Notable deaths last week
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Bonnie Franklin, the pert, redheaded actress whom millions came to identify with for her role as divorced mom Ann Romano on the long-running sitcom "One Day at a Time," has died at 69.
Developed by Norman Lear and co-created by Whitney Blake the series was groundbreaking for its focus on a young divorced mother seeking independence from a suffocating marriage.
On her own in Indianapolis, Ann Romano was raising two teenage girls ó played by Mackenzie Phillips, already famous for the film "American Graffiti," and a previously unknown Valerie Bertinelli. "One Day At a Time" ran on CBS until 1984, by which time both daughters had grown and married, while Romano had remarried and become a grandmother.
With his striking beard and starched uniform, former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop became one of the most recognizable figures of the Reagan era ó and one of the most unexpectedly enduring.
Koop, who turned his once-obscure post into a bully pulpit for seven years during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and who surprised both ends of the political spectrum by setting aside his conservative personal views on issues such as homosexuality and abortion to keep his focus sharply medical, has died at age 96.
For a time in Cold War America, Van Cliburn had all the trappings of a rock star: sold-out concerts, adoring, out-of-control fans and a name recognized worldwide. He even got a ticker-tape parade in New York City.
And he did it all with only a piano and some Tchaikovsky concertos.
The celebrated pianist played for every American president since Harry Truman, plus royalty and heads of state around the world. But he is best remembered for winning a 1958 piano competition in Moscow that helped thaw the icy rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Cliburn died Wednesday at 78.
In a family of vocalists, it was Cleotha Staples' smooth and velvety voice that helped set apart the sound of the influential and best-selling gospel group The Staple Singers. Staples, the eldest sister and member of the group her father Roebuck "Pops" Staples started in the 1940s, has died at age 78. She was at her Chicago home and had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past decade.
Diane Charlotte Lampert, an accomplished songwriter of the 1950s and 1960s who wrote lyrics to title songs for more than 20 movies, has died. at age 88
Paul C.P. McIlhenny, chief executive and chairman of the board of the McIlhenny Company that makes the trademarked line of Tabasco hot pepper sauces sold the world over, has died. He was 68.
Former Motown vocalist Richard Street, a member of the Temptations for 25 years, has died. He was 70.
Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind of the "Great Train Robbery" in Britain that brought its perpetrators cash, incarceration and pop-culture fame, has died at 81.
Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre's heyday, has died at 89.
Dale Robertson had bit parts in films including "The Boy with the Green Hair" and the Joan Crawford vehicle "Flamingo Road" before landing more high-profile roles such as Jesse James in "Fighting Man of the Plains."
Allan Calhamer, whose 1950s board game "Diplomacy" garnered a loyal following over the years that reportedly included President John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger and Walter Cronkite, among others, has died. He was 81.
Maj. Thomas C. "Tom" Griffin, a B-25 bomber navigator in the audacious Doolittle's Raid attack on mainland Japan during World War II, has died. His death at age 96 leaves four surviving Raiders.
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