In Memoriam


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumGnassingbe Eyadema was 68. He was the president of Togo and Africa's longest-ruling leader.

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In MemoriumOssie Davis was 87. He was an actor distinguished for roles dealing with racial injustice on stage, screen and in real life. I remember him best from his appearance in three Spike Lee films, "School Daze," "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever."

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In MemoriumMax Schmeling was 99. He was the heavyweight champion whose two fights with Joe Louis set off a propaganda war between the Nazi regime and the United States on the eve of World War II.

I've been tracking celebrity deaths since September 2000 and this is the first time I've added somebody I thought was already dead. Did anyone think Schmeling was still alive?

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In MemoriumJohn Vernon was 72. He was the star of the 1960s drama "Wojeck" before moving on to a career in Hollywood.

I remember him fondly as Dean Vernon Wormer in "Animal House". "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me."

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In MemoriumDan Lee was 35. He was the Toronto animator who designed the character of Nemo for the blockbuster Pixar film "Finding Nemo". He also helped animate "A Bug's Life", "Toy Story 2", "Monsters, Inc." and a 2007 Pixar release.

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In MemoriumJohnny Carson was 79. He was host of the "Tonight Show" for thirty years.

While the rest of the continent remembers Johnny Carson from late night TV, I know him best for his guest appearance on episode 9F19 of The Simpsons, "Krusty Gets Kancelled". When Krusty went looking for tips on how to deal with leaving the world of television, he visited Johnny Carson. Carson participated in The Krusty Comeback Special going so far as to juggle an automobile. At the conclusion of the episode, Bart proposes a toast "To Krusty, the greatest entertainer in the world. Except for that guy." He's pointing to Carson, tap-dancing and playing "Good Night Ladies" and The Simpsons theme on the accordion while balancing a board on his head atop which sit Grampa and Jasper. Good night, Johnny.

By the way, Steve drafted him in our Dead Pool and has been rewarded with 21 points. That puts him only 47 points behind Ryan for the lead.

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In MemoriumLamont Bentley was 31. He starred as Hakeem Campbell on the UPN sitcom "Moesha".

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In MemoriumVirginia Mayo was 84. She was the stunning blond actress who brought beauty and romance to films of the 1940s and 1950s with such co-stars as James Cagney, Bob Hope, Gregory Peck, Danny Kaye and Ronald Reagan.

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In MemoriumRuth Warrick was 88. She was the darling of the daytime soap opera "All My Children" who launched her career in Orson Welles' all-time classic "Citizen Kane".

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In MemoriumZhao Ziyang was 85. He was the former prime minister of China and a reform-minded Communist Party leader who was toppled in a power struggle after the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

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