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updated: 5/3/2014 6:59 PM

Notable deaths last week

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  • British actor Bob Hoskins gives a television interview as he arrives at a gala screening for the film 'Hollywoodland' as part of the London Film Festival at a West End cinema in Leicester Square, London.

      British actor Bob Hoskins gives a television interview as he arrives at a gala screening for the film 'Hollywoodland' as part of the London Film Festival at a West End cinema in Leicester Square, London.
    Associated Press

  • "Mad" magazine editor Al Feldstein works on page layout in his office at the magazine's New York headquarters.

      "Mad" magazine editor Al Feldstein works on page layout in his office at the magazine's New York headquarters.
    Associated Press/1972

  • This World War II era photo provided by the Goodson family shows James Goodson, a decorated World War II fighter pilot and former prisoner of war.

      This World War II era photo provided by the Goodson family shows James Goodson, a decorated World War II fighter pilot and former prisoner of war.
    Associated Press

  • Veteran actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., known for his starring roles in "77 Sunset Strip" and "The FBI," stands outside his home, in this Feb. 16, 1982 file photo taken in Los Angeles.

      Veteran actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., known for his starring roles in "77 Sunset Strip" and "The FBI," stands outside his home, in this Feb. 16, 1982 file photo taken in Los Angeles.
    Associated Press

  • Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, left, leaves a food shelf store in Gilbert, Minnesota, with U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn.

      Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, left, leaves a food shelf store in Gilbert, Minnesota, with U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn.
    Associated Press/1983

 
From wire reorts

• Bob Hoskins never lost his Cockney accent, even as he became a global star who charmed and alarmed audiences in a vast range of roles.

Short and bald, with a face he once compared to "a squashed cabbage," Hoskins was a remarkably versatile performer. As a London gangster in "The Long Good Friday," he moved from bravura bluster to tragic understatement. In "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," he cavorted with a cast of animated characters, making technological trickery seem seamless and natural.

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A family statement released Wednesday said Hoskins had died in a hospital the night before after a bout of pneumonia. He was 71 and had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2012.

Helen Mirren, who starred alongside Hoskins in "The Long Good Friday," called him "a great actor and an even greater man. Funny, loyal, instinctive, hard-working, with that inimitable energy that seemed like a spectacular firework rocket just as it takes off."

Hoskins worked in films big and small, mainstream and independent. Some were acclaimed, including factory worker story "Made in Dagenham" or "Last Orders," a bittersweet portrait of aging that reunited him with Mirren.

Others were panned, such as limp Spice Girls vehicle "Spice World" and video game-based dud "Super Mario Bros," which Hoskins described as his worst film experience.

He appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's musical "The Cotton Club," starred alongside Cher in "Mermaids," played pirate Smee in Spielberg's "Hook" and was FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover in "Nixon."

• Before "The Simpsons" or even "The Daily Show," Al Feldstein showed America how to laugh at itself and giggle at popular culture.

Millions of young baby boomers looked forward to that day when the new issue of Mad magazine, which Feldstein ran for 28 years, arrived in the mail or on newsstands. Thanks in part to Feldstein, who died at his home in Montana at age 88, comics were more than escapes into alternate worlds of superheroes and clean-cut children. They were a funhouse tour of current events and the latest crazes.

Feldstein's reign at Mad, which began in 1956, was historic and unplanned. Publisher William M. Gaines had started Mad as a comic book four years earlier and converted it to a magazine to avoid the restrictions of the then-Comics Code and to convince founding editor Harvey Kurtzman to stay on. But Kurtzman soon departed anyway and Gaines picked Feldstein as his replacement.

• Former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, who represented northeastern Minnesota for 36 years and brought millions of dollars to the state as chair of the powerful House Transportation Committee, died unexpectedly early Saturday. He was 79.

Oberstar, a Democrat, was elected to Congress in 1974 and served 18 terms -- the state's longest-serving member of Congress. Oberstar became chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 2006.

He was a champion for transportation safety and infrastructure improvements and supported the concept of intermodality -- connecting highways, subways, city buses, intercity rail and bike paths. He also brought jobs to his district, noting that the economic stimulus brought $212 million to St. Louis County alone and increased demand for iron ore from the Iron Range's taconite mines.

In 2010, Oberstar narrowly lost to GOP challenger Chip Cravaack as part of a Republican takeover of the U.S. House. After that defeat, Oberstar said: "I go with peace of mind and heart, but with sadness ... I loved the opportunity to serve the people of this district." His district included Duluth and the Iron Range.

• Handsome, debonair and blessed with a distinguished voice that reflected his real-life prep school upbringing, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. seemed born to play the television roles that made him famous, that of hip Hollywood detective and brilliant G-man.

A prolific actor who also appeared in numerous films and stage productions, Zimbalist became a household name in 1958 as Stu Bailey, the wisecracking private investigator who was a co-partner in a swinging Hollywood detective agency located at the exclusive address of "77 Sunset Strip."

When the show of the same name ended in 1964, Zimbalist became an even bigger star playing the empathetic, methodical G-man Lewis Erskine in "The F.B.I."

The actor, who in recent years had retired to his ranch in Southern California's bucolic horse country, died there Friday at age 95.

In 2009 the FBI honored Zimbalist with his own special agent's badge, making him an honorary G-man in recognition of the contributions his show and his character made to the agency's reputation.

After serving in World War II, he made his stage debut in "The Rugged Path," starring Spencer Tracy, and appeared in other plays and a soap opera before being called to Hollywood. Warner Bros. signed him to a contract and cast him in minor film roles.

He also had a recurring role in the hit Western series "Maverick," playing con man Dandy Jim Buckley.

In the 1990s, Zimbalist returned to television, recording the voice of Alfred the butler in the cartoon version of the "Batman" TV series. That role, he said, "has made me an idol in my little grandchildren's eyes."

• Herbert Hyman, who founded The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in the 1960s and saw the premium coffee chain grow to hundreds of stores around the world, has died in Southern California. He was 82.

He and his wife, Mona, founded The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in 1963 after making several trips to her native Sweden.

"He fell in love with the European styles of coffee," which were far better quality than what was sold in the U.S. at the time, his daughter said.

"At the time, people (in the U.S.) thought of coffee as just coming out of a can," she said. "Coffee was just one kind of coffee. Nobody had the idea there were different varietals and roasting styles and different ways of making it."

• Manfred von Richthofen, the honorary president of Germany's national Olympic federation who presided over a shake-up in German sports management, has died. He was 80.

• Nicholas Martin, an actor-turned-director who ran two important Massachusetts theater companies and earned a Tony Award nomination for directing "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" on Broadway last year, has died. He was 75.

• George Heilmeier, who as a young scientist led the team that created liquid crystal displays, paving the way for flat-panel displays for computers and television sets, has died. He was 77.

• Olympic sprinter and former 100-yard dash world record-holder Frank Budd died this week at 74.

Budd placed fifth in the 100 meters at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and also ran on the U.S. 100-meter relay team, which won preliminary rounds but was disqualified in the final after Budd handed off the baton outside the passing zone. Had the result stood, it would have been a world-record relay time.

The next year, while still a student at Villanova University outside Philadelphia, Budd set world records in the 100-yard dash, the 220-yard straight and was a member of a world record 4x100 relay team.

• Paul Ramsay, the billionaire health- care provider who built his business from a single psychiatric institution in Australia into a network of private hospitals in five countries, has died. He was 78.

Founding Ramsay Health Care in Sydney in 1964, Ramsay oversaw the growth of his company into an operator of more than 150 health-care facilities in Australia, the U.K., France, Indonesia and Malaysia.

• Cuban musician Juan Formell, who for more than four decades was the driving force behind the big band salsa orchestra Los Van Van, has died at 71.

Formell received a Latin Grammy in 2013 for excellence, on top of another one in 1999 recognizing the album "Llego ... Los Van Van."

• Walter R. Walsh, who captured gangsters as an FBI agent in the 1930s and went on to train Marine Corps snipers and become the longest-lived Olympian, has died.

Walsh, who would have turned 107 on Sunday, had suffered a minor heart attack a few weeks ago and his health deteriorated, son Gerald Walsh said.

Walsh, who first honed his shooting skills by picking clothespins off a clothesline with a BB gun as a child, began his FBI career in 1934 and was soon chasing gangsters across the United States. On one day in 1935, he helped capture gangster Arthur "Doc" Barker in Chicago and fatally shot a second gangster, Russell "Rusty" Gibson.

Two years later, Walsh was in Bangor, Maine, on the trail of the Brady Gang. Tipped off that the gang planned to return to a sporting goods store to stock up on weapons, the FBI set up a stakeout. Walsh's role was to pose as a salesman, and when gang member James Dalhover came inside, Walsh arrested him. He then confronted and fatally shot a second gang member, Clarence Lee Shaffer Jr., but not before being hit in the chest and hand. Also killed in the shootout was Alfred Brady, the FBI's "Public Enemy number 1."

• Edmund Abel, whose patented design for the Mr. Coffee machine changed the way millions of households brewed their morning beverage, has died. He was 92.

Introduced in 1972, Mr. Coffee soon came to dominate the U.S. home-brew coffee market, as the trim glass decanter and drip brewing unit replaced percolators in kitchens across the country. Former Major League Baseball star Joe DiMaggio pitched the product in advertising for more than 15 years almost from the start.

• Actor and director Assi Dayan, an Israeli cultural icon who was known for both his trailblazing films and troubled personal life, has died at 68.

Dayan acted in 50 films and TV shows and directed 16 movies. He played the lead role in the acclaimed TV drama Betipul, which was adapted into the HBO series "In Treatment," with Gabriel Byrne playing Dayan's role. Dayan won many awards for his filmmaking prowess. In 1998, he received a lifetime achievement award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival.

• Richard S. Foote, a chartered financial analyst specializing in mergers and acquisitions who led two "blank check" ventures for Berkshire Capital Securities LLC, has died. He was 50.

He died on April 25 of a heart attack while working, his wife, Suzanne Girard Foote, said.

Foote's latest assignment for New York-based Berkshire Capital, which calls itself a "global boutique investment bank focused on M&A," was leading Denver-based HF2 Financial Management Inc.

Berkshire Capital created the company in 2012 to acquire other financial-services firms.

• Bassem Sabry, one of Egypt's most respected bloggers who campaigned for civil rights and against repression, has died. He was 31.

Sabry was a well-known columnist and fluent in several languages. Egyptian social media were flooded with eulogies by his friends since his death on Tuesday.

Security officials say Sabry accidently fell from a balcony under unclear circumstances.

• The San Francisco 49ers say defensive end Dan Colchico has died at age 76.

• Isabelle "Barbara" Fiske Calhoun, a New York cartoonist during World War II who moved to Vermont just after the war to co-found what is now described as Vermont's "oldest alternative and artist's retreat," has died at age 94.

In 1946, Calhoun, then Isabella Fiske, and her husband, Irving Fiske, Bohemian intellectuals from New York, used wedding money to buy a 140-acre hill farm in Rochester that later became a "hippie commune" known as the Quarry Hill Creative Center, McFarlin said.

• Jack Ramsay served his country in World War II, coached Portland to the NBA title, was enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame and became one of the game's most respected and revered broadcasters.

Ramsay also spent several years late in his life caring for his wife, Jean, who was diagnosed in 2001 with Alzheimer's disease. She died in 2010.

Ramsay was 864-783 in his NBA career and in 1996 was honored as one of the league's all-time top 10 coaches. And when Micky Arison bought the Heat, the first person he turned to was Ramsay, who wound up long being considered part of the franchise's family and even accompanied them to the White House to celebrate winning an NBA title.

• Rashad Harden, a Chicago house music and footwork pioneer who performed as DJ Rashad, was found dead this weekend of an apparent drug overdose. He was 34.

Chicago Police spokeswoman Janel Sedevic said a friend found Harden's body in an apartment on the city's West Side.

Michael Heisley, the billionaire businessman who bought the Vancouver Grizzlies and moved the NBA team to Memphis, has died. He was 77.

The Commercial Appeal reported that Heisley died in Illinois of complications from a massive stroke he suffered nearly 15 months ago.

Former Auburn football player David Langner, who starred in one of the most memorable games in Iron Bowl history, has died. He was 62.

Auburn teammate Mac Lorendo said Langner died early Saturday morning after battling cancer.

Bill Newton blocked two punts in the final minutes of the 1972 game with previously unbeaten Alabama, and Langner returned both for touchdowns.

The Tigers won 17-16 in what became known as the "Punt Bama Punt" game.

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