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home : news : national news free February 28, 2020

12/21/2019 2:16:00 PM
Final goodbye: Recalling people who died in 2019

Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2019 (cause of death cited for younger people, if available):

JANUARY

Daryl Dragon, 76. The cap-wearing “Captain“ of Captain & Tennille who teamed with then-wife Toni Tennille on such easy listening hits as “Love Will Keep Us Together“ and “Muskrat Love.“ Jan. 2.

Jakiw Palij, 95. A former Nazi concentration camp guard who spent decades leading an unassuming life in New York City until his past was revealed. Jan. 9.

Carol Channing, 97. The ebullient musical comedy star who delighted American audiences in almost 5,000 performances as the scheming Dolly Levi in “Hello, Dolly!“ on Broadway and beyond. Jan. 15.

John C. Bogle, 89. He simplified investing for the masses by launching the first index mutual fund and founded Vanguard Group. Jan. 16.

Nathan Glazer, 95. A prominent sociologist and intellectual who assisted on a classic study of conformity, “The Lonely Crowd,“ and co-authored a groundbreaking document of non-conformity, “Beyond the Melting Pot.“ Jan. 19.

Antonio Mendez, 78. A former CIA technical operations officer who helped rescue six U.S. diplomats from Iran in 1980 and was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the film “Argo.“ Jan. 19.

Russell Baker, 93. The genial but sharp-witted writer who won Pulitzer Prizes for his humorous columns in The New York Times and a moving autobiography of his impoverished Baltimore childhood. He later hosted television’s “Masterpiece Theatre“ on PBS. Jan 21. Complications after a fall.

Michel Legrand, 86. An Oscar-winning composer and pianist whose hits included the score for the ’60s romance “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg“ and the song “The Windmills of Your Mind“ and who worked with some of biggest singers of the 20th century. Jan. 26.

Donald S. Smith, 94. He produced the controversial anti-abortion film “The Silent Scream“ and, with help from Ronald Reagan’s White House, distributed copies to every member of Congress and the Supreme Court. Jan. 30.

Harold Bradley, 93. A Country Music Hall of Fame guitarist who played on hundreds of hit country records and along with his brother, famed producer Owen Bradley, helped craft “The Nashville Sound.“ Jan. 31.

FEBRUARY

Frank Robinson, 83. The Hall of Famer was the first black manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues. Feb. 7.

Albert Finney, 82. The British actor was the Academy Award-nominated star of films from “Tom Jones“ to “Skyfall.“ Feb. 8.

Jan-Michael Vincent, 73. The “Airwolf“ television star whose sleek good looks belied a troubled personal life. Feb. 10.

Betty Ballantine, 99. She was half of a groundbreaking husband-and-wife publishing team that helped invent the modern paperback and vastly expand the market for science fiction and other genres through such blockbusters as “The Hobbit“ and “Fahrenheit 451.“ Feb. 12.

Lyndon LaRouche Jr., 96. The political extremist who ran for president in every election from 1976 to 2004, including a campaign waged from federal prison. Feb. 12.

Lee Radziwill, 85. She was the stylish jet setter and socialite who found friends, lovers and other adventures worldwide while bonding and competing with her sister Jacqueline Kennedy. Feb. 15.

Armando M. Rodriguez, 97. A Mexican immigrant and World War II veteran who served in the administrations of four U.S. presidents while pressing for civil rights and education reforms. Feb. 17.

Wallace Smith Broecker, 87. A scientist who raised early alarms about climate change and popularized the term “global warming.“ Feb. 18.

Karl Lagerfeld, 85. Chanel’s iconic couturier whose accomplished designs and trademark white ponytail, high starched collars and dark enigmatic glasses dominated high fashion for the past 50 years. Feb. 19.

David Horowitz, 81. His “Fight Back!“ syndicated program made him perhaps the best-known consumer reporter in the U.S. Feb. 21.

Peter Tork, 77. A talented singer-songwriter and instrumentalist whose musical skills were often overshadowed by his role as the goofy, lovable bass guitarist in the made-for-television rock band The Monkees. Feb. 21.

Stanley Donen, 94. A giant of the Hollywood musical who, through such classics as “Singin’ in the Rain“ and “Funny Face,“ helped provide some of the most joyous sounds and images in movie history. Feb. 21.

Katherine Helmond, 89. An Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress who played two very different matriarchs on the ABC sitcoms “Who’s the Boss?“ and “Soap.“ Feb. 23.

Charles McCarry, 88. An admired and prescient spy novelist who foresaw passenger jets as terrorist weapons in “The Better Angels“ and devised a compelling theory for JFK’s assassination in “The Tears of Autumn.“ Feb. 26.

Jerry Merryman, 86. He was one of the inventors of the handheld electronic calculator. Feb. 27. Complications of heart and kidney failure.

Andre Previn, 89. The pianist, composer and conductor whose broad reach took in the worlds of Hollywood, jazz and classical music. Feb. 28.

MARCH

John Shafer, 94. The legendary Northern California vintner was part of a generation that helped elevate sleepy Napa Valley into the international wine powerhouse it is today. March 2.

Luke Perry, 52. He gained instant heartthrob status as wealthy rebel Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210.“ March 4. Stroke.

Juan Corona, 85. He gained the nickname “The Machete Murderer“ for hacking to death dozens of migrant farm laborers in California in the early 1970s. March 4.

Carmine “the Snake“ Persico, 85. The longtime boss of the infamous Colombo crime family. March 7.

Birch Bayh, 91. A former U.S. senator who championed the federal law banning discrimination against women in college admissions and sports. March 14.

Scott Walker, 76. An influential singer, songwriter and producer whose hits with the Walker Brothers in the 1960s included “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.“ March 22.

Rafi Eitan, 92. A legendary Israeli Mossad spy who led the capture of Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann. March 23.

Ken Gibson, 86. He became the first black mayor of a major Northeast city when he ascended to power in riot-torn Newark, New Jersey, about five decades ago. March 29.

Billy Adams, 79. A Rockabilly Hall of Famer who wrote and recorded the rockabilly staple “Rock, Pretty Mama.“ March 30.

APRIL

Sydney Brenner, 92. A Nobel Prize-winning biologist who helped decipher the genetic code and whose research on a roundworm sparked a new field of human disease research. April 5.

Marilynn Smith, 89. One of the 13 founders of the LPGA Tour whose 21 victories, two majors and endless support of her tour led to her induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. April 9.

Richard “Dick“ Cole, 103. The last of the 80 Doolittle Tokyo Raiders who carried out the daring U.S. attack on Japan during World War II. April 9.

Charles Van Doren, 93. The dashing young academic whose meteoric rise and fall as a corrupt game show contestant in the 1950s inspired the movie “Quiz Show“ and served as a cautionary tale about the staged competitions of early television. April 9.

Georgia Engel, 70. She played the charmingly innocent, small-voiced Georgette on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show“ and amassed a string of other TV and stage credits. April 12.

Lorraine Warren, 92. A world-wide paranormal investigator and author whose decades of ghost-hunting cases with her late husband inspired such frightening films as “The Conjuring“ series and “The Amityville Horror.“ April 18.

Mark Medoff, 79. A provocative playwright whose “Children of a Lesser God“ won Tony and Olivier awards and whose screen adaptation of his play earned an Oscar nomination. April 23.

John Havlicek, 79. The Boston Celtics great whose steal of Hal Greer’s inbounds pass in the final seconds of the 1965 Eastern Conference final against the Philadelphia 76ers remains one of the most famous plays in NBA history. April 25.

Damon J. Keith, 96. A grandson of slaves and figure in the civil rights movement who as a federal judge was sued by President Richard Nixon over a ruling against warrantless wiretaps. April 28.

Peter Mayhew, 74. The towering actor who donned a huge, furry costume to give life to the rugged-and-beloved character of Chewbacca in the original “Star Wars“ trilogy and two other films. April 30.

MAY

John Lukacs, 95. The Hungarian-born historian and iconoclast who brooded over the future of Western civilization, wrote a best-selling tribute to Winston Churchill, and produced a substantial and often despairing body of writings on the politics and culture of Europe and the United States. May 6.

Peggy Lipton, 72. A star of the groundbreaking late 1960s TV show “The Mod Squad“ and the 1990s show “Twin Peaks.“ May 11. Cancer.

Leonard Bailey, 76. The doctor who in 1984 transplanted a baboon heart into a tiny newborn dubbed “Baby Fae“ in a pioneering operation that sparked both worldwide acclaim and condemnation. May 12.

Doris Day, 97. The sunny blond actress and singer whose frothy comedic roles opposite the likes of Rock Hudson and Cary Grant made her one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1950s and ’60s and a symbol of wholesome American womanhood. May 13.

Tim Conway, 85. The impish second banana to Carol Burnett who won four Emmy Awards on her TV variety show, starred in “McHale’s Navy“ and later voiced the role of Barnacle Boy for “Spongebob Squarepants.“ May 14.

I.M. Pei, 102. The versatile, globe-trotting architect who revived the Louvre with a giant glass pyramid and captured the spirit of rebellion at the multi-shaped Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. May 16.

Niki Lauda, 70. A Formula One great who won two of his world titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry. May 20.

Bill Buckner, 69. A star hitter who made one of the biggest blunders in baseball history when he let Mookie Wilson’s trickler roll through his legs in the 1986 World Series. May 27.

Leon Redbone, 69. The blues and jazz artist whose growly voice, Panama hat and cultivated air of mystery made him seem like a character out of the ragtime era or the Depression-era Mississippi Delta. May 30.

Frank Lucas, 88. The former Harlem drug kingpin whose life and lore inspired the 2007 film “American Gangster.“ May 30.

JUNE

Dr. John, 77. The New Orleans singer and piano player who blended black and white musical styles with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayou drawl. June 6.

John Gunther Dean, 93. A veteran American diplomat and five-time ambassador forever haunted by his role in the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia during the dying days of the Khmer Republic. June 6.

Sylvia Miles, 94. An actress and Manhattan socialite whose brief, scene-stealing appearances in the films “Midnight Cowboy“ and “Farewell, My Lovely“ earned her two Academy Award nominations. June 12.

Lew Klein, 91. A broadcast pioneer who helped create “American Bandstand“ and launched the careers of Dick Clark and Bob Saget. June 12.

Charles Reich, 91. The author and Ivy League academic whose “The Greening of America“ blessed the counterculture of the 1960s and became a million-selling manifesto for a new and euphoric way of life. June 15.

Gloria Vanderbilt, 95. The intrepid heiress, artist and romantic who began her extraordinary life as the “poor little rich girl“ of the Great Depression, survived family tragedy and multiple marriages and reigned during the 1970s and ’80s as a designer jeans pioneer. June 17.

JULY

Lee Iacocca, 94. The auto executive and master pitchman who put the Mustang in Ford’s lineup in the 1960s and became a corporate folk hero when he resurrected Chrysler 20 years later. July 2.

Joao Gilberto, 88. A Brazilian singer, guitarist and songwriter considered one of the fathers of the bossa nova genre that gained global popularity in the 1960s and became an iconic sound of the South American nation. July 6.

Cameron Boyce, 20. An actor best known for his role as the teenage son of Cruella de Vil in the Disney Channel franchise “Descendants.“ July 6. Seizure.

Martin Charnin, 84. He made his Broadway debut playing a Jet in the original “West Side Story“ and went on to become a Broadway director and a lyricist who won a Tony Award for the score of the eternal hit “Annie.“ July 6.

H. Ross Perot, 89. The colorful, self-made Texas billionaire who rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty and twice mounted outsider campaigns for president. July 9. Leukemia.

Rip Torn, 88. The free-spirited Texan who overcame his quirky name to become a distinguished actor in television, theater and movies, such as “Men in Black,“ and win an Emmy in his 60s for “The Larry Sanders Show.“ July 9.

Jim Bouton, 80. The former New York Yankees pitcher who shocked and angered the conservative baseball world with the tell-all book “Ball Four.“ July 10.

John Paul Stevens, 99. The bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court’s leading liberal. July 16.

Art Neville, 81. A member of one of New Orleans’ storied musical families, the Neville Brothers, and a founding member of the groundbreaking funk band The Meters. July 22.

Chris Kraft, 95. The founder of NASA’s mission control. July 22.

Mike Moulin, 70. A former Los Angeles police lieutenant who came under fire for failing to quell the first outbreak of rioting after the Rodney King beating verdict. July 30.

Harold Prince, 91. A Broadway director and producer who pushed the boundaries of musical theater with such groundbreaking shows as “The Phantom of the Opera,“ “Cabaret,“ “Company“ and “Sweeney Todd“ and won a staggering 21 Tony Awards. July 31.

AUGUST

D.A. Pennebaker, 94. The OHenri Belolo, 82. He co-founded the Village People and co-wrote their classic hits “YMCA,“ “Macho Man“ and “In the Navy.“ Aug. 3.

Toni Morrison, 88. A pioneer and reigning giant of modern literature whose imaginative power in “Beloved,“ “Song of Solomon“ and other works transformed American letters by dramatizing the pursuit of freedom within the boundaries of race. Aug. 5.

Peter Fonda, 79. The actor was the son of a Hollywood legend who became a movie star in his own right after both writing and starring in the counterculture classic “Easy Rider.“ Aug. 16.

Kathleen Blanco, 76. She became Louisiana’s first female elected governor only to see her political career derailed by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Aug. 18.

David H. Koch, 79. A billionaire industrialist who, with his older brother Charles, was both celebrated and demonized for transforming American politics by pouring their riches into conservative causes. Aug. 23.

Jim Leavelle, 99. The longtime Dallas lawman who was captured in one of history’s most iconic photographs escorting President John F. Kennedy’s assassin as he was fatally shot. Aug. 29.

Valerie Harper, 80. She scored guffaws, stole hearts and busted TV taboos as the brash, self-deprecating Rhoda Morgenstern on back-to-back hit sitcoms in the 1970s. Aug. 30.

SEPTEMBER

Robert Frank, 94. A giant of 20th-century photography whose seminal book “The Americans“ captured singular, candid moments of the 1950s and helped free picture-taking from the boundaries of clean lighting and linear composition. Sept. 9.

T. Boone Pickens, 91. A brash and quotable oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts. Sept. 11.

Eddie Money, 70. The rock star known for such hits as “Two Tickets to Paradise“ and “Take Me Home Tonight.“ Sept. 13. Esophageal cancer.

Phyllis Newman, 86. A Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran who became the first woman to host “The Tonight Show“ before turning her attention to fight for women’s health. Sept. 15.

Ric Ocasek, 75. The Cars frontman whose deadpan vocal delivery and lanky, sunglassed look defined a rock era with chart-topping hits like “Just What I Needed.“ Sept. 15.

Cokie Roberts, 75. The daughter of politicians and a pioneering journalist who chronicled Washington from Jimmy Carter to Donald Trump for NPR and ABC News. Sept. 17. Complications from breast cancer.

David A. Jones Sr., 88. He invested $1,000 to start a nursing home company that eventually became the $37 billion health insurance giant Humana Inc. Sept. 18.

Barron Hilton, 91. A hotel magnate who expanded his father’s chain and became a founding owner in the American Football League. Sept. 19.

Howard “Hopalong“ Cassady, 85. The 1955 Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State and running back for the Detroit Lions. Sept. 20.

Samuel Mayerson, 97. The prosecutor who took newspaper heiress Patty Hearst to court for shooting up a Southern California sporting goods store in 1974 and then successfully argued for probation, not prison, for the kidnapping victim-turned terrorist. Sept. 30.

OCTOBER

Diahann Carroll, 84. The Oscar-nominated actress and singer who won critical acclaim as the first black woman to star in a non-servant role in a TV series as “Julia.“ Oct. 4. Cancer.

Rip Taylor, 88. The madcap, mustached comedian with a fondness for confetti-throwing who became a television game show mainstay in the 1970s. Oct. 6.

Elijah E. Cummings, 68. A sharecropper’s son who rose to become a civil rights champion and the chairman of one of the U.S. House committees leading an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Oct. 17. Complications from longstanding health problems.

Bill Macy, 97. The character actor whose hangdog expression was a perfect match for his role as the long-suffering foil to Bea Arthur’s unyielding feminist on the daring 1970s sitcom “Maude.“ Oct. 17.

John Witherspoon, 77. An actor-comedian who memorably played Ice Cube’s father in the “Friday“ films. Oct. 29.

NOVEMBER

Walter J. Minton, 96. A publishing scion and risk taker with a self-described “nasty streak“ who as head of G.P. Putnam’s Sons released works by Norman Mailer and Terry Southern, among others, and signed up Vladimir Nabokov’s scandalous “Lolita.“ Nov. 19.

John Simon, 94. A theater and film critic known for his lacerating reviews and often withering assessment of performers’ physical appearance. Nov. 24.

William Doyle Ruckelshaus, 87. He famously quit his job in the Justice Department rather than carry out President Richard Nixon’s order to fire the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. Nov. 27.

Yasuhiro Nakasone, 101. The former Japanese prime minister was a giant of his country’s post-World War II politics who pushed for a more assertive Japan while strengthening military ties with the United States. Nov. 29.

Irving Burgie, 95. A composer who helped popularize Caribbean music and co-wrote the enduring Harry Belafonte hit “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).” Nov. 29.

DECEMBER

Allan Gerson, 74. A lawyer who pursued Nazi war criminals and pioneered the practice of suing foreign governments in U.S. courts for complicity to terrorism. Dec. 1.

Juice WRLD, 21. A rapper who launched his career on SoundCloud before becoming a streaming juggernaut and rose to the top of the charts with the Sting-sampled hit “Lucid Dreams.” Dec. 8. Died after being treated for opioid use during a police search.

Rene Auberjonois, 79. A prolific actor best known for his roles on the television shows “Benson” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and his part in the 1970 film “M.A.S.H.” playing Father Mulcahy. Dec. 8.

Caroll Spinney, 85. He gave Big Bird his warmth and Oscar the Grouch his growl for nearly 50 years on “Sesame Street.” Dec. 8.

Paul Volcker, 92. The former Federal Reserve chairman who in the early 1980s raised interest rates to historic highs and triggered a recession as the price of quashing double-digit inflation. Dec. 8.

Pete Frates, 34. A former college baseball player whose battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped inspire the ALS ice bucket challenge that has raised more than $200 million worldwide. Dec. 9.

Kim Woo-choong, 82. The disgraced founder of the now-collapsed Daewoo business group whose rise and fall symbolized South Korea’s turbulent rapid economic growth in the 1970s. Dec. 9. Pneumonia.

Danny Aiello, 86. The blue-collar character actor whose long career playing tough guys included roles in “Fort Apache, the Bronx,” “Moonstruck“ and “Once Upon a Time in America” and his Oscar-nominated performance as a pizza man in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” Dec. 12.





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