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Stars that died 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Herb Ellis died he was 88

Mitchell Herbert (Herb) Ellis was an American jazz guitarist died he was 88.

(August 4, 1921 - March 28, 2010[1])

Growing up on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, Ellis first heard the electric guitar performed by George Barnes on a radio program. This experience is said to have inspired him to take up the guitar. He became proficient on the instrument by the time he entered North Texas State University as a music major. Ellis majored in music, but because they did not yet have a guitar program at that time, he studied the string bass. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, his college days were short lived. In 1941 Herb dropped out of college and toured for 6 months with a band from the University of Kansas.
In 1943 joined Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra and it was with Gray's band that he got his first recognition in the jazz magazines. After Gray's band, Ellis joined the Jimmy Dorsey band where he played some of his first recorded solos. Ellis remained with Dorsey through 1947, traveling and recording extensively, and playing in dance halls and movie palaces. Then came a turnabout that would change Ellis's career forever. Then, as pianist Lou Carter told journalist Robert Dupuis in a 1996 interview, "The Dorsey band had a six-week hole in the schedule. The three of us had played together some with the big band. John Frigo, who had already left the band, knew the owner of the Peter Stuyvesant Hotel in Buffalo. We went in there and stayed six months. And that's how the group the Soft Winds were born."





The Soft Winds was fashioned after the Nat King Cole Trio. They stayed together until 1952. Herb Ellis then joined the Oscar Peterson Trio (replacing Barney Kessel), forming what Scott Yanow would later on refer to as "one of the most memorable of all the piano, guitar, and bass trios in jazz history".



Ellis became prominent after performing with the Oscar Peterson Trio from 1953 to 1958 along with pianist Peterson and bassist Ray Brown. He was a somewhat controversial member of the trio, because he was the only white person in the group in a time when racism was still very much widespread.
In addition to their great live and recorded work as the Oscar Peterson Trio, this unit served as the virtual "house rhythm section" for Norman Granz's Verve Records, supporting the likes of tenormen Ben Webster and Stan Getz, as well as trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, and Sweets Edison and other jazz stalwarts. With drummer Buddy Rich, they were also the backing band for popular "comeback" albums by the duet of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
The trio were also the mainstays of Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts as they swept the jazz world, almost constantly touring the United States and Europe. Ellis left the Peterson Trio in November 1958, to be replaced not by a guitarist, but by drummer Ed Thigpen. The years of 1959 through 1960 found Ellis touring with Ella Fitzgerald.
The three provided a stirring rendition of "Tenderly" as a jazz improvisational backdrop to John Hubley's 1958 cartoon The Tender Game, Storyboard Film's version of the age-old story of boy falling head over heels for girl.[2]
With fellow jazz guitarists Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd and Joe Pass, he created another ensemble, the Great Guitars.




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Johnny Maestro, Brooklyn Bridge Singer, Dies at 70

Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge (or simply The Brooklyn Bridge) is an American musical group, best known for their rendition of Jimmy Webb’s "The Worst That Could Happen" (1968).
(born John Mastrangelo; May 7, 1939 – March 24, 2010)


Brooklyn-born Johnny Maestro began his career in 1957 as the original lead singer of The Crests, one of the first interracial groups of the recording industry. [1] [2] Patricia VanDross, older sister to famed R&B singer Luther Vandross sang with Johnny Maestro during his tenure as lead vocalists with The Crests. After a regional hit with "My Juanita"/"Sweetest One" on the Joyce label, and two years of chart success on Coed Records with "16 Candles", "Step by Step", "The Angels Listened In", and "Trouble in Paradise", Maestro left the Crests for a solo career. Maestro was unable to reach his former chart heights with the Crests, but did have Top 40 hits with "What A Surprise" and "Model Girl" in 1961 and 1962.


By 1967, another New York group called the Del-Satins, who had made several non-charting recordings between 1959 and 1967 under their own name (and backing up Dion on his post-Belmonts recordings), were looking for a new lead singer to replace original lead Stan Ziska. Other members were brothers Fred and Tom Ferrara (baritone and bass), Les Cauchi (first tenor) and Bobby Failla (second tenor). According to Cauchi, members of the group ran into Maestro at a local gym, playing his guitar, and approached him with the offer to join the group. After initially turning them down, Maestro's manager called Cauchi and told him Maestro had changed his mind.[citation needed]

In 1968, after touring locally and playing in clubs and small venues, the Del-Satins attended a "Battle of the Bands" and encountered a seven piece brass group named the Rhythm Method. Impressed with each other's skills and talents, the groups decided to try to join forces. The name supposedly came from the joke that the group would be "harder to sell than the Brooklyn Bridge".[citation needed]

Johnny and the Bridge rehearsed their unusual combination of smooth vocal harmonies and full horns, and signed a recording contract with Buddha records. Their first release, a version of the Jimmy Webb song "The Worst That Could Happen" (a note-for-note cover of the version previously recorded by The 5th Dimension on the album The Magic Garden, which had not been released as a single), reached No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart. The follow up, "Welcome Me Love", and its flip side, Blessed is the Rain — both by Tony Romeo[3] each reached the Top 50. A dramatic version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" and the controversial "Your Husband, My Wife" also reached the middle ranges of the charts. The group sold over 10 million records by 1972, including LP sales, mostly produced by Wes Farrell. Appearances on Ed Sullivan, The Della Reese Show and other programs helped to bring the group to the national stage.

After its heyday, The Brooklyn Bridge downsized to a five-man group, with the vocalists playing their own instruments. For example, Maestro could be seen on stage playing rhythm guitar, while former Rhythm Method bassist Jim Rosica picked up a vocal part. Later in the 1970s, as the Rock and Roll Revival evolved from a nostalgic fad to a respected genre, the group began to add members, retaining its core vocalists. By 1985, the group had solidified into an eight piece group, including original Del Satins Cauchi and Fred Ferrara and original Bridge member Rosica, and augmented by a horn section for special occasions. The drummer for the current line up Lou Agiesta, was the drummer for the original American touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar.


The later version of the Brooklyn Bridge released a Christmas EP in 1989 and a greatest hits compilation in 1993, re-recording Maestro's hits with The Crests. In the early 1990s, Maestro moonlighted as the background tenor on Joel Katz's studio project CD "Joel & the Dymensions" (which also featured baritone-bass Bobby Jay). In 1994, The Brooklyn Bridge recorded a 10-song a cappella CD.

Recently, the Brooklyn Bridge was featured in one of PBS's biggest fundraising events ever, "Doo Wop 50", performing both "Sixteen Candles" and "The Worst That Could Happen" (the entire program was released on VHS and DVD). In 2005, the Brooklyn Bridge released a full concert-length DVD as part of the "Pops Legends Live" series. They continue to tour and in 2004 released a CD titled "Today", featuring more re-recordings of their hits and versions of other groups' songs of the 1950s and 60's.

The Brooklyn Bridge was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame with the class of 2005.

The Brooklyn Bridge were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October 15, 2006. On March 31, 2009 Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge released Today Volume 2.

Johnny Maestro died on March 24, 2010 from cancer in Cape Coral, Florida at age 70.[4]


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Chet Simmons died he was 81

Chester Robert "Chet" Simmons died he was 81. Simmons was an American sports executive, working at three different television networks sports divisions (first ABC, later becoming President of NBC Sports, and then in 1979 becoming the first President of ESPN) before becoming the first Commissioner of the United States Football League in 1982.

(July 11, 1928 – March 25, 2010)

Born in New York City on July 11, 1928, Simmons was raised in Ossining, New York and Pawtucket, Rhode Island.[1] His love for sports began when he was a child listening to Brooklyn Dodgers games on the family car's radio.[2] He graduated first with a bachelor's degree in broadcasting from the University of Alabama in 1950, then a Master of Science in television from Boston University.[3] He served in the United States Coast Guard after completing his graduate studies.[4] His first employment following his military stint was at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample.[1]
Simmons' television broadcasting management career began in 1957 when he accepted an invitation from Edgar Scherick to join Sports Programs Inc.,[1] which would evolve into ABC Sports four years later.[4] Called by colleague Roone Arledge "the sanest of my office mates," Simmons played a major role in laying the groundwork for establishing ABC as American television's leading network for sports.[1]
Simmons also worked for NBC Sports of which he was also the president at one time.
Slightly more than five weeks prior to ESPN's official launch on September 7, 1979, Simmons became its founding president and chief operating officer on July 31.[5] He left ESPN in 1982 over differences with executives from Getty Oil, at the time the network's parent company which was losing millions of dollars a year on the venture.[1]
Simmons was appointed the first commissioner of the United States Football League a month after its formation in 1982. Due to his background in the medium, a drawback of the hiring was that it further fueled the perception that the new circuit was a "made for television" entity. One of the USFL's first accomplishments under his watch was the signing of a two-year contract with ESPN. It was the cable network's first-ever agreement with a sports league to televise select regular-season games. The USFL also had a two-year deal with ABC, but it was consummated before Simmons' hiring.[6][7]
The league incurred heavy financial losses in its first two campaigns. Even though he worked closely to help promote each of the franchises, Simmons increasingly came under fire from some club owners for failing to negotiate a more lucrative network television deal. Prior to the 1985 season, the contract with ESPN was renewed for three years. ABC, knowing that the USFL was moving to an autumn schedule in 1986 in direct competition with the more-established National Football League, picked up only one of its two one-year options.[6]
Simmons resigned as USFL commissioner on January 14, 1985. He was succeeded by Harry Usher, an attorney who had served as the executive vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee.[6]
Simmons resided in Savannah, Georgia from 1986 until his move to Tybee Island in the mid-1990s.[2] He was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, where he taught and mentored students in its Department of Sport & Entertainment Management.[3] Simmons died of natural causes in Atlanta, Georgia on March 25, 2010.[8]



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Dick Giordano died he was 77

Dick Giordano died he was 77. He was born Richard Joseph Giordano; [2]) Giordano was an American comic book artist and editor best known for introducing Charlton Comics' "Action Heroes" stable of superheroes, and serving as executive editor of then industry-leader DC Comics. As an inker, Giordano is well known for his pairings with penciler Neal Adams in a series of critically acclaimed comics featuring Batman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow.
(July 20, 1932[1] – March 27, 2010)
Dick Giordano was born in New York City, in the borough of Manhattan. Beginning as a freelance artist at Charlton Comics in 1952, Giordano rose to editor-in-chief by 1965.[3] He made his first mark in the industry with Charlton, overseeing the revamping of its few existing superheroes and having his artists and writers create new such characters for what he called the company's "Action Hero" line. (Many of these artists included new talent Giordano brought on board, featuring such names as Jim Aparo, Denny O'Neil, and Steve Skeates.)[3]

DC Comics' then-publisher Carmine Infantino hired Giordano as an editor in 1967, with Giordano also bringing over to DC many of the creators he had nurtured at Charlton.[3] While none of his titles (such as Bat Lash and Deadman) were a commercial hit, they were critical successes.

By 1971 Giordano had left DC to partner with artist Neal Adams for their Continuity Associates studios, which served as an art packager for comic book publishers, including such companies as Giordano's former employer Charlton Comics,[4] Marvel Comics, and the one-shot Big Apple Comix. Continuity served as the launching pad for the careers of a number of professional cartoonists, many of whom were mentored by Giordano during their time there.

As a penciller, he drew numerous Batman and Wonder Woman stories for DC, as well as the martial arts feature "Sons of the Tiger" in Marvel's black-and-white comics magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu.

In 1980 new DC publisher Jenette Kahn brought Giordano back to DC.[5] Initially the editor of the Batman titles, Giordano was named the company's new managing editor in 1981,[6] and promoted to Vice President/Executive Editor in 1983 (a position he held until 1993).[3] With Kahn and Paul Levitz, Giordano helped relaunch such major characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, the Justice League of America, and the Teen Titans. By the end of the 1980s, they had also created the critically acclaimed, mature-audience Vertigo imprint, under initial editor Karen Berger, and began an influx of British talent such as Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman.

During this period, until he left the company, Giordano wrote a monthly column published in DC titles called "Meanwhile..." which (much like Marvel's "Bullpen Bulletins") featured news and information about the company and its creators. (Giordano closed each "Meanwhile..." column with the characteristic words, "Thank you and good afternoon.") Giordano also continued to ink, such as over George Pérez's pencils on the 1986 crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, and John Byrne's pencils on The Man of Steel and Action Comics.

Beginning in 1985, Giordano was in the middle of an industry-wide debate about the comics industry and creators' rights. Veteran writers Mike Friedrich, Steven Grant, and Roger Slifer all cited Giordano in particular for his hard-line stance on behalf of DC.[7][8][9][10][11] This debate led in part to the 1988 drafting of the Creator's Bill of Rights.

Giordano left DC and went into semi-retirement in 1993, still doing the occasional inking job.[12] In 1994 Giordano illustrated a graphic novel adaptation of the novel Modesty Blaise released by DC Comics (ISBN 1-56389-178-6), with creator/writer Peter O'Donnell.

In 2002, Giordano helped launch Future Comics with writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton. Future Comics closed down after only two-and-a-half years in business in 2004.

Since 2002 he has also drawn several issues of The Phantom published in Europe and Australia. In the mid-2000s, he began sitting on the board of directors of the comic industry charity A Commitment To Our Roots (ACTOR), renamed in 2006 the Hero Initiative. In 2005, F+W Publications Inc. published Drawing Comics with Dick Giordano (which he wrote and illustrated), a book in which he shares his drawing methods and techniques that he used in comics.

[edit] Personal life

Giordano was married for many years to the former Marie Trapani (sister of fellow comics artist Sal Trapani), who died from stomach cancer in 1993.[13] Marie's death, combined with Giordano's increasing hearing loss, hastened his decision to retire from DC.[14]

Giordano split time between homes in Florida and Connecticut.[3]

As an artist, Giordano is best-known as an inker. His inking is particularly associated with the pencils of Neal Adams, for their run in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the titles Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow for DC Comics. Giordano also inked the large-format, first DC/Marvel Comics intercompany crossover, Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man (1976), over the pencils of Ross Andru. Giordano also inked Adams on the one-shot Superman vs. Muhammad Ali in 1978. Throughout the late 1970s and the 1980s, Andru and Giordano were DC's primary cover artists, providing cover artwork for almost every title in the DC line at that time.
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Elijah Alexander has died he was 39

Former NFL linebacker Elijah Alexander has died after a nearly five-year battle with cancer. He was 39.
Medical City Hospital spokeswoman Bianca Jackson said Alexander died Wednesday night at the Dallas facility. She declined to comment on cause of death.

Alexander was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, in 2005, four years after his career ended in Oakland.




The former Kansas State player spent nine seasons with four teams. After one year with Tampa Bay in 1992, Alexander spent three seasons each in Denver and Indianapolis. He made 29 starts in 30 games for Oakland during the final two years of his career in 2000-01.
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Colleen Kay Hutchins died at age 83

Colleen Kay Hutchins , a native of Salt Lake City, Utah was crowned as Brigham Young University Homecoming Queen in 1947 with Jean Romney and Myrlene Romney as her attendants. In 1952, she was crowned as Miss America. [1]

(May 23, 1926 – March 24, 2010)

She is the mother of former NBA player and current interim head coach of the New Jersey Nets, Kiki Vandeweghe and grandmother of 2008 US Open - Girls Singles winner Coco Vandeweghe. She resided, until her death, with her husband Ernest Vandeweghe, a native of Canada, in Indian Wells, California.

She died on March 24, 2010 in Newport Beach, California at age 83.


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Harold McGraw, Jr.died he was 92

Harold W. McGraw Jr., the former chief executive officer of McGraw-Hill Cos. who fought off a hostile takeover of the family business, has died. He was 92.

McGraw Jr. died at his home this morning, New York-based McGraw-Hill said today in a statement. He was chairman emeritus of McGraw-Hill. His son Harold “Terry” McGraw III has led the company as CEO since 1998, adding the title of chairman in 2000.

“My father was a passionate and principled leader, who led McGraw-Hill with an educator’s heart and an insistence that the underlying principles guiding the company since its founding in 1888 -- integrity, quality, value and excellence -- would endure,” McGraw III said in the statement.


McGraw-Hill, founded in 1888 by McGraw Jr.’s grandfather James H. McGraw, owns Standard & Poor’s ratings service, an education publishing business and J.D. Power and Associates. McGraw Jr. joined the company as a book sales representative in 1947 after stints in advertising and book retailing.

McGraw Jr. ran the company as CEO from 1975 to 1983 and stayed on as chairman through 1988. During his tenure, he fought off a hostile takeover attempt by American Express in 1979. He retired in 1988 at 70 after being elected chairman emeritus.

He contributed to literacy organizations and established the Business Council for Effective Literacy. He received the Literacy Award in 1990 from President George H.W. Bush in recognition of his commitment to education.

McGraw Jr. was born in New York on Jan. 10, 1918. He graduated from Princeton University in 1940 and served as a captain in the Army Air Corps in World War II. In 1940 he married Anne Per-Lee, who died in 2002.

He is survived by three children: McGraw III, Robert P. McGraw, who is on the company’s board, and Suzanne McGraw. Another son, Thomas, died in 2006. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


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Robert Culp has died he was 79

Robert Martin Culp[1] died he was 79. Culp was an American actor and scriptwriter, perhaps best known for his work in television. Culp earned an international reputation for his role as Kelly Robinson on I Spy (1965-1968), the espionage series, where he and co-star Bill Cosby played a pair of secret agents.
(August 16, 1930 – March 24, 2010)

Culp was born in Oakland, California in 1930. He graduated from Berkeley High School. He also attended the University of Washington School of Drama and graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He was married five times and had three sons and two daughters. From 1967-1970, he was married to Eurasian actress France Nuyen, whom he met when she guest-starred on I Spy in 1966. She appeared in four episodes of the series, two of them written by Culp himself. During the series run, Culp wrote scripts for seven episodes, one of which he also directed. He also wrote scripts for several other television series, including Trackdown.

Culp came to national attention very early in his career as the star of the 1957-1959 Western television series Trackdown in which he played Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman. Trackdown was a spin-off of Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, also on CBS. Culp's character was introduced in an episode titled "Badge of Honor". Culp had previously appeared in two other episodes of Zane Grey Theater - "Morning Incident" and "Calico Bait" (both 1960) playing different roles. Trackdown then had a CBS spin-off of its own: Wanted: Dead or Alive, with Steve McQueen as bounty hunter Josh Randall.

After his series ended in 1959, Culp continued to work in television, including a guest-starring role as Stewart Douglas in the 1960 episode "So Dim the Light" of CBS's anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson. He appeared too on the NBC anthology series, The Barbara Stanwyck Show. Moreover, Culp was cast as Captain Shark in a first season episode of NBC's The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964). Among his more memorable performances were in three episodes of the science-fiction anthology series The Outer Limits (1963-1965), including the classic "Demon with a Glass Hand", written by Harlan Ellison. In the 1961-1962 season, he guest starred on ABC's crime drama Target: The Corruptors! In the 1962-1963 season, he guest starred in NBC's modern Western series Empire starring Richard Egan. In the episode, he got into a boxing match with series co-star Ryan O'Neal.


Culp then played secret agent Kelly Robinson, who masqueraded as a professional tennis player, for three years on the hit NBC series I Spy (1965-68), with co-star Bill Cosby. Culp wrote the scripts for seven episodes, one of which he also directed. One episode earned him an Emmy nomination for writing. For all three years of the series he was also nominated for an acting Emmy (Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series category), but lost each time to Cosby.

He played a murderer in three separate Columbo episodes. Prior to that, he, Peter Falk, Robert Wagner and Darren McGavin each stepped in to take turns with Anthony Franciosa's rotation of NBC's series The Name of the Game after Franciosa was fired, alternating a lead role of the lavish 90-minute show about the magazine business with Gene Barry and Robert Stack.

In 1973 Culp almost took the male lead in the tv sci-fi series Space: 1999. Unfortunately, during negotiations with creator and executive producer Gerry Anderson, Culp expressed himself to be not only an asset as an actor, but also as a director and producer for the proposed series. The part went to Martin Landau.

In 1981 he starred in The Greatest American Hero as tough-as-nails FBI Agent Bill Maxwell, who teams up with a special education teacher who receives superpowers from extraterrestrials. That show lasted three years ending in 1983. He reprised the role in a voice-over on the stop-motion sketch comedy Robot Chicken.

In 1987, he reunited with Bill Cosby, this time on The Cosby Show, playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable's old friend Scott Kelly. The name was a combination of their I Spy characters' names.

When contract negotiations with Larry Hagman over his character, J.R. Ewing, on the TV series Dallas, it was widely reported[who?] that Culp was ready to step into the role.However, this turned out to be a false rumor. Culp said in interviews that he was never contacted by anyone from Dallas about the part. He was working on The Greatest American Hero at the time and stated that he would not have left his role as Maxwell even if it had been offered.

One of his most recent recurring roles was a part on Everybody Loves Raymond as Warren Whelan - Debra Barone's father and Ray's father-in-law.

He appeared on episodes of many other television programs including a 1961 season three episode of Bonanza titled "Broken Ballad", as well as The Golden Girls, The Nanny, The Girls Next Door and Wings.

Although primarily known from television, Culp also worked as an actor in many theatrical films, beginning with three in 1963: As naval officer John F. Kennedy's good friend Ensign George Ross in PT 109, as legendary gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok in The Raiders and as the debonair fiance of Jane Fonda in the romantic comedy Sunday in New York.

He went on to star in the provocative Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice in 1969, probably the height of his movie career. Another memorable role came as another gunslinger, Thomas Luther Price, in Hannie Caulder (1971) opposite Raquel Welch. A year later, Hickey & Boggs reunited him with Cosby for the first time since I Spy. Culp also directed this feature film, in which he and Cosby portray over-the-hill private eyes. In 1986, he had a primary role as General Woods in the comedy Combat Academy.

Culp played the U.S. President in Alan J. Pakula's 1994 murder mystery The Pelican Brief starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. In all, Culp gave hundreds of performances in a career spanning more than 50 years.

Culp lent his voice to the digital character Doctor Breen, the prime antagonist in the 2004 computer game Half-Life 2. This was not his first video game role, however: he also appeared in the 1993 game Voyeur.

The video clip of "Guilty Conscience" features Culp as an erudite and detached narrator describing the scenes where Eminem and Dr Dre rap lyrics against each other. He only appears in the music video. In the album version, the narrator is Richard "Segal" Heredia.

On November 9, 2007 on The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly interviewed Culp about the actor's long career and awarded Culp with the distinction "TV Icon of the Week".

Culp died on March 24, 2010, after a fall that took place outside his Los Angeles home.[2] He was 79 years old.


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Margaret Moth died she was 58

Margaret Gipsy Moth was a photojournalist who worked for CNN.
(1951 – March 21, 2010)

Born in Gisborne, New Zealand as Margaret Wilson, to a homemaker and a man who made swimming pools, she got her first camera at age 8. She changed her name to Margaret Gipsy Moth reportedly because of her love for parachuting from Tiger Moth airplanes and her desire to have her "own" name.[1]

Moth moved to the United States and worked for KHOU in Houston, Texas, for about seven years before moving to CNN in 1990.

Moth covered the Persian Gulf War, the rioting that followed Indira Gandhi's assassination, the civil war in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the Bosnian War. She had been described by colleagues as quirky, tough, fearless and funny. [2]

In July 1992, Moth was shot and severely wounded while filming in Sniper Alley in Sarajevo.[3] She underwent multiple surgeries that saved her life, but was left with permanent damage to her face and voice that, she said, left her sounding perpetually drunk. Despite her injuries, she returned to work in Sarajevo six months later, joking that she was going back to look for her missing teeth. [4]

She was the subject of the CNN documentary Fearless: the Margaret Moth Story, which aired in October 2009. It was the story of her reporting the news in dangerous war zones, without fear. In the documentary, she was quoted as saying, "I've gotten everything out of life."


In 2007, Moth was diagnosed with colon cancer. Two years later, she told a CNN documentary crew "I would have liked to think I'd have gone out with a bit more flair ... the important thing is to know that you've lived your life to the fullest... You could be a billionaire, and you couldn't pay to do the things we've done." [5]

In early September 2009, she entered a hospice in Rochester, Minnesota, where she died on March 21, 2010 at age 58.[1][6]


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Blanche Thebom died she was 91

Blanche Thebom was an American mezzo-soprano who sang with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for almost twenty years. She was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania.

(September 19, 1918 – March 23, 2010[1])


Blanche Thebom made her concert debut in 1941, with the Metropolitan Opera, as Fricka in December 1941. She made her Met debut in November 1944 at the Philadelphia's Academy of Music as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde. She was the leading dramatic mezzo-soprano of the Metropolitan Opera for 22 years, created the American premiere performances of Baba the Turk in Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, the Mother in Strauss' Arabella, and Mére Marie in Francis Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. In her 22 seasons with the Met (1944-1959, 1960-1967) she appeared in 356 performances, 28 roles, and 27 works. She also sang in various opera houses in America and Europe, with increasing success. The first American to sing at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow, Blanche Thebom is also remembered for her Dorabella in the historic production directed by Alfred Lunt of Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, and for her Brangäne on Flagstad/Wilhelm Furtwängler recording of Tristan und Isolde.


In 1967 Blanche Thebom was appointed head of the Southern Regional Opera Company in Atlanta. It folded in 1968. In 1968 she was appointed director of the opera workshop of San Francisco State University. Blanche Thebom founded the Opera Arts Training Program, a three-week workshop in conjunction with San Francisco Girls Chorus in 1988. She lives and teaches in San Francisco.


Upon her retirement from the Metropolitan ca. 1960, she taught and directed opera performance in Atlanta and Little Rock until around 1980. She appeared in summer theatre revivals of Broadway musicals such as The Sound of Music (as the Mother Abbess) in Atlanta.


She may have been best-known for her performance of the role of Brangane in Tristan und Isolde in a recording conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler with Kirsten Flagstad and Ludwig Suthaus.


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Marva Wright has died at age 62.

Marva Wright, the New Orleans blues and gospel singer who left her job as a school secretary to sing around the world, died Tuesday of complications from two strokes suffered last summer. She was 62.

Ms. Wright died at the eastern New Orleans home of her eldest daughter, where she had been living since her health went into decline last year.

She sang traditional jazz and gospel standards but was better known for sultry, sometimes bawdy blues standards, including "Heartbreakin' Woman" and "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean."

She released a series of albums on local and international record labels, and frequently performed in Europe and at blues festivals around the country. With her band, the BMWs, she drew large crowds for performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.


"She truly was and will remain the Blues Queen of New Orleans," said Adam Shipley, Ms. Wright's manager. "I cherish all the time I spent with her. She was one of the highlights to ever grace the stage at Tipitina's."


Enormously popular among fellow musicians, Ms. Wright moved easily between gospel spirituals and bawdy blues romps. She released a series of albums on local and international record labels, and frequently performed in Europe and at blues festivals around the country. She drew large crowds for her performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell. Her annual Christmas concerts at Tipitina's featured a broad range of singers and musicians.


Ms. Wright grew up on First Street in Central City alongside Jo "Cool" Davis and Sammy Berfect, also destined to impact the city's gospel community. As a child, she listened to her mother sing and play piano at Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church. Her mother had attended McDonogh 24 elementary school with future gospel legend Mahalia Jackson.

"My mother would go to the national Baptist convention," Ms. Wright once said. "When it convened in Chicago (where Jackson had moved), Mahalia would say, 'Girl, you don't need to get no hotel. Stay with me.' That's what my mother would do. I met Mahalia when I was 9 years old, but I never realized she was that popular until I got older."


As she considered leaving her secretarial post at Eleanor McMain Secondary School to embark on a career as a singer, she wrestled with the idea of performing sacred gospel music in secular clubs. She consulted with her old friend Davis, who urged her to make the leap.

Marva Wright, right, and guitarist Tab Benoit perform at the Democratic National Convention delegates welcoming party in Denver on August 24, 2008.

"You can only go so far in gospel," Davis said. "I'd put Marva in a category with Mavis Staples. People want to sing, they are inspired to sing. But not everybody has that raw, natural talent, like Marva. Somebody that talented has to go another route."

She nurtured her early career in Bourbon Street clubs, including the Old Absinthe Bar. In 1990, while working at the Bourbon Street Gospel and Blues Club, she met "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley. They became close friends; up until his death, Bradley introduced Ms. Wright for her Jazz Fest performances.

While some performers look down on Bourbon Street venues, Ms. Wright understood their role in launching her career. "I love Bourbon Street," she said in 2008. "If it wasn't for Bourbon Street, I wouldn't be where I'm at now. You meet a lot of people from all over the world."

In the 1990s, her audience at the Uptown club Muddy Waters occasionally included a daughter of then-Vice President Al Gore, and Gore's wife, Tipper. That led to an invitation to perform at the White House during the Clinton years.

Hurricane Katrina inundated her rented home near the intersection of Morrison and Crowder in eastern New Orleans with nearly 8 feet of water. She and her second husband, Anthony Plessy, moved to Bel Air, Maryland, near the homes of Plessy's adult children. During her year in Maryland, Ms. Wright was not impressed with the culinary sensibilities of her home-in-exile.

"I cooked gumbo without the essentials -- our crabs and shrimp," she recalled in 2008. "And they didn't have hot sausage. Somebody sent me some crab boil seasoning. I used that. I'll never forget, I cooked gumbo for Thanksgiving. I put in chicken and smoked sausage -- I don't do that here because I don't need to."

She finally returned to the New Orleans area and settled in Harvey. From January 2007 through March 2008, Ms. Wright was featured most weekends in the Ritz-Carlton's On Trois Lounge. After parting ways with the Ritz, she returned to Bourbon Street with her band, the BMWs - an acronym for the "Band of Marva Wright."

In August 2008, Ms. Wright was part of the delegation of Louisiana artists who performed at the Denver welcoming party for Democratic National Convention delegates. On a stage in a Colorado Convention Center ballroom, Ms. Wright sang "A Change Is Gonna Come," accompanied by guitarist Tab Benoit and others. Irma Thomas, Terence Blanchard and Randy Newman were also part of the show.


In 2009, Ms. Wright suffered two strokes. She was first hospitalized in mid-May after what was described as a "minor" stroke. She recovered sufficiently to start performing once again.

However, she returned to the hospital after another, more traumatic stroke on June 6. In the difficult weeks and months that followed, she underwent dialysis treatments and was fed via a feeding tube.


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