Published: September 27, 2008
Paul Newman, one of the last of the great 20th-century movie stars, died Friday at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 83.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Paul Newman in 2006. More Photos »





September 28, 2008    

Warner Brothers/Seven Arts

In the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke,” a pivotal scene captured Paul Newman’s charm. More Photos >





The cause was cancer, said Jeff Sanderson of Chasen & Company, Mr. Newman’s publicists.
If Marlon Brando and James Dean defined the defiant American male as a sullen rebel, Paul Newman recreated him as a likable renegade, a strikingly handsome figure of animal high spirits and blue-eyed candor whose magnetism was almost impossible to resist, whether the character was Hud, Cool Hand Luke or Butch Cassidy.
He acted in more than 65 movies over more than 50 years, drawing on a physical grace, unassuming intelligence and good humor that made it all seem effortless.
Yet he was also an ambitious, intellectual actor and a passionate student of his craft, and he achieved what most of his peers find impossible: remaining a major star into a craggy, charismatic old age even as he redefined himself as more than Hollywood star. He raced cars, opened summer camps for ailing children and became a nonprofit entrepreneur with a line of foods that put his picture on supermarket shelves around the world.
Mr. Newman made his Hollywood debut in the 1954 costume film “The Silver Chalice.”
Stardom arrived a year and a half later, when he inherited from James Dean the role of the boxer Rocky Graziano in “Somebody Up There Likes Me.” Mr. Dean had been killed in a car crash before the screenplay was finished.
It was a rapid rise for Mr. Newman, but being taken seriously as an actor took longer. He was almost undone by his star power, his classic good looks and, most of all, his brilliant blue eyes. “I picture my epitaph,” he once said. “Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown.”
Mr. Newman’s filmography was a cavalcade of flawed heroes and winning antiheroes stretching over decades. In 1958 he was a drifting confidence man determined to marry a Southern belle in an adaptation of “The Long, Hot Summer.” In 1982, in “The Verdict,” he was a washed-up alcoholic lawyer who finds a chance to redeem himself in a medical malpractice case.
And in 2002, at 77, having lost none of his charm, he was affably deadly as Tom Hanks’s gangster boss in “Road to Perdition.” It was his last onscreen role in a major theatrical release. (He supplied the voice of the veteran race car Doc in the Pixar animated film “Cars” in 2006.)
Few major American stars have chosen to play so many imperfect men.
As Hud Bannon in “Hud” (1963) Mr. Newman was a heel on the Texas range who wanted the good life and was willing to sell diseased cattle to get it. The character was intended to make the audience feel “loathing and disgust,” Mr. Newman told a reporter. Instead, he said, “we created a folk hero.”
As the self-destructive convict in “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) Mr. Newman was too rebellious to be broken by a brutal prison system. As Butch Cassidy in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) he was the most amiable and antic of bank robbers, memorably paired with Robert Redford. And in “The Hustler” (1961) he was the small-time pool shark Fast Eddie, a role he recreated 25 years later, now as a well-heeled middle-aged liquor salesman, in “The Color of Money” (1986).
That performance, alongside Tom Cruise, brought Mr. Newman his sole Academy Award, for best actor, after he had been nominated for that prize six times. In all he received eight Oscar nominations for best actor and one for best supporting actor, in “Road to Perdition.” “Rachel, Rachel,” which he directed, was nominated for best picture.
“When a role is right for him, he’s peerless,” the film critic Pauline Kael wrote in 1977.
“Newman is most comfortable in a role when it isn’t scaled heroically; even when he plays a bastard, he’s not a big bastard — only a callow, selfish one, like Hud. He can play what he’s not — a dumb lout. But you don’t believe it when he plays someone perverse or vicious, and the older he gets and the better you know him, the less you believe it. His likableness is infectious; nobody should ever be asked not to like Paul Newman.”
But the movies and the occasional stage role were never enough for him. He became a successful racecar driver, winning several Sports Car Club of America national driving titles. He even competed at Daytona in 1995 as a 70th birthday present to himself. In 1982, as a lark, he decided to sell a salad dressing he had created and bottled for friends at Christmas. Thus was born the Newman’s Own brand, an enterprise he started with his friend A. E. Hotchner, the writer. More than 25 years later the brand has expanded to include, among other foods, lemonade, popcorn, spaghetti sauce, pretzels, organic Fig Newmans and wine. (His daughter Nell Newman runs the company’s organic arm.) All its profits, of more than $200 million, have been donated to charity, the company says.
Much of the money was used to create a string of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, named for the outlaw gang in “Butch Cassidy.” The camps provide free summer recreation for children with cancer and other serious illnesses. Mr. Newman was actively involved in the project, even choosing cowboy hats as gear so that children who had lost their hair because of chemotherapy could disguise their baldness.
Several years before the establishment of Newman’s Own, on Nov. 28, 1978, Scott Newman, the oldest of Mr. Newman’s six children and his only son, died at 28 of an overdose of alcohol and pills. His father’s monument to him was the Scott Newman Center, created to publicize the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It is headed by Susan Newman, the oldest of his five daughters.
Mr. Newman’s three younger daughters are the children of his 50-year second marriage, to the actress Joanne Woodward. Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward both were cast — she as an understudy — in the Broadway play “Picnic” in 1953. Starting with “The Long, Hot Summer” in 1958, they co-starred in 10 movies, including “From the Terrace” (1960), based on a John O’Hara novel about a driven executive and his unfaithful wife; “Harry & Son” (1984), which Mr. Newman also directed, produced and helped write; and “Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” (1990), James Ivory’s version of a pair of Evan S. Connell novels, in which Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward played a conservative Midwestern couple coping with life’s changes.
When good roles for Ms. Woodward dwindled, Mr. Newman produced and directed “Rachel, Rachel” for her in 1968. Nominated for the best-picture Oscar, the film, a delicate story of a spinster schoolteacher tentatively hoping for love, brought Ms. Woodward her second of four best-actress Oscar nominations. (She won the award on her first nomination, for the 1957 film “The Three Faces of Eve,” and was nominated again for her roles in “Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” and the 1973 movie “Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams.”)
Mr. Newman also directed his wife in “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” (1972), “The Glass Menagerie” (1987) and the television movie “The Shadow Box” (1980). As a director his most ambitious film was “Sometimes a Great Notion” (1971), based on the Ken Kesey novel.
In an industry in which long marriages might be defined as those that last beyond the first year and the first infidelity, Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward’s was striking for its endurance. But they admitted that it was often turbulent. She loved opera and ballet. He liked playing practical jokes and racing cars. But as Mr. Newman told Playboy magazine, in an often-repeated quotation about marital fidelity, “I have steak at home; why go out for hamburger?”
Beginnings in Cleveland
Paul Leonard Newman was born on Jan. 26, 1925, in Cleveland. His mother, the former Teresa Fetzer, was a Roman Catholic who turned to Christian Science. His father, Arthur, who was Jewish, owned a thriving sporting goods store that enabled the family to settle in affluent Shaker Heights, Ohio, where Paul and his older brother, Arthur, grew up.
September 27, 2008    
A Magnetic Titan of Hollywood

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Paul Newman with his wife, Joanne Woodward, in 2002 outside the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Conn. More Photos >


Teresa Newman, an avid theatergoer, steered her son toward acting as a child. In high school, besides playing football, he acted in school plays, graduating in 1943. After less than a year at Ohio University at Athens, he joined the Navy Air Corps to be a pilot. When a test showed he was colorblind, he was made an aircraft radio operator.
After the war Mr. Newman entered Kenyon College in Ohio on an athletic scholarship. He played football and acted in a dozen plays before graduating in 1949.
Arthur Newman, a strict and distant man, thought acting an impractical occupation, but, perhaps persuaded by his wife, he agreed to support his son for a year while Paul acted in small theater companies.
In May 1950 his father died, and Mr. Newman returned to Cleveland to run the sporting goods store. He brought with him a wife, Jacqueline Witte, an actress he had met in summer stock. But after 18 months Paul asked his brother to take over the business while he, his wife and their year-old son, Scott, headed for Yale University, where Mr. Newman intended to concentrate on directing.
He left Yale in the summer of 1952, perhaps because the money had run out and his wife was pregnant again. But almost immediately, the director Josh Logan and the playwright William Inge gave him a small role in “Picnic,” a play that was to run 14 months on Broadway. Soon he was playing the second male lead and understudying Ralph Meeker as the sexy drifter who roils the women in a Kansas town.
Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward were attracted to each other in rehearsals of “Picnic.” But he was a married man, and Ms. Woodward has insisted that they spent the next several years running away from each other.
In the early 1950s roles in live television came easily to both of them. Mr. Newman starred in segments of “You Are There,” “Goodyear Television Playhouse” and other shows.
He was also accepted as a student at the Actors Studio in New York, where he took lessons alongside James Dean, Geraldine Page, Marlon Brando and, eventually, Ms. Woodward.
Then Hollywood knocked. In 1954 Warner Brothers offered Mr. Newman $1,000 a week to star in “The Silver Chalice” as the Greek slave who creates the silver cup used at the Last Supper. Mr. Newman, who rarely watched his own films, once gave out pots, wooden spoons and whistles to a roomful of guests and forced them to sit through “The Silver Chalice,” which he called the worst movie ever made.
His antidote for that early Hollywood experience was to hurry back to Broadway. In Joseph Hayes’s play “The Desperate Hours,” he starred as an escaped convict who holds a family hostage. The play was a hit, and during its run, Jacqueline Newman gave birth to their third child.
On his nights off Mr. Newman acted on live television. In one production he had the title role in “The Death of Billy the Kid,” a psychological study of the outlaw written by Gore Vidal and directed by Arthur Penn for “Philco Playhouse”; in another, an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s short story “The Battler,” he took over the lead role after James Dean, who had been scheduled to star, was killed on Sept. 30, 1955.
Mr. Penn, who directed “The Battler,” was later sure that Mr. Newman’s performance in that drama, as a disfigured prizefighter, won him the lead role in “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” again replacing Dean. When Mr. Penn adapted the Billy the Kid teleplay for his first Hollywood film, “The Left Handed Gun,” in 1958, he again cast Mr. Newman in the lead.
Even so, Mr. Newman was saddled for years with an image of being a “pretty boy” lightweight.
“Paul suffered a little bit from being so handsome — people doubted just how well he could act,” Mr. Penn told the authors of the 1988 book “Paul and Joanne.”
By 1957 Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward were discreetly living together in Hollywood; his wife had initially refused to give him a divorce. He later admitted that his drinking was out of control during this period.
With his divorce granted, Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward were married on Jan. 29, 1958, and went on to rear their three daughters far from Hollywood, in a farmhouse on 15 acres in Westport, Conn.
That same year Mr. Newman played Brick, the reluctant husband of Maggie the Cat, in the film version of Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” earning his first Academy Award nomination, for best actor. In 1961, with “The Hustler,” he earned his second best-actor Oscar nomination. He had become more than a matinee idol.
Directed by Martin Ritt
Many of his meaty performances during the early ’60s came in movies directed by Martin Ritt, who had been a teaching assistant to Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio when Mr. Newman was a student. After directing “The Long, Hot Summer,” Mr. Ritt directed Mr. Newman in “Paris Blues” (1961), a story of expatriate musicians; “Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man” (1962); “Hud” (1963), which brought Mr. Newman a third Oscar nomination; “The Outrage” (1964), with Mr. Newman as the bandit in a western based on Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”; and “Hombre” (1967), in which Mr. Newman played a white man, reared by Indians, struggling to live in a white world.
Among his other important films were Otto Preminger’s “Exodus” (1960), Alfred Hitchcock’s “Torn Curtain” (1966) and Jack Smight’s “Harper” (1966), in which he played Ross Macdonald’s private detective Lew Archer.
In 1968 — after he was cast as an ice-cold racecar driver in “Winning,” with Ms. Woodward playing his frustrated wife — Mr. Newman was sent to a racing school. In midlife racing became his obsession. A Web site — — details his racing career, including his first race in 1972; his first professional victory, in 1982; and his co-ownership of the Newman/Haas Indy racing team, which won eight series championships.
A politically active liberal Democrat, Mr. Newman was a Eugene McCarthy delegate to the 1968 Democratic convention and appointed by President Jimmy Carter to a United Nations General Assembly session on disarmament. He expressed pride at being on President Richard M. Nixon’s enemies list.
When Mr. Newman turned 50, he settled into a new career as a character actor, playing the title role — “with just the right blend of craftiness and stupidity,” Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times — of Robert Altman’s “Buffalo Bill and the Indians” (1976); an unscrupulous hockey coach in George Roy Hill’s “Slap Shot” (1977); and the disintegrating lawyer in Sidney Lumet’s “Verdict.”
Most of Mr. Newman’s films were commercial hits, probably none more so than “The Sting” (1973), in which he teamed with Mr. Redford again to play a couple of con men, and “The Towering Inferno” (1974), in which he played an architect in an all-star cast that included Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.
After his fifth best-actor Oscar nomination, for his portrait of an innocent man discredited by the press in Sydney Pollack’s “Absence of Malice” (1981), and his sixth a year later, for “The Verdict,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1986 gave Mr. Newman the consolation prize of an honorary award. In a videotaped acceptance speech he said, “I am especially grateful that this did not come wrapped in a gift certificate to Forest Lawn.”
His best-actor Oscar, for “The Color of Money,” came the next year, and at the 1994 Oscars ceremony he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The year after that he earned his eighth nomination as best actor, for his curmudgeonly construction worker trying to come to terms with his failures in “Nobody’s Fool” (1994). In 2003 he was nominated as best supporting actor for his work in “Road to Perdition.” And in 2006 he took home both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for playing another rough-hewn old-timer, this one in the HBO mini-series “Empire Falls.”
Besides Ms. Woodward and his daughters Susan and Nell, he is survived by three other daughters, Stephanie, Melissa and Clea; two grandchildren; and his brother.
Mr. Newman returned to Broadway for the last time in 2002, as the Stage Manager in a lucrative revival of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” The performance was nominated for a Tony Award, though critics tended to find it modest. When the play was broadcast on PBS in 2003, he won an Emmy.
This year he had planned to direct “Of Mice and Men,” based on the John Steinbeck novel, in October at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut. But in May he announced that he was stepping aside, citing his health.
Mr. Newman’s last screen credit was as the narrator of Bill Haney’s documentary “The Price of Sugar,” released this year. By then he had all but announced that he was through with acting.
“I’m not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to,” Mr. Newman said last year on the ABC program “Good Morning America.” “You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that’s pretty much a closed book for me.”
But he remained fulfilled by his charitable work, saying it was his greatest legacy, particularly in giving ailing children a camp at which to play.
“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
SOURCE: The New York Times:

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) – Paul Newman, the Oscar-winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as “Hud,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Color of Money” — followed by a second act as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario — has died. He was 83.

Newman died Friday at his farmhouse near Westport following a long battle with cancer, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

In May, Newman dropped plans to direct a fall production of “Of Mice and Men” at Connecticut’s Westport Country Playhouse, citing unspecified health issues. The following month, a friend disclosed that he was being treated for cancer and Martha Stewart, also a friend, posted photos on her Web site of Newman looking gaunt at a charity luncheon.

But true to his fiercely private nature, Newman remained cagey about his condition, reacting to reports that he had lung cancer with a statement saying only that he was “doing nicely.”

As an actor, Newman got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become one of the world’s most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers. He was nominated for Academy Awards 10 times, winning one Oscar and two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including “Exodus,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Verdict,” “The Sting” and “Absence of Malice.”

Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His co-stars included Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and, most famously, Robert Redford, his sidekick in “Butch Cassidy” and “The Sting.”

“There is a point where feelings go beyond words,” Redford said Saturday. “I have lost a real friend. My life — and this country — is better for his being in it.”

Newman sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood’s rare long-term marriages. “I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?” Newman told Playboy magazine when asked if he was tempted to stray.

They wed in 1958, around the same time they both appeared in “The Long Hot Summer.” Newman also directed her in several films, including “Rachel, Rachel” and “The Glass Menagerie.”

With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers. New York Times critic Caryn James wrote after his turn as the town curmudgeon in 1995’s “Nobody’s Fool” that “you never stop to wonder how a guy as good-looking as Paul Newman ended up this way.”

“Sometimes God makes perfect people,” fellow “Absence of Malice” star Sally Field said, “and Paul Newman was one of them.”

Newman had a soft spot for underdogs in real life, giving tens of millions to charities through his food company and setting up camps for severely ill children. Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon’s “enemies list,” one of the actor’s proudest achievements, he liked to say.

A screen legend by his mid-40s, he waited a long time for his first competitive Oscar, winning in 1987 for “The Color of Money,” a reprise of the role of pool shark “Fast Eddie” Felson, whom Newman portrayed in the 1961 film “The Hustler.”

In the earlier film, Newman delivered a magnetic performance as the smooth-talking, whiskey-chugging pool shark who takes on Minnesota Fats — played by Jackie Gleason — and becomes entangled with a gambler played by George C. Scott. In the sequel — directed by Scorsese — “Fast Eddie” is no longer the high-stakes hustler he once was, but an aging liquor salesman who takes a young pool player (Cruise) under his wing before making a comeback.

He won an honorary Oscar in 1986 “in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft.” In 1994, he won a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.

His most recent academy nod was a supporting actor nomination for the 2002 film “Road to Perdition.” One of Newman’s nominations was as a producer; the other nine were in acting categories. (Jack Nicholson holds the record among actors for Oscar nominations, with 12; actress Meryl Streep has had 14.)

As he passed his 80th birthday, he remained in demand, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the 2005 HBO drama “Empire Falls” and providing the voice of a crusty 1951 car in the 2006 Disney-Pixar hit, “Cars.”

But in May 2007, he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he had given up acting, though he intended to remain active in charity projects. “I’m not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to,” he said. “You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that’s pretty much a closed book for me.”

Newman also turned to producing and directing. In 1968, he directed “Rachel, Rachel,” a film about a lonely spinster’s rebirth. The movie received four Oscar nominations, including Newman, for producer of a best motion picture; and Woodward, for best actress. The film earned Newman the best director award from the New York Film Critics Circle.

In the 1970s, Newman, admittedly bored with acting, became fascinated with auto racing, a sport he studied when he starred in the 1969 film, “Winning.” After turning professional in 1977, Newman and his driving team made strong showings in several major races, including fifth place in Daytona in 1977 and second place in the Le Mans in 1979.

“Racing is the best way I know to get away from all the rubbish of Hollywood,” he told People magazine in 1979.

Newman later became a car owner and formed a partnership with Carl Haas, starting Newman/Haas Racing in 1983 and joining the CART series. Hiring Mario Andretti as its first driver, the team was an instant success, and throughout the last 26 years, the team — now known as Newman/Haas/Lanigan and part of the IndyCar Series — has won 107 races and eight series championships.

“Paul and I have been partners for 26 years and I have come to know his passion, humor and, above all, his generosity,” Haas said. “His support of the team’s drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary. His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him.”

Despite his love of race cars, Newman continued to make movies and continued to pile up Oscar nominations, his looks remarkably intact and his acting becoming more subtle — nothing like the mannered method performances of his early years, when he was sometimes dismissed as a Brando imitator.

Newman, who shunned Hollywood life, was reluctant to give interviews and usually refused to sign autographs because he found the majesty of the act offensive. He also claimed that he never read reviews of his movies.

“If they’re good you get a fat head and if they’re bad you’re depressed for three weeks,” he said.

In 1982, Newman and his Westport neighbor, writer A.E. Hotchner, started a company to market Newman’s original oil-and-vinegar dressing. Newman’s Own, which began as a joke, grew into a multimillion-dollar business selling popcorn, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce and other foods. All of the company’s profits are donated to charities. By 2007, the company had donated more than $175 million, according to its Web site.

“We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person,” Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman’s Own Foundation, said in a statement.

In 1988, Newman founded a camp in northeastern Connecticut for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He went on to establish similar camps in several other states and in Europe.

He and Woodward bought an 18th-century farmhouse in Westport, where they raised their three daughters, Elinor “Nell,” Melissa and Clea.

Newman had two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, and a son, Scott, from a previous marriage to Jacqueline Witte. Scott died in 1978 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. After his only son’s death, Newman established the Scott Newman Foundation to finance the production of anti-drug films for children.

“Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special,” his daughters said in a written statement. “Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity.”

Newman was born in Cleveland, the second of two boys of Arthur S. Newman, a partner in a sporting goods store, and Theresa Fetzer Newman. He was raised in the affluent suburb of Shaker Heights, where he was encouraged him to pursue his interest in the arts by his mother and his uncle Joseph Newman, a well-known Ohio poet and journalist.

Following World War II service in the Navy, he enrolled at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he got a degree in English and was active in student productions.

He later studied at Yale University’s School of Drama, then headed to work in theater and television in New York, where his classmates at the famed Actor’s Studio included Brando, James Dean and Karl Malden.

Newman’s breakthrough was enabled by tragedy: Dean, scheduled to star as the disfigured boxer in a television adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Battler,” died in a car crash in 1955. His role was taken by Newman, then a little-known performer.

Newman started in movies the year before, in “The Silver Chalice,” a costume film he so despised that he took out an ad in Variety to apologize. By 1958, he had won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for the shiftless Ben Quick in “The Long Hot Summer.”

In December 1994, about a month before his 70th birthday, he told Newsweek magazine he had changed little with age.

“I’m not mellower, I’m not less angry, I’m not less self-critical, I’m not less tenacious,” he said. “Maybe the best part is that your liver can’t handle those beers at noon anymore,” he said.

Newman is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and his older brother Arthur.

Films of Paul Newman
“The Silver Chalice,” 1955.
“Somebody Up There Likes Me,” 1956.
“The Rack,” 1956.
“The Helen Morgan Story,” 1957.
“Until They Sail,” 1957.
“The Long Hot Summer,” 1958.
“The Left-Handed Gun,” 1958.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” 1958.
“Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!” 1958.
“The Young Philadelphians,” 1959.
“From the Terrace,” 1960.
“Exodus,” 1960.
“The Hustler,” 1961.
“Paris Blues,” 1961.
“Sweet Bird of Youth,” 1962.
“Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man,” 1962.
“Hud,” 1963.
“A New Kind of Love,” 1963.
“The Prize,” 1963.
“What a Way to Go,” 1964.
“The Outrage,” 1964.
“Lady L,” 1965.
“Harper,” 1966.
“Torn Curtain,” 1966.
“Hombre,” 1967.
“Cool Hand Luke,” 1967.
“The Secret War of Harry Frigg,” 1968.
“Rachel Rachel,” (director) 1968.
“Winning,” 1969.
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” 1969.
“WUSA,” 1970.
“Sometimes a Great Notion,” 1971.
“Pocket Money,” 1972.
“The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” (director), 1972.
“The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,” 1972.
“The Mackintosh Man,” 1973.
“The Sting,” 1973.
“The Towering Inferno,” 1974.
“The Drowning Pool,” 1975.
“Silent Movie,” (cameo), 1976.
“Buffalo Bill and the Indians … or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson,” 1976.
“Slap Shot,” 1977.
“Quintet,” 1979.
“When Time Ran Out,” 1980.
“Fort Apache The Bronx,” 1981.
“Absence of Malice,” 1981.
“The Verdict,” 1982.
“Harry and Son,” 1984.
“The Color of Money,” 1986.
“Fat Man and Little Boy,” 1989.
“Mr. & Mrs. Bridge,” 1990.
“The Hudsucker Proxy,” 1994.
“Nobody’s Fool,” 1994.
“Twilight,” 1998.
“Message in a Bottle,” 1999.
“Where the Money Is,” 2000.
“Road to Perdition,” 2002.
“Our Town,” 2003.
“Empire Falls,” 2005.
“Cars,” (voice) 2006.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

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One of a kind. Last of a long-line of greats. Mr. Newman, you now join the pantheon of Hollywood stars who had grace, elan, verve and substance—–over style.
There should be a place in the heavens for you and the many like you who have passed from us. There should be constellations for those such as yourself, constellations that are born in your passing so that we may always be able to look heavenward for your continued presence, among the Stars.
Requiem en pacem, Mr. Newman.
Requiem in pacem.
“Hud”: An Unprincipled Man:

DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. – A medical helicopter carrying victims of a traffic accident crashed early Sunday after reporting bad weather, killing four of the five people aboard, authorities said.

It was the deadliest medevac helicopter accident in Maryland since the State Police began flying those missions nearly 40 years ago.

A veteran pilot, a flight paramedic, a county emergency medical technician and one of the traffic accident victims died in the crash, authorities said.

An 18-year-old woman also injured in the traffic accident survived. She was in critical condition at a hospital.

“This is a devastating tragedy for the families of all the victims,” State Police Superintendent Terrence Sheridan said.

Killed in the crash were pilot Stephen Bunker, 59; flight paramedic Mickey Lippi, 34; emergency medical technician Tanya Mallard, 39; and 18-year-old Ashley Youngler.

Youngler and Jordan Wells, both of Charles County, were involved in the traffic accident.

It was foggy and rainy in the area about the time of the crash. The helicopter was headed on a roughly 25-mile trip from the traffic accident north to the hospital when the crew radioed just before midnight Saturday that they wanted to land at their hangar at Andrews Air Force Base because of bad weather. Ambulances were sent to the base, which is about halfway between the accident site and Prince George’s county hospital, but the helicopter never arrived.

The medevac disappeared from radar and officials lost radio contact. Two hours later, a police officer found the wreckage on a trail in a wooded area of Walker Mill Regional Park, about seven miles north of the base.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating.

A recent state legislative audit faulted the police agency for failing to document maintenance needs and costs for its fleet of 12 twin-engine helicopters. Nine of them are more than 18 years old, including the second-oldest Trooper 2 that crashed Sunday. The helicopter, purchased in 1989, had an inspection Wednesday, Sheridan said.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

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September 28, 2008
Eric Kayne Chronicle
George Helmond, 72, died Sept. 12 while trying to escape the storm in his pickup.
At least 29 residents of the Houston-Galveston area died as a direct or indirect result of Hurricane Ike. The Houston Chronicle is telling their stories in an occasional series.
George Helmond
No one knows for certain why George Helmond decided to brave rising water and flee his home on Galveston Island as Hurricane Ike lashed his neighborhood with furious winds and pounding rain.
Friends and relatives agree that Helmond, 72, would still be alive if he had remained in his house on Sydnor Lane. Instead, he drove his pickup into rapidly rising water Sept. 12 as Ike roared ashore.
Neighbors discovered Helmond’s body in his pickup the next day a few hundred yards from his house. His body lay between the driver and passenger seats. The front windshield was shattered on the driver’s side.
The coroner ruled his death a drowning.
His friends have their theories about why Helmond drove his pickup into the maw of the storm, but no one really understands how such a rash decision could be made by a master electrician who rose to positions of prominence in the local Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, El Mina Shrine Temple and Elks Lodge.
Leslie Nolan, a friend of Helmond’s since high school, and his wife had already decided to weather the storm in their home. Like Helmond, Nolan calls himself a BOI, an acronym used by islanders that means Born on the Island.
Both had always refused to evacuate during hurricanes.
The two attended Ball High School and graduated together from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers apprentice school in 1957.
Don Hanson, a friend of 37 years who evacuated to the Dallas area ahead of Ike, spoke with Helmond several times by cell phone Friday morning as the storm waters gradually rose throughout the day.
Helmond was an avid hunter and fisherman and he and Hanson had often fished behind their homes in Sydnor Bayou, which on this day was swelling with storm tide.
When Hanson suggested that Helmond wade over to Hanson’s house three doors down and get a life vest, Helmond replied, “I was born on the island and I’ll die on the island.”
Warren Finlay
There were no strangers in Warren Finlay’s life.
The 61-year-old accountant was a regular helper to his Willis neighbors, whether it was mowing lawns or mending fences, said his wife, Louise Finlay. And he was committed to his church, St. Joseph Catholic Church in New Waverly, where he worked on the finance committee and refurbished the rectory.
“Although he was born and raised in Canada,” Louise Finlay said, “he had a heart the size of Texas — always thinking of everyone else before himself. … There were no strangers in this life.”
Finlay, who loved gardening and redecorating, was injured Sept. 14 when he fell off a 20-foot ladder while clearing tree branches from his roof. He died a day later in Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
“He was big on family values,” said his son, Ian. “And he was very much the provider. And very supportive of our education, as well as his own.”
Finlay had retired after 38 years with Toronto Dominion Bank, but was working as the plant accountant at Trinity Industries in Navasota, Louise Finlay said.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Finlay moved to the United States in 1982 to live in Atlanta, and then to the Houston area in 1987. The family moved to Willis six years ago.
“We moved here from the Houston area because he loved fishing,” his widow said. “You quite often would find him up at 4:30 in the morning, getting ready to see if we could put some fish on the table for dinner.”
Gary Schweinle
When Hurricane Ike started to make its presence felt in Chambers County, Gary Schweinle of Anahuac climbed onto his metal roof to secure it from the whipping winds.
His electric drill put in a screw that nicked a utility line. That electrified the roof and electrocuted Schweinle when he grabbed an antenna to steady himself in a gust of wind, family members said.
His bride of two months, Tracy, a registered nurse, was unable to revive him. He died at the age of 52 on Sept. 12, the day before Ike’s landfall.
“He had a heart of gold,” said sister-in-law Nancy Schweinle, of Baytown. “He was a welder, the kind of go-to guy who can fix anything. That’s why this surprised us.”
His first wife, Lynn, died in a freak accident in 2001 from a “runaway barbecue pit,” the sister-in-law said, explaining that a trailer hitch came loose and the barbecue broadsided her vehicle.
Schweinle met his second wife at a dance class, SSQQ, where they practiced ballroom and western dance steps.
“They loved dancing together,” his sister-in-law said. “And sitting on the porch swing drinking coffee on his 14-acre horse ranch in Anahuac.”
Schweinle also is survived by daughters Heather Hagan of Houston, Valarie Schweinle of Winnie, Kimberly Schweinle of Sugar Land, Amanda Schweinle and Kayla Kirkland, both of Anahuac; son, James Allan Kirkland IV of North Carolina; his mother, Joy Runnels and her husband, Pete, of Brazoria; sister, Mona Nesbitt of Lubbock; brother, Leonard Schweinle of Crosby; and one granddaughter.
German Garcia Rojas and Francisco Javier Garcia
The two friends had a lot in common. They worked for the same Houston house contractor, they were both single and roomed together, and were from the same city in Mexico.
And shortly after Hurricane Ike swept over Houston, the two young immigrants ended up dying together. Both were overcome by fumes from a portable generator they brought inside the mobile home they shared because they were afraid it might be stolen.
German Garcia Rojas, 32, who lived in a trailer at 14100 Del Papa in southeast Houston, was worried someone might break in and steal all his belongings. So he convinced his roommate, Francisco Javier Garcia, 20, to leave a hotel a neighbor had rented and return to the trailer after the storm passed.
“It was a sad, sad deal,” said Greg Compean, owner of Compean Funeral Home, who handled arrangements to have the roommates’ bodies shipped back to Mexico last week. “They were afraid of their generator being stolen, so they put it inside the trailer house with the windows boarded up. Needless to say, they didn’t wake up in the morning and were not found until a couple of days later.”
Rojas was found on Sept. 15th in the bathroom of his mobile home in north Houston. A neighbor said he had a cell phone in one hand. Garcia, was found dead in the kitchen.
A neighbor, Arcelia Favela, 36, rented a hotel room for the two men to stay with some of her teenage children who stayed in Houston during the storm.
“German was a very good friend of ours,” said Favela, adding she knew him for three years. “We used to go have dinner with him, or go to church every Sunday. Most days he’d come to my house to talk. He talked about his family back in Mexico, his job.”
Sheila C. Wood
Sheila C. Wood, 76, of Huntsville died in a house fire on the morning of Sept. 13, as Ike passed through Walker County.
Her husband, Robert B. Wood, told firefighters he was outside with their son when he noticed the house burning, and tried in vain to save Sheila, a mother of five, grandmother of six, and great-grandmother of seven.
Jacynthia Wood, 55, described her mother as compassionate and generous, with a “tremendous sense of humor” and an abiding “love for the Lord.”
She said her mother was an exceptional cook who wrote up her own family cookbook, including knock-out recipes for German chocolate cake and special homemade chili (the secret ingredient was Coca Cola), Jacynthia said.
No one else could replicate them, she added.
“She’s had several friends who’ve tried to make her recipes, but they never can get it to just come out right,” Jacynthia said. “You gotta put the spices and the seasonings just right and put in the extra T.L.C.”
Wood also is survived by sons Robert and Marc Wood and daughters Frances Mayfield and Janice Jordan.
James B. Devine
James B. Devine drowned Sept. 13, after refusing to leave his family’s home in the coastal town of San Leon as the hurricane approached Galveston Bay.
The Houston native was 76. His daughter, Anne Devine Massicott, said she and her sister, Stephanie, urged him to leave before the storm, but he would not budge.
“He was a very hard-headed man,” Devine-Massicott said, but also very much loved, particularly by his nine grandchildren.
“He will be missed,” she said.
Devine graduated from Lamar High School, then joined the Marines and served in the Korean War. After returning from Korea, Devine earned a law degree from the University of Texas and became a respected oil and gas attorney and landman, family members said.
He also is survived by daughters Theresa Kroll and Camella Devine and son Pat Devine.
Saundra Lee Tykol
Saundra “Sassy” Lee Tykol, a master gardener in Huntsville, died Sept. 13 when a tree crashed through the roof of her family’s home during the hurricane.
In her obituary, her family members wrote that Tykol, 66, left to “tend the gardens in heaven.”
Her daughter, Hettie Stein, said her father came up with the nickname “Sassy,” and the family found it a perfect fit.
“She was really tiny, like 4-foot-9,” she said. “That’s why we always called her Sassy. She was a ball of energy.”
A San Mateo, Calif., native, Tykol was married to her husband, George for more than 47 years. She was a homemaker for much of her life, but also an avid gardener, and member and past-president of the Walker County Master Gardener’s Association, Stein said.
She had four grandchildren whom she loved very much, Stein said, and was a wonderful mother to her and her brother, Matthew Tykol.
“She was my best friend,” Stein said.
The family plans to donate Tykol’s greenhouse full of orchids, her pride and joy, to the Master Gardener’s Association, which has set up a scholarship fund in her name.
Lisa Anne Weaver
Lisa Anne Weaver had made up her mind to put her education degree to use after a career in the oil and gas accounting business.
After losing her job a few years ago and spending some time as a substitute teacher, Weaver, 58, was set to start her new career.
When power went out on her cherished Tomball home, which she had built, Weaver lit some candles and, apparently, fell asleep.
The house caught fire and Weaver died of smoke inhalation, along with her pets — two Yorkies and a cat, said her brother, David Weaver of Pinehurst.
“She wanted to teach elementary,” he said. “She had been teaching middle school math” while substitute teaching.
After getting a degree in music with a minor in education from Houston Baptist University, Lisa Weaver learned a complex computer program which allowed her to work in the oil and gas business, her brother said.
“She was incredibly smart,” he said.
Weaver loved music, especially the voice of Josh Groban. David Weaver said he plans to incorporate Groban’s music at his sister’s funeral.
Services tentatively are scheduled for Oct. 6 at Klein Funeral Home. Weaver will be buried at Klein Cemetery next to her mother, Mary K. Jones.
Dung Duc Nguyen
Dung Duc Nguyen died of a heart attack on Sept. 15, after cleaning up storm debris at his home on several acres at the end of a dead-end street in eastern Pearland.
The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office reported that Nguyen, 40, died of ischemic heart disease, a pre-existing health condition, but included his death in a list of Ike-related deaths.
Police reported that he complained of shortness of breath and chest pain after working to clear his property.
He left his native Vietnam with his parents and six siblings in 1975.
The family lived for a while in Florida before moving to the Pasadena and the Houston area. He graduated from Dobie High School and attended San Jacinto College.
He worked for an air conditioning company and helped his mother operate a small electronics firm his father started.
He was married and had no children.
He and his wife lived with his mother on property his parents bought as a retirement home.
Joel Smith
Ten-year-old Joel Smith was an energetic boy who loved doing simple things, including camping and hunting with his father and brother and learning Bible scripture with his mother.
”He had a split family but he enjoyed the best of both worlds,” said his older half-sister, Jamie Bordelon.
Joel was the first victim of Hurricane Ike. The fourth-grader at Decker Prairie Elementary in Magnolia died Sept. 12, the day before the storm hit. His father, Nathan Smith, was cutting down a tree in the back of their west Montgomery County home in preparation for the storm. Joel ran in the path of the falling tree and it struck his head.
Nathan Smith, a professional tree cutter and sculptor, said his son liked to make others happy.
”He played with kids of all ages,” Smith said. “He liked to have fun, laughing around and telling jokes. We called him little Jim Carrey.”
The red-headed youngster also enjoyed his father’s craft of wood sculpting and was working on some of his own projects, including a double-neck Gibson guitar he designed, Smith said.
”It was turning out real good,” he said. “I cut it out and he was sanding it out.”
He played the harmonica and was learning to play the guitar. He also liked to sing.
Bordelon said Joel was always thoughtful and willing to help others. He often doted on Bordelon’s 12-year-old autistic son and 3-year-old daughter, showing them how to do new things and playing with them, she said.
”He just had that personality,” Bordelon said. “He wanted to make sure they were taken care of and weren’t left out.”
Robert Frederick Dort
Robert Frederick Dort, 75, fell in love with Galveston when he moved to the island three years ago.
“He was a self-made man that followed his own rules,” said his wife Joan Quinn. The couple lived in Atlanta before coming to Galveston.
Dort was found dead in his home on Sept. 20, a week after Hurricane Ike struck the island. The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office said he died from complications from heart disease.
His stepdaughter, Gail Peterson of Galveston, said Dort wanted to stay on the island to experience a hurricane.
“He said these three years in Galveston were the happiest times in his life,” Peterson said. “He loved it. He walked and walked and walked and walked.”
Peterson said Dort served two years in the Army and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War.
She said he worked for various electronic companies, including Motorola and Intel.
Dort has three children from a previous marriage to Marian Dort of Phoenix. They are Barbara Dort of St. George, Utah; Tom Dort of North Carolina; and Robert Lee Dort of California.
Charles Skiles Lively
Charles Skiles Lively left Bowling Green, Ky., in 1951 to pursue an education and career in music.
His musical journey eventually brought him to Houston, where he served as organist for South Main Baptist Church for 46 years.
“He was fantastic,” said his niece, Jeannine Kennedy Thames of Bowling Green. “He was extremely gifted.”
Lively, 79, moved to Galveston in 1998 after he retired from the church, family members said. He died Sept. 15, in League City, where he was taken to flee from Hurricane Ike. The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office said he died from complications from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
The son of the late Fred H. Lively and Delia Skiles Lively, he was born Feb. 24, 1929, in Bowling Green. He graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1946 and served in the Army from 1954 to 1956.
Lively graduated from Western Kentucky University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his masters in music. He studied music and organ in Syracuse, N.Y.
“He was a very beloved brother,” said his sister, Helen Lively Stone of Bowling Green.
Thomas Coker, South Main’s minister of music, said the church will have a memorial service for Lively at a later date. Coker said Lively regularly played for two Sunday services as well as other church functions.
“He was a real organist in many Baptist circles,” Coker said. “He was a consummate gentleman. He was a gentle soul.”
Manuel Moreno Jr.
The family of a Houston toddler sought refuge in Dallas from Hurricane Ike, but they found tragedy there instead.
The toddler, Manuel Moreno Jr., 17 months old, was with his parents and other relatives Sept. 14 outside an east Dallas restaurant. Police said he ran from his mother and into a nearby gas station parking lot in the 7000 block of Military Parkway. He was then struck and killed by an SUV.
His parents, Manuel Moreno Sr., and Ysenia Perez, were inconsolable, the boy’s aunt, Marilou Moreno said. His mother wailed and his father didn’t wish to speak with anyone, she added.
He was a very good, playful baby, Moreno said.
Charges were not filed against the driver after the incident was ruled an accident.
The family has lived in Houston for about four years after moving here from their native Mexico. The couple has another son who is 4 months old, Moreno said.
Joshua Jacob Aguirre
Joshua Jacob Aguirre died Sept. 13 at his northeast Houston home of carbon monoxide toxicity.
He was 4.
Aguirre was found in a bedroom with three siblings at his home in the 1100 block of Cresline in northeast Houston. A gas generator was found inside the house near the back door, police said.
Roman Aguirre, the boy’s father, who was at work and unable to contact his family, asked his brother to check on them. Joshua, his stepmother, and three other children were found suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The four survivors were treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Joshua was pronounced dead at his home.
Kaven David “Red” Randle, Rekesha Hopkins and Rogers Smith III
A man, his girlfriend and her half-brother died of carbon monoxide poisoning in southwest Houston in Fort Bend County on Sept. 18.
The deaths happened at the home of Kaven David “Red” Randle, 43, and Rekesha DeUnshay Hopkins, 35, in the 4900 block of Ridgecreek.
Rogers Smith III, 29, of Beaumont, died while visiting the couple.
Randle worked for 11 years detailing chrome and other parts of commercial trucks. He learned the skill from his mother, Georgia Mae Randle of Beaumont.
“He loved his job,” she said. “He wouldn’t have traded it for a million dollars.”
Randle and Hopkins bred pit bulls and sold them from the home, his mother said. Two dogs died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Randle was raised in Beaumont and graduated from Westbrook High School and Stephen F. Austin State University, where he played football, his mother said.
“He was a very peaceful, very respectful, very jolly young man,” she said.
He was separated from his wife, Schronda Randle, his mother said. He leaves a son, Jeremie, and a daughter, Kendra.
Hopkins worked at as a phlebotomist at a Baytown medical facility, Randle’s mother said.
“She was a very smart girl,” Georgia Mae Randle said. “As long as she had something to read in her hands, she was happy. A lot of times, she was reading medical journals.”
Rogers Smith III is survived by his parents, Rogers Smith Jr. and Winona.
Jose Luis Rosas-Davalos
Jose Leon was awakened by the persistent barking of the family dog, and thought at first someone was trying to break into the family’s apartment.
Inside the darkened residence at 6161 Reims, Leon quickly realized a portable generator he had left running inside had filled the air with poisonous fumes. His son, Jose Luis Rosas-Davalos, 18, appeared to be sleeping but he could not wake him.
”My husband called 911, and they came and gave him emergency treatments,” said the victim’s mother, Elizabeth Davalos, who was vacationing in North Carolina when Hurricane Ike hit Houston. ”He died at the hospital.”
She said her husband was unaware of the danger of carbon monoxide fumes, as were many in the Houston area who became ill due to the exhaust from portable generators used after the hurricane.
“Unfortunately, they put the generator in the apartment,” Davalos said. “What happened is before the storm, people didn’t know how much danger there was. Now, there has been a lot of discussion. And also, people didn’t read the labels.”
Davalos said her son was working as a carpenter in Houston for about a year, trying to save money to begin his college education in Mexico and become a computer engineer.
“What can you expect a mother to say — he was a special child,” Davalos said. “He was happy, he was thinking about his future, and he worked hard. He never had any problems with the police. He wanted to save his money, and go back to Mexico. “
Paulo Mares
Paulo Mares, 54, woke up early the morning Hurricane Ike blew into Houston. He went out to his garage, and started up an emergency generator.
His family later found him unconscious in the enclosed garage.
“They say the generator was inside the garage, and the doors were closed,” said a relative of Mares, who asked not to be identified. “When he got up at dawn, he went out there in the garage and he turned it on.
“And since the garage was all closed up, he just stayed there asleep.”
Mares, who lived in the 40200 block of Kitty Dale in Houston, worked as a gardener at a local golf course and had lived in Houston for more than 10 years, his relative said.
He was originally from the Mexican state of Guanajuato, but was a legal resident who came to Houston more than a decade ago. He and his wife have grown children who reside in Mexico, the relative said.
Yong Seng Teo
Yong Seng Teo, manager of the Sandpiper Motel, was found Sept. 14 inside the motel on Galveston’s seawall.
He was 49.
Teo, who had to be identified through fingerprints, died of natural causes that went untreated because of the hurricane, the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office concluded.
His body remains at the medical examiner’s office because authorities have been unable to contact his relatives. John Florence, the office’s chief investigator, contacted consulate officials in Taiwan to locate his family members there.
John A. Manley
John A. Manley died Sept. 15 of chronic renal failure when the storm kept him from dialysis treatment.
He was 66.
The League City man was remembered during a service Friday at Veterans Funeral Services, across from the Houston Veterans Affairs National Cemetery.
Carolyn Williams
Carolyn Williams, a retired health-care worker, died Sept. 15 of renal failure when the storm kept her from dialysis treatment.
She was 64.
Williams was born in Matagorda County on March 8, 1944.
The League City woman was known for her love of her grandchildren and dedication to family functions, according to an obituary in the Galveston County Daily News.
Her survivors include: sons Seautry “JR” Harkless and John Williams; daughters Savannah Taylor, Bonita Harkless, Rotonda Harkless, Brenda Jackson, Leslie Amos and Miracle Smith.
She was buried Tuesday at Bethlehem Cemetery in Cedar Lake.
Reported by Rosanna Ruiz, Harvey Rice, Ruth Rendon, Bill Murphy, David Ellison, Susan Carroll, Renée C. Lee, James Pinkerton, Richard Stewart and Cindy Horswell.
SOURCE:  The Houston Chronicle:
Published: September 22, 2008
Correction Appended
Nancy Hicks Maynard, who was the first black woman to be a reporter at The New York Times and with her husband bought and published The Oakland Tribune, still the only major metropolitan daily to have been owned by African-Americans, died Sunday in Los Angeles. She was 61 and lived in Santa Monica, Calif.
Olga Shalygin/Associated Press

Nancy Hicks Maynard, 1992.




The cause was multiple organ failure, her daughter, Dori J. Maynard, said.
Ms. Hicks Maynard, who was also a co-founder of an institute that has trained hundreds of minority journalists, was a 21-year-old former copy girl and reporter for The New York Post when she was hired by The Times in September 1968. Almost immediately, she was sent to Brooklyn to help cover the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school decentralization controversy, which led to a citywide teachers’ strike, accusations of racism and anti-Semitism, and eventually the creation of local school districts throughout the city.
By less than a year, Ms. Hicks Maynard preceded Charlayne Hunter-Gault as the first black woman to become a reporter at The Times.
In 1974, at a black journalists’ convention, Ms. Hicks met Robert C. Maynard, a columnist for The Washington Post. Within a year they were married; they quit their jobs and in 1977, with seven other journalists, founded the Institute for Journalism Education. It was renamed the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education after Mr. Maynard died in 1993.
Now based in Oakland, Calif., the institute has trained hundreds of minority journalists in the last 31 years. Ms. Hicks Maynard was the institute’s first president and a member of its board until 2002. As other organizations began similar programs for minority reporters, the Maynard Institute began shifting its focus to training editors and newsroom managers.
In 1983, the Maynards bought the financially ailing Oakland Tribune from the Gannett Company. For nearly a decade, they were co-publishers, bringing a high degree of diversity to the newsroom. Mr. Maynard died a year after declining revenues impelled the Maynards to sell the paper to the Alameda Newspaper Group.
Ms. Hunter-Gault, who became a correspondent for the Public Broadcasting Service, said Monday that Ms. Hicks Maynard was “a groundbreaker” at The Times at a time when “we were trying to effect change in the portrayal of black people.”
“Nancy helped us survive even the inadvertent racism,” Ms. Hunter-Gault said. “And the thing about Nancy was that when so many of us were preoccupied with doing stories about black people, she paved the way in a new direction.”
In her first few years at The Times, Ms. Hicks Maynard covered race riots, black student takeovers at Columbia and Cornell and a memorial for Robert F. Kennedy. She later wrote for the paper’s education and science news departments, specializing in health-care coverage. Her subjects included the complexities of Medicare, an explanation of the arrangement of whiskers on a lion’s face and coverage of the Apollo space missions. In 1973, she spent a month in China, analyzing its medical system.
“One of her stories was on the use of acupuncture for surgical operations while the patients were wide awake and feeling no pain,” Ms. Hunter-Gault said of her China coverage. “This kind of reporting went off in a whole other direction for black reporters.”
Nancy Alene Hall was born in Harlem on Nov. 1, 1946. Her father, Alfred Hall, known as Al, was a noted jazz bassist and her mother, the former Eve Keller, was a nurse.
Ms. Hicks Maynard’s first husband, Daniel Hicks, died in the early 1970s. Besides her mother and her daughter, she is survived by her partner, Jay T. Harris; two sons, David and Alex Maynard; a sister, Barbara Guest; and a brother, Al Hall.
Ms. Hicks Maynard received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Long Island University in 1966. She first became interested in journalism as a teenager. When a fire destroyed her former elementary school in Harlem, she became outraged at the way her community was described by the news media. She decided she could make a difference.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 25, 2008
An obituary on Tuesday about Nancy Hicks Maynard, a newspaper publisher and journalism educator, included a number of errors.
Ms. Hicks Maynard was 21, not 23, when she became the first black woman reporter for The New York Times , in 1968.
One of the events she covered early in her career with The Times was a tribute dinner for Robert F. Kennedy after his death; she did not cover his funeral.
Ms. Hicks Maynard and Robert C. Maynard, her husband, were joined by seven other journalists in 1977 in starting a journalism institute for minorities; the Maynards did not found it alone.
The organization’s original name was the Institute for Journalism Education — not the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, as it was renamed after her husband died in 1993.
And The Oakland Tribune, which Ms. Hicks Maynard published with her husband, was sold to the Alameda Newspaper Group in October 1992, while her husband was still living — not after his death.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Houstonian Jesse Gloster was a pioneer in promoting Black American businesses
by Lynn Abram
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Setember 27, 2008
FAMILY PHOTO Obit. Family Photo
Jesse Gloster “believed in living life as fully as possible,” said daughter Janice Gloster.
Jesse Gloster, who for more than 30 years taught economics at Texas Southern University and was a leader in promoting African-American businesses, has died. He was 93.
Gloster was a founder of Riverside National Bank, the first bank in Houston owned by African-Americans. He also co-founded TSU Finance Corp., which fostered business development, primarily in Houston’s black community.
He devoured books, not only best-sellers and economics texts, but also such magazines as Newsweek, The Economist and National Geographic, said his daughter Janice Gloster, of Houston.
“My father had great vitality, boundless energy and believed in living life as fully as possible,” his daughter said. “He had a great love of people and encouraged them to make sensible decisions, not just economically but in terms of spirituality.”
Gloster was an avid sports fan who attended games of local teams, especially those at TSU, his daughter said.
Jesse Edward Gloster was born on April 15, 1915, in Ocala, Fla., the son of Loren Gloster, a farmer and Baptist minister, and Mattie Mosely Gloster, a teacher.
He attended public schools in Pittsburgh, Pa., and in 1941 earned a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He also lettered in basketball at Lincoln.
During World War II, Gloster served in the Army as a first lieutenant. He fought in the European theater and was wounded in combat, earning the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
After the war, Gloster earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of Pittsburgh.
He joined TSU in 1949, specializing in unemployment, insurance, minority banking and the economics of poverty. Gloster retired in 1982. His wife of 54 years, Norma Robinson Gloster, died in 2000.
Jesse Gloster died Sept. 18 in a Houston care center.
Survivors include three other daughters, Carol Léos of Reston, Va., Ingrid Regina Andrews of Houston, and Millie Mitchell of Sugar Land.
Services were held Thursday at St. Luke the Evangelist Episcopal Church, 3530 Wheeler. Burial was in Houston National Cemetery.
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle:

© 2008 The Associated Press

Sept. 29, 2008, 7:39AM

HOUSTON — Houston television news pioneer Ray Miller has died at the age of 89.
KPRC-TV in Houston reports its longtime news director and originator of “The Eyes of Texas” television program died Saturday after a lengthy battle with ill health. Miller was a member of the KPRC Radio staff when its owners, the Hobby family, bought KLEE-TV and changed its call letters to KPRC-TV. He served as the station’s news director during the 1960s and ’70s before retiring in 1979.
His reporters, including future Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, remember Miller as a demanding taskmaster with high standards.
Funeral is tentatively scheduled for Friday at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Houston.
His lone survivor is a son, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller of Houston.
Ray Miller
RAY MILLER begrudgingly accepted an appointment as Texas Historian with the Celestial Broadcasting System on the 27th of September 2008. A mere listing of his accomplishments and awards would obscure his core contribution: he was an oral historian for our age. Coming to television in its infancy, he selected the news as his medium, and became a local, statewide and national presence as News Director of KPRC Radio and KPRC TV for forty-two years. Few will remember that he began his radio broadcasting career in 1938 in his native Ft. Worth. His news was informed, not sensational, respectful of the past, anchored in scholarship and truth. At the mention of his name, many will remember his wiry intensity, his black horn rim glasses, and his elegant speaking voice – narrating our history and the culture of our times. No yarn-spinner, Ray Miller was a different kind of story teller. He knew the inside story. He took the time to learn and to listen. Not known for his tolerance, he nevertheless mentored many professionals who credit his guidance and leadership as pivotal to the growth of American broadcast journalism. Ray hired Houston’s first female television journalist, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. She remembered that Ray “impacted me in many ways: to strive for excellence, to be the very best, never take no for an answer.” Dan Rather said Ray was so competitive that “he would not let you see the face on the dime he used to call in a story” but was so honest “you could shoot dice with him over the phone.” Former Channel 2 and Channel 11 anchor Steve Smith called him “by far the best teacher I ever had in this business” and says he is “still trying to satisfy Ray Miller.” Though formal and keeping a newsman’s distance, he also found the relevance in small moments and places, best seen in his famous “Eyes of Texas” television series. He was loved and respected by thousands who took his Harris County bus tours. Shy and reserved, he was lucky to select a most elegant and socially graceful wife in Veronica. An exacting if distant father, he was very proud of his two sons, Geoff and Gray, who shared his love of history. After over fifty years in broadcast journalism, Ray retired and joined the staff of his friend Steve Radack, Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner, where he worked until his retirement in 2007. History caught up with Ray, but not before his contributions were honored with several significant awards. He was recognized with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Houston. The Texas Association of Broadcasters hailed Miller as a “Pioneer Broadcaster.” While at KPRC, he won a Peabody Award, the broadcast equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize. He was a Knight of San Jacinto. And at a delightful public celebration Commissioner Radack dedicated Ray Miller Park in West Houston. The Texas Legislature recently honored him as a “Texas Legend.” Ray can still be heard orienting jury panels for Harris County courts. His ten books can be read by those interested in exploring Texas. We honor his new calling, his new desk, his new assignment on the cusp of history and the news. Ray was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, the late Veronica Gray Miller, his parents, sisters Bette Miller and Pat Miller Hoera, brother Gene Miller, and son Geoffrey Miller. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Judge Gray Hampton Miller and Joanne Smaistrla Miller, their family: Shannon Miller Prendki and her husband, Joe Prendki; Christian Barrett Miller and his wife, Anne Walker Miller; great-granddaughters Elizabeth James Miller and Emmelene Gray Prendki, and a new great grandchild born today. The family is grateful to Ruby Jones for her support and assistance. A memorial service will be conducted at ten o’clock in the morning on Friday, the 3rd of October, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road in Houston. The family will gather for a private burial at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. It was his wish that there be no sad songs and that any remembrances be in the form of contributions to Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Geoffrey Miller Scholarship Fund, 8900 Bellaire Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77036. Those desiring to electronically share tributes or remembrances with the family may do so via the internet website of (making everlasting memories).

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Published: September 25, 2008
Connie Haines, a peppy, petite, big-voiced singer with a zippy, rhythmic style who most famously teamed up with Frank Sinatra as lead vocalists with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, then went on to a prolific career of her own, died on Monday in Clearwater Beach, Fla. She was 87.

Connie Haines in the 1940s.

The cause was myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease, said Roseanne Young, a friend.
Miss Haines made 200 recordings, including 24 records that sold more than 50,000 copies; regularly filled up prestigious nightclubs like the Latin Quarter in New York; and performed five times at the White House. Polls in music magazines in the 1940s rated her as one of the top female band singers.
While Sinatra specialized at the time in ballads and slow foxtrots, Miss Haines threw herself into rhythmic up-tempo tunes.
“Where did you learn to swing like that?” Dorsey asked when he first heard her at a club in New Jersey. “And when can you join my band?”
Her recordings including gospel, pop and soul, as well as big-band barnburners. The best-selling ones included “You Might Have Belonged to Another”; “Oh! Look at Me Now”; “What Is This Thing Called Love?”; and “Will You Still Be Mine?” A crowd favorite was “Snootie Little Cutie,” which often elicited ad libs from Sinatra.
She made the most of her sultry Southern accent, sometimes to Sinatra’s amusement. In her personalized rendition of “Let’s Get Away From It All,” she improvised, “We’ll spend a weekend in Dixie. I’ll get a real Southern drawl.”
Sinatra piped in, “Another one?”
Miss Haines appeared on the radio with Abbott & Costello, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Jack Benny, among others. On television she appeared with Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan, Eddie Cantor and Perry Como. Her work on Frankie Laine’s variety show drew particular note.
Her movies included her favorite, “Duchess of Idaho” (1950), with Esther Williams and Van Johnson.
Yvonne Marie Antoinette JaMais was born on Jan. 20, 1921, in Savannah, Ga., but grew up in Florida. Her mother, who taught voice and dance, pushed her talented daughter to excel.
At 4, Yvonne appeared at the Bijou Theater in Savannah in a “Saucy Baby” show. At 5, Baby Yvonne Marie won state contests in the Charleston dance in Georgia and Florida.
At 9 she won a talent contest sponsored by Uncle Ralph Feathers, who in the South ran the sort of amateur contests for which Major Bowes was famous. Before she turned 10, she parlayed that into a regular radio show on the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla., billed as Baby Yvonne Marie, the Little Princess of the Air. At 10 she appeared with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, and things accelerated even faster.
She won the actual Major Bowes contest in New York, and appeared on Fred Allen’s radio show. At 16 she was auditioning for a job in the Brill Building, headquarters of Tin Pan Alley. Harry James, the orchestra leader, happened to hear her and immediately hired her.
 But he asked her to change her name, saying she looked like a Connie. More pointedly, he said that if she used her full name, there would be no room for him on the marquee. At first she thought he had named her Ames, not Haines, and for a few days signed autographs that way.
After James ran into financial trouble, both singers ended up with Dorsey when he was adding a robustness and kick to his style, taking on an innovative new arranger, Sy Oliver, and six new vocalists. The others were Jo Stafford, who died on July 16, and the three-man vocal group the Pied Pipers. Miss Haines said that Dorsey taught her phrasing, how to take one big breath and let the words flow, she told The Tampa Tribune in 1998. He told her to always think of telling a story, of “acting to music.”
At one point when she was performing with Dorsey, she remembered, Sinatra saved her life. She was about to go on stage in Madison Square Garden when a smoker in a balcony tossed a match and set her ruffled tulle dress on fire. Sinatra threw his coat over her and fell on her, smothering the flames, she said.
Miss Haines’s marriage to Robert DeHaven, a World War II fighter ace who died in July, ended in divorce. She is survived by her sister, Barbara JaMais of Hemet, Calif.; her daughter, Kimberly Harlan of Prineville, Ore.; her son, Robert DeHaven Jr. of San Francisco; and her mother, Mildred JaMais of Clearwater, Fla., who is 109.
On Wednesday Miss Haines’s voice — still strong and swinging — could be heard on her answering machine. “I’ve got the world on a string,” she sang.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: September 25, 2008
Nappy Brown, a blues and R&B singer whose playful songs of the mid-1950s — filled with nonsense syllables, eccentric pronunciation and a heavy beat — had touches of early rock ’n’ roll style, died on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., where he lived. He was 78.
Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos

Nappy Brown in 2004.




The cause was respiratory failure, said Scott Cable, his friend and producer. Mr. Cable said that Mr. Brown, who had returned to recording and touring in recent years, suffered from various ailments since he collapsed in June at a festival in New Jersey.
Born Napoleon Culp, he borrowed his father’s surname, Brown. He had a deep, raw voice and a powerful delivery derived from gospel. In songs like “Don’t Be Angry” and “Piddily Patter Patter” (also known as “Pitter Patter”) he developed a driving but still light approach with a basic blues band and lots of wordplay.
In “Well Well Well Baby-La,” from 1955, his vocalizations seemed almost a kind of obscure pig Latin, as he added syllables in strategic spots to goose the rhythm: “Well-a well-a well-a baby-la.” He once said that he got the idea by listening to foreign-language radio stations.
While Mr. Brown’s songs enjoyed some success on the R&B charts, other, less idiosyncratic singers turned many of them into much bigger hits. Mr. Brown’s version of “Don’t Be Angry” got only as far as No. 25 on the pop charts, while a version by the Crew Cuts, a well-scrubbed Canadian quartet, reached No. 14. Patti Page also recorded “Piddily Patter Patter.”
One of Mr. Brown’s best-known songs, “(Night Time Is) The Right Time,” did not crack the R&B Top 40 when he sang it in 1957, but Ray Charles took it to No. 5 two years later.
In the mid-’50s Mr. Brown performed with Chuck Berry and others, but his style soon became eclipsed by rock, and in the 1960s he returned to gospel. He continued to sing while holding other jobs, like custodian or circus elephant handler, Mr. Cable said, and in the 1980s he began a career revival that continued sporadically for the rest of his life.
Last year Mr. Brown sang on “A Prairie Home Companion” and recorded an album with Mr. Cable, “Long Time Coming,” released by Blind Pig Records. That album was nominated for two Blues Music Awards, including best traditional blues album.
His survivors include two sons, Gerard and Joseph Culp; two daughters, Maggie and Katie Culp; and seven grandchildren.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: September 23, 2008
Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders, who early saw the political utility of not using his first name and went on to play significant roles in matters from the Kennedy assassination to the desegregation of Dallas schools, died Sunday in Dallas. He was 83.
Irwin Thompson/Dallas Morning News via Associated Press

Barefoot Sanders in 2005.



His death was announced by Chief Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
As a child, Judge Sanders bridled at his colorful moniker, actually the maiden name of his grandmother Dennie Barefoot. He preferred H. B., and, as such, was crowned Freckle King at the Texas State Centennial Celebration at age 11 in 1936. Only after graduating from high school did he decide Barefoot, however odd, was a name few would forget, and he made the most of it for the rest of his life, even if it meant new acquaintances seemed always to be gazing at his feet.
Barefoot Sanders went on to become a three-term state legislator, United States attorney for the Northern District, a high official in the Justice Department and the White House during the Johnson administration who helped push the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through Congress, and a federal judge for 28 years who steered Dallas schools through the long process of desegregation.
His résumé does not convey his whole story, in part because it does not tell how close he came to achieving other things. He lost a hotly contested campaign for Congress in 1958, and another for the United States Senate in 1972. President Lyndon B. Johnson twice nominated him for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but he was knocked out the first time by a legislative technicality, and the second time when the newly elected president, Richard M. Nixon, substituted his own candidate.
Judge Sanders walked among the legends who once bestrode Texas politics, men like Johnson, Sam Rayburn, Ralph Yarborough and John B. Connally. Later, he lost elections to Republicans, as the once Democratic state moved rightward.
Mr. Sanders managed Dallas County for the Democratic ticket of Senator John F. Kennedy and Mr. Johnson in 1960. In 1963, Mr. Sanders urged President Kennedy to cancel his campaign visit to Dallas because the atmosphere was “very hostile,” The Dallas Morning News reported in 2006.
He was a few cars behind the president’s car in the fatal motorcade. After the assassination, he personally found and delivered a federal judge, Sarah T. Hughes, to swear in Johnson as president on Air Force One.
Harold Barefoot Sanders Jr. was born on Feb. 5, 1925, in a Dallas young enough for little H. B. to raise chickens in the backyard. He had plenty of freckles, but spent days in the sun to cultivate a new crop for the state-fair contest. He first used the Barefoot name to political advantage when he ran for cheerleader at the University of Texas.
He returned to the university after serving in the Navy in World War II. He was elected head cheerleader and student body president, advertising his campaigns with white stenciled drawings of feet. He graduated from the University of Texas and its law school and joined his father’s law firm in 1950.
He served three terms in the Texas House in the 1950s, then ran for the United States House of Representatives in 1958. Even though his mother made thousands of foot-shaped sugar cookies to hand out, he lost to the incumbent Republican.
After Mr. Sanders helped Kennedy win Texas, the new president appointed him federal attorney in Dallas. In 1965, Mr. Sanders joined the Justice Department in Washington, where he was in charge of all United States attorneys and marshals. He moved to the White House as legislative counsel in 1967.
He returned to private practice after Johnson’s attempt to appoint him to the Washington appeals court failed. In 1972, he challenged Senator John G. Tower, a Republican — this time throwing 200,000 of his mother’s distinctive cookies into the fray — but was buried in the Nixon landslide.
He was appointed to the federal bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. As a federal judge for more than a quarter-century, including being chief judge of his court from 1989 to 1995, Judge Sanders wore a gold footprint pin on his judicial robes. His cases included overseeing the Dallas school desegregation case. He made most busing voluntary, ordering the building of attractive, effective magnet schools to lure students across neighborhood boundaries.
Judge Sanders is survived by his wife, the former Jan Scurlock; a sister; a brother; 4 children; and 10 grandchildren.
The sad day of the Kennedy assassination had what was almost a bit of Keystone Kops comedy, at least in retrospect. No one could find a copy of the president’s oath of office.
“I was looking for it — I think half the federal attorneys in the country were looking for it,” Judge Sanders said in the 2006 interview with The Dallas Morning News. “We were looking in the statute books, and all the time, there it was in the Constitution, pure and simple.”
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: September 25, 2008
Joseph Shenker, who as the first president of La Guardia Community College in New York was a leader in having students combine on-the-job experience with their studies, died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 68. For the last 13 years he was provost of the C. W. Post campus of Long Island University and lived near the campus in Brookville, N.Y.
Ruby Washington/The New York Times

Joseph Shenker in 1989.



The cause was complications of pulmonary fibrosis, said his wife, Susan Smyth Shenker.
At the age of 29, Dr. Shenker became the youngest president of a college in the City University of New York system, and one of the youngest in the nation, when he was appointed interim president of Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn in 1969.
The next year, The New York Times described how he had tried to enter a building at Kingsborough where students were registering for a new term but was stopped by a security guard who thought he was a student trying to cut in line. It took a few phone calls to verify that the young man with sideburns was, in fact, the college’s acting president.
Within a year, Dr. Shenker was named president of La Guardia, a newly created two-year college in an old factory in Long Island City, Queens. Under his guidance, La Guardia became the only college in the city to require its full-time students to hold jobs that blended with courses in their fields of interest. The policy, which gave students college credit for the jobs, is still in effect.
In his 18 years at La Guardia, Dr. Shenker saw the school’s enrollment grow to 16,000 full- and part-time students from 500; started a program for deaf adults; and opened an on-campus high school for students identified as potential dropouts.
From 1988 until 1995, Dr. Shenker was president of the Bank Street College of Education in New York. In 1995, he became provost of C. W. Post. In his 13 years there, undergraduate enrollment rose to 5,400 from 4,450, spurred in part by an infusion of foreign students. Dr. Shenker oversaw more than $84 million in construction on campus.
Born in Manhattan on Oct. 7, 1939, Joseph Shenker was the only child of George and Isabel Schwartz Shenker. His father, an immigrant from Russia, owned a shoulder-pad factory; his mother was a bookkeeper.
After graduating from Hunter College in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Dr. Shenker received his master’s degree in economics there in 1963. He received his doctorate in higher education administration from Columbia in 1969. By then he was an assistant to Albert H. Bowker, the chancellor of the City University at the time.
Besides his wife, Dr. Shenker is survived by four children, Deborah Singer, Karyn, Sarah and Jordan; and three grandchildren. His first marriage, to Adrienne Greene, ended in divorce.
Last month, La Guardia renamed its main campus building Joseph Shenker Hall.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: September 26, 2008
Marpessa Dawn, who played the beautiful, melancholic and doomed Eurydice in the classic 1959 Brazilian movie “Black Orpheus,” died on Aug. 25 at her home in Paris. She was 74.
Lopert Films

Marpessa Dawn in the 1959 Oscar winner “Black Orpheus.”




The cause was a heart attack, her daughter Dhyana Kluth said.
Ms. Dawn’s death followed by 41 days that of her “Black Orpheus” co-star, Bruno Melo, who played the title role. The family did not publicly announce the death until this week.
Directed by Marcel Camus and based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, “Orfeu Negro,” as it is called in Portuguese, brings together an innocent country girl, played by Ms. Dawn, and a trolley car motorman and gifted guitarist, portrayed by Mr. Melo. They meet amid the frenzy of Rio’s carnival and are soon swaying to a provocative samba among the crowds. But Eurydice is stalked by a man in a skeleton costume. Eventually, Orpheus finds her in the morgue. In the end, bearing her body in his arms, he falls to his death from a cliff.
Reviewing the film for The New York Times in 1959, Bosley Crowther wrote that Ms. Dawn conveys “forthright emotion.”
“A pretty, frank face and a gentle manner that suggest absolute innocence,” the review continued, “gather an aura of wistfulness about her that filters down into a melancholy mood.”
“Black Orpheus” became renowned for its soundtrack by the bossa nova legends Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá, with songs like “Manhã de Carnaval” and “A Felicidade.” It won the Palme d’Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for best foreign film in 1960.
Gypsy Marpessa Dawn Menor was born near Pittsburgh on Jan. 3, 1934. As a teenager, she moved to England, where she had bit parts on television, and later to France, where she worked as a governess and danced and sang in nightclubs.
After her role in “Black Orpheus,” Ms. Dawn appeared in several less successful movies and on French television. She also starred in several plays, including “Chérie Noire,” a comedy that toured France, Belgium, Switzerland, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
Ms. Dawn was married twice. Besides her daughter Ms. Kluth, she is survived by four other children and four grandchildren.
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Breno Mello passed away. Now, Ms. Dawn leaves us too. I was just a child when I saw their immortal film, “Orfeu Negro”, on televison.
In honor of them both, I think it is time to re-visit, “Black Orpheus”, and remember why I loved the film, and those two beautiful stars.
Requiem en pacem, Marpessa and Bruno.
Requiem en pacem.
“Orfeu Negro”: Rehearsing For Carnaval:


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3 responses to “IN REMEMBRANCE: 9-28-2008

  1. A hero of mine from boyhood. Beautiful as he was physically I was more attracted to his liberal thinking. He was an all round good guy and the world is a poorer place without him.

    Our thoughts are with his family.

  2. I totally loved Breno Mello and Marpessa Dawn.
    They became part of me.
    I hope their lives were good.
    Paul Newman was like a beacon of light.
    God Bless them all.

  3. He was a heartthrob of his day.

    He will be missed for sure!

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