Ronnie James Dio was 67. He was a singer with the bands Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, whose powerful, semioperatic vocal style and attachment to demonic imagery made him one of the best-loved figures in classic heavy metal.
If you want to see some great Dio footage, watch "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey". Here's my review of that very cool documentary.
Charlie Francis was 61. He was the sprint coach most noteworthy for being the trainer of sprinter Ben Johnson, the first competitor to be stripped of an Olympic gold medal for using banned drugs, and sprinters Angella Issajenko, Mark McKoy and Desai Williams. Francis was banned by Athletics Canada following his admissions at the 1989 Dubin inquiry that he had introduced Johnson to steroids.
Lena Horne was 92. She was the enchanting jazz singer and actress who reviled the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, slowing her rise to Broadway superstardom.
In 1943, MGM Studios loaned her to 20th Century-Fox to play the role of Selina Rogers in the all-black movie musical "Stormy Weather." Her rendition of the title song became a major hit and her signature piece.
Gwyn "Jocko" Thomas was 96. He was the Toronto Star's chief police reporter for 60 years.
Ernie Harwell was 92. He was the Detroit Tigers broadcaster for 42 years.
Lynn Redgrave was 67. She was a member of the famed Redgrave acting dynasty noted for her roles in "Georgy Girl" and "Gods and Monsters."
Juan Antonio Samaranch was 89. His 21-year term as president of the International Olympic Committee was marked by both the unprecedented growth of the games and its biggest ethics scandal.
Keith "Guru" Elam was 43. He and DJ Premier formed Gang Starr, one of the top hip hop crews of the 1990s.
I remember picking up Daily Operation at the Sam the Record Man at Yonge and Dundas back in '92.
Peter Steele was 48. He was the vocalist and bassist of heavy metal band Type O Negative.
Here's a nice cover they did of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl".
Dixie Carter was 70. She was the actress best known for her role as Julia Sugarbaker on the sitcom "Designing Women."
I remember her well as Maggie McKinney on Diff'rent Strokes.
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