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updated: 5/11/2013 5:07 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Jeanne Cooper

      Jeanne Cooper

  • Malcolm Shabazz

      Malcolm Shabazz

  • George Leader

      George Leader

 
From Daily Herald news wire services

Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on "The Young and the Restless," has died. She was 84.

"One of the last great broads in our business -- Jeanne Cooper, Mom -- is now stirring up trouble in great beyond," her family said in a statement.

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Cooper will be remembered "as a daytime television legend and as a friend who will truly be missed by all of us here at the network," said Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, adding that the actress brought "indelible charm, class and talent to every episode."

Cooper joined the daytime serial six months after its March 1973 debut, staking claim to the title of longest-tenured cast member. The role earned her 11 Daytime Emmy nominations and a trophy for best actress in a drama series in 2008.

Otis Bowen, a small-town doctor who served two terms as governor of Indiana and later led efforts to respond to the AIDS crisis as the first physician to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has died at age 95.

In December 1985, Dr. Bowen replaced Margaret Heckler as President Ronald Reagan's secretary of health and human services. The low-key Bowen, a Republican, was known for working with members of both parties and often said his medical experience allowed him "to approach emergencies and problems with a certain amount of calmness and common sense."

He believed his greatest accomplishment at HHS was engineering the first major expansion of Medicare, a 1988 bill providing coverage to the elderly for catastrophic illnesses. The provision was repealed by Congress a year later.

Jack Butler, who helped revolutionize the way cornerbacks played in the NFL during his Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died at age 85.

Over the next nine years starting in 1951, Butler became one of the NFL's top defensive backs, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound wrecking ball known for his physical play and uncanny knack for getting to the ball. Butler intercepted 52 passes during his career, including a league-high 10 in 1957. He made the Pro Bowl four times and was chosen first-team All-NFL three times before a knee injury in 1959 ended his career.

George Sauer had a huge day in the biggest game in New York Jets history, and then surprisingly walked away from football a few years later.

Sauer, a wide receiver on the Jets' only Super Bowl championship team, has died. He was 69.

Sauer played a key role in the Jets' 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl. He caught eight passes from Joe Namath that day in one of the greatest upsets in pro football history.

Geza Vermes, a translator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and renowned for books exploring the Jewish background of Jesus, has died at 88.

Vermes had an early interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls, a cache of documents written between 200 B.C. and A.D. 200 which were discovered in caves at Qumran, near Jericho, between 1947 and 1956. Vermes published the first English translation of the scrolls in 1962.

The scrolls gave an insight to Jewish practices and thought at the time Jesus was preaching, and they informed a series of books by Vermes on the historical Jesus.

The first, "Jesus the Jew," was published in 1973, followed by "The Authentic Gospel of Jesus" (2003), a commentary on all of the sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of political activist Malcolm X, died in Mexico City after a violent dispute in a bar, Mexican authorities said Friday. He was 28.

City prosecutors are investigating the attack that sent Shabazz to a nearby hospital where he died Thursday of blunt-force trauma injuries. United States officials confirmed that Shabazz was killed in Mexico City.

Much like his grandfather, Shabazz spent his youth in and out of trouble. At 12, he set a fire in his grandmother's apartment, a blaze that resulted in the death of Malcolm X's widow. After four years in juvenile detention, Shabazz was later sent back to prison on attempted robbery and assault charges.

In recent years, the first male heir of Malcolm X seemed to seek redemption, saying he was writing a memoir and traveling around the world speaking out against youth violence. Before his trip to Mexico, he reached out to a group of Mexican construction workers in the U.S. and then visited in Mexico with a leader who had been deported.

Alan Abelson, who spent 57 years as a writer, editor and chief columnist for financial news publication Barron's, has died at the age of 87.

Ottavio Missoni, the patriarch of the iconic fashion brand of zigzag-patterned knitwear that helped launch Italian ready-to-wear and turn Milan into a fashion mecca, died Thursday just months after his eldest son disappeared without a trace. He was 92.

It was another sorrow for the family in a year that marks the 60th anniversary of their company's founding, following the disappearance in January of the Missonis' eldest child, company CEO Vittorio Missoni.

The 58-year-old disappeared with his wife and four others while flying in a small plane during a vacation to a Venezuelan island. They were never found, and the cause of the disappearance remains a mystery.

Known to friends by his nickname "Tai," Ottavio Missoni founded the company in 1953, along with his wife, Rosita Jelmini, who survives him. They went on to create a fashion dynasty, with the couple's three children and their offspring involved in expanding the brand.

Alyne S. Payton, the mother of the late NFL Hall of Fame running back and Chicago Bears star Walter Payton, has died in Jackson, Miss. She was 87.

Walter Payton, who played college football for Jackson State, died of liver disease in 1999.

Alyne Payton was a former member of the board for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

British film director Bryan Forbes, whose work includes the original 1970s horror classic "The Stepford Wives," has died at age 86 after a long illness.

Forbes made his debut as director in "Whistle Down the Wind," the 1961 movie about children who come across an escaped convict and mistake him for Jesus.

Forbes went on to make films such as "King Rat," a tale of survival in a prisoner-of-war camp, and "The Stepford Wives," a thriller about sinisterly perfect suburban housewives.

He was screenwriter for "Chaplin," the 1992 biopic of Charlie Chaplin starring Robert Downey Jr., and also wrote several novels. His latest book, "The Soldier's Story," was published last year.

Forbes was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004 for services to the arts.

When Ray Harryhausen was 13, he was so overwhelmed by "King Kong" that he vowed he would create otherworldly creatures on film. He fulfilled his desire as an adult, thrilling audiences with skeletons in a sword fight, a gigantic octopus destroying the Golden Gate Bridge, and a six-armed dancing goddess.

Harryhausen died Tuesday at London's Hammersmith Hospital at age 92.

George Lucas, who borrowed some of Harryhausen's techniques for his "Star Wars" films, commented: "I had seen some other fantasy films before, but none of them had the kind of awe that Ray Harryhausen's movies had."

The late science fiction author Ray Bradbury, a longtime friend and admirer, once remarked: "Harryhausen stands alone as a technician, as an artist and as a dreamer. ... He breathed life into mythological creatures he constructed with his own hands."

Harryhausen's film "The Clash of the Titans" (1981), did have a big budget and major cast: Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Burgess Meredith, Harry Hamlin and Claire Bloom. Hamlin as Perseus struggled to tame a white-winged Pegasus and to battle the snake-haired Medusa.

Giulio Andreotti personified Italy, the nation he helped shape, the good and the bad.

One of Italy's most important postwar figures, he helped draft the country's constitution after World War II, served seven times as premier and spent 60 years in Parliament.

Still clinging to his last official title, senator-for-life, Andreotti has died at age 94.

A Belgian university says that biochemist Christian de Duve, who won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1974, has died in an act of euthanasia. He was 95.

His university, UCL in Louvain-la-Neuve, confirmed it was a case of euthanasia but did not disclose the method.

De Duve shared the Nobel Prize with two other scientists for their work and discoveries on the structural and functional organization of the cell.

Frederic Franklin, a British-born dancer who helped popularize modern ballet in the United States and performed until his mid-90s, has died. He was 98.

The creator of Orajel, a medicine aimed at fighting toothaches that was later also used for mouth sores, has died, family members said. David Morris Kern was 103.

Gordon D. Gayle, a retired Marine Corps brigadier general who received the Navy Cross after a fierce World War II battle in the Pacific and who later directed an influential study of tactics and battlefield planning, died April 21 at an assisted-living facility in Farnham, Va. He was 95.

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