Charles Brittin (82) photographer whose photographs in the ‘50s and ‘60s documented Los Angeles’s beat culture and emerging art scene, the civil rights movement there and in the Deep South, and the Black Panthers and antiwar protests. Brittin underwent liver and kidney transplants in the ‘90s. He died of pneumonia in Santa Monica, California on January 23, 2011.
Edmund de Unger (92) Hungarian who made his fortune as a property developer in London in the ‘60s and over the years amassed one of the world’s largest and most important collections of Islamic art. De Unger died in Ham, Surrey, England on January 25, 2011.
Elsa Rady (67) leading contemporary ceramic artist who created elegantly simple porcelain vessels and often controlled how they were presented by bolting the refined pieces into place.
Rady had been experiencing health problems but died unexpectedly at her home in Culver City, California on January 29, 2011.
Milton Babbitt (94) composer known for his complex orchestral compositions and credited with developing the first electronic synthesizer in the ‘50s. A professor emeritus of music at Princeton University, Babbitt died in Princeton, New Jersey on January 29, 2011.
Daniel Bell (91) leading US sociologist who wrote groundbreaking books about the demise of revolutionary politics and the economy and lifestyle of a postindustrial society. Bell died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 25, 2011.
Charlie Callas (83) versatile comedian whose zany faces and antics made him a regular for more than 40 years on TV, in films, and on casino stages. Callas was a rubber-faced, wiry-framed comic whose rapid-fire delivery drew laughs and made him a frequent guest on variety and comedy shows. He died in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 27, 2011.
Tony DiPardo (98) former Kansas City Chiefs bandleader known as “Mr. Music.” A longtime big bandleader in Kansas City, DiPardo first stepped onto the field as the Chiefs’ bandleader when the team arrived from Dallas in 1963 and played with the band for the next 40 years. He had been hospitalized since December after suffering a brain aneurysm. He died in Kansas City, Missouri on January 27, 2011.
Bernd Eichinger (61) German movie producer, director, and screenwriter. Eichinger produced such films as The Neverending Story, The Name of the Rose, and Downfall (2004), which depicts the last days of Nazi Germany in Adolf Hitler’s massive Berlin bunker and was nominated for a foreign language Oscar in 2005. Eichinger died after suffering a heart attack during a dinner with family and friends in Los Angeles, California on January 24, 2011.
Stanley Frazen (91) longtime film and TV editor. From the ‘50s through the ‘70s, Frazen was a supervising editor for such shows as The George Burns & Gracie Allen Show, I Married Joan, The Bob Cummings Show, The Lone Ranger, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Favorite Martian, The Monkees, Get Smart, and Charlie’s Angels. He died of pneumonia in Studio City, California on January 23, 2011.
David Frye (77) impressionist whose wicked send-ups of political figures like Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey, and, above all, Richard M. Nixon, made him one of the most popular comedians in the US in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Frye died of cardiopulmonary arrest in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 24, 2011.
Gladys Horton (66) cofounder of the Marvelettes who helped to put fledgling Motown Records on the musical map with its first No. 1 hit, “Please Mr. Postman” (1961). Horton died in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, California while recovering from a stroke, on January 26, 2011.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (89) leading figure of Indian classical music. Joshi started as a radio singer in Mumbai in 1943 and released his debut album by age 22. He was hospitalized three weeks ago complaining of shortness of breath and later underwent dialysis after kidney failure. He died in the western city of Pune, India on January 24, 2011.
Charlie Louvin (83) half of the Louvin Brothers, Ira and Charlie, whose harmonies in the ‘50s and early ‘60s inspired fellow country and pop singers for decades. The duo became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955, and after Ira’s death in a ‘65 car accident, Charlie remained an Opry performer for more than 50 years. In 2008 his Steps to Heaven was nominated for a Grammy as best Southern, country, or bluegrass gospel album. He died of pancreatic cancer in Wartrace, Tennessee on January 26, 2011.
Dame Margaret Price (69) Welsh opera star considered one of the world’s leading sopranos. Price was known for her renditions of Mozart’s complicated music. She died of heart failure near Cardigan, Ceredigion, Wales on January 28, 2011.
Emanuel Vardi (95) American violist, an ambassador for the viola at a time when it had few public champions. Over half a century Vardi performed as a soloist on stage, recorded widely, and was heard often as a chamber musician. He died in North Bend, Washington on January 29, 2011.
Nora Sun (72) former US trade consul and granddaughter of Sun Yat-sen, founder of Asia’s first republic in China in 1911. Sun was in Taiwan for the centennial celebrations of the Chinese revolution led by her grandfather when she was involved in a Jan. 1 car accident. She died four weeks later in Taipei, Taiwan on January 29, 2011.
Thongbai Thongpao (84) pioneering Thai human rights lawyer inspired by his time as a political prisoner under a military dictatorship. Thongbai was best known internationally for his defense of student activists arrested after a 1976 right-wing coup. He died of an apparent heart attack in Bangkok, Thailand on January 24, 2011.
Guy J. Velella (66) former Republican New York state senator from the Bronx and a formidable figure in Albany until he pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy in 2004. Velella served in the Legislature for 28 years (1973-‘83, ‘86-2004), the first 10 as an assemblyman. After his conviction he received a one-year sentence and spent 182 days in jail on Rikers Island. He died of lung cancer in the Bronx, New York on January 27, 2011.
David Kato (43) outspoken Ugandan gay activist. In Uganda, homophobia is widespread and government leaders have proposed executing gays. After his picture appeared in a newspaper with a story listing the names of local gay people, Kato was attacked in his home and beaten to death in the head with a hammer, in Kampala, Uganda on January 26, 2011.
Samuel Ruiz (86) retired Roman Catholic bishop famed as a staunch defender of Mexican Indian rights and best known for helping to mediate peace talks between the government and leftist Zapatista rebels in the southern state of Chiapas in the ‘90s. Ruiz died of a long-standing pulmonary ailment in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico on January 24, 2011.
Jesse Valadez (64) pioneer East Los Angeles lowrider, a founding member and longtime early president of the Imperials Car Club. Valadez was most famous in lowrider circles for Gypsy Rose, his fuchsia-colored 1964 Chevy Impala whose body is adorned with hand-painted, multihued roses and whose hot-pink interior includes swivel seats in the front and a cocktail bar in the back. He died of colon cancer in East Los Angeles, California on January 29, 2011.
Dr. Ed Dyas (71) College Football Hall of Famer and former Auburn University star. A fullback, linebacker, and kicker, Dyas was fourth in the 1960 Heisman Trophy balloting. As a senior he was Auburn’s No. 6 leading rusher with 1,298 yards, leading the Tigers in rushing and scoring. Also a three-time academic All-American who opted for medical school instead of a pro football career, Dyas became an orthopedic surgeon in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He died of cancer on January 23, 2011.
Bill Harmatz (79) thoroughbred jockey who rode Royal Orbit to victory in the 1959 Preakness Stakes. Starting his racing career in 1953, Harmatz had 1,770 wins by the time he retired in ‘71. He died of cancer in Vista, California on January 27, 2011.
Jack LaLanne (96) fitness guru who inspired TV viewers to trim down, eat healthfully, and pump iron for decades before diet and exercise became a national obsession. That’s just what LaLanne did almost every day of his adult life, right to the end. His workout show was a TV staple (‘50s-‘70s). He died of respiratory failure caused by pneumonia, in Morro Bay on California’s central coast, on January 23, 2011.