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Tag: Deaths (1-10 of 64)

Tony winner Phyllis Frelich, deaf star of 'Children of a Lesser God,' dies

Phyllis Frelich, a Tony Award-winning deaf actress who starred in the Broadway version of Children of a Lesser God, has died. She was 70.

Frelich, died Thursday at their home in Temple City, Calif., her husband, Robert Steinberg, said. She suffered from a rare degenerative neurological disease called progressive supranuclear palsy, or PSP, for which there are no treatments, he said.

“She was extraordinary, the finest sign language actress there ever was,” he said. “We were married for 46 years. I would have been happy with 46 more.”

A native of Devils Lake, N.D., Frelich graduated from the North Dakota School for the Deaf and Gallaudet College — now Gallaudet University — in Washington, D.C. She was the oldest of nine deaf children born to deaf parents. READ FULL STORY

Songwriter Jesse Winchester dies at 69

Jesse Winchester, a U.S.-born singer who established himself in Montreal after dodging the Vietnam War and went on to write songs covered by the likes of Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett and Joan Baez has died of cancer. He was 69.

His death was announced on his official Facebook page Friday.

“Friends, our sweet Jesse died peacefully in his sleep this morning,” the update reads. “Bless his loving heart.”

Winchester was born in Louisiana and raised around the U.S. South, but he didn’t begin his music career in earnest until moving to Quebec in 1967. There, he began performing solo in coffee houses around Montreal and the Canadian East Coast.

Winchester was a protege of the Band’s Robbie Robertson, who produced and played guitar on Winchester’s self-titled debut album and brought Band-mate Levon Helm along to play drums and mandolin.

Winchester’s second album, 1972′s Third Down, 110 to Go featured tracks produced by Todd Rundgren. He continued to release material at a steady clip until 1981′s Talk Memphis, after which he took a seven-year break from recording. That album, however, contained Winchester’s biggest U.S. hit, “Say What.”

Although large-scale mainstream success eluded Winchester, his songs were covered by an array of musicians including Elvis Costello, Anne Murray, Wynona Judd, Emmylou Harris, the Everly Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, and Joan Baez.

Some of his best known songs include “Yankee Lady,” “Biloxi,” “The Brand New Tennessee Waltz” and “Mississippi, You’re On My Mind.”

After living in Canada for decades, Winchester moved back to the U.S. early last decade. He died at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Winchester was nominated for three Juno Awards, including country male vocalist of the year in 1990 and, most recently, best roots and traditional album for Gentleman of Leisure in 2000.

In September 2012, artists including James Taylor, Lucinda Williams, Vince Gill, and Jimmy Buffett performed covers of Winchester’s tunes for a tribute album called Quiet About It.

Winchester reportedly recorded a final album called A Reasonable Amount of Trouble, due out this summer.

Author Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole, dies at 68

British comic author Sue Townsend, who created angst-ridden teenage diarist Adrian Mole and sent Queen Elizabeth II into exile on a public housing estate, has died after suffering a stroke. She was 68.

Her publisher, Penguin Books said Friday that Townsend died in Leicester, central England, a day earlier.

Townsend left school at 15, married at 18, and by 23 was a single mother of three. She worked in a factory, in shops and at other jobs — and wrote, honing her style for years before breaking through into publication.

Her first novel, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4, was published in 1982 and was hailed as a comic masterpiece. Written in the voice of a gauche but observant teenager, it fused the acute awkwardness of adolescence with the zeitgeist of Thatcher-era Britain. READ FULL STORY

Peaches Geldof dead at 25

Musician Bob Geldof’s agent has confirmed to the Associated Press that the entertainer’s 25-year-old daughter Peaches has died.

According to BBC News, police were called out to Wrotham, Kent on Monday afternoon, after which the South East Coast Ambulance Service pronounced Geldof dead. As of now, the cause of death is unclear and being treated as sudden. READ FULL STORY

Peter Matthiessen, writer and naturalist, dies at 86

Peter Matthiessen, a rich man’s son who spurned a life of leisure and embarked on extraordinary physical and spiritual quests while producing such acclaimed books as The Snow Leopard and At Play in the Fields of the Lord, died Saturday. He was 86.

His publisher Geoff Kloske of Riverhead Books said Matthiessen, who had been diagnosed with leukemia, was ill “for some months.” He died at a hospital near his home on Long Island.

“Peter was a force of nature, relentlessly curious, persistent, demanding — of himself and others,” his literary agent, Neil Olson, said in a statement. “But he was also funny, deeply wise, and compassionate.”

Few authors could claim such a wide range of achievements. Matthiessen helped found The Paris Review, one of the most influential literary magazines, and won National Book Awards for The Snow Leopard, his spiritual account of the Himalayas, and for the novel Shadow Country. A leading environmentalist and wilderness writer, he embraced the best and worst that nature could bring him, whether trekking across the Himalayas, parrying sharks in Australia or enduring a hurricane in Antarctica. READ FULL STORY

'Dynasty' star Kate O'Mara dies at 74

Actress Kate O’Mara, best known for her role in the 1980s soap opera Dynasty, has died at the age of 74.

Her agent Phil Belfield said O’Mara died Sunday in a nursing home in southern England after a short illness.

The actress, who began her television career in the 1960s, became a household name for playing Alexis Colby’s scheming sister Cassandra “Caress” Morrell in Dynasty. She also appeared in the original run of British series Doctor Who and BBC drama Howards’ Way.

In the 1990s she starred in the comedy show Absolutely Fabulous with Joanna Lumley.

SXSW: A fourth person dies after festival car crash

A fourth person has died of injuries suffered earlier this month when a suspected drunken driver drove into a crowd at the South By Southwest festival, police said Thursday.

Austin police tweeted that DeAndre Tatum, 18, died of injuries suffered March 13. Police spokeswoman Veneza Bremner confirmed the accuracy of the tweet but she said the department would have no further updates. READ FULL STORY

Patrick Dempsey's mother, Amanda, dies of cancer

Patrick Dempsey’s mother Amanda died this past Monday at age 79 after fighting ovarian cancer since 1997.

Patrick, along with his sisters Mary and Alicia, founded a cancer center in Lewiston, Maine that provides “support and education to anyone impacted by cancer,” according to the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing’s website. The Dempseys partnered with Central Maine Medical Center, where Amanda received treatment, to found their organization. It is now in its sixth year.

“Amanda Dempsey was both a great lady and a determined fighter who displayed tremendous courage, class, and grace during her long battle with cancer,” Peter Chalke, president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare, said in a statement. ” We will miss Amanda deeply, but we were all blessed by knowing her and being inspired by her life story.”

'Homeland' actor James Rebhorn dies at 65

James Rebhorn, the prolific character actor in Homeland, Scent of a Woman, and My Cousin Vinny, has died. He was 65.

Rebhorn’s agent, Dianne Busch, said Sunday that the actor died Friday at his home in South Orange, N.J. She confirmed to EW that the cause of death was melanoma. He was diagnosed with the disease in 1992 and had been fighting it since. Rebhorn had been receiving hospice care for the last week and a half, Busch told EW, and his family — wife Rebecca and their two daughters, Emma and Hannah — were with him.

In five decades of television and film work, Rebhorn amassed more than 100 credits, ranging from a shipping magnate in The Talented Mr. Ripley to the prosecutor in the series finale of Seinfeld, in which he famously sent the group to jail.

READ FULL STORY

'Band of Brothers' vet Willian Guarnere dies at 90

William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, one of the World War II veterans whose exploits were dramatized in the TV miniseries Band of Brothers, has died. He was 90

His son, William Guarnere Jr., confirmed Sunday that his father died at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Guarnere was rushed to the hospital early Saturday and died of a ruptured aneurysm early Saturday night.

“He had a good, long life,” his son said.

The HBO miniseries, based on a book by Stephen Ambrose, followed the members of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division from training in Georgia in 1942 through some of the war’s fiercest European battles through the war’s end in 1945.

Its producers included Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Guarnere was portrayed by the actor Frank John Hughes.

Guarnere, whose combat exploits earned him his nickname, lost a leg while trying to help a wounded solider during the Battle of the Bulge. His commendations included the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

In 2007, Guarnere helped write a nationally best-selling memoir called Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends, with fellow south Philadelphian veteran Edward J. “Babe” Heffron and journalist Robyn Post.

William Guarnere Jr. said his father and Heffron met during the war and remained friends until Heffron died in December.

“Now they’re together again,” the son said.

Jake Powers, who operates a Band of Brothers tour company in Grafton, Mass., said Guarnere worked behind the scenes to ensure that his comrades received the recognition they deserved.

“He did more things behind the scenes for other veterans than (for) himself,” Powers said.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete Sunday.

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