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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, November 17, 2018

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Douglas Rain, Shakespearean actor who gave voice to computer HAL in '2001: A Space Odyssey'Caroline Rose Hunt, Texas oil heiressStan Lee, revolutionized comic book industry with Marvel superheroesDavid Pearson, NASCAR's 'Silver Fox'

Art and Literature

Stan Lee (95) creative dynamo who revolutionized the comic book and helped to make billions for Hollywood by introducing human frailties in Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Incredible Hulk. As top writer at Marvel Comics and later as its publisher, Lee was widely considered the architect of the contemporary comic book. He revived the industry in the ‘60s by offering the costumes and action craved by younger readers while insisting on sophisticated plots, college-level dialogue, satire, science fiction, even philosophy. Millions responded to the mix of realistic fantasy, and many of his characters, including Spider-Man, the Hulk, and X-Men became stars of blockbuster films. Recent projects he helped to make possible range from the films Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, and Guardians of the Galaxy to such TV series as Agents of SHIELD and Daredevil. Lee was recognizable to his fans, having had cameos in many Marvel films and TV projects, often delivering his trademark motto, “Excelsior!” He considered the comic-book medium an art form, and he was prolific: By some accounts, he came up with a new comic book every day for 10 years. Lee died in Los Angeles, California on November 12, 2018.


Business and Science

Caroline Rose Hunt (95) Texas oil heiress who quietly diversified her investments and became one of the nation’s wealthiest women in the ‘80s after two billionaire brothers tried to corner the world’s silver market and lost fortunes when the price collapsed. Unassuming, gracious, caring more about raising her children and tomatoes than about market strategies, Caroline Hunt was content to let advisers manage her affairs as her brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt, known as Bunker, and William Herbert Hunt, known as Herbert, corralled a third to half of the world’s deliverable silver in a dizzying 1980 roller-coaster ride. While her brothers hemorrhaged money and plunged into years of lawsuits, fines, damage claims, and bankruptcy proceedings, Caroline Hunt, who inherited about $600 million, enlarged her portfolio of oil, gas, timber, and real estate to $1.3 billion by venturing successfully into apparel, charter helicopter and small-plane services, shopping centers, office complexes, and luxury hotels in the US, Europe, and Asia. She died in Dallas, Texas on November 13, 2018.


News and Entertainment

Douglas Rain (90) Canadian actor who played some of Shakespeare's most intriguing characters onstage but perhaps was best known for the creepily calm voice of the computer HAL in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Rain’s roles at Stratford included playing Claudio in Measure for Measure in 1954, Malvolio in Twelfth Night in ‘57, Edgar in King Lear in ’64, and Prince Hal in Henry IV, Part 1 in ‘58, a play and a role he returned to in ‘65 and eventually took on the title role in ’66. But it was the voice of the artificially intelligent HAL 9000—forerunner of today’s Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home—where Rain entered the public’s consciousness. He died in St. Marys, Ontario, Canada on November 11, 2018.


Sports

David Pearson (83) hailed as NASCAR’s Silver Fox for his cunning behind the wheel, which propelled him to three top-series championships and acclaim as perhaps the most brilliant driver in the history of stock-car racing. Over 27 racing seasons Pearson won 105 times, second only to Richard Petty’s 200 while driving in less than half as many events. He entered the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2011 as a member of its second class of inductees. Pearson was prematurely gray, but he became the Silver Fox mainly for his ability to sit back in the pack, then find just the right moment to overtake the leaders. He died in Spartanburg, South Carolina on November 12, 2018.


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