Notable deaths last week
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Bum Phillips, the folksy Texas football icon who coached the Houston Oilers during their Luv Ya Blue heyday and later led the New Orleans Saints, has died. He was 90.
Phillips loved the Oilers and when coaching the team in the 1970s, he famously said of the Cowboys: "They may be `America's Team,' but we're Texas' team."
He took over as coach of the Oilers in 1975 and led Houston to two AFC Championship games before he was fired in 1980. He was responsible for drafting Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, the player who was largely credited with the success of the franchise.
Tom Foley was born in 1929, the year of the great stock market crash, and grew up in Spokane during World War II. These experiences shaped his viewpoint during a long political career, which culminated with him becoming the first Speaker of the House to hail from west of the Rocky Mountains.
Foley, who died at the age of 84, also became the first speaker to be booted from office by his constituents since the Civil War, suffering defeat during the 1994 "Republican Revolution." Cornell Clayton, director of the Foley Institute for Public Policy at Washington State University, said Foley's defeat signaled a change to the more confrontational politics of modern times.
"He was the last major leader to grow up in the Depression and World War II era," Clayton said. "They gave him a different perspective on viewing policy disputes."
Members of that generation worked in a more bipartisan manner, Clayton said. "They saw us all on the same team."
Foley served 30 years in the U.S. House, including more than five years in the speaker's chair.
In a statement, former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "Tom never forgot that principled compromise and respect for opposing viewpoints are essential foundations of our democracy — core convictions that also made him an outstanding Ambassador to Japan."
Senior U.S. House Republican Bill Young was being remembered as a defense hawk, with a passion for looking after the needs of men and women in uniform and those of his constituents back in Florida. Young died at age 82, a week after announcing from his hospital bed that he wouldn't seek a 23rd term.
Young, who had been involved in Florida politics since 1957, was considered the elder statesman of the state's Republican Party and in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The congressman was a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he focused on military spending. He and his wife frequently visited ailing service members at hospitals in the Washington area.
Antonia Brenner, an American nun who was raised in Beverly Hills and abandoned a life of privilege to live in a notorious Mexican prison, has died at the age of 86.
Brenner died at the Tijuana convent of Eudist Servants of the 11th Hour, which she founded, Sister Anne Marie Maxfield said.
Brenner first visited La Mesa State Penitentiary in 1965 on a trip to provide medicine and supplies to hospitals in Tijuana, just across the U.S. border from San Diego.
She moved into the prison 12 years later when she was 50, holding individual counseling sessions, leading pep rallies at the prison church, and doing countless small tasks for inmates over decades.
Known as "Prison Angel," she lived in a cell with a view of the guard tower. Located at the end of the dark hallway, it barely had room for a cot, desk and folding chair.
Kumar Pallana, an Indian character actor with small parts in movies such as "The Terminal" and "The Royal Tennenbaums," died suddenly last week at the home he shared with his son in Oakland. He was 94.
Pallana was a yoga instructor living in Dallas when in the mid-1990s he met Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, who were working on their breakout movie "Bottle Rocket," the Los Angeles Times reported. They cast Pallana as a bumbling safe cracker.
His thick accent and diminutive stature combined to help him steal scenes and earned him parts in more films, including three more directed by Anderson and one by Steven Spielberg.
Rene Simpson, a former player, coach and longtime captain of Canada's Fed Cup tennis team, has died. She was 47.
Tennis Canada said she died Thursday in Chicago after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.
Simpson made her first Grand Slam appearance at the 1989 Australian Open. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 70 that year and advanced to the third round at the French Open.
Sein Win, a renowned journalist in Myanmar who championed press freedom and endured three stints in prison as he chronicled several decades of his country's turbulent history, has died at age 91.
His family said he died in a Yangon hospital after a long period of ill health.
Sein Win's work won him international honors, but in his own country his accomplishments were rewarded with jail time and a quarter-century ban on foreign travel.
Veteran character actor Ed Lauter, whose long, angular face and stern bearing made him an instantly recognizable figure in scores of movies and TV shows during a career that stretched across five decades, has died. He was 74.
Whether he was an irascible authority figure, a brutal thug or a conniving con man, Lauter's presence made him all but impossible to miss in any film he was in. That was so even on those occasions when he was playing a character more bumbling than menacing, although menacing was clearly his forte.
He was the brutal prison guard who was Burt Reynolds' nemesis in the 1974 comedy-drama "The Longest Yard" and the sleazy gas station attendant in Alfred Hitchcock's last film, "The Family Plot." In "Death Wish 3," he was the violent cop who teams with Charles Bronson's vigilante to rid New York City's streets of criminals, not by incarcerating them but by killing them.
More recently he was the butler to Berenice Bejo's French ingenue in the 2011 Oscar-winning film "The Artist."
Lauter described himself in a 2010 interview with Cinema Shock magazine as a "turn" actor, someone who shows up at some point in the film and suddenly turns the plot in a different direction.
Hans Riegel turned little gold bears into a global candy juggernaut.
In a career spanning almost seven decades, Riegel was the driving force that made Haribo's gummi bears a sugary staple in Germany and around the world, beloved for their bright colors, teddy-bear shape and an earworm jingle that insisted "kids and grown-ups love it so."
The man whose marketing acumen helped make his family-owned company a global household name died on Tuesday at 90.
From humble early days, Haribo rode West Germany's post-World War II boom to become a candy giant. The company claims to churn out 100 million bears each day to feed a hunger for jellied treats in far-flung and unlikely places around the world.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Haribo acquired businesses in the Netherlands, France and Britain; and in 1982, it added a sales office in the United States, setting up Haribo of America, Inc. in Baltimore.
The privately owned company now employs more than 6,000 people, about half of them in Germany, and has 15 production sites in 10 European countries.
Takashi Yanase, creator of one of Japan's most beloved cartoon characters, Anpanman, has died at 94.
Anpanman is a superhero with the head made of anpan, or bread filled with red bean paste, a typical snack in Japan. In the cartoon, the round-faced, smiley hero, clad in a red suit and long cape, fights his archrival Baikinman, or a germ man, while rescuing the weak.
The self-sacrificial hero, who even allowed starving people to bite into his head, rose to stardom in Japan in a picture book series that started in 1973, racking up sales totaling 68 million copies over the past 30 years. The Anpanman television cartoon series started in 1988, and has spread across Asia, where it's also popular in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Major League Baseball umpire Wally Bell died of an apparent heart attack Monday, a week after working the NL playoff series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. He was 48.
The commissioner's office said Bell died in his home state of Ohio.
Bell worked the 2006 World Series and three All-Star games, including this year's event at Citi Field, where he was stationed at first base. A veteran of 21 big league seasons, he had also worked four league championship series and seven division series since joining the major league staff in 1993.
Former NBA player Joe C. Meriweather, who later coached women's basketball at Park University in Missouri, has died in Columbus, Ga. He was 59.
Park athletic department spokesman Steve Wilson says Meriweather, of Phenix City, Ala., died unexpectedly the and cause of death was unknown.
The 10-year NBA veteran played for the Houston Rockets, the Atlanta Hawks, the New Orleans Jazz, the New York Knicks and the Kansas City Kings. The 6-foot-10 Meriweather was the 11th pick in the 1975 NBA draft out of Southern Illinois and is in its hall of fame.
Maxine Powell, who was responsible for developing the charm, grace and style of Motown Records' artists during the Detroit label's 1960s heyday, has died at age 98.
MShe directed the label's Artists Development Department, also known as "Motown's Finishing School." Through it, she emphasized to many artists — including Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Jackson Five and the Supremes — how they should carry themselves, treat people and dress.
Motown founder Berry Gordy said the training school was the only one of its kind offered at any record label.
Oscar Hijuelos, a Cuban-American novelist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1989 novel "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" and whose work often captured the loss and triumphs of the Cuban immigrant experience, has died. He was 62.
Hijuelos died of a heart attack in Manhattan while playing tennis, according to his agent, Jennifer Lyons.
"The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" became a best seller and earned him international acclaim. He won the Pulitzer for fiction in 1990, making him the first Hispanic writer to receive that honor.
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