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updated: 7/27/2013 5:03 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • Dennis Farina in character as Police Detective Joe Fontana on NBC's "Law & Order."

      Dennis Farina in character as Police Detective Joe Fontana on NBC's "Law & Order."
    Associated Press photos

  • Former welterweight boxing champion Emile Griffith

      Former welterweight boxing champion Emile Griffith

  • Virgina Masters Johnson in her office at the Virginia Johnson Masters Learning Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., with some of the 19 publications that she has written or co-authored.

      Virgina Masters Johnson in her office at the Virginia Johnson Masters Learning Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., with some of the 19 publications that she has written or co-authored.

  • George Mitchell, chairman and CEO of The Mitchell Family Corporation.

      George Mitchell, chairman and CEO of The Mitchell Family Corporation.

  • U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Lindy Boggs

      U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Lindy Boggs

 
From wire reports

Dennis Farina, a onetime Chicago cop who as a popular character actor played a TV cop on "Law & Order" during his wide-ranging career, has died.

Death came Monday morning in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital after Farina suffered a blood clot in his lung, according to his publicist, Lori De Waal. He was 69.

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For three decades, Farina was a character actor who displayed remarkable dexterity, charm and toughness, making effective use of his craggy face, husky frame, ivory smile and ample mustache. He could be as dapper as Fred Astaire and as full of threat as Clint Eastwood. His gift has been described as wry, tough-guy panache, and audiences loved him for it.

"Sometimes you can take those dramatic roles and maybe interject a little humor into them, and I think the reverse also works," Farina said in a 2007 interview. "One of the funny things in life to me is a guy who takes himself very seriously."

Farina's many films include "Saving Private Ryan," (1998), "Out Of Sight" (1998), "Midnight Run" (1988), "Manhunter" (1986), and his breakout and perhaps most beloved film, "Get Shorty" (1995), a comedic romp where he played a Miami mob boss.

He recently completed shooting a comedy film, "Lucky Stiff."

Born Feb. 29, 1944, Farina was raised in a working-class neighborhood of Chicago, the seventh child of Italian immigrants.

If musicians were measured not by the number of records they sold but by the number of peers they influenced, JJ Cale would have been a towering figure in 1970s rock 'n' roll.

His best songs like "After Midnight," "Cocaine" and "Call Me the Breeze" were towering hits -- for other artists. Eric Clapton took "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" and turned them into the kind of hard-party anthems that defined rock for a long period of time. And Lynyrd Skynyrd took the easy-shuffling "Breeze" and supercharged it with a three-guitar attack that made it a hit.

Cale, the singer-songwriter and producer known as the main architect of the Tulsa Sound, passed away Friday night at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, Calif. His manager, Mike Kappus, said Cale died of a heart attack. He was 74.

Former Rep. Lindy Boggs, a plantation-born Louisianan who used her soft-spoken grace to fight for civil rights during nearly 18 years in Congress after succeeding her late husband in the House, died Saturday. She was 97.

BBC foreign correspondent Jon Leyne, who spent more than 25 years crossing continents and covering conflicts for the broadcaster, has died. He was 55.

The BBC said on its website Saturday that Leyne had been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor earlier this year .

George P. Mitchell leveraged a penchant for hard work, an appetite for risk and dogged persistence in the face of futility into a technological breakthrough that reshaped the global energy industry and made the wildcat oilman a billionaire.

Mitchell, the developer and philanthropist who also is considered the father of fracking, doggedly pursued natural gas he and others knew was trapped in wide, thin layers of rock deep underground. Fracking brought an entirely new -- and enormous -- trove of oil and gas within reach.

Mitchell died Friday at age 94 his home in Galveston, his family said.

Barnaby Jack, a computer-security professional with a showman's flair for demonstrating technical weaknesses in ATMs and medical devices, has died. He was 36.

He died in San Francisco, where he lived, according to the city's medical examiner. No further details were given.

Jack was known for attention-grabbing hacking demonstrations that made him a sought-after presenter at computer-security conferences. In 2010, he showed how he could break into ATM machines and make them spit out cash, a stunt he performed live on stage at the annual Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

Argentines are mourning the death of world-renowned artist and human rights activist Leon Ferrari, known for works challenging dictators and bishops and a world at war.

The 92-year-old Ferrari was buried Friday in his native Buenos Aires, where he did his most provocative work. His most memorable piece may be a Christ figure crucified on the wings of a U.S. jet fighter during the Vietnam War. Later, his colleges mixed images of Adolph Hitler and Argentina's military junta with figures from the Roman Catholic Church.

Unbridled's Song, the son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled who went on to capture a Breeders' Cup race and become a prolific sire, died Friday. He was 20.

The eldest of the three Ochoa brothers who founded the Medellin cocaine cartel in the 1980s with Pablo Escobar has died of a heart attack at age 65. Hospital officials and a cousin said Juan David Ochoa died Thursday at a private clinic in Colombia's No. 2 city.

In an era when even talking about sex was virtually taboo, Virginia Johnson had a way of putting research subjects at ease, persuading them to participate in groundbreaking investigations that changed the way human sexuality was perceived.

Johnson, half of the renowned Masters and Johnson team, was remembered Thursday as one of the key figures in the sexual revolution. Johnson, whose legal name was Virginia Masters, died Wednesday of complications from several illnesses at an assisted living center in St. Louis. She was 88.

Hearing the screams of 14-year-old lynching victim Emmett Till from inside a Mississippi barn left a teenage field hand with an unbearable choice. He could tell a courtroom and risk paying for it with his life or keep quiet and let those screams eat away at his conscience.

Grisly photos of Till's mutilated body, discovered three days later by a fisherman in the Tallahatchie River, left Willie Louis with no doubt about what he would do: testify at the trial of two white men accused in the black teen's slaying.

Louis died at age 76 at a hospital in a suburb of Chicago, the city he fled to in fear for his life after the 1955 trial, his wife, Juliet Louis, said.

Inside the smaller theater at Madison Square Garden about five years ago, shortly before a world title fight, Emile Griffith was introduced one more time to the crowd. He rose shakily from his seat, waved ever so briefly and then sat down.

The applause kept going.

Revered in retirement perhaps more than during his fighting days, Griffith died Tuesday at 75 after a long battle with pugilistic dementia. The first fighter to be crowned world champion from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Griffith required full-time care late in life and died at an extended care facility in Hempstead, N.Y.

Phil Woosnam, the former Welsh soccer star who served as the North American Soccer League's commissioner and had a brief stint as coach of the U.S. national team, has died. He was 80.

Pierre Fabre, a pharmacist who created a cosmetics company with almost $2.6 billion in sales, died Friday at his home in south-central France. He was 87.

"France has lost an exceptional entrepreneur," President Francois Hollande said. "He was ahead of his time, always innovating, inventing, investing."

Lary Lewman, who entertained Baltimore children as Pete the Pirate on an afternoon television program and who later became the preferred voice-over artist for thousands of Democratic political commercials, died July 11 at his home in the Howard County community of Clarksville, Md. He was 76.

Lary Cook Lewman was born Oct. 15, 1936, in Clinton, Ind. He began working as a disc jockey at Indiana State University, from which he graduated in 1958 with a major in English and a minor in drama.

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