Archive: Lauren Wiseman
Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 10/19/2009
The Daily Goodbye
Good morning and happy Monday.
With all the talk of swine flu and vaccines, I found the obituary on Ruth L. Kirschstein, 83, a pathologist who helped increase the safety of the polio and measles vaccines, timely and interesting. In addition to this work, Dr. Kirschstein was the first woman appointed as an NIH institute director and was one of the first to respond to the AIDS epidemic.
In more local news, former Congressman and director of the U.S. Mint, Jay W. Johnson (D-Wisc.), 66, died Saturday. The Washington resident also was a former television news anchor in Green Bay, Wisc., and later a coin consultant.
If you are into cars and toys you will appreciate the obituary on Donald Kaufman, who garnered a collection of more than 7,000 toy cars and trucks that he kept at his home in Pittsfield, Mass. His varied collection included vehicles of all kinds: taxicabs, ice trucks, dump trucks, fire engines, race cars and steam engines. Most of the cars actually worked.
Mr. Kaufman, who retired in 1981 as the as vice president of the KB Toys store chain, had just recently begun to auction his collection. Two auctions already have generated more than $7 million.
As football is always on my mind this time of year, the obituary on Cullen Bryant seems like a good one to point out. The former NFL running back was at the center of a legal case that tested the power of then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to regulate free agency. He also was a member of the LA Rams 1980 Super Bowl team and in 13 seasons with the league, scored a total of 23 rushing and receiving touchdowns.
I hope this is enough to get you started for the day. Please check back later in the day for more updates.
Posted at 8:08 AM ET, 10/ 5/2009
The Daily Goodbye
Grammy-winning singer Mercedes Sosa, an Argentine singer who often sang of the political struggles and turmoil of the Argentine people, died. Her politically infused songs earned her the nickname, the "voice of the voiceless." She released 70 albums over a career that spanned six decades and sang with musicians including Sting, Joan Baez and Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés.
Reinhard Mohn, who steered his family's business, Bertelsmann AG from a German book publisher to an international media company, has died at 88.
Also in media news, Alain Bernheim, a literary agent and producer who famously sued Paramount studios with Art Buchwald over the original rights to the film "Coming to America" starring Eddie Murphy, died at 88. The pair claimed that the movie was based on a treatment that Buchwald originally sold to the studio in 1983 about an African prince who leaves his homeland to find a wife. After a seven-year battle the pair received a settlement of $825,000.
Peg Mullen, a former Iowa farm wife who hounded the U.S. government about her sons death in Vietnam and later wrote the memoir, "Unfriendly Fire: A Mother's Memoir," has died. After her son Michael died at 25 near the South Vietnamese village of Tu Chanh, she began protesting the war and looking into the details behind Michael's death, caused by another U.S. soldier. She became one of the more notable war protesters of the day.
Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 09/18/2009
Who Will the Emmys Remember?
While many will gather around the tube on Sunday night, oohing and aahing over television celebrities on the red carpet and guessing which nominees will take home Emmy awards, we on the obituary desk at the Post are playing another game.
We would like to know which celebrities who passed this year (and there were a lot this summer!) will be memorialized on the Sunday evening telecast (8 p.m. on CBS if interested.)
But there will be more I am sure.
Please play along with us and write us with your best guesses.
Enjoy the show!
Posted at 9:14 PM ET, 09/14/2009
Spotlight: Patrick Swayze
Say it ain't so. Patrick Swayze, the hunky, sexy, smooth-talking dancer from that iconic film, "Dirty Dancing," has died. I've watched the movie hundreds of times. Heck, I even owned the soundtrack (on a cassette no less.) Tell me, what 13-year-old girl didn't want to be swept onto the dance floor by bad-boy Johnny Castle after they proclaimed "Nobody puts Baby in the corner."
While Swayze's career was hardly full of A-list roles, I grew up on his movies. "The Outsiders," "Red Dawn," "Youngblood," "Point Break," and "Ghost." While today I have refined my movie taste, I loved watching these movies. I have seen them all repeatedly. And Swayze was good in these films. He was what you wanted him to be in a cheesy drama.
So, will you forget Swayze wrapped around Demi Moore in "Ghost" as she attempts to mold clay with "Unchained Melody" playing in the background? Have you not seen the end of "Point Break" when Swayze's character sacrifices himself to catch the killer wave during the storm of the century?
Share with us your favorite Swayze movie moments and thoughts on yet another celebrity who has died this summer. We would love to hear from you.
Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 09/ 2/2009
The Sweet Sound of Gospel
Today I wrote the obituary for Marie Knight, a gospel singer with a powerful voice who during the late 1940s and 50s teamed up with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, an influential gospel singer who blurred the lines between gospel music, R&B and the blues.
While Knight was not as well-known as Tharpe, she had an amazing voice. While she had some crossover hits in the 1950s and 60s, she was mainly a gospel singer and retreated back to her roots during the later years of her life.
But in 2002, she made a comeback, recording on a Tharpe tribute album and in 2007 recorded her first solo album since the late 1970s.
Most days in the office I don't actually have an excuse to bop my head around listening to music. Today was an exception. And while I am hardly religious, recordings of Knight singing had me tapping my feet, wishing I were hanging in the gospel tent at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Please turn your volume up real loud and take a listen. Let us know what you think. Will you perhaps purchase a Marie Knight recording?
See the videos on the next page....
For us on the obituary desk, there is always an exciting story to tell. In today's Post, Adam Bernstein wrote the obituary for Chris Connor, a 1950's jazz singer who helped define the genre with her smokey sound. She herself said, "You either have it or you don't have it."...
By Lauren Wiseman | September 1, 2009; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)
Celebrity deejay DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Michael Goldstein, was found dead earlier today in his SoHo apartment from an apparent drug overdose, according to the New York Post. He was 36. He may have been best known for working the celebrity club scene, dating starlets including Nicole...
By Lauren Wiseman | August 28, 2009; 09:02 PM ET | Comments (14)
This summer marks the 40th anniversary of some monumental events, both good and bad. In 1969, we saw the first moon landing followed by the hippie music festival, Woodstock, which helped define a generation. Senator Edward Kennedy saw scandal with the Chappaquiddick incident and the Stonewall riots in NYC marked...
By Lauren Wiseman | August 9, 2009; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (5)
Maura Tierney, whose role as Dr. Abby Lockhart on the medical drama, "ER," ended last year, is undergoing medical evaluation for an unspecified illness, according to NBC. The actress was set to star in a new NBC drama, "Parenthood," slated to premiere on Sept. 23. The network has ceased production...
By Lauren Wiseman | July 13, 2009; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (0)
Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was not the only controversial figure to make obituary headlines today. On Saturday, music executive Allen Klein, who once managed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and was later sued by his clients for his shrewd business acumen, died Saturday in Manhattan. He was...
By Lauren Wiseman | July 6, 2009; 06:00 PM ET | Comments (0)
Steve McNair, former quarterback for the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, was found shot dead in downtown Nashville, according to a report on ESPN.com. At the end of the 1999 football season he led the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV, the only appearance in the franchise's history. McNair orchestrated a...
By Lauren Wiseman | July 4, 2009; 05:24 PM ET | Comments (0)
The aftermath of Michael Jackson's death is so intriguing. I have to admit, I just can't get enough. It's becoming addicting and I promise, I will focus on something else soon. In the meantime though, People.com has reported that Colony Capital, the investment firm with a 50 percent stake in...
By Lauren Wiseman | July 2, 2009; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)
She wasn't known for her fancy shoe collection, like her predecessor's wife. She was more humble than that. Rather, she was a widowed housewife turned people's president. And today, her beloved country is praying for her health. Corazon Aquino, 76, the first woman president of the Philippines who held that...
By Lauren Wiseman | July 1, 2009; 01:32 PM ET | Comments (0)
Since last Thursday it's been all Michael Jackson all the time. The sudden, unexpected news of his death has riveted the public. Newspapers, magazines, websites, and the 24-hour news networks are overloaded with all things MJ. Yes we know, he was the King of Pop. He transformed the music video....
By Lauren Wiseman | July 1, 2009; 06:10 AM ET | Comments (7)
In most cases, when a well known person dies, his or her obituary is written, perhaps accompanied by an appreciation, and then we move on to the next story. But as we have seen over the weekend, and will continue to see in the coming days and weeks, the Michael...
By Lauren Wiseman | June 29, 2009; 01:06 PM ET | Comments (0)
The Los Angeles Times reported at 3:15 p.m., Pacific time, that Michael Jackson is dead at age 50. The Times attributed the information to city and law enforcement sources. He had been rushed to a hospital earlier in the afternoon by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics and was reportedly in...
By Lauren Wiseman | June 25, 2009; 05:48 PM ET | Comments (2)
Venerable entertainer, Ed McMahon, best known as Johnny Carson's sidekick for 30 years on "The Tonight Show," died this morning in Los Angeles. He may be the most well known sidekick of all time and while other late-night variety shows copied the format none imitated the Carson/McMahon success. Carson's replacement...
By Lauren Wiseman | June 23, 2009; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (7)
Hustler magazine owner and founder, Larry Flynt, was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital on Saturday, moaning in pain. His condition remains a mystery. The publishing mogul, whose media empire includes the magazine, novelty shops and a gentleman's club, is paralyzed from the waist down, the result of a...
By Lauren Wiseman | June 22, 2009; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (2)
Celebrities chronicling cancer seem all the rage. In May, NBC aired a documentary, Farrah's Story, which followed actress Farrah Fawcett's battle with anal cancer. And now 2002 Survivor: Africa winner, Ethan Zohn, is keeping a video dairy for People.com of his treatment for a rare form of Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Zohn,...
By Lauren Wiseman | June 18, 2009; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (2)
Jack Cardiff, the British-born Academy-Award winning cinematographer who became one of the most accomplished cinematographers of his generation, died at 94. He worked with directors including Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston and actors such as Marilyn Monroe, who called him "the best in the world." Famed Hollywood director, Martin...
By Patricia Sullivan | April 22, 2009; 01:41 PM ET | Comments (0)