Thursday, 22 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: September and October

2nd September 2016 – Rowena Kincaid, 40

BBC weather girl who directed two documentaries about terminal cancer after her own diagnosis. Before I Kick the Bucket is poignant, informative, and actually quite funny in places, and highly recommended.

 3rd September 2016 – Leslie H Martinson, 101

TV director who directed the 1966 Batman movie. He was also responsible for The Penguin Goes Straight, one of the finest two parters of the TV series, in which Burgess Meredith’s Penguin acts like he has become a good guy, and only Batman and Robin see through his act.

 4th September 2016 – Richard Neville, 74

Writer who was the editor of Oz magazine. He was one of the defendants in the Oz obscenity trial.

 4th September 2016 – Bishop David Jenkins, 91

Bishop of Durham from 1984 to 1994.

“Soon after the announcement of his appointment to Durham (the fourth senior see in the Church of England), Jenkins appeared on a television programme and, in response to a question from his interviewer, said that he did not believe in the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ as historical events. “I wouldn’t put it past God to arrange a virgin birth if He wanted,” said Jenkins, “but I very much doubt if He would.” This created a considerable storm both inside and outside the Church and the Archbishop of York was called upon to refuse Jenkins consecration as a bishop. The consecration took place in York Minster as planned, but three days later the Minster was struck by lightning and a large section of its roof was destroyed by the consequent fire. Opponents declared this to be a clear sign of Divine disapproval.”
Telegraph obit

He became a well known public figure as much for his religious views as for his opposition to the policies of the Thatcher government, supporting the miners’ strike. He appeared on an episode of the live discussion show After Dark, to discuss What Is There To Believe In? with Michael Bentine, Professor Steven Rose and the philosopher Frank Cioffi, among others.

In 2005, he became the first Church of England former Bishop to bless the civil partnership of two men.

 8th September 2016 – Prince Buster, 78

Singer-songwriter who wrote One Step Beyond, and was regarded as one of the founders of ska.

9th September 2016 – Lord Littlebrook, 87

British wrestler who appeared in the NWA territories during the 1970s, and was part of a six man tag match at WrestleMania III, on the card Andre the Giant took on Hulk Hogan and smashed the American indoor attendance record.

“As Lord Littlebrook, clad in a pinstripe jacket and with his hair oiled back, Tovey was both a talented showman and a powerful athlete. He put his circus skills to good use by performing somersaults off the top rope, introducing an airborne element to bouts that would later be imitated by average-sized competitors such as the “Flying Frenchman” Édouard Carpentier. The National Wrestling Alliance recognised Tovey as World Midget Champion in 1972, and he toured as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. While some observers balked at the word “midget”, which today is considered a slur by many people with dwarfism, Tovey was less squeamish. As a working-class Londoner, he was more irritated by his own stage name, which had been bestowed upon him by promoters looking to play upon American stereotypes of the English aristocracy.”
Telegraph obit

 11th September 2016 – Alexis Arquette, 47

Actress who appeared in Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer.

 13th September 2016 – Matt Gray, 80

Scottish footballer who played for Third Lanark and Manchester City.

14th September 2016 – Lady Caroline Faber, 93

Last surviving child of Harold MacMillan.

14th September 2016 – Richard Whittington-Egan, 91

Criminologist and “true ghost” story compiler, who was regarded as one of the leading experts on Jack the Ripper.

“A typically melodramatic example was his appraisal of Scotland Yard’s Black Museum: “A thing of the Sherlock Holmes period, the exhibits winking wickedly under the gas-light, the fog rolling in from the nearby Thames and swirling in thick spiral and thin arabesque about the high shelves where the Newgate death-masks of the hanged stare through the dull plaster of closed eyelids, and the noosed ropes creak their frightful memories in the river wind.”But despite the stylistic curlicues, Whittington-Egan was a shrewd analyst of the criminal mind. He developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Jack the Ripper killings in the East End of London in the autumn of 1888, and was a dissenting voice when, in 1965, the American author Tom Cullen identified the Ripper as an obscure barrister, Montague John Druitt. “It won’t do,” complained Whittington-Egan, “it simply won’t do.”There were too many unanswered questions, chief of which was: “Can Druitt be shown to have connections with Whitechapel?” Nevertheless, Whittington-Egan’s scepticism failed to extinguish interest in Druitt as a principal Ripper contender.”
Telegraph obit

He later wrote a number of books on the history of Liverpool.

16th September 2016 – Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, 95

Prime Minister of Italy from 1993 to 1994, and then President from 1999 to 2006. He had previously been Governor of the Bank of Italy.

“By 1991 Italy was in turmoil. The Tangentopoli scandals destroyed the Italian Socialist and Christian Democratic parties, the latter of which had dominated Italian politics for decades. The Communist party, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, changed its name. In 1993 Ciampi was asked to become prime minister, unelected, to lead a government of experts to see Italy through a tumultuous period, when no party had a majority. He was the kind of person who, precisely because he had no political ambition, could be trusted by politicians who could not trust each other. He entered politics at the age of 73, the first government leader not to be a member of parliament. During his year-long tenure he started to privatise Italy’s large public sector, and abolished the automatic indexation of wages to inflation.”
Donald Sassoon, Guardian obit 19 September 2016

16th September 2016 – Gabriele Amorth, 91

Former Chief Exorcist for the Vatican. He claimed to have presided over 50, 000 exorcisms, said that Hitler had been possessed by the devil, warned against the devil’s existence in the Harry Potter novels. He also adored the film The Exorcist, claiming that it was 100% documentary.

“He was an exorcist – founder, in 1990, of the International Association of Exorcists and its president until his retirement 10 years later. But whereas most of the other practitioners of his trade shunned publicity, Amorth embraced it. He published a string of books and was seldom reluctant to give a comment or an interview. With his pale, round face and a surname JK Rowling might have bestowed on one of her hero’s more tenebrous adversaries, Amorth was a journalist’s dream. Yet the man they encountered turned out to be disarmingly jovial and with a matter-of-fact way of describing his extraordinary calling. He said he had seen victims levitate. He said he had watched as four strong men struggled to hold down an 11-year-old child. He kept a little collection of items – nails, keys and the like – which he said his “patients” had spat out during exorcism. And in one book, An Exorcist Tells His Story (1994), he blithely remarked that “the hardest to cure are the victims of the most powerful spells.””
John Hooper, Guardian obit, 26 September 2016

16th September 2016 – Edward Albee, 88

Playwright most famous for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

 17th September 2016 – Charmian Carr, 73

Actress best known for her role as Liesl in The Sound of Music.

17th September 2016 – Sigge Parling, 86

Swedish football player who played in the 1958 World Cup final.

18th September 2016 – Mandoza, 38

Popular South African kwaito musician.

20th September 2016 – Alan Cousin, 78

Scottish footballer who played for Hibernian and Falkirk, and in a decade at Dundee, played in over three hundred games for the club. He was their top scorer in three seasons consecutively (1958, 1959, 1960), and part of the Dundee side which won the Scottish League title in 1962.

20th September 2016 – Jack Garman, 72

Former NASA executive, who was involved in the Apollo 11 descent.

“The alarm appeared to indicate a computer systems overload, raising the specter of a breakdown. With only a few minutes left before touchdown on the moon, Steve Bales, the guidance officer in mission control, had to make a decision: Let the module continue to descend, or abort the mission and send the module rocketing back to the command ship, Columbia. By intercom, Mr. Bales quickly consulted Jack Garman, a 24-year-old engineer who was overseeing the software support group from a back-room console. Mr. Garman had painstakingly prepared himself for just this contingency — the possibility of a false alarm. “So I said,” he remembered, “on this backup room voice loop that no one can hear, ‘As long as it doesn’t reoccur, it’s fine.’”
Sam Roberts, Jack Garman, Whose judgement call Saved Moon Landing, Dies at 72, The New York times 24 September 2016

20th September 2016 – Curtis Hanson, 71

Director who worked on LA Confidential and 8 Mile.

 23rd September 2016 – Peter Collingwood, 86

Actor who appeared in Are You Being Served and Edward the Seventh.

24th September 2016 – Buckwheat Zydeco, 68

Musician who performed with Eric Clapton.

24th September 2016 – Mel Charles, 81

Welsh international footballer, and brother of John Charles (Wales’s greatest footballer), who played for Swansea City and Arsenal. He played for Wales at the 1958 World Cup.

 24th September 2016 – James Crowden, 88

Former British Olympian, who competed in the rowing in the 1952 Olympics.

24th September 2016 – Bill Nunn, 63

Actor who appeared in Do The Right Thing as Radio Raheem.

25th September 2016 – Robert Weinberg, 70

Genre publisher, who worked on A Biographical Dictionary of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. He was a noted anthologist, he edited The Weird Tales Collector, and Barnes and Nobles 100 Stories Series. He also produced a number of non-fiction books, on Stephen King and Robert E Howard. He also wrote his own fiction, including zombie tale The Silent Majority. In 2008, he won the lifetime achievement Bram Stoker award.

25th September 2016 – Arnold Palmer, 87

Golf legend who won four Masters and 2 Opens, among many other awards. He went into the Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, and won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.

25th September 2016 – Rene Marsiglia, 57

Football manager who was manager of Nice from 2011 to 2012, and kept them up in Ligue One. Their lofty position now can be traced back to Marsiglia steadying a sinking ship five years ago.

 28th September 2016 – Shimon Peres, 93

Ninth President of Israel.

“In the early 80s, he resuscitated Israel’s economy, and in 1994 shared the Nobel prize for his role in the efforts to create peace in the Middle East through the Oslo accords. In the same year, he cemented Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan. Defeated at the polls in 1996, he returned in 2001 as foreign minister, thereby giving Israel’s controversial new premier, Ariel Sharon, a much-needed veneer of respectability. And in 2006, he left Labour, his home for five decades, to help Sharon set up his powerful new breakaway faction, Kadima. The Jerusalem Report news magazine called him “Israel’s only world-class statesman, perhaps Zionism’s last pragmatic visionary”. Peres wrote 11 books, read poetry voraciously, and could quote from Old Testament prophets, French literature and Chinese philosophy with equal ease. After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, he bound together a shattered nation. And yet, despite all his talent, there was something tragic about the man. Peres contested five elections without winning a single outright victory. His longest tenure as premier was two years, and came while he was in an awkward alliance with his Likud enemies. He lost the Labour leadership on the eve of the party’s return to power in 1992. A slew of terrorist attacks in early 1996 allowed Binyamin Netanyahu victory over Peres in Israel’s first direct prime ministerial elections. No wonder Orly Azoulay titled her 1996 biography of him The Man Who Didn’t Know How to Win.”
Lawrence Joffe, Guardian obit 28 September 2016

 28th September 2016 – Graham Hawkins, 70

English footballer who played for Preston North End, and won the third division title twice with Blackburn Rovers. As manager, he guided Wolves to the top flight.

 28th September 2016 – Gary Glasberg, 50

NCIS Showrunner.

 29th September 2016 – Ralph V Whitworth, 60

American businessman.

“Whitworth typically acquired modest stakes in a poorly performing company and pushed for a board seat. He then cajoled fellow directors to shake things up—through strategy shifts, aggressive restructurings or top management shake-ups. “Without Ralph, modern shareholder activism would have never been as successful as it has been,’’ said Charles Elson, head of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. Many activist funds now embrace the approach Mr. Whitworth pioneered with Relational co-founder David Batchelder. “Relational has become a synonym for engagement-driven activism like Xerox is for copies and Kleenex for tissues,” said Patrick McGurn, special counsel at Institutional Shareholder Services, a proxy advisory firm.”
Joann S Lublin, Longtime Activist Investor Ralph Whitworth Dies after Cancer Battle, the Wall Street Journal 29 September 2016

29th September 2016 – Ann Emery, 86

Actress, sister of Dick Emery, who appeared in Rentaghost and Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde.

29th September 2016 – Miriam Defensor Santiago, 71

Former judge of International Criminal Court, who had been a Philippines senator. She had aimed to run for the Presidency of her country, but lost as her cancer relapsed.

“Santiago ran for the presidency thrice—in 1992 where she lost against Fidel V. Ramos, in 1998 which was won by Joseph Estrada, and in 2016 against Rodrigo Duterte who won. Her running mate was Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who also did not win. “You’ve done so much for our country. Thank you Senator Miriam Santiago for being the BEST president we never had,” tweeted Cristy Macaraeg. “Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a president we never had. Rest in peace. You served the Filipino people well. #RIPMiriam,” said @janrobertgo.”
Ramon H Royandoyan, Netizens agree: Miriam was the best president the country never had, Philippine Daily Inquirer 30 September 2016

29th September 2016 – Terence Brady, 77

Writer for Upstairs Downstairs, who had formerly been an actor (appearing in Z-Cars), and later became the Daily Mail’s cooking column writer.

“His television work included leading roles in series such as Boy Meets Girl and Love Story and numerous guest appearances. He was one of the regular voices in a cast led by Sir Michael Redgrave for the epic 26-part BBC documentary series The Great War and chaired the BBC panel game First Impressions. On radio he hosted and wrote the weekly series, Hear! Hear! and Thank Goodness It’s Saturday, and acted and wrote alongside Ronnie Barker on Lines From My Grandfather’s Forehead, which won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Radio Series. His collaboration with Charlotte Bingham began soon after their marriage, and in 1969 their “One Two, Sky’s Blue” was commissioned for the drama series Boy Meets Girl, and starred James Bolam, Judy Cornwell as well as Brady himself. On the strength of the script Brady and Charlotte Bingham were selected as founder writers for Take Three Girls.”
Telegraph obit

30th September 2016 – Oscar Brand, 96

Folk singer-songwriter who played with Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger, and later helped create Sesame Street.

“In addition to performing and recording prolifically, Mr. Brand wrote books, articles and the scores for Broadway musicals and documentary films. He also hosted television shows. But it was his radio show, “Folksong Festival,” for which he was best known. Every week for more than 70 years, with the easy, familiar voice of a friend, Mr. Brand invited listeners of the New York public radio station WNYC to his quirky, informal combination of American music symposium, barn dance, cracker-barrel conversation, songwriting session and verbal horseplay. Mr. Brand’s last show aired on Sept. 24, Mr. Yeager said. Everyone who was anyone in folk music dropped by. Woody Guthrie — Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, as Mr. Brand called his rambling friend — was known to burst in unexpectedly to try out a new song. Bob Dylan told a riveting tale about his boyhood in a carnival, not a word of it true.”
Douglas Martin, Oscar Brand, Folk Singer Whose Radio Show Twanged for Decades, Dies at 96, The New York Times 1 October 2016

 1st October 2016 – David Herd, 82

Scottish footballer who played for both Arsenal and Manchester United, winning two league titles in the process.

 2nd October 2016 – Sir Neville Marriner, 92


“In 1977 he made his New York Philharmonic debut with a Mozart programme; and he conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra a good deal. He also worked in Britain with the Northern Sinfonia from 1971, and from 1979 to 1987 was in charge of the Minnesota Orchestra. At the same time he conducted regularly in Germany, notably with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (1986-89). From the late 70s he occasionally tackled opera, in both theatre and studio, and he mastered the central choral repertory: from 1975 the Academy had an associated chorus, founded by Laszlo Heltay. More recently Marriner freelanced, but in all the phases of his career he kept in touch with the Academy, only handing the music director’s baton to fellow violinist Joshua Bell in 2011, when he became the Academy’s life president. In 2014 Decca issued a 28-disc box of recordings that he made from 1961 to 1982 for L’Oiseau-Lyre, Argo and ASV.”
Tully Potter and John Amis, Guardian obit, 2 October 2016

2nd October 2016 – Steve Byrd, 61

Guitarist who performed with Kim Wilde.

5th October 2016 – Rod Temperton, 66

Songwriter who worked with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones on a number of songs. The most famous of which became Thriller. He was later nominated for an Oscar for the music in The Color Purple.

5th October 2016 – Georges Balandier, 95

Sociologist known for his work in Africa.

7th October 2016 – Alistair Urquhart, 97

WW2 vet who was a Japanese POW, and wrote the book The Forgotten Highlander about his war experiences.

7th October 2016 – Wolfgang Suschitzky, 104

Cinematographer who worked on Get Carter and Theatre of Blood.

10th October 2016 – Gerry Gow, 64

Former Glaswegian midfielder, who played over 350 matches for Bristol City. He also played for Manchester City and Rotherham United. He played in, but lost, the 1981 FA Cup final, remembered for the outstanding play by the Argentine duo Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles for Tottenham Hotspur.

13th October 2016 – Dario Fo, 90

Playwright, satirist and campaigner who won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature. He wrote the Accidental Death of an Anarchist.

“The literary critic Geno Pampaloni wrote: “A Nobel Prize? It’s a joke.” Meanwhile, the neo-fascist National Alliance party protested vigorously, and there was strong dissent from Vatican newspapers. Despite such public excoriation Fo never yielded to his detractors. If anything, he delighted in the chance to hit back. In the wake of the Academy’s decision he remarked: “It’s not bad at all getting a Nobel, and making so many old fossils explode with rage.”
Telegraph obit

 13th October 2016 – Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88

King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016.

14th October 2016 – Jean Alexander, 90

Acclaimed actress who was best known to millions as Hilda Ogden on Coronation Street. Her partnership with Bernard Youens as her husband Stan were one of the highlights of the show, and, when Youens died in 1984, she won awards for her performance as a grieving widow.

“Alexander left Coronation Street in 1987, a brave move for anyone used to the security of a twice-weekly soap opera. But directors recognised her ability and she was soon cast as Christine Keeler’s mother in Michael Caton-Jones’s 1988 film Scandal. Other work followed: she was a genteel, snooker-loopy granny in comedy drama Rich Tea and Sympathy opposite Patricia Hodge; the cook in an adaptation of E Nesbit’s The Phoenix and the Carpet and later had a regular role as the unscrupulous Auntie Wainwright in Last of the Summer Wine. Alexander was always good fun in whatever role she took on; her characters were well-observed, lively, a bit eccentric.
How Jean Alexander created one of the greatest soap characters in Coronation Street’s Hilda Ogden, Telegraph 15 October 2016

After retiring from Corrie, she took up residence in another long running series, Last of the Summer Wine. On paper, Auntie Wainwright, the duplicitous owner of a second hand bric-a-brac store, is entirely unsympathetic, but in the hands of Jean Alexander, a delightfully lurid comic beast out of Dickens. I love the way her eyes light up, as some poor hapless victim helps this little old lady back into her shop, thinking they’ve done a good deed. Or how Peter Sallis’s face would transfix to horror at the mere mention of Auntie Wainwright. The show wasn’t always the most successful at bringing in new characters (see the attempts to replace Bill Owen), but Jean Alexander effortlessly became one of the highlights of the second half of the series alongside Thora Hird.

And that she could be acclaimed for her soap battleaxe, her tragedy, and her severely underrated comic timing, and take on two such roles and make them iconic, speaks for the many talents of Jean Alexander.

14th October 2016 – John Mone, 87

Former Bishop of Paisley who was a one time babysitter of my mum, and who was a passionate supporter of asylum rights.

“Throughout his career, he spoke out against apartheid and in favour of human rights. Having been to South Africa on a fact-finding mission on behalf of the Catholic church, when apartheid was at its peak, he strongly criticised the Pretoria regime and expressed disgust when the Scottish rugby team went there. But the Bishop was perhaps best-known for his outspoken opposition to the Dungavel detention centre for immigrants and their families near Strathaven, South Lanarkshire. He struggled for many years, unsuccessfully, to have the centre closed and was particularly outraged by the fact that young children, even babies, were held in the centre along with their asylum-seeking parents. Bishop Mone often went head-to-head with then Home Secretary David Blunkett, who argued that it was better for immigrant children to remain with their parents, even under detention. Bishop Mone's response was that Dungavel was "Scotland's shame."
Phil Davison, Herald Scotland obit 20 October 2016

16th October 2016 – Valerie Hunter Gordon, 94

Inventor of the disposable nappy.

 18th October 2016 – William Mckelvey, 82

Labour MP for Kilmarnock from 1979 to 1997.

19th October 2016 – Phil Chess, 95

Record producer who founded Chess Records, and worked with Etta James and Bo Diddley.

19th October 2016 – Gary Sprake, 71

Welsh goalkeeper who played for the national team and Leeds United, and won the English league title in 1969.

 21st October 2016 – Raine Spencer, 87

Stepmother of Princess Diana who became one of her closest confidantes.

21st October 2016 – Frenchy Martin, 69

Pro-wrestler who worked in the territories system, but had a three year run in the WWF as the manager of Dino Bravo.

21st October 2016 – Dave Cash, 74

Radio presenter.

 22nd October 2016 – Steve Dillon, 54

Comic book artist.

 23rd October 2016 – Jimmy Perry, 93

Writer who co-created (with David Croft) Dad’s Army, Hi-de-Hi and It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

 23rd October 2016 – Pete Burns, 57

Singer, known for his number one hit with the band Dead or Alive, You Spin Me (Like a Record).

 24th October 2016 – Bobby Vee, 73

Singer who had seven UK top 10 hits between 1960 and 1962.

25th October 2016 – Carlos Alberto, 72

Footballer who played as right back for Santos, and who won the 1970 World Cup, as part of what is widely acclaimed to be the greatest ever football team. His goal in that final, a volley shot assisted by an odd pass by Pele, is spoken of as the greatest goal ever scored, and while a lot of the praise is handed to Pele’s vision, equal praise should be handed to the defender, who foresaw the pass being made two moves earlier. He later went into management, leading a variety of North and South American teams, and the national sides of Oman and Azerbaijan.

 25th October 2016 – Bobby Bragg, 62

Actor who appeared in Rock & Chips, and was the announcer on Supermarket Sweep.

 25th October 2016 – Kevin Curran, 59

Screenwriter who wrote for Married with Children, and later wrote a dozen episodes of The Simpsons.

 25th October 2016 – Howard Davies, 71

British theatre and TV director responsible for Piaf.

26th October 2016 – Michael Massee, 61

Actor who promised but never recovered from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a goon in The Crow, he was the actor who fired the gun which killed Brandon Lee.

27th October 2016 – Prince Mikasa, 100

Oldest surviving member of the Japanese royal house.

 31st October 2016 – Silvio Gazzaniga, 95

Sculptor who created the modern World Cup trophy.

 31st October 2016 – Natalie Babbitt, 84

Childrens author who wrote Tuck Everlasting.