Obituaries Notable people that have passed

Heathrow

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BBC News - Norwegian marathon great Grete Waitz dies

BBC News said:
Norwegian marathon runner Grete Waitz has died at the age of 57 following a six-year battle with cancer.

A former Oslo schoolteacher, Waitz won the London Marathon twice, the New York City Marathon nine times and took the silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.

She won her first New York Marathon in 1978, setting a world best of two hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds.

Waitz also won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1983 world championships in Helsinki.

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An athletics and city marathons icon, sadly missed. :(
 

jedd_kenobi

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cross posted with the Doctor Who thread but fits here as well. absolutely crushed at the moment.
Doctor Who star Elisabeth Sladen, who was also in spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, has died aged 63.

Sladen appeared as Doctor Who assistant Sarah Jane Smith in the BBC television sci-fi series between 1973 and 1976 opposite Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

In more recent times the Liverpool-born actress had appeared in four series of The Sarah Jane Adventures on children's channel CBBC.

Sladen, who had a daughter, had been battling cancer for some time.

i'm really hoping that they will air some kind of tribute at the start of this weeks Season 6 opener of Dr Who.
 

Loop

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Gerard Smith, bassist of TV on the Radio, passes away following battle with lung cancer

TV on the Radio bassist Gerard Smith died on the morning of Wednesday, April 20, the band announced on its website. The 36-year-old revealed he was battling lung cancer last month.

"We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer," the band's message read. "Gerard passed away the morning of April 20th, 2011. We will miss him terribly."

Smith joined TV on the Radio in 2003, two years after they formed. He told Spin Magazine that, before joining the band, he could be found performing on flamenco guitar in New York City subway stations. But his career as a busker ended when he was informed that, if he continued to busk without a permit, he'd risk jail time. He made a smart move -- TV on the Radio quickly became synonymous with street cred and, yet, virtually every critic seemed to adore them as well.

The Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie, made a rare appearance on TV on the Radio's 2006 release, 'Return to Cookie Mountain,' while their 2008 follow-up, 'Dear Science,' was named album of the year by a number of prestigious publications, including Rolling Stone, Spin, MTV and Entertainment Weekly.

The group revealed that it was canceling its next five concerts and that more information would be announced soon. TV on the Radio are currently touring behind their recently released fifth album, 'Nine Types of Light.' Smith was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the recording sessions wrapped and had been undergoing treatment while the band was on the road.

Tragic loss, a truly talented man and lost at such a young age. R.I.P. :(
 

CAPT_Howdy

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I just found out today that Michael Sarrazin had passed away earlier this week.

From the New York Times:
Michael Sarrazin, a leading man in the late 1960s and 1970s who led Jane Fonda around the dance floor in the Depression drama ?They Shoot Horses, Don?t They?? and played Paul Newman?s misunderstood half-brother in ?Sometimes a Great Notion,? died on Sunday in Montreal. He was 70.

The cause was cancer, his agent, Michael Oscars, said.

With his big, soulful eyes and sensitively handsome face, Mr. Sarrazin brought youthful innocence with a dash of countercultural rebelliousness to films like ?The Flim-Flam Man? (1967), in which he played a reluctant apprentice to George C. Scott?s grifter, and the 1973 television drama ?Frankenstein: The True Story,? in which he gave a Byronic performance as the monster.

He was in great demand in the 1970s. He played a pickpocket trainee in the James Coburn caper film ?Harry in Your Pocket? (1973) and Barbra Streisand?s cabdriver husband in the screwball farce ?For Pete?s Sake? (1974). He brought a brooding complexity to the title role of the horror film ?The Reincarnation of Peter Proud? (1975).

It was his performance in the 1969 film ?They Shoot Horses, Don?t They?,? a grueling existentialist drama directed by Sydney Pollack, that established him as one of the era?s more intriguing antiheroes. He played Robert Syverten, an aimless, unemployed film extra who enters a marathon dance contest with the equally desperate Gloria (Ms. Fonda), hoping to win recognition and prize money. Instead, after days spent circling the dance floor, he ends up fatally shooting his partner in a twisted act of mercy.

?You could have paid me a dollar a week to work on that,? Mr. Sarrazin told The Toronto Star in 1994. ?It hits you bolt upright; I still get really intense when I watch it.?

Jacques Michel Andr? Sarrazin was born on May 22, 1940, in Quebec City and grew up in Montreal. After dropping out of high school he acted in theater and television in Montreal and Toronto ? he played Romeo to Genevi?ve Bujold?s Juliet in a live production on Canadian television ? before being signed by Universal Studios in 1965.

He was assigned to the television series ?The Virginian? and the TV movie ?The Doomsday Flight? before making his big-screen debut in ?Gunfight in Abilene? (1967), starring Bobby Darin and Leslie Nielsen.

?The Flim-Flam Man? put his career on the fast track. He played a drifting Malibu surfer in ?The Sweet Ride? (1968) opposite Jacqueline Bisset, with whom he entered into a long romantic relationship, and a raw Confederate recruit (with James Caan) in ?Journey to Shiloh? (1968), before being offered the role of Joe Buck in ?Midnight Cowboy.?

Universal refused to let him take the role, which went to Jon Voight, but tried to make amends by steering him to Mr. Pollack and ?They Shoot Horses.? The experience was every bit as demanding off screen as on.

?We stayed up around the clock for three or four days,? Mr. Sarrazin told The Toronto Star, adding that the director demanded that the actors remain in character. ?Pollack said we should work until signs of exhaustion,? he said. ?Fights would break out among the men; women started crying. I?d get into terrible fights with Bruce Dern.?

His career waned after the mid-1970s and ?The Gumball Rally? (1976), his last prominent role. In 1993 he took a French-speaking role in the Canadian comedy ?La Florida,? about a Quebec family trying to run a shabby motel in Hollywood, Fla. The film was a huge hit in Quebec, and as Romeo Laflamme, an-over-the-hill Canadian crooner and ladies? man, Mr. Sarrazin became a cult figure in Montreal, where he returned to live in his 60s.

Mr. Sarrazin is survived by a brother, Pierre, of Toronto; a sister, Enid, of Montreal; and two daughters, Catherine and Michelle, also of Montreal.

Here is a scene from the movie I remember him best from - The Gumball Rally:


Goodbye, Mr Sarrazin, and thank you.
 

GRtak

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Never seen that movie. I am currently bored and will seek it out.
 

MWF

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Never seen that movie. I am currently bored and will seek it out.

Hope you managed to find it. Knocks the Cannonball movies into a cocked hat.

And RIP Our 'Enry.
 

jedd_kenobi

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Jackie Cooper 1922-2011
Former US child star Jackie Cooper, who went on to work as a TV producer, film director and feature in four Superman movies, has died at the age of 88. Cooper died in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday of complications related to old age, his lawyer said. Aged nine he became the youngest player to be nominated for an Oscar for best actor, for the 1931 film Skippy. Late in his career he appeared as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the four Christopher Reeve Superman films As a child, Cooper became a familiar face to many in Hal Roach's Our Gang series of short comedy films. He went on to star in Skippy, an adaptation of a popular comic strip. In one scene where he was required to cry, the director, his uncle Norman Taurog, pretended to have his dog shot off-set in order to bring on the tears - a ploy that worked.
Fifty years later, Cooper entitled his 1981 autobiography Please Don't Shoot My Dog. He followed his success in Skippy with roles in films including The Champ, The Bowery and Treasure Island, and continued acting through his adolescence. He served in the US Navy during World War II and returned to find his film career had waned. So he took to the stage in New York in a number of Broadway shows. He went on to star in TV sit-oms and dramas, before turning his hand to directing and production. His appearances as gruff Daily Planet editor Perry White in the Superman films brought him back to the big screen in the twilight of his career. Born John Cooper in Los Angeles in 1922, he was married three times and had four children. Two sons survive him.
i'll always remember him for playing Perry White in the Superman films of my childhood.
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BBC News
 

GRtak

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The respect that great explorers deserve is boundless. Because it was a machine, should have no bearing on that.


In Memoriam: Mars Rover Spirit


She had a career that lasted almost 20 times longer than expected, during which time she helped usher in a new era of understanding between our world and an alien planet.

She?s the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. And today she is officially lost in space.

In a press release issued last night, NASA?s Jet Propulsion Laboratory?the rover?s birthplace?announced that scientists will cease trying to communicate with Spirit, which went silent on March 22, 2010.

The rover had become stuck in a sandy pit in April 2009, and efforts to have her wiggle out failed repeatedly.

In January 2010 mission managers decided they?d have Spirit stay put.

She could still do science, investigating the mineral-rich soil she was trapped in, as well as conducting experiments that benefit from a stationary data collector, such as atmospheric studies and radio probes of Mars?s axial spin.

The trick was that Spirit would first have to survive Martian winter.

?Normally we keep [the rover] warm by having it on,? like a car running its engine on a cold day, rover project manager John Callas said at a January 2010 press briefing.

Previously NASA had parked the rover each winter so that her solar panels pointed north, maximizing power collection during the long months of low sunlight.

Given her limited movement in the pit, however, this time Spirit couldn?t get into an ideal position for hibernation.

With wintertime lows around -45 Celsius (-49 Fahrenheit) on Mars, the team was worried that the rover wouldn?t get enough sunlight to keep powered *and* keep warm.

Sadly, it looks like those worries proved true.

Winter?s over now on Mars, and Spirit should have started chattering if she?d made it through the brutal winter.

But NASA?s been trying for ten months to make contact, to no avail, and today they?ll send the very last official transmission.

?We?re now transitioning assets to support the November launch of our next generation Mars rover, Curiosity,? Dave Lavery, NASA?s program executive for solar system exploration, said in the release.

Don?t forget that Spirit?s twin, Opportunity, is still trucking along on the red planet and is even now headed for a new crater to explore.

Plus, it sounds like Team Spirit isn?t completely giving up hope: ?While we no longer believe there is a realistic probability of hearing from Spirit, the Deep Space Network may occasionally listen for any faint signals when the schedule permits.?

Spirit, you?ll be missed:

http://xkcd.com/695/
 

jedd_kenobi

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Jeff Conaway died today at the age of 60, While he was mostly known for his appearances in the film Grease and the tv series Grease. He will however always be remembered by me for his appearance in the Sci Fi TV show Babylon 5 as Security Officer Zack Allen. It still feels like only yesterday that i found out about the deaths of Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar) and Richard Biggs (Dr Stephen Franklin)
800px-B5_zack.jpg

Jeff Conaway, who starred in "Taxi" and played Danny Zuko's buddy Kenickie in 1978's "Grease," has died after more than two weeks in a coma. Spokeswoman Kathryn Boole says the 60-year-old actor died Friday morning at the Encino Tarzana Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized in a coma since May 11. His manager, Phil Brock, has said Conaway had tried to treat himself with pain pills and cold medicine while in weakened health. The actor was found unconscious in his apartment on May 11. Doctors had said there was no hope for his recovery and his family decided to take him off life support on Thursday, according to E! News. Conaway's ex-girlfriend, Vikki Lizzi, had gone to court to try and prevent the action. E! reports that Lizzi and Conaway had filed dueling restraining orders against each other in March after their breakup. At the time, Conaway had claimed she was injecting him with prescription drugs against his will. Conaway had publicly battled addiction issues, and was treated by Dr. Drew Pinsky on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab."
After Lizzi discovered Conaway unconscious on May 11, manager Phil Brock first said that an overdose of painkillers was a likely culprit. That theory was disputed days later by Pinsky, who said that there was no sign of an intentional overdose and instead the actor was suffering from pneumonia and the blood poisoning known as sepsis. The actor had struggled with health and substance abuse problems for years, and in 2008, told radio host Howard Stern "I've tried to commit suicide 21 times. Not an OD like press is alleging & certainly not dead," Pinsky tweeted late last week after visiting Conaway. E! Online quoted some of Conaway's Hollywood friends reacting to the news.
"Grease" costar John Travolta recalled his former T-Bird wingman. "Jeff Conaway was a wonderful and decent man, and we will miss him," Travolta told E! News. "My heartfelt thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this very difficult time."
"Yet again another beautiful soul is wasted due to the growing problem of pharmaceutical addiction," Corey Feldman told E! News. "I have lost way too many friends because of irresponsible practices where doctors are overmedicating obvious addicts. It's horrific and disgusting! My heart goes out to Jeff's family, he was a wonderful human."
E! also reported that former "Munsters" star Butch Patrick, a onetime party pal of Conaway, said he was "devastated" by the loss.
Conaway was married to Rona Newton-John, sister of singer Olivia, in the early '80s. He is survived by their son, Emerson, a professional racecar driver.

Source
 
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CAPT_Howdy

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Jeff Conaway died today at the age of 60, While he was mostly known for his appearances in the film Grease and the tv series Taxi, he will however always be remembered by me for his appearance in the Sci Fi TV show Babylon 5 as Security Officer Zack Allen. It still feels like only yesterday that i found out about the deaths of Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar) and Richard Biggs (Dr Stephen Franklin)

Another B5 actor has passed beyond the Rim...
 

MWF

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GRtak

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Assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian dies


Jack Kevorkian, a former Oakland County pathologist who stirred public debate about physician-assisted suicide and admitted helping 130 people end their lives, has died.

Kevorkian had been hospitalized with kidney and respiratory problems for several weeks at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. He was 83.

Michigan's most famous felon pathologist, dubbed "Dr. Death" in the heyday of his assisted-suicide crusade, was released from prison in 2007 after serving more than eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence for murder for a nationally televised fatal injection he gave in 1998 to a patient stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease.

A jury convicted him of second-degree murder in the case, dramatically ending a string of acquittals that had imbued Kevorkian with strident self-righteousness and transformed him into a symbol of the right-to-death movement.


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110603...de-advocate-Jack-Kevorkian-dies#ixzz1OE9PkFEI


Love him or hate him, he was acting on a very emotionally charged issue that can touch us all at some time.

Much more at the link.
 
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