Notable deaths last week
Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn't care much for his popular "Stormin' Norman" nickname.
The seemingly no-nonsense Desert Storm commander's reputed temper with aides and subordinates supposedly earned him that rough-and-ready moniker. But others around the general, who died in Tampa, Fla., at age 78 of complications from pneumonia, knew him as a friendly, talkative and even jovial figure who preferred the somewhat milder sobriquet given by his troops: "The Bear."
Schwarzkopf capped an illustrious military career by commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991 — but he'd managed to keep a low profile in the public debate over the second Gulf War against Iraq, saying at one point that he doubted victory would be as easy as the White House and the Pentagon predicted.
In 1966 he volunteered for Vietnam and served two tours, first as a U.S. adviser to South Vietnamese paratroops and later as a battalion commander in the U.S. Army's Americal Division. He earned three Silver Stars for valor — including one for saving troops from a minefield — plus a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and three Distinguished Service Medals.
Jack Klugman, who played the sports- loving, slobby-living Oscar Madison on television and stage in "The Odd Couple" across from his close friend Tony Randall, has died. He was 90.
Klugman, a resident of Malibu, California, was raised in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood. Klugman carried a no-nonsense persona into roles as an agonized juror in the movie "12 Angry Men," as a headstrong medical examiner in the TV series "Quincy, M.E." and, most famously, as half of "The Odd Couple," which ran on ABC from 1970 to 1975.
Charles Durning grew up in poverty, lost five of his nine siblings to disease, barely lived through D-Day and was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge.
His hard life and wartime trauma provided the basis for a prolific 50-year career as a consummate Oscar-nominated character actor, playing everyone from a Nazi colonel to the pope to Dustin Hoffman's would-be suitor in "Tootsie."
Durning, who died at age 89 in New York, got his start as an usher at a burlesque theater in Buffalo, N.Y. When one of the comedians showed up too drunk to go on, Durning took his place. He would recall years later that he was hooked as soon as he heard the audience laughing.
Although he portrayed everyone from blustery public officials to comic foils to put-upon everymen, Durning may be best remembered by movie audiences for his Oscar-nominated, over-the-top role as a comically corrupt governor in 1982's "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."
The year after "Best Little Whorehouse," Durning received another Oscar nomination, for his portrayal of a bumbling Nazi officer in Mel Brooks' "To Be or Not to Be." He was also nominated for a Golden Globe as the harried police lieutenant in 1975's "Dog Day Afternoon."
He won a Golden Globe as best supporting TV actor in 1991 for his portrayal of John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald in the TV film "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" and a Tony in 1990 as Big Daddy in the Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
Jean S. Harris, who gained fame for killing her celebrity lover, has died at at 89.
On March 10, 1980, in Purchase, N.Y., the 56-year-old Harris shot and killed her longtime lover, Herman Tarnower, a millionaire cardiologist who was famous as the creator of the Scarsdale Diet.
In the end, Harris was convicted of second-degree murder and spent almost 12 years in prison before her sentence was commuted when she was 69. She was the subject of books and movies, wrote two books in prison and remained a source of fascination until her death Dec. 23 at an assisted living facility in New Haven, Conn.
Harry Carey Jr., a character actor who starred in such Westerns as "3 Godfathers" and "Wagon Master," has died in California at the age of 91.
Carey's career spanned more than 50 years and included such John Ford films as "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and "The Searchers." He also appeared in the movies "Gremlins" and "Back to the Future Part III."
Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., a hit man who strangled victims and then slashed their throats to be sure they were dead, has died in a federal prison in North Carolina at age 75, authorities said.
Ray Collins, who invited guitarist Frank Zappa to join the band that eventually became the Mothers of Invention, has died at age 75.
Collins sang on three albums, then left the Mothers, saying their comedic approach to music didn't suit him.
David "Salt" Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer who was severely burned in a spectacular crash in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, has died. He was 65.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers center and coach Chuck Cherundolo has died in Florida at the age of 96.
Meredith Sue Israel Thomas, a publicist for key acts like Dave Matthews Band and Christina Aguilera, has died from cancer. She was 39.
Climbing legend Bill Forrest, who also made notable innovations in mountaineering equipment, died while snowshoeing near Colorado's Monarch Pass. He was 73.
Jane Holmes Dixon, who became a priest in her late 40s and later became the second female bishop in the Episcopal Church, has died. She was 75.
British composer, pianist and arranger Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, who was nominated three times for Academy Awards, has died in New York City at age 76.
Bennett was nominated for Oscars for the scores for "Far from the Madding Crowd" in 1967, "Nicholas and Alexandra" in 1971 and "Murder on the Orient Express" in 1974.
Terry Glover, the managing editor of Ebony magazine, has died of colon cancer at her Chicago home. She was 57.
The Austin police officer who helped stop Charles Whitman's 1966 sniper rampage from atop the University of Texas tower has died at 72.
Houston McCoy fired two blasts from his shotgun to bring down Whitman, who killed 16 people during nearly two hours of terror on the UT campus.
Fontella Bass, a St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with "Rescue Me" in 1965, has died. She was 72.
A man who survived an Iron County house fire that killed his wife and five children in 1996 has died. Kirk Foley was 57.
His sister, Delores Moyer, tsaid Foley died of a chronic stomach ulcer condition that began after the fire.
Ex-Michigan State football defensive standout Reggie Garnett has died of complications from diabetes. He was 38.
Joe Krivak, Maryland's football coach from 1987-91, has died. He was 77.
Brad Corbett, who owned the Texas Rangers from 1974 to 1980 and wasn't afraid to regularly switch out managers, died on Christmas Eve. He was 75.
Bill McBride, the Florida Democrat who defeated Janet Reno for the party's gubernatorial nomination in 2002 but lost to Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, has died at the age of 67.
Richard Adams, who used both the altar and the courtroom to help begin the push for gay marriage four decades before it reached the center of the national consciousness, has died at age 65.
Ryan Freel, a former Major League Baseball player known for his fearless play but whose career was cut short after eight seasons by a series of head and other injuries, was found dead in Jacksonville, Fla., according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Freel, who was 36, died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted shotgun wound, sheriff's office spokesman Shannon Hartley said.
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