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In memoriam, 2010

Folks of note and notoriety who have passed on.

The world lost many of those who made it turn in 2010, many who inspired dread, angst, perplexity, obedience, imitation, laughter, and love. It's a time to celebrate their achievements, mourn their misfortunes, and marvel at a world that has such people in it.

Newsmakers. Notable conclusions included those for John du Pont, 72, member of the Delaware familial dynasty, who died at the Laurel Highlands state prison near Somerset while serving a sentence for murder; Mark Madoff, 46, son of convicted finance fraud Bernie Madoff; and fashion designer Alexander McQueen, 40. Porn king Bob Guccione, 79, went to the final penthouse. Three female icons of World War II also passed into peace: Miep Gies, 100, a Dutch woman who helped hide Anne Frank and her family; Geraldine Doyle, 86, the model for Norman Rockwell's famous "Rosie the Riveter" poster; and Edith Shain, 91, who said she was the nurse getting kissed by a sailor in the famous photo of VJ Day celebration.

And J. Bruce Llewellyn, 82, one of the country's most successful black businessmen - majority shareholder in the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co. - went to the next level.

Politics. Pittsburgh-area Rep. John Murtha, 77, joined the ever-growing celestial legislature, along with Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, 92, and former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, 86. Former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig, 85, joined the shade cabinet, and forceful diplomat Richard Holbrooke, 69, eased shut his portfolio.

Cancer took Elizabeth Edwards, 61, but not before she inspired millions. Longtime cartoonist Paul Conrad, 92, put the cap on his ink bottle.

All who value civil rights celebrated Dorothy Height, 98, who grew up in Rankin, Pa., and Benjamin Hooks, 85, minister, lawyer, and longtime NAACP leader.

Sports. George Steinbrenner, 80, gruff owner of the New York Yankees, took his place in the luxury boxes with basketball god John Wooden, 99; Olympic Committee strongman Juan Antonio Samaranch, 89; baseball fireballer Bob Feller, 92; sparkplug manager Sparky Anderson, 76; and, of course, Philadelphia's beloved Hall of Famer, Robin Roberts, 83.

And Manute Bol, 7-foot-7 Sudanese shot-blocker and popular 76er, skyed for his last tip at 47.

Movies. The moving image moved on. Gloria Stuart (Titanic) made it to 100. Italian auteur Dino De Laurentiis, 91, moved to the ultimate Dino cittá. Olympic documentarian Bud Greenspan broke the tape at 84. Arthur Penn, 88, Philly-born director and producer on stage (Wait Until Dark) and screen (Bonnie and Clyde), made his exit, as did French romantic Eric Roehmer, 89, and director Blake Edwards, 88, of the Pink Panther romps.

Tony Curtis, 85, may now have to explain things to both Marilyn Monroe and Adolf Hitler. Dennis Hopper, 74, rode easy into the sunset. Kevin McCarthy, 96, is finally safe from the body-snatchers. And surely Leslie Nielsen, 84, whose name was not Shirley, is in a place of eternal laughter. Heroic Patricia Neal, 84; pensive-eyed Jill Clayburgh, 66; cute Dorothy Provine, 75; and regal Jean Simmons, 80, joined sparkling Lynne Redgrave, 67, and her brother Corin, 70.

Radio. Both audio and video bade adieu to many stalwarts. Daniel Schorr, 93, longtime NPR commentator, now joins the rest of the fabled Edward R. Murrow team, of which he was the last remainder. Fred Foy, 89, radio hall of famer and narrator of the Lone Ranger, said "Hi-Yo, Silver!" for good.

Television. Producer David L. Wolper (Roots) closed his season at 82. Edwin Newman, 91, now transcends split infinitives, and James Kilpatrick (60 Minutes), 89, need no longer debate. Long-running soap queen Helen Wagner, 91 (As the World Turns), ended her run. Art Linkletter, 97, can play before his best audience. So can Barbara Billingsley, 94, everybody's June Cleaver, and John Forsythe (Bachelor Father), 92, everybody's dad. Peter Graves, 83, and Robert Culp, 79, solved their ultimate mysteries. (In a bizarre trifecta, Graves, Billingsley, and Nielsen were all in the 1980 movie Airplane!) Fess Parker (Davy Crockett), 85, and Pernell Roberts (Adam Cartwright in Bonanza), 81, galloped over the next rise. James MacArthur, 72, the original "Danno," can close his book. Dixie Carter, 70, is free of designing women, and Gary Coleman, 42, is now beyond diff'rence.

And let us remember Meinhardt Raabe, 94, the Munchkin coroner in Wizard of Oz, who pronounced the Wicked Witch of the East "really most sincerely dead," now beyond the clutches of witches forever more.

Music. Henryk Górecki, 76, whose Symphony No. 3, or Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, is one of the best-known classical works written since 1950, now becomes pure music. So do versatile virtuoso, teacher, and activist Billy Taylor, 89, classy jazz pianist Hank Jones, 91, and singer/actress Abbey Lincoln, 80. And elegant, stunning Lena Horne, 92, leaves any stormy weather far behind.

Philadelphia's music world entrusted several of its brightest lights to the firmament. Trudy Pitts, 78, Hammond B3 genius, joined two former members of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes: Teddy Pendergrass, 59, who went on to become a throaty, solo heartthrob; and baritone Bernie Wilson, 64. Eddie Fisher, 82, crooner and mate to Debbie Reynolds and then Elizabeth Taylor, was from Philadelphia, too.

And Solomon Burke, 70, West Philly-born soulmaster and man of God, will now ever sing in praise.

Many and varied were the voices that now sing across the water. Joan Sutherland, 83, the operatic soprano known as "La Stupenda"; fabulous mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett, 79; Kate McGarrigle, 63, of folk duo the McGarrigle Sisters; Teena Marie, 54, soul-pop crossover pioneer; Jimmy Dean, 81, country chanteur and shah of sausage; Johnny Maestro, 70, lead guy for the Crests, the Del-Satins, and The Brooklyn Bridge ("The Worst That Could Happen"); Doug Fieger, 57, who sang "My Sharona" with the Knack; and Don Van Vliet, 69, better known as blues-prog genius Captain Beefheart, will make a very interesting octet, especially when they sing along with bandleader Mitch Miller, 99.

And songwriter Bobby Hebb, 72 ("Sunny"), is where the dark days are done and the bright days are here.

Literature. Reclusive J.D. Salinger, 91, Valley Forge Military Academy grad, author of Catcher in the Rye, and creator of the Glass family, need flee fame no longer. Portuguese Nobel Prize-winning novelist José Saramago (Blindness) made a period, at 87, as did chronicler of New York haute-monders Louis Auchincloss, 92.

Among poets, the verse is now rounded for superb Lucille Clifton, 73; National Book Award-winner Ai Ogawa, 62; and piquant British satirist Peter Porter, 81.
Great thinkers also completed their thoughts, including critic Frank Kermode, 90; foreign-affairs essayist Tony Judt, 62; and political theorist Howard Zinn, 87.

Cleveland's unclassifiable graphic novelist Harvey Pekar (American Splendor), 70, filled out his caption. Eric Segal, 72, the classics prof who wrote Love Story, need never say sorry again.

And if they need an etiquette expert in the next vale over, they now have one in longtime columnist Elizabeth Post, 89.

Fittingly, Lorene Yarnell, 66, half of the mime team Shields and Yarnell, gestures forward eternally . . . to all of us.

Contact staff writer John Timpane at 215-854-4406,, or