famous people who died

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Scholar Who Lived Black History Dead at 94

John Hope Franklin embodied black history

(Newser) - Influential historian John Hope Franklin died yesterday at 94. The author of a seminal book on race, Franklin was born and raised in an all-black community in Oklahoma, marched in Selma, and assisted on a Brown v. Board of Education brief. "He managed to embody this history and yet...

Richardson Dead at 45
 Richardson Dead at 45 

Richardson Dead at 45

(Newser) - Natasha Richardson, a gifted and precocious heiress to acting royalty whose career highlights included the film Patty Hearst and a Tony-winning performance in a stage revival of Cabaret, died yesterday at age 45 after suffering a head injury during a ski lesson. It was a sudden and horrifying loss for...

Richardson Brain Dead: Report
 Richardson Brain Dead: Report 

Richardson Brain Dead: Report

(Newser) - Actress Natasha Richardson is brain dead after a ski accident yesterday in Canada, sources tell the New York Post, and is being taken from the Montreal hospital where she was on life support to New York so loved ones, including mother Vanessa Redgrave, can say their goodbyes. Richardson, 45, fell...

West Wing's Ron Silver Dead at 62
 West Wing's 
 Ron Silver Dead at 62 
OBITUARY

West Wing's Ron Silver Dead at 62

West Wing star became staunch Bush supporter

(Newser) - Ron Silver, the award-winning actor who became an outspoken supporter of George W. Bush late in his career, died yesterday of esophageal cancer at age 62. As the Los Angeles Times writes, Silver won a Tony for his role in David Mamet's play Speed-the-Plow and won acclaim as campaign strategist...

Veteran Actor Whitmore Dead at 87

(Newser) - Down-to-earth stage and screen actor James Whitmore died of lung cancer in Malibu today, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 87. Known for his supporting roles and leads in films such as Battleground, Planet of the Apes, and The Shawshank Redeption, the Emmy and Tony Award winner preferred theater....

Sopranos' Johnny Cakes Commits Suicide

Actor Costelloe played a gay mobster's lover

(Newser) - The actor who played Johnny Cakes on The Sopranos is dead, the New York Post reports. John Costelloe, 47, shot himself in the head in Brooklyn last week, police and friends said. The former firefighter served a brief but pivotal role as the gay lover of a closeted mobster in...

Actor Sam Bottoms Dead at 53

Appeared in Apocalypse Now , Outlaw Josey Wales

(Newser) - Actor Sam Bottoms, who appeared in Apocalypse Now and some 30 other films, died at his LA home this week of brain cancer at age 53, the Los Angeles Times reports. Bottoms began his film career at age 15 in The Last Picture Show and was cast as surfer Lance...

Author Studs Terkel Dead at 96
 Author Studs Terkel Dead at 96 
OBITUARY

Author Studs Terkel Dead at 96

Chicago radio institution deteriorated rapidly after fall 2 weeks ago

(Newser) - Studs Terkel, whose powerful oral histories endeared him to American readers and whose playful personality made him beloved in his adopted hometown of Chicago, died today at 96 after suffering from a variety of ailments, NBC5 reports. Born Louis Terkel, he hosted a daily interview and variety show on Chicago’...

Four Tops Singer Dead At 72
 Four Tops Singer Dead At 72 

Four Tops Singer Dead At 72

Stubbs' baritone was featured on many Motown hits

(Newser) - Baritone Levi Stubbs, the heart of the Four Tops, died today in Detroit at age 72, the Detroit News reports. With Abdul Fakir, Lawrence Payton and Renaldo Benson, Stubbs recorded many iconic hits of the Motown era, including Bernadette, Reach Out (I’ll Be There), and Standing in the Shadows ...

Writer David Foster Wallace Found Dead

46-year-old Infinite Jest author hangs himself in California home

(Newser) - Author David Foster Wallace, best known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, has been found dead in his California home at the age of 46, the Los Angeles Times reports. His wife, who found his body Friday, told police that he hanged himself. Wallace gained worldwide renown for his ambitious...

'Fletch' Author Dead at 71
 'Fletch' Author Dead at 71 
Obituary

'Fletch' Author Dead at 71

Boston Globe scribe succumbs after long cancer battle

(Newser) - Novelist and ex-Boston Globe reporter Gregory Mcdonald is dead at 71, Variety reports, succumbing after a long battle with cancer. Mcdonald is best known for his best-selling Fletch mystery novels, which comprise 15 of his 26 books. Four of his books have been turned into movies, including Fletch, Fletch Lives,...

Singer Isaac Hayes Dead at 65
 Singer Isaac Hayes Dead at 65 
OBITUARY

Singer Isaac Hayes Dead at 65

'Shaft' composer found unresponsive at home

(Newser) - Legendary singer/songwriter Isaac Hayes, whose "Theme from Shaft" claimed Academy Awards and Grammys alike, died early today at the age of 65, reports WMC-TV in Memphis. Hayes' wife found him lying unresponsive next to a still-running treadmill at their Memphis home; attempts to revive him failed and he was...

Actor Paul Scofield Dead at 86
 Actor Paul Scofield Dead at 86 

Actor Paul Scofield Dead at 86

British star of stage and screen won Oscar for A Man for All Seasons

(Newser) - Paul Scofield, the British actor who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons, has died at the age of 86. His agent told Reuters that the actor, who eschewed Hollywood stardom for smaller film roles and a robust theater career, had been...

Arthur C. Clarke Is Dead at 90
 Arthur C. Clarke Is Dead at 90 

Arthur C. Clarke Is Dead at 90

'2001' author shaped space-age thought

(Newser) - Arthur C. Clarke, the sci-fi author who helped shape 20th-century scientific imagination, is dead at 90, the New York Times reports. The co-creator of 2001: A Space Odyssey faced post-polio syndrome in recent decades and died at his home in Sri Lanka due to breathing trouble. “No one can...

Jaws Actor Scheider Dead at 75
Jaws Actor Scheider Dead at 75

Jaws Actor Scheider Dead at 75

Oscar nominee appeared in more than 60 films

(Newser) - Actor Roy Scheider, famous for his roles in Jaws, All That Jazz, and The French Connection, died yesterday while being treated for multiple myeloma. He was believed to be 75, though he sometimes gave a different age in interviews, reports the Los Angeles Times. He once predicted that the Jaws ...

Heath Ledger Found Dead
Heath Ledger Found Dead
UPDATED

Heath Ledger Found Dead

Pills discovered near body of Brokeback Mountain star: NY cops

(Newser) - Actor Heath Ledger was found dead today in his home in downtown Manhattan, the AP reports. The Australian native, an Academy Award nominee for his performance in Brokeback Mountain, was 28. Police said pills were "scattered around the room," WCBS-TV in New York reported, and the death may...

Actor Renfro Dead at 25; Cause Unknown

Child star of The Client had run-ins with police, drugs as an adult

(Newser) - Actor Brad Renfro, who kicked off his career at age 10 in The Client, was found dead at his Los Angeles home today, "Access Hollywood" reports. He was 25. The LA coroner's office confirmed his death; the cause of death is unknown and an investigation is under way. "...

Winningest Horse Trainer Dead at 72
Winningest Horse Trainer Dead at 72

Winningest Horse Trainer Dead at 72

Baird racked up more than 9,400 victories

(Newser) - Dale Baird, the trainer with the most wins in the history of horse racing, died Sunday in a car accident at age 72. Baird racked up 9,445 wins—no other trainer even has 7,000—in a storied career at the West Virginia racetrack now known as Mountaineer. Despite...

Ike Turner Dead at 76
Ike Turner Dead at 76

Ike Turner Dead at 76

Musical legend gained infamy as Tina's abusive husband

(Newser) - Ike Turner, who gained nearly as much fame for his pioneering rock and soul music as he did being Tina Turner's abusive husband, died at age 76 today, the AP reports. The cause of death was not immediately known. Turner teamed with Tina for a series of powerful hits in...

Composer Stockhausen Dead at 79
Composer Stockhausen Dead at 79

Composer Stockhausen Dead at 79

Creator of world's longest opera inspired many, including the Beatles

(Newser) - Karlheinz Stockhausen, the controversial composer who wrote the world's longest opera—29 hours, to be played over 7 days—has died at the age of 79, the Guardian reports. Though he inspired the Beatles and won high critical acclaim, Stockhausen also snubbed modern music trends and received little mainstream acceptance...

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