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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, September 21, 2019

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Phyllis Newman, Tony-winning Broadway actressRic Ocasek, frontman for rock band The Cars

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Phyllis Newman (86) Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran who became the first woman to guest-host The Tonight Show before turning her attention to fight for women’s health. Newman won the 1962 Tony for best-supporting actress in the musical Subways Are for Sleeping, where her costume consisted of a bath towel and which had lyrics cowritten by her late husband, lyricist Adolph Green (died 2002). She earned a second Tony Award nomination in 1987 for her performance in the Neil Simon play Broadway Bound, in which she played Aunt Blanche, then began a brief role in the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. She died of a lung disorder in New York City on September 15, 2019.

Ric Ocasek (75) The Cars frontman whose deadpan vocal delivery and lanky, sunglassed look defined a rock era with chart-topping hits like “Just What I Needed.” Ocasek’s death came a year after The Cars were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, followed by an announcement by model Paulina Porizkova on social media that she and Ocasek had separated after 28 years of marriage. The pair first met while filming the music video for “Drive,” another Cars hit. Ocasek, who sang, played guitar, and wrote most of the band’s songs, and Benjamin Orr, who played bass and sang, were ex-hippie buddies who formed The Cars in Boston in 1976. They were 10 years older than many of their modern-rock compatriots but became one of the most essential American bands of the late ‘70s and ‘80s with their fusion of new wave, ‘60s pop, and ’70s glam. Ocasek’s minimalist, half-spoken deadpan vocals made the band’s sound, and his long, lanky appearance formed their lasting image. He was found dead at his home in New York City on September 15, 2019.

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