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James Garner Dead at 86

Found dead of natural causes in his California home last night

(Newser) - James Garner, the actor best known for his laconic parts in Maverick and The Rockford Files, has died at age 86, reports the AP , citing Los Angeles police. He was found dead at his home in Brentwood last night around 8pm. "Mr Garner died of natural causes," say... More »

'Brassy' Broadway Star Elaine Stritch Dead at 89

TV viewers will know her best as Jack Donaghy's mother

(Newser) - The phrase "Broadway legend" is getting heavy use today with the death of 89-year-old Elaine Stritch. Modern TV viewers might know her best as Jack Donaghy's mom on 30 Rock, but Stritch made her name on the stage, reports Entertainment Tonight . As the New York Times puts it,... More »

'Child Prodigy' Conductor Dies at 84

Lorin Maazel's glittering career spanned 75 years

(Newser) - The controversial but undeniably brilliant conductor Lorin Maazel has died at the age of 84—some 75 years after he began conducting orchestras as a 9-year-old child prodigy. Maazel, who conducted an average of two orchestras a week during his long career and performed with more than 200 orchestras, died... More »

Last Original Ramone Is Dead

Drummer Tommy dies at 65

(Newser) - The last original member of the seminal punk band the Ramones is dead, reports Variety . That would be drummer Tommy Ramone, who was born in Hungary as Erdelyi Tamas but grew up in Queens as Tom Erdelyi. He played on the band's first three albums before leaving to be... More »

Harry Potter Villain Found Dead in Desert

Actor David Legeno played werewolf Fenrir Greyback

(Newser) - He was a 6-3, 250-pound former mixed-martial arts fighter who went on to play a villainous werewolf in the Harry Potter movies, but even David Legeno was no match for Death Valley. The 50-year-old actor was found dead in the place known to be the hottest on Earth last weekend,... More »

WWII Hero Who Survived 47 Days on Raft Dead at 97

Louis Zamperini was subject of the best-selling book 'Unbroken'

(Newser) - Louis Zamperini had a resume that truly impressed: Olympian, World War II POW/hero, and the subject of best-selling book Unbroken and the upcoming Angelina Jolie film based on it. Zamperini has died at 97 following a bout of pneumonia, "having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life,... More »

Designing Women's Meshach Taylor Dead at 67

Actor had long battled cancer

(Newser) - Meshach Taylor, the actor perhaps best known for his longtime role in Designing Women, died last night at age 67 after what TMZ calls a lengthy battle with cancer. "It is with love and gratitude that we sorrowfully announce that our darling, amazingly brilliant and dynamic, Meshach, the incredible... More »

Soul 'Poet' Bobby Womack Dead

His career spanned seven decades

(Newser) - Bobby Womack is dead at age 70 after a musical career that has tributes, like this in the Chicago Tribune , referring to him as the "revered poet of soul music." Though renowned as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist in his own right, Womack's work has been extensively... More »

Senator Famed for Watergate Question Dies at 88

Howard Baker also served as chief of staff for Ronald Reagan

(Newser) - Former Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr., a moderate Republican known as the politician who inquired what President Richard Nixon knew during the 1973 Senate Watergate hearings, died in his home yesterday at age 88, according to a statement released by his law firm today. The scion of a political family,... More »

Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Star Dies at 98

Eli Wallach played 'a lifetime's worth of indelible screen characters'

(Newser) - Only the good is now left from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Eli Wallach, the veteran character actor best known for his roles in spaghetti westerns, has died at the age of 98, the BBC reports. The Brooklyn native played "ugly" Mexican bandit Tuco Ramirez in the... More »

'Fun-Loving' Jazz Master Dead at 85

Horace Silver helped pioneer hard bop and wrote infectious tunes

(Newser) - Jazz fans lost one of the greats this week—pianist, composer, and band leader Horace Silver. He died at his home in New Rochelle, NY, on Wednesday at age 85, the New York Times reports. In the 1950s, Silver helped pioneer hard bop, a driving, rhythmic music that critics considered... More »

'Natural Woman' Songwriter Gerry Goffin Dies

He penned dozens of hits with Carole King

(Newser) - The man who put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp) and penned dozens of other '60s hits, mainly in partnership with then-wife Carole King, has died at the age of 75. The duo, who married in 1959, scored their first hit with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow,... More »

Flowers for Algernon Author Dead at 86

Daniel Keyes' sci-fi masterpiece has never gone out of print

(Newser) - Daniel Keyes, the scribe best known for Flowers for Algernon, the tender story of a mentally retarded man who yearns to be smarter, has died at age 86 of complications from pneumonia. The idea for Algernon hit him as he awaited a train in Brooklyn in 1945, reports the New ... More »

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn Dead at 54

Former Padres great succumbs to cancer

(Newser) - Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has died of cancer at 54 in the San Diego suburb of Poway, his agent tells the AP. The outfielder's sweet left-handed swing and undying loyalty to the San Diego Padres made him one of San Diego's best-loved athletes—he was nicknamed... More »

Hall of Fame Steelers Coach Chuck Noll Dies at 82

Won record 4 Super Bowls

(Newser) - Chuck Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died last night at his home. He was 82. Noll was among family outside Pittsburgh when he died of natural causes, the county medical examiner said, per CNN . Noll transformed the... More »

Actress, Civil Rights Agitator Ruby Dee Dead at 91

She and late husband, Ossie Davis, were fixtures on civil rights scene

(Newser) - Ruby Dee, an acclaimed actor and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned stage, radio television, and film, has died at age 91. Dee, who frequently acted alongside her husband of 56 years, Ossie Davis, was surrounded by family and friends at her home in New Rochelle, NY. Her long... More »

'Godfather of Ecstasy' Dead at 88

Chemist Sasha Shulgin was a 'psychedelic pioneer'

(Newser) - A chemist named Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin has died at age 88, notes Gawker , and while that might not be a household name, his nickname explains the attention: "godfather of ecstasy." Shulgin didn't invent the drug otherwise known as MDMA, but he "rescued the circa-1912 pharmaceutical... More »

Brady Bunch's Alice Dies Afer Fall

Ann B. Davis was 88

(Newser) - The woman who played one of the best-known housekeepers in TV history has died after a fall in her bathroom over the weekend. Ann B. Davis, whose most famous role was witty and wise housekeeper Alice on the Brady Bunch, was discovered unconscious and died in the hospital the same... More »

Maya Angelou Dead at 86

Famed poet and author had been suffering health problems

(Newser) - Maya Angelou has died at age 86. The former poet laureate and author's caretaker found her this morning at her home in Winston-Salem, NC, WGHP reports; the town's mayor confirming the news. Angelou's health had been failing recently; last week she cited health reasons in bowing out... More »

Historian Who Revealed Real Dracula Dies

Florescu linked legends to Vlad the Impaler

(Newser) - The historian who linked legends of Dracula to sadistic 15th-century Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler has died at the age of 88. Romanian-born professor Radu Florescu, who fled his homeland on the Orient Express as World War II broke out, gained fame in the '70s with In Search of ... More »

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