San Jose, California on July 31, 2018.

Nancy Tuckerman (89) lifelong friend of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who became her social secretary when she was the first lady and continued to be her spokeswoman until her death in 1994. Tuckerman was the first lady’s social secretary for only a few months, arriving at the White House in the spring of 1963, a bit more than two years into President John F. Kennedy’s term. But those months were eventful. In August of that year the Kennedys’ newborn son, Patrick, died shortly after birth. In November the president was assassinated in Dallas, and Tuckerman found herself helping the first lady to deal with the trauma, the funeral preparations, an avalanche of mail, and more. Tuckerman died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Salisbury, Connecticut on August 1, 2018.

Society and Religion

Christopher Gibbs (80) London antiques dealer and dandy who introduced the raffish “distressed bohemian” style to interior design and helped to start the Peacock Revolution in men’s wear. Gibbs was an aristocratic magnet for, among others, rock star Mick Jagger, John Paul Getty Jr., Beat Generation novelist William S. Burroughs, and Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein of Bavaria, a banker who became the Rolling Stones’s business manager. They were all clients of Gibbs or guests at his salons. He died of respiratory and cardiac failure in Tangier, Morocco on July 30, 2018. Only minutes earlier, at midnight, he had turned 80.

Fakir Musafar (87) former advertising man who became a performance artist. Born Roland Loomis, Musafar found pleasure in pain and made a career with his lifelong passion for piercing, branding, tattooing, suspension, corseting, and other bizarre practices. He shared what he called “modern primitivism” with the world by performing, publishing a magazine devoted to it, and teaching classes on branding and piercing. He died of lung cancer in Menlo Park, California, nine days short of his 88th birthday, on August 1, 2018.


Tony Bullimore (79) British yachtsman who was 57 when he undertook the 1996–97 Vendée Globe, a solo around-the-world yacht race, on a 60-foot ketch named the Exide Challenger. The race, which takes several months, begins on the French coast, with the sailors going south and clockwise around the globe. In the Southern Ocean, off Antarctica, the weather was more than the Exide Challenger could withstand. Its keel snapped off “like a matchstick,” Bullimore said, “and within seconds...the boat was sitting upside down with me sitting inside the boat, sitting and standing and sliding around on the roof, with water slowly seeping in.” He was eventually rescued and continued to sail after his near-fatal experience. Bullimore, who also had an import-export business, entered his first solo trans-Atlantic race in 1976 and was England’s Yachtsman of the Year in ’85. He logged 300,000 ocean miles and competed in more than 150 races. Bullimore died of cancer in Bristol, England on July 31, 2018.

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