April 1st, 2021

storyteller doll

Celebrity Death Watch - January 2021

Continuing the celebrity death watch catch-up ….


First a quick leftover. Mary Frances Wagley was the first woman to serve on the MIT Corporation and as president of the MIT Alumni Association. She was forced to major in chemistry because chemical engineering required a summer camp that had no accommodations for her. She graduated from MIT in 1947 and went on to get a doctorate at Oxford and teach at a number of institutions, including Smith College and Johns Hopkins.

January 2021:Carlos do Carmo was a fado singer. Dame Elmira Minita Gordon was the Governor General of Belize from 1981 to 1993. Floyd Little was a hall of fame football player. George Whoitmore was a member of the first team to summit El Capitan. Paul Westphal was a hall of fame basketball player. Lee Breuer was a playwright, best known for The Gospel at Colonus. Eric Jerome Dickey wrote crime novels. Gerry Marsden headed Gerry and the Pacemakers. Gregory Sierra was an actor, best known for appearing in Barney Miller. Butch Stewart founded Sandals Resorts. Neil Sheehan was a Pulitzer winning journalist for the New York Times. Ed Bruce wrote “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” Diana Millay played Laura Collins on Dark Shadows. Sheldon Adelson was a casino magnate and one of the biggest donors to Trump. Margo St. James fought for the rights of sex workers as the founder of COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics). Tim Bogert was the bassist for Vanilla Fudge. Siegfried Fischbacher was half of the magic duo Siegfried and Roy. Joyce Hill played catcher and first base in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Jimmie Rodgers sang “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.” Don Sutton pitched mostly for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hal Holbrook was an actor, best known for his one-man show about Mark Twain. Larry King was a radio and television host / interviewer. J. D. Power III founded the company that does automotive satisfaction surveys. Kathleen Ann Goonan was a science fiction writer Abraham Twerski was a Hasidic rabbi and psychiatrist who wrote extensively about addiction.



Michael Apted was a film director. He directed Gorillas in the Mist and Coal Miner’s Daughter, but is probably best known for the Up series (from 7 Up in 1964 to 63 Up in 2019, which followed a group of British school children through their lives.


Tommy Lasorda played baseball and went on to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Peter Huber had been an MIT professor of mechanical engineering, who became a lawyer and wrote several books regarding the intersection of science and law. I knew him slightly at MIT and specifically remember a lecture of his on the subject of surface tension, mostly for his explanation of the phenomenon of legs in a glass of wine. Even when I disagreed with his positions, I found his ideas worth reading.


Phil Sector was a record producer known for the “wall of sound.” He produced a number of influential rock/pop albums, including the Beatles’ Let It Be. He was later convicted of the murder of Lana Clarkson and died in prison.


Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. His list of accomplishments would go on for pages, including sharing the record for most All-Star Games played (with Stan Musial and WIllie Mays) He holds the records for most career RBIs, extra base hits, and total bases. He also was awarded the Presidential Medal 0f Freedom in 2002.

Clovis Leachman played Phyllis on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as well as acting in numerous other television shows and movies. Her role as Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein is also notable.


Cicely Tyson was a film and television actress. Her starring role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman won her two Emmy awards. She also won a Tony award for her role in the Broadway play The Trip to Bountiful/


Flory Jagoda was a major star of Sephardic music. Her song :Ocho Kandelikas” has become very popular for Chanukah.

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