Anyway, the obvious celebrity death for me to mention is Leslie Nielsen. He was a genuinely funny man and a couple of his movies (notably Airplane) are deserved classics.
I have a couple of more specialized names to remember, though. The NPL'ers will be interested in the obituary of Frank W. Lewis, who wrote cryptic crosswords for The Nation. And many Jews of my generation grew up with the "art" of Morris Katz on the walls of their homes. As a teenager, going to the Catskills with my parents, I was vaguely impressed by the speed at which Mr. Katz could slap paint on a canvas, using palette knife and toilet paper, but I never cared much for the results. (My parents most questionable artistic acquisition, however, is a lithograph of a chicken plucker. I frequently refer to this as the single ugliest picture in the known universe.)
Speaking of art, I went on the MIT Club of Washington's tour of the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the American Art Museum on Tuesday night. The exhibit consists of a number of works from the collections of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Rockwell's art isn't really my thing, but the docent's spiel was interesting. She emphasized the connection between Rockwell's work and the movies. But what I found most interesting was how much effort he put into setting up the scenarios he painted, making extensive use of photographs (which he then painted from). By the way, I also had time before the tour for a quick look at the new acquisitions at the National Portrait Gallery (which is the other wing of the American Art Museum). I continue to be impressed by the photography of Alec Soth.