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Life In Legacy - Week ending June 7, 2008

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Bo Diddley, cofounding father of rock 'n' rollMel Ferrer, actor/director once married to Audrey HepburnJim McKay, longtime ABC sportscasterYves Saint Laurent, revolutionary fashion designerLouise Allen, widow of former Atlanta mayorBob Anderson, former child actorWilliam Anderson, former owner of Ponderosa Ranch tourist attractionNick Badami, helped to bring 2002 Winter Olympics to UtahSheela Basrur, SARS health officialYanna Kroyt Brandt, Emmy-winning TV writerMatthew J. Bruccoli, authority on F. Scott FitzgeraldKermit Bryson, suspect in deputy's killingTom Catlin, pro football assistant coachMary Cavanagh, former first lady of DetroitJimmy Croll, champion racehorse trainerAnne d'Harnoncourt, art museum directorMike Detjen, often appeared on reality show Little People, Big WorldFerenc Fejtö, Hungarian-born French journalistBill Finegan, half of Sauter-Finegan Orchestra teamWilliam P. Ford, campaigned for human rightsStoney Garland, paralyzed former college football playerDavid Jacobs & Amanda Jo Earhart-SavellHarriet McBryde Johnson, protested annual MD telethonThomas A. Johnson, first black reporter at NY TimesPeter Kapetan, Broadway actorAlton Kelley, cocreator of psychedelic artMustafa Khalil, former Egyptian prime ministerYosef Lapid, Israeli journalist and religious criticJack Lucas, youngest Marine to receive Medal of HonorNeil MacNeil, among TV's first Congressional correspondentsEugenio Montejo, Venezuelan poetAgata Mroz-Olszewska, Polish volleyball playerFrank Muller, actor and audiobook narratorDolores Neuman, free-lance photographerCurtis Osborne, Georgia killerKlaus G. Perls, art dealer and philanthropistGene Persson, movie and theater producerBurl Plunkett, former women's basketball coach at U of OklahomaBruce Purchase, Doctor Who actorMacon Ray, Abe Lincoln impersonatorPat Regan, British antigun activistDon Richards, Florida radio news reporterDino Risi, Italian director of satirical filmsGrigory V. Romanov, Russian rival of GorbachevNikos Sergianopoulos, Greek actorPaul Sills, cofounder of Second City improv groupHorst Skoff, Austrian tennis playerWilliam B. Stallcup Jr., interim president of SMUBill Stroud, Pulitzer-winning journalistMerdis Thomas, actorDwight White, former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive endTrevor Wilkinson, founder of TVRErick Wujcik, game designer

Art and Literature

Anne d'Harnoncourt (64) longtime chief executive of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and one of the art world’s most influential women. D’Harnoncourt came to the museum in 1967 as a curatorial assistant and became museum director in '82, becoming the only woman to head a museum with an annual budget of more than $25 million. She died of cardiac arrest in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 1, 2008.

Alton Kelley (67) graphic artist who helped to create the psychedelic style of posters, album covers, and other art associated with the '60s San Francisco rock scene. Kelley and his lifelong collaborator, Stanley ("Mouse") Miller, turned out iconic work from their studio, a converted firehouse, that captured the mood and music of the Grateful Dead, the Steve Miller Band, Journey, and other top rock 'n' roll groups of the '60s and '70s. Kelley died of complications from osteoporosis in Petaluma, California on June 1, 2008.

Eugenio Montejo (70) Venezuelan poet and essayist who won the 2004 Octavio Paz prize. Montejo's poetry is known for its rich texture and was published in numerous books in Spanish. He was a literary director at Monte Avila Editores in Caracas. Some of his books include Elegos and Muerte y Memoria. He died in Caracas, Venezuela on June 5, 2008.

Klaus G. Perls (96) New York art dealer who sold art for more than 60 years at the Perls Galleries and donated an important collection of African royal art from Benin and modern works by Picasso and Modigliani valued at more than $60 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perls died in Mount Kisco, New York on June 2, 2008.

Business and Science

William Anderson (84) former owner of the Ponderosa Ranch western-themed tourist attraction on Lake Tahoe's north shore. Anderson opened the Incline Village park in 1968 and was its owner and president for more than 30 years. It was the fictional home of the Cartwright family on NBC's Bonanza TV show, starring Lorne Greene ("Ben"), Michael Landon ("Little Joe"), and Dan Blocker ("Hoss"), which ran for 428 episodes (1959-73). Among other attractions, the park featured a replica of the Cartwright house and barn, a wax figure of Ben Cartwright, wagon rides, gold panning, and food such as "Hoss" burgers. The park closed in 2004 after the land was sold to high-tech billionaire David Duffield. Anderson died in Dayton, Nevada on June 4, 2008.

Trevor Wilkinson (85) founder of TVR, the small British carmaker known for nimble little sports cars that early owners often assembled from a kit. Wilkinson built his first car in 1947 as a race special and incorporated TVR Engineering (later simply TVR) in '48. The company name was a shortened version of his first name. Pictured above is TVR's 1960 Grandtura. Wilkinson died in Minorca, Spain on June 6, 2008.


Sheela Basrur (51) Canadian health administrator, Chief Medical Officer of Health during the 2003 SARS outbreak in Toronto before she became Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Health. Basrur resigned from those positions in late 2006 to undergo cancer treatment. She also appeared in numerous TV interviews on international networks, including CNN. She died of hemangiopercytoma, a rare form of cancer, in Toronto, Canada on June 2, 2008.

Matthew J. Bruccoli (76) University of South Carolina English professor who wrote and edited about two dozen books on author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Bruccoli taught at the university for almost 40 years. He died of a glioma, a tumor of the brainstem, in Columbia, South Carolina on June 4, 2008.

William B. Stallcup Jr. (87) interim president of Southern Methodist University in the aftermath of the '80s football scandal, who presided over sweeping reforms in the school's athletics programs and governance structure. Widespread cheating prompted the NCAA to kill SMU's 1987 season; the Mustangs voluntarily skipped the next one. The only team ever hit with the death penalty, they have had just one winning season since. Stallcup died in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico on June 7, 2008.

News and Entertainment

Robert J. ("Bob") Anderson (75) former child actor who played young George Bailey in the Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946), the character played by James Stewart as an adult. Anderson spent 40 years behind the scenes in the movie industry ('50s-'90s), rising from second assistant director to production manager for movies and TV shows. He died of melanoma in Palm Springs, California on June 6, 2008.

Yanna Kroyt Brandt (74) TV and film producer who wrote and directed for CBS and PBS, including the '80s ABC program FYI, which starred Hal Linden. Brandt won several Emmys during a career that started in the '50s and was married to veteran New York Times journalist Nat Brandt. She was killed in a car accident in New York City on June 6, 2008.

Mike Detjen (60) retired soccer coach who often appeared as a close friend of business partner Matt Roloff and helped the Roloff family chronicled on TLC's reality show Little People, Big World. Detjen had recently taken early retirement to help Roloff start a company that sold kits to hotels to make rooms more accessible for people with dwarfism. Detjen died after suffering a torn aorta in Hillsboro, Oregon on June 5, 2008.

Bo Diddley (79) singer and guitarist who invented his own name, his own guitars, his own beat, and, with a handful of other musical pioneers, rock 'n' roll itself. The legendary singer and performer was known for his homemade square guitar, dark glasses, and black hat. Along with Chuck Berry, Diddley was recognized as one of rock's most influential guitarists. In recent years he had suffered from diabetes. In 2007, he suffered a heart attack in Gainesville, Fla. and was hospitalized after a concert in Council Bluffs, Iowa. On May 13, 2008, he had a stroke in Omaha, Neb. He died of heart failure in Archer, Florida on June 2, 2008.

Ferenc Fejtö (98) Hungarian-born French journalist and political scientist, specializing in eastern Europe. After being imprisoned for one year in 1932 for Communist activities, from 1938 on Fejtö worked as Paris correspondent of the left-wing Hungarian daily Nepszava and participated in the French resistance movement. In 1955 he was granted French citizenship and worked for the French news agency AFP as an expert on the Eastern Bloc. He was hospitalized a week earlier with a pulmonary embolism and died of a heart attack in Paris, France on June 2, 2008.

Mel Ferrer (90) tall, handsome star of such classic films as Lili, War & Peace, and The Sun Also Rises and producer and director of movies starring his then-wife, actress Audrey Hepburn (d. 1993). Ferrer and Hepburn married in 1954 and appeared together that year in the Broadway production of Ondine, for which she won a Tony as best actress just weeks after receiving an Oscar for Roman Holiday. They are pictured together above in a scene from War & Peace (1956). They were divorced in 1968. Ferrer disliked acting in films as much as he loved directing them but nevertheless made his name in front of the cameras. He died in Santa Barbara, California on June 2, 2008.

Bill Finegan (91) music arranger who arranged hits for Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, then in the '50s formed a big band, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, with Eddie Sauter (d. 1981), another legendary arranger, that was famous for skill, daring, and odd instruments. Finegan died of pneumonia in Bridgeport, Connecticut on June 4, 2008.

Thomas A. Johnson (79) first black reporter at Newsday and later at the New York Times, one of the first black journalists to work as a foreign correspondent for a major daily newspaper. From the civil rights protests and urban unrest of the '60s through the rise of the black power movement and beyond, Johnson was both a reporter and an interpreter of racial conflict and change. He died in Queens, New York on June 2, 2008.

Peter Kapetan (51) actor, singer, and dancer who played one of the brothers in the original cast of the Broadway musical Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Kapetan had also appeared on national tours and in numerous off-Broadway productions, including leading roles in Camelot (with Richard Burton), Titanic, Sunset Boulevard, The Wedding Singer, and Aïda and most recently had movie roles in the independent film Farm Girl in New York (2008) and the upcoming Disney production Confessions of a Shopaholic. He died of cancer in New York City on June 4, 2008.

Yosef Lapid (76) former justice minister, journalist, and outspoken critic of Israel's Orthodox religious establishment. A Holocaust survivor, Lapid was one of Israel's most prominent print journalists and notable TV personalities, renowned for his sharp tongue, acerbic pen, and dry wit. He died of cancer in Jerusalem, Israel on June 1, 2008.

Neil MacNeil (85) journalist who covered Congress for Time magazine through seven Presidential administrations and was among TV's first Congressional correspondents. MacNeil was an expert on the House. His 1963 book about its workings and its history, Forge of Democracy: The House of Representatives, was often cited as required reading for reporters new to Washington. He also wrote The President's Medal, 1789-1977, a history of Presidential inaugural medals. He died of lung cancer in Bethesda, Maryland on June 7, 2008.

Frank Muller (57) Dutch-born stage and TV actor considered the greatest American audiobook narrator of the 20th century. Muller spent many years on the New York stage in the title role of King Henry V for the Riverside Shakespeare Company and soon became the Audie Award-winning narrator of choice for such authors as Stephen King, John Grisham, Elmore Leonard, John le Carre, and many others. Muller had suffered severe head trauma and multiple fractures from a 2001 motorcycle accident in Los Angeles that ended his acting career. He died in Durham, North Carolina on June 4, 2008.

Dolores Neuman (66) free-lance still photographer and independent-film promoter who worked for public interest and advocacy groups. Neuman used her camera to document mass demonstrations, news conferences, congressional hearings, meetings, and conventions of organizations focused on women's rights, world peace, and the environment. She died of kidney cancer in Washington, DC on June 5, 2008.

Gene Persson (74) movie and theater producer best known for a controversial racial drama, Dutchman, and a charming children's musical, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, based on the Charles Schulz comic strip. Persson was stricken with a heart attack in a Times Square pizzeria after seeing a movie. He died in New York City on June 6, 2008.

Bruce Purchase (69) New Zealand-born screen and stage actor best known for his role as The Captain in the episode "The Pirate Planet" on the long-running TV program Doctor Who in 1978. Purchase had also appeared opposite Richard Chamberlain in a European tour of the Broadway musical My Fair Lady and in the films Richard III (1995) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1979). He died of cancer in London, England on June 4, 2008.

Macon Ray (81) Abraham Lincoln impersonator who portrayed the former President in plays, schools, and TV commercials and on billboards. A former high school teacher and coach in Indiana and Kentucky, Ray stood almost 6-foot-4 and performed in the drama Young Abe Lincoln for more than a dozen years at the amphitheater in Lincoln State Park near Lincoln's boyhood home in Spencer County, Indiana. He died of cancer in Corydon, Indiana on June 3, 2008.

Don Richards (65) Florida news reporter who spent more than 40 years in radio but became best known for his controversial on-air interview with hostage-taking spree killer Hank Earl Carr. Richards' biggest story broke in May 1998 after Carr had shot and killed his girlfriend's child, then killed two Tampa police officers and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper while making his escape. He took a convenience store clerk hostage at gunpoint but eventually released the hostage and killed himself during an hour-long standoff. Richards died of cancer in Tampa, Florida on June 6, 2008.

Dino Risi (91) director and Oscar-nominated master of the Italian comedy who combined a light touch with a harsh look at the flaws of his compatriots. Risi's comedies satirized the habits and flaws of Italians, often featuring unsavory characters like the superficial charlatan, the cheating husband, or the immoral father. His 1974 film Profumo di Donna (Scent of a Woman), earned two Oscar nominations. It was remade in the US in 1992 starring Al Pacino. Risi died in Rome, Italy on June 7, 2008.

Yves Saint Laurent (71) French designer who rewrote the rules of fashion by putting women into elegant pantsuits that defined how modern women dressed. Saint Laurent exploded on the fashion scene in 1958 as a boy-wonder successor to Christian Dior and became one of the best-known and most influential couturiers of the second half of the 20th century. He created a bold new dress code for women during the feminist revolution of the '70s and helped to launch the era of the celebrity designer with his jet-set lifestyle. He died in Paris, France on June 1, 2008.

Nikos Sergianopoulos (56) Greek actor known for his theatrical representations and international repertory who had won big success from his roles on the long-running Greek TV program Two Foreigners. Sergianopoulos was found stabbed to death at his apartment in Pagrati, Greece on June 4, 2008.

Paul Sills (80) legendary improvisational director and teacher who cofounded the comedy group The Second City, which has turned out some of America's best-known comedians. Sills helped to found the comedy institution in 1959, along with its precursor The Compass Players. Second City helped to launch the careers of John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Stephen Colbert, and Mike Myers. Sills died of pneumonia in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin on June 2, 2008.

Bill Stroud (65) member of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team at the Philadelphia Inquirer for coverage of the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. Stroud held several editing positions at the Inquirer before being named assistant managing editor and later head of publishing systems in the early '80s. He died of prostate cancer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 6, 2008.

Merdis Thomas (62) character actor best known for his memorable role as the Town Square adviser of Joe Pesci's character in the hit comedy film My Cousin Vinny (1992). Thomas's other film and TV credits include Super Mario Brothers (1993), The Road Home (1994), A Time to Kill (1996), and Carriers (1998). He died in Atlanta, Georgia on June 1, 2008.

Erick Wujcik (57) cofounder of the role-playing game publisher Palladium Books who worked on developing numerous computer-based multiple genre supplements for such game settings, including most notably the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. Wujcik died of pancreatic cancer in San Rafael, California on June 7, 2008.

Politics and Military

Louise Allen (91) widow of late Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen Jr. (d. 2003). Louise Allen was Atlanta's first lady (1962-70). She was a founder of the Atlanta Speech School and the Forward Arts Foundation and was known for her ability to persuade people to volunteer for civic projects. She died in Atlanta, Georgia on June 7, 2008.

Mary Cavanagh (78) former first lady of Detroit (1962-70) whose husband Jerome Cavanagh (d. 1979) was mayor during the 1967 12th Street riot. Mary Cavanagh died of leukemia in Novi, Michigan on June 4, 2008.

William P. Ford (72) former Wall Street lawyer who spent more than 20 years trying to bring high-ranking military officials to justice after his sister and three other American churchwomen were murdered in El Salvador's civil war in the '80s. Ford had been an influential figure in the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, which in 2004 became Human Rights First. He died of esophageal cancer in Montclair, New Jersey on June 1, 2008.

Mustafa Khalil (88) former Egyptian prime minister, an architect of the 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Khalil died in Cairo, Egypt on June 7, 2008.

Jack Lucas (80) youngest US Marine to receive the Medal of Honor who at age 14 lied his way into military service during World War II. Lucas was just six days past his 17th birthday in February 1945 when his heroism at Iwo Jima won him the nation's highest military honor. He used his body to shield three fellow squad members from two grenades and was nearly killed when one exploded. He died of leukemia in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on June 5, 2008.

Grigory V. Romanov (85) Politburo member, Mikhail S. Gorbachev's chief rival to become Soviet leader in the mid-'80s. Romanov's death in Moscow, Russia was announced on June 5, 2008.

Society and Religion

Kermit Bryson (29) Tennessee man sought for the fatal shooting of Grundy County Sheriff's Deputy Shane Tate (28) and for wounding another officer while being arrested on a probation violation warrant. Bryson had a criminal record that included convictions for theft, burglary, and a jail escape in 2001. The new warrant was issued because he failed drug screens and violated curfew while on probation for a 2007 felony marijuana possession charge. After a day-long manhunt, agents found him behind his girlfriend's house and negotiated with him for about 20 minutes before he shot himself in the head. He later died at a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee on June 6, 2008.

Harriet McBryde Johnson (50) civil and disability rights attorney who attracted national attention by protesting the annual Jerry Lewis muscular dystrophy telethon. Johnson, who handled cases for the poor and working class, protested the telethon for almost 20 years, objecting to what she called the show's "charity mentality" and "pity-based tactics." She suffered from congenital neuromuscular disease and died in her sleep in Charleston, South Carolina on June 4, 2008.

Curtis Osborne (37) Georgia man sentenced to death for the 1990 murders of Linda Lisa Seaborne and Arthur Jones, both found shot to death in a car by the side of a dirt road in Spalding County. After he was convicted, Osborne claimed his white attorney, Johnny Mostiler (d. 2000), had referred to him with a racial slur and failed to tell him that prosecutors had offered a life sentence in exchange for a plea bargain. Osborne was the fourth person in the nation to be executed since the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of lethal injection, in Jackson, Georgia on June 4, 2008.

Pat Regan (53) British antigun campaigner who became a prominent figure in the campaign against violent gun crimes after her son Danny (25) was found shot to death at his home in a suspected gangland killing in December 2002. His killer had not been found. Regan later founded and directed her own organization, Mothers Against Violence, which had close links with similar groups such as Mothers Against Guns and Mothers Against Murder & Aggression. Regan was found stabbed to death at her home in Leeds, England on June 1, 2008. Her 20-year-old grandson was arrested on suspicion of murder.


Nick Badami (88) key figure in alpine skiing who helped to bring the 2002 Winter Olympics to Utah. Badami transformed Park City into a winter sporting mecca and set the model for the US Ski & Snowboard Association. A former head of manufacturing and retailing conglomerate BVD, he bought the Park City Ski Area in 1975 and with his son Craig developed the America's Opening World Cup races. The event became the traditional start in November of the FIS (International Ski Federation) Alpine Ski World Cup for more than 10 years. Badami died in Tucson, Arizona on June 4, 2008.

Tom Catlin (76) offensive and defensive star for the University of Oklahoma under coach Bud Wilkinson who later spent 34 years as an assistant coach in the NFL for several teams including the Rams and Seahawks. Sports Illustrated named Catlin coach of the year for the 1992 season, the first assistant coach so honored. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he died of complications from recent surgery, in Seattle, Washington on June 7, 2008.

Warren A. ("Jimmy") Croll (88) Hall of Fame racehorse trainer who trained Holy Bull, the 1994 Horse of the Year, and won the '87 Belmont Stakes with Bet Twice. Based at Monmouth Park racetrack throughout his career, Croll also trained sire Mr. Prospector and champions Parka, Forward Gal, and Housebuster. He died in Oceanport, New Jersey on June 6, 2008.

Stoney Garland (33) former Texas Tech defensive tackle, paralyzed in a car accident more than 10 years ago. In 1997, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Garland transferred to Texas Tech from Navarro Junior College and played one year under coach Spike Dykes. In November 1997, Garland was riding with three others in the front seat of a pickup truck that rear-ended a car near campus. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt and his head hit the windshield. He spent the past 10-plus years in a wheelchair with movement limited to his head, neck, and left arm. He died in Plains, Texas on June 4, 2008.

David Jacobs (35) convicted steroids dealer sentenced to three years' probation and fined $250,000 on May 1 after pleading guilty in 2007 in Dallas federal court to conspiring to possess anabolic steroids with intent to distribute. Jacobs had publicly said he sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of performance-enhancing drugs to former Dallas Cowboy Matt Lehr in 2006-07, but Lehr said the allegations were retaliation because he wouldn't pay Jacobs' legal fees. Jacobs was found shot to death along with his girlfriend, Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell (30), a fitness bodybuilder, at their home in Plano, Texas on June 5, 2008. Authorities ruled the deaths a murder-suicide.

Jim McKay (86) veteran sportscaster thrust into the role of newscaster as he told Americans about the tragedy at the 1972 Munich Olympics. McKay was host of ABC's Wide World of Sports for decades. The influential weekend series introduced viewers to all manner of strange, compelling, and far-flung sports events. But in 1972 when Israeli athletes were kidnapped in Munich, McKay was suddenly forced into the role of a newscaster. As viewers followed the gripping story, McKay told how the hostages were killed in a commando raid. He was the father of Sean McManus, now president of CBS News & Sports. McKay died in Monkton, Maryland on June 7, 2008.

Agata Mroz-Olszewska (26) Polish volleyball player and former coach of the women's international volleyball team that won the European championships in 2003 and '05. Mroz-Olszewska had suffered from myelodysplastic syndrome from age 17 and had to put her professional career on hold in 2007 because of a serious aggravation of her condition. She died of an infection after a bone marrow transplant in Wroclaw, Poland on June 4, 2008.

Burl Plunkett (75) former coach of the University of Oklahoma's women's basketball team who led the Sooners to the National Women's Invitation Tournament title in 1994. Plunkett went 52-36 in three seasons as the Sooners' coach. He took Oklahoma to its second NCAA tournament appearance in school history in 1995. As a player, he set the Oklahoma high school scoring record during his senior season at Valliant High School in 1951. The mark stood for 28 years. He died in Valliant, Oklahoma on June 5, 2008.

Horst Skoff (39) former Austrian tennis player who won four ATP Tour titles. Skoff, who had been running a tennis school for the past 19 months, had battled weight problems since retiring from the sport in 1995. He was ranked as high as 18th in the world in 1990 and had a singles record of 228-203. He died of a heart attack during a business trip, in Hamburg, Germany on June 7, 2008. Police were investigating why he had injuries to his face.

Dwight White (58) Steel Curtain defensive end known as "Mad Dog" who helped to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl titles in the '70s. White was released from a hospital after undergoing back surgery but then was readmitted with complications. He died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 6, 2008.

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