Latest Obituaries headlines

Jean Daniel, leading French journalist and humanist, 99

A half-century before President Barack Obama ordered a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2014, Jean Daniel, a French journalist on a secret mission to Havana in the autumn of 1963, delivered a proposal by President John F. Kennedy to Fidel Castro.

Sy Sperling, founder of the Hair Club for Men (and also a client), 78

Mr. Sperling helped bring the hair-loss industry into the mainstream with ubiquitous, self-effacing ads.

Larry Eisenhauer, ’fierce competitor’ on Patriots’ defensive line in the 1960s, dies at 79

Defensive end Larry Eisenhauer was part of a renowned Boston Patriots defensive front in the 1960s.

Songwriter and ‘Good Times’ actress Ja’Net Dubois dies

Ja’Net Dubois, who played the vivacious neighbor Willona Woods on “Good Times” and composed and sang the theme song for “The Jeffersons” has died.

Buzzy Linhart, eccentric and eclectic singer-songwriter, 76

Buzzy Linhart, a whimsically eccentric singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose compositions were recorded by Bette Midler, Carly Simon and others, died on Thursday in Berkeley, California. He was 76.

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Frank Anderson, former spy who supplied Afghan insurgents, dies at 78

Frank Anderson was an American spymaster who oversaw the Central Intelligence Agency’s covert mission to funnel weapons and other support to Afghan insurgents fighting their Soviet occupiers in the 1980s.

Zoe Caldwell, winner of four Tony Awards, at 86

Zoe Caldwell, who won Tony Awards — four in all — in the 1960s, ’80s and ’90s, the last for portraying the opera star Maria Callas in “Master Class,” Terrence McNally’s study of the twilight of the singer’s career, died Sunday at her home in Pound Ridge, New York, in Westchester County. She was 86.

Elizabeth Cullinan, writer with an eye for detail, dies at 86

At 22, Miss Cullinan began her working life with an entry-level job at The New Yorker. Her task was to type manuscripts submitted by literary lions like John Updike, James Thurber, and E.B. White.

Zara Steiner, distinguished scholar of diplomatic history, at 91

Dr. Steiner was a US-born scholar who spent most of her career in England, including a long association with the University of Cambridge.

Bridging politics and education, Albert Sherman, 81, was a mainstay of UMass Medical School

Albert Sherman, "Albie" to all, worked behind the scenes on behalf of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester as the vice chancellor for university relations, and helped countless people over the decades.

Kamau Brathwaite, poet who celebrated Caribbean culture, 89

Kamau Brathwaite, whose lyrical poetry wove together the history and imagery of his native Barbados, the Caribbean and the African diaspora, as well as his personal experiences, died Feb. 4 at his home in Barbados.

‘True Grit’ novelist Charles Portis, at 86

Mr. Portis, a favorite among critics and writers for such shaggy dog stories as “Norwood” and “Gringos” and a bounty for Hollywood whose droll, bloody Western “True Grit” was a best-seller twice adapted into Oscar nominated films, died Monday at age 86.

Former UAW president Owen Bieber dies aged 90

Owen Bieber, who led the United Auto Workers union from the auto industry’s dark days of the early 1980s to the prosperity of the mid-1990s, has died. He was 90.

Barbara Remington, illustrator of Tolkien book covers, at 90

Barbara Remington, the illustrator who created the most widely recognized covers for J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” — which she quickly executed before she even had the chance to read the books — died Jan.

Hall of Fame golfer Mickey Wright dies at 85

Ms. Wright won 82 LPGA tournaments including 13 majors.

Harry Gregg, former Man United player and Munich hero, dies at 87

Mr. Gregg was called the “hero of Munich” for rescuing two teammates as well as a baby and her pregnant mother from the burning fuselage in the 1958 air disaster that killed 23 people.

Rev. George Coyne, Vatican astronomer and Galileo defender, 87

Coyne challenged atheists, too, by insisting that science and religion could coexist.

A.E. Hotchner, author with a gift for famous friendships, dies at 102

Mr. Hotchner had a long and eclectic career as a lawyer, magazine editor, playwright, and the author of more than 20 books.

Oilman, former Texas governor candidate Williams dies at 88

Clayton Williams, a colorful Texas oilman and philanthropist whose 1990 run for governor was derailed after joking about rape and acknowledging he went a year without paying income taxes, has died. He was 88.

Charles O’Brien, who was dogged by Hoffa case, 86

Charles O’Brien, a close associate of the union boss Jimmy Hoffa who spent decades denying that he was involved in Hoffa’s disappearance and presumed murder in 1975, died on Thursday at his home in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 86.

Former star SS Tony Fernández dies at 57; Blue Jays hits leader

Mr. Fernández, who made five All-Star teams during his 17 seasons in the Major Leagues, died Sunday after complications from a kidney disease.

Rajendra Pachauri during a press conference in Berlin on climate change in 2014.

Rajendra Pachauri, Indian climate change authority who led UN panel

Pachauri was a controversial figure who faced accusations of sexual harassment later in his life

Noted jazz keyboardist Lyle Mays dies at age 66

Lyle Mays, a jazz keyboardist whose work, chiefly with the Pat Metheny Group, won nearly a dozen Grammy Awards, died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 66.

Legendary rodeo clown Lecile Harris dead at 83

A legendary rodeo clown who spent decades performing has died after the final performance of the 55th Annual Dixie National Rodeo and Livestock Show in Mississippi.

Paula Kelly, Emmy-nominated actress, dancer, and singer, dies at 77

Ms. Kelly became a leading Black performer on Broadway in the 1960s and later turned to supporting roles on film and television.

Dyanne Thorne, 83, star of scandalous ‘Ilsa’ films, is dead

Dyanne Thorne, who starred in one of the most notorious sexploitation movies of the 1970s, “Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS” — a head-spinning mix of Nazi fetishism, sadism and female empowerment that is still talked about by grindhouse film aficionados as well as by more serious scholars — died Jan. 28 in Las Vegas.

Frederick Koch, Who Spurned Family Business, Dies at 86

In 1983, a wealthy American wandered into the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in England. He saw a scale model of a new theater that the company hoped to build, if only it had the money.

Santu Mofokeng, photographer recorded searing image of apartheid life

Santu Mofokeng, a photographer whose searing images of everyday life in South Africa’s black townships documented the prospects of freedom from apartheid and the unfulfilled promise of its overthrow, died Jan. 26 in Johannesburg.

Dave McCoy, who gave skiers Mammoth Mountain, dies at 104

Dave McCoy, who transformed California’s Mammoth Mountain from a remote Sierra peak into a downhill destination for skiers and snowboarders from around the world, has died at 104.

Katsuya Nomura, a mainstay of Japanese baseball, dies at 84

Katsuya Nomura, a mainstay of the baseball world in postwar Japan who was one of the country’s greatest catchers before going on to a long second career as a manager, died Tuesday in Tokyo. He was 84.

Mr. Conway often played explosive characters.

Kevin Conway, ‘Red Ryder’ and ‘Elephant Man’ actor, dies at 77

Mr. Conway brought intensity to roles large and small on the screen and the stage.

Mr. Shabalala, in Ladysmith Black Mambazo, collaborated with Paul Simon on “Graceland.”

Joseph Shabalala, Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder, 78

The gentle-voiced South African songwriter brought Zulu music to listeners worldwide.

Stephen Joyce dies at 87; guarded grandfather’s literary legacy

The last surviving direct descendant of James Joyce became known as an irascible and formidably rigid gatekeeper of that Irish author’s coveted literary estate.

Bruce McEwen, 81, found stress can alter the brain

It was a staple of medical thinking dating to the 1910s that stress was the body’s alarm system, switching on only when terrible things happened, often leaving a person with an either-or choice: fight or flight.

‘Mr. Boston’ in business and philanthropy, Robert Beal dies at 78

The longtime real estate developer was a fervent believer in the people and possibilities of the city and worked to advance their causes.

Terry Hands, director known for hits and ‘Carrie,’ 79

The British director led the Royal Shakespeare Company in England and in the 1980s took several productions to Broadway, including a well-regarded “Much Ado About Nothing” and the notorious musical flop “Carrie.”

Lucy Jarvis, who took TV viewers far and wide, dies at 102

The groundbreaking producer in television and theater was especially known for gaining access to hard-to-crack locations.

Frank Press, guiding force in US science policy for years, dies at 95

Dr. Press was an eminent geophysicist and authority on earthquakes.

Emily Mason, who created colorful canvases, at 87

For more than 50 years, Emily Mason, an abstract painter in a family of painters, would spend winters in Manhattan, where she had a studio in the Flatiron district, and the warmer months in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she and her husband, painter Wolf Kahn, also had a home.

Ms. Batts served for a quarter-century on the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Deborah Batts, first openly gay federal judge

Ms. Batts presided over prominent cases involving political corruption, terrorism and the Central Park Five civil case. She was 72.

Ms. Freni, dubbed ‘‘the last prima donna,’’ was the last in a line of sopranos whose very entrance prompted ovations.

Famed Italian soprano Mirella Freni dies at age 84

She was the last in a line of Italian sopranos whose very entrance prompted ovations, a link to singers from the golden era.

Stanley Cohen, Nobel Prize-winning scientist who studied cellular growth, dies at 97

Stanley Cohen, Nobel Prize-winning scientist who studied cellular growth, dies at 97

Author Roger Kahn pictured in 1997 at his desk in his home in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Roger Kahn, 92, lifted sportswriting to an art with ‘Boys of Summer’

Kahn’s 20 or so books, many about baseball, include a couple of novels, a portrait of the volatile but winning 1978 New York Yankees, a biography of Jack Dempsey and a collaboration with Pete Rose on Rose’s own story, published in 1989, just months after he was banished from baseball.

Gene Reynolds, an architect of ‘M*A*S*H’ on TV

Gene Reynolds, an Emmy-winning producer and director who was a force behind two of the most acclaimed television series of the 1970s and early ’80s, “M*A*S*H” and “Lou Grant,” died Monday in Burbank, California. He was 96.

Ivan Kral, rocker with Patti Smith and others, is dead at 71

Mr. Kral was a Czech-born musician whose integral role in the Patti Smith Group made him a key figure in New York’s creative underground of the 1970s.

Kirk Douglas, intense star of dozens of movies, dies at 103

Mr. Douglas, renown for such films as “Spartacus,” “Seven Days in May,” “Champion,” “The Bad and the Beautiful,” and “Lust for Life,” was also acclaimed for helping to end the Hollywood blacklist.