IN REMEMBRANCE: 10-24-2010

MICHAEL TABOR, BLACK PANTHER WHO FLED TO ALGERIA

By DENNIS HEVESI
Published:
October 23, 2010
Michael Tabor, one of 13 Black Panther Party members acquitted in 1971 of
conspiring to bomb public buildings and murder police officers in New York City,
died on Oct. 17 in Lusaka, Zambia. He was 63.
October 24,
2010
John Sotomayor/The New York
Times
Michael
Tabor, left, with Huey P. Newton in 1970.
The cause was complications of several strokes, said Melvin McCray, a
friend and an adjunct professor at the Columbia University
Graduate School of Journalism who was producing a documentary about Mr. Tabor.
On May 13, 1971, Mr. Tabor and his co-defendants were found not guilty of
all charges of planning to bomb department stores, police stations, train
stations and the New York Botanical
Garden
in the Bronx and to murder police officers. Mr. Tabor, a
captain in the New York branch of the Panthers, was not in State Supreme Court
in Manhattan when the verdict was read. He and another defendant, Richard Moore,
had fled to Algeria four months into the eight-month trial — one of the longest
in New York history.
The prosecution’s case rested largely on the testimony of three undercover
agents who said they had heard the defendants plan the bombings and killings and
had attended classes where they were taught to shoot weapons and make bombs. In
a verdict that came after two hours of deliberation, the jury foreman said, “Not
guilty” 156 times.
The flight of Mr. Tabor and Mr. Moore came at a time of strife between the
East and West Coast factions of the Panther Party. Huey P. Newton, its supreme
commander, denounced the two men for abandoning their co-defendants. Mr. Tabor
said they had left out of fear for their lives, not because of the trial.
“I am overjoyed that the brothers are free,” he said from Algiers. “I
always said that the case was an attempted railroad and that the defendants’
rights were flagrantly violated.”
For a time, he and Mr. Moore were guests of the Algerian government, Mr.
McCray said, but they were eventually expelled. Mr. Tabor and his first wife,
Connie Mathews, who had been the party’s international coordinator, moved to
Zambia in 1972. Mr. Tabor became a writer on politics and culture for numerous
publications and a radio host in Zambia. “The old guard of African liberation
movements respected him as a freedom fighter,” Mr. McCray said.
Born in Harlem on Dec. 13, 1946, Michael Aloysius Tabor was one of two
children of Grace and Michael Tabor Sr. He joined the Panther Party when he was
19 and went by the name of a 19th-century Zulu king, Cetewayo.
Mr. Tabor, whose first wife died, is survived by his second wife, the
former Priscilla Matanda; his sister, Lorraine Tabor; a daughter; and three
sons.
“I often asked him if he would be interested in returning to the United
States,” Mr. McCray said, “but he adamantly said he would remain in
Africa.”
*********************************************************************************
MARION BROWN, FREE-JAZZ SAXAPHONIST
By PETER KEEPNEWS
Published: October 23, 2010
Marion Brown, a saxophonist whose lyrical, low-key style made him a
distinctive presence in the high-energy jazz avant-garde of the 1960s and ’70s,
died Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 79.
October 24,
2010
Alan Nahigian
Marion Brown
His death, in a hospice, was confirmed by his son, Djinji. Mr. Brown had
been treated for a variety of illnesses in recent years and had been living in
an assisted-living home in Hollywood, Fla.
Mr. Brown, whose main instrument was alto saxophone, was a key figure in
the movement that came to be known as free jazz, an approach to improvisation
that challenged conventional notions of harmony, rhythm, pitch and pretty much
everything else.
He first attracted wide attention as a member of the 11-piece ensemble
featured on John Coltrane’s
influential and controversial album “Ascension.” That album, recorded in 1965
and released in 1966, signaled Coltrane’s commitment to free jazz and, while it
drew as much criticism as praise, helped give legitimacy to what had been
largely an underground phenomenon.
By that time Mr. Brown had been participating in the avant-garde for a
while, having worked with the tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp (who introduced him
to Coltrane), the idiosyncratic pianist and bandleader Sun Ra and other
musicians who were pushing the boundaries of jazz. Mr. Brown soon began leading
sessions for ESP-Disk, ECM, Impulse and other labels, developing a style as
melodic as it was adventurous.
His most notable recordings were a trilogy of albums — “Afternoon of a
Georgia Faun,” “Geechee Recollections” and “Sweet Earth Flying” — on which he
evoked his Georgia roots. Reviewing all three for The New York Times in 1974,
Robert Palmer called them “an exemplary demonstration of how, in the new jazz
which is primarily a legacy of the 1960s, a thoughtful artist can explore a
‘subject’ through a variety of techniques, processes and formal disciplines.”
Marion Brown Jr. was born in Atlanta on Sept. 8, 1931. He studied music in
high school and, after serving in the Army and attending Clark College and
Howard University, moved to New York in 1962 and began his musical career in
earnest. In the 1970s he taught African and African-American music at Bowdoin College and
studied ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University.
Despite failing health, he remained intermittently active into the 21st century.
Mr. Brown’s marriage to Gail Anderson ended in divorce. In addition to his
son, he is survived by two daughters, Anais St. John and La Paloma Soria-Brown,
and two granddaughters.
********************************************************************************
BOB GUCCIONE, PENTHOUSE FOUNDER
Vic DeLucia/The New York Times
Bob Guccione at his Manhattan home in 1994. He
moved out in 2006 after creditors foreclosed.
By ROBERT D.
McFADDEN
Published: October 20, 2010
October 21,
2010
Marty
Lederhandler/Associated Press
Bob Guccione in his New York mansion with an
oversized gavel given to him by his daughter, in 1982.
Mr. Guccione, who had lived in Texas for the past year, died of lung cancer
at Plano Specialty Hospital after a long battle with the disease, said April
Dawn Warren Guccione, his fourth wife.
His empire began in London in 1965 with a bank loan, an idea and an
accident. The loan was for $1,170. The idea was a new magazine with explicit
nude photos to outdo Hugh Hefner’s Playboy. And the
accident was an old mailing list, so that promotional brochures with
pornographic samples went out to clergymen, schoolgirls, old-age pensioners and
wives of members of Parliament.
\
The outcry was huge. And there was a $264 fine for mailing indecent
materials. But all 120,000 copies of the first issue of Penthouse sold out in
days, and Mr. Guccione, a struggling artist from New Jersey who had been
knocking around Europe for more than a decade, was on his way to being a tycoon.
By the early 1980s he was one of America’s richest men, king of a $300
million publishing empire, General Media. Besides Penthouse, with a monthly
circulation of 4.7 million in 16 countries, the company owned 15 other
magazines, including Omni and Penthouse Forum as well as titles on bodybuilding,
photography and computers, in addition to book, video and merchandising
divisions.
Forbes listed Mr. Guccione’s net worth in 1982 as $400 million. His art
collections, worth $150 million, included works by Degas, Renoir, Picasso, El Greco,
Dalí, Matisse and Chagall.
Troves of art and antiques filled his Manhattan home, a 17,000-square-foot
double town house on East 67th Street, and his country estate in Staatsburg,
N.Y.
Mr. Guccione looked the part of the libidinous pornographer. He was tanned
and muscled, and he wore slim pants and silk shirts open to the waist, showing
gold chains on a hairy chest. His personality was volatile, but associates said
he did not drink, smoke or use drugs.
“He was a mass of contradictions, engendering fierce loyalty and equally
fierce contempt,” Patricia Bosworth, who had been executive editor of Mr.
Guccione’s Viva magazine in the 1970s, wrote in Vanity Fair in 2005. “He hired
and fired people, then rehired them. He could be warm and funny one minute and
cold and detached the next.”
Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini Guccione was born in Brooklyn on Dec.
17, 1930, the son of Anthony and Nina Guccione. He was raised Roman Catholic in
Bergenfield, N.J., and said he considered the priesthood before deciding to be
an artist. In 1948 he graduated from Blair Academy, in Blairstown, N.J. At 18 he
married the first of his four wives, Lilyann Becker, and had a daughter, Tonina.
The marriage soon failed.
Over the next 12 years he traveled in Europe and North Africa, sketching
tourists in cafes and working odd jobs. In Tangier he met Muriel Hudson, an
English singer. They traveled together for several years, were married in 1955
and had four children: Bob Jr., Nina, Anthony and Nick.
In 1960 they settled in London, where he ran a dry-cleaning business, drew
cartoons for a syndicate and edited a small newspaper. A mail-order business,
selling back issues of men’s magazines, put him deep in debt, and his wife left
him, taking the children. But Penthouse transformed his life.
With Kathy Keeton, a dancer from South Africa who was his girlfriend, his
business partner and later his wife, Mr. Guccione challenged Playboy at the
height of the sexual revolution, introducing Penthouse in the United States in
1969 and building it into one of the nation’s most successful magazines, a mix
of what was billed as “sex, politics and protest” that took in an estimated $3.5
billion to $4 billion over 30 years.
Its images of women, often shot by Mr. Guccione, left little to the
imagination. Compared with Playboy Playmates, as the Hefner centerfold models
were known, Penthouse Pets were arrayed in far more provocative poses. The
magazine infuriated feminists and conservatives, but others praised it for
breaking taboos.
Penthouse occasionally ran nude layouts of well-known women, including
Madonna. In 1984, sexually explicit photos of Vanessa Williams, taken two years
before she became the first black Miss America and rejected for publication by
Playboy, appeared in Penthouse. Ms. Williams lost her crown and sued for $500
million, but the suit was dropped and Penthouse reported a $14 million newsstand
windfall.

Related

Aside from the battle of the centerfolds, Penthouse offered an aura of
class: fiction, celebrity profiles and political articles. It published Alan Dershowitz, Stephen King, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates and J. P. Donleavy, and interviews
with Germaine Greer, Gore Vidal and Isaac Asimov.
Other Guccione magazines made splashes: Viva, featuring male nudes for
female browsers, folded in 1978 after five years; Omni, a science and science
fiction offering, began in 1978 and ended in 1995. Mr. Guccione employed his
children and father in his enterprises.
The dissolution of the Guccione empire took years. A $200 million Penthouse
casino in Atlantic City never materialized, and he lost much of his investment.
“Caligula,” a $17.5 million movie containing hard-core sex scenes and graphic
violence, with a cast that included Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren, was
shunned by distributors, and Mr. Guccione lost heavily. He once hired 82
scientists to develop a small nuclear reactor as a low-cost energy source, but
it came to nothing and cost $17 million.
The government took chunks of his fortune. In 1985, the Internal Revenue
Service
demanded $45 million in back taxes. In 1992, he had to borrow
$80 million for another tax bill. In 1986, after a scathing federal
antipornography report, Penthouse was withdrawn from many newsstands and
circulation revenues — a major source of income — fell sharply.
The trend accelerated in the 1990s as Internet pornography grew
increasingly available. Mr. Guccione responded with more explicit sexual content
that drove advertisers and vendors away, limiting many sales to pornographic
bookstores. Ms. Keeton, the president and chief operating officer, died in 1997,
and friends said her loss had profound effects on Mr. Guccione’s business and
personal life.
Besides his fourth wife, whom he married in 2006, Mr. Guccione is survived
by his five children and a grandson.
Mr. Guccione, who developed throat cancer in 1998, sold artworks, media
properties and his Staatsburg estate as revenues dwindled and debts soared.
Penthouse posted a $10 million loss in 2001, General Media filed for bankruptcy
in 2003, and he resigned as chairman and chief executive of Penthouse
International. Creditors foreclosed on the Guccione mansion, and he moved out in
2006. (Penthouse magazine, however, is still being published.) Dozens of items
from the town house — fireplace mantels, marble columns, even a circular
staircase — were auctioned off by a Connecticut gallery in 2009 for a fraction
of their presale estimates, with the proceeds going to a charity.
“Kind of gaudy,” said Dave Kerr, a prospective buyer looking skeptically
over the lot. “It wouldn’t work in our house. I guess he lived a different
lifestyle.”
***********************************************************************************
TOM BOSLEY, ‘HAPPY DAYS’ DAD
ABC, via Photofest
Tom Bosley with some of the cast from the sitcom
“Happy Days,” which ran for 11 seasons.
By BRUCE WEBER
Published: October 19, 2010
Tom Bosley, a warm-voiced, round-bodied actor who personified paternal
authority, especially on Broadway as a big-city mayor in the musical “Fiorello!”
and on television as a Middle American dad in the hit comedy “Happy Days,” died
Tuesday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 83.

Related

October 20,
2010
Eileen Darby/Graphic
House
Mr. Bosley in “Fiorello!” He won a Tony for the
role.
The cause was cancer, according to a statement by CBS Films, whose
president, Amy Baer, is Mr. Bosley’s daughter.
Mr. Bosley is probably best known for his decade, beginning in 1974, as
Howard Cunningham, the gruff but reliably kind father of teenage children in
1950s Milwaukee in the nostalgic situation comedy “Happy Days.” He also had
significant roles on popular crime-solving dramas, including the title character
in “The Father Dowling Mysteries” and Sheriff Amos Tupper, an ally of the sleuth
and mystery writer Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), in
“Murder, She Wrote.”
But before he was a television fixture, Mr. Bosley had gained fame on
stage, playing Fiorello La Guardia, the populist mayor of New York, in
“Fiorello!” The show won the Pulitzer Prize, and
Mr. Bosley, a newcomer to Broadway, won a Tony Award for best
featured actor in a musical. He never missed one of the show’s almost 800
performances.
In his review of the show in The New York Times, Brooks Atkinson summarized
the appeal that Mr. Bosley would have for audiences for decades to come. Mayor
La Guardia, Atkinson wrote, “is extremely well-played by Tom Bosley, who is
short and a trifle portly, has a kindly face, abundant energy and an explosive
personality.”
Thomas Edward Bosley was born in Chicago on Oct. 1, 1927. His father,
Benjamin, worked in real estate; his mother, Dora, was a concert pianist before
giving up her musical career to raise two sons. The family suffered through the
Depression, and after high school, near the end of World War II, young Tom
joined the Navy. He took up acting in a serious way after his discharge.
In an interview in 2000 with the Archive of American Television, he said
that before he left Chicago in 1950, he flipped a coin to decide whether to move
to New York or Los Angeles. The coin came up in favor of Los Angeles. But he
demurred.
“I looked in the mirror and said, ‘I think I better go to New York and work
in the theater,’ ” he said. “Because I was short, kind of heavy, and that is not
the way to break into the film industry.”
In the 1950s, Mr. Bosley studied briefly (and unhappily) with Lee Strasberg and
worked in small theaters and in television dramas, notably “Hallmark Hall of
Fame” productions like “Born Yesterday” and “Alice in Wonderland.” To pay the
rent, he was a hat checker at Lindy’s and a doorman at Tavern on the Green.
After “Fiorello!” work came easier. He appeared in several more Broadway
shows in the 1960s, and though none were especially successful, after a long
hiatus he returned to Broadway in 1994 as Belle’s father in the original cast of
the Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast.”
Mr. Bosley’s fatherly appeal was suited to both comedy and drama, and his
long résumé as a character actor in the movies stretched across generations of
stars, beginning with “Love With the Proper Stranger” (1963) with Natalie Wood
and Steve McQueen and “The
World of Henry Orient” (1964) with Peter Sellers and
continuing through this year, when he appeared in the romantic comedy “The
Back-up Plan” with Jennifer Lopez.
He also made appearances in myriad television series, including “Ben
Casey,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Get Smart,” “Mission: Impossible,” “The Mod Squad,”
“Bonanza” and “Bewitched.”
In “Happy Days,” which was initially set during the mid-1950s but moved
into the ’60s in its 11-season run, Mr. Bosley played a grumbly sweetheart of a
husband to his wife Marion (Marion Ross) and an unconvincingly stern but wise
and understanding father to his children, two of them played by Ron Howard (Richie)
and Erin Moran (Joanie).
Howard Cunningham owned a hardware store, was often seen reading the
newspaper in his easy chair and was perpetually befuddled by the behavior of
young people. With its mix of cornball humor and family values, the series
became a situation comedy landmark, spawning spinoffs and making celebrities of
the cast, especially Henry Winkler, who
played Richie’s charismatic, sweetly renegade friend Arthur Fonzarelli, a k a
the Fonz, who referred saucily to Mr. Bosley’s character as Mr. C.
In 2004 Mr. Bosley was listed at No. 9 on TV Guide’s list of the greatest
TV dads of all time.
Mr. Bosley’s first marriage, to Jean Eliot, ended with her death in 1978.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, the former Patricia
Carr, whom he married in 1980; a brother, Richard; two stepdaughters, Kimberly
diBonaventura and Jamie Van Meter; and seven grandchildren.
In the interview with the television archive, Mr. Bosley said he had
suffered stage fright only once. It was very early in his career, before he
moved to New York, and he had a small role in a play outside of Chicago that
starred Shelley Berman and Geraldine Page. At the
first performance, he was obsessively going over his lines backstage and lost
track of the progress of the play. He made his entrance several minutes early.
“And Shelley Berman is on one side of the stage, and Geraldine Page is on
the other side,” he recalled. “And she turns and looks at me and says, ‘Do you
mind? We’re doing a play here.’ ”
******************************************************************************************
JOHNNY SHEFFIELD, ‘BOY’ IN TARZAN MOVIES
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 20, 2010
CHULA VISTA, Calif. (AP) — Johnny Sheffield, who played the
character Boy in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and ’40s, died on Friday at his
home here. He was 79.
October 20,
2010
MGM, via Photofest
Johnny Sheffield, right, with Johnny Weissmuler in
the 1939 movie “Tarzan Finds a Son!”
The cause was a heart attack several hours after he fell off a ladder while
pruning a palm tree, his wife, Patty, told The Los Angeles Times.
Mr. Sheffield beat out more than 300 youngsters for the role of Boy in the
1939 movie “Tarzan Finds a Son!” and went on
to co-star with Johnny Weissmuller in
seven more Tarzan films.
He later played another jungle boy, Bomba, in a dozen low-budget
movies but quit the business after the last one 1955. He went on to earn a
business degree at the University of California, Los
Angeles
, and worked for various companies and in contracting and real
estate.
Mr. Sheffield was born on April 11, 1931, in Pasadena, Calif. His father,
Reginald Sheffield, was an actor.
Besides his wife, The Los Angeles Times reported, Mr. Sheffield is survived
by two sons, Patrick and Stewart; a daughter, Regina; a brother, William; and a
grandson.
*********************************************************************************
MELVIN LANE POWERS,  NEPHEW CLEARED WITH LOVER-AUNT  IN MOSSLER
MURDER
Published: October 18, 2010
Candy and Mel. She, the stylishly coifed Houston socialite with the
little-girl voice. He, her nephew, half her age and movie-star handsome. In the
mid-1960s, Candace Mossler and Melvin Lane Powers may have been the nation’s
most notorious couple.
October 19,
2010
Associated Press
Melvin Lane Powers, left, with his lawyer, Percy
Foreman.
October 19,
2010
United Press
International
Mr. Powers with Candace Mossler, his mother’s
sister, after they were acquitted in the 1964 killing of her husband, Jacques
Mossler.
In March 1966, in what many consider one of the most spectacular homicide
trials ever, the two were acquitted of the stabbing and clubbing murder of Mrs.
Mossler’s husband, Jacques, in Key Biscayne, Fla., two years earlier. The
prosecution said the couple were lovers hoping to get Mr. Mossler’s $33 million
fortune.
Mrs. Mossler was said to have plotted the killing, with Mr. Powers doing
the dirty work.
Mr. Powers was found dead at his home in Houston on Oct. 8, his niece Debra
Powers Myers said. He was 68. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said the
cause of death remained undetermined.
The Mossler-Powers trial was so lurid that the judge admitted no spectator
under 21. The star performer was the legendary lawyer Percy Foreman, who
persuaded a jury to overlook clear motive, bloodstains, palm prints,
fingerprints and love letters.
Mr. Foreman did it by poking holes in circumstantial evidence and impugning
witnesses. He theorized that Mr. Mossler was killed by a jealous male lover.
The courtroom carnival ended with Mr. Powers and Mrs. Mossler kissing on
the lips and driving off in a gold Cadillac.
The two drifted apart after living together for a year or two in the
Mossler mansion outside Houston.
Mrs. Mossler, in 1971, married Barnett Garrison when she was 51 and he was
32. He suffered brain damage the next year in a mysterious fall from the
mansion’s balcony. They later divorced.
Mrs. Garrison died at 55 of an overdose of medication in 1976. Mr. Powers
attended her funeral accompanied by “an attractive blonde,” many newspapers
said. By then, he had become a flamboyant real estate developer in Houston,
favoring ostrich- and alligator-skin cowboy boots, owning an immense yacht and
bobbing between riches and bankruptcy.
Melvin Powers, who never married, was born in 1942 in Birmingham, Ala.
After high school, he sold magazine subscriptions, was in the Navy and moved to
Pontiac, Mich., where he served 90 days in jail for swindling. He was still on
probation when he moved to Houston in 1961.
His mother, Mrs. Mossler’s sister, urged him to look up her sister, who she
thought might help straighten him out. Mrs. Mossler invited the strapping young
man to live with her, her husband and their four adopted children. Mr. Mossler,
who owned banks and loan companies, gave him a job.
Evidence, including photographs and love letters, indicated that a romance
between Mr. Powers and his aunt had begun by the spring of 1962. Mr. Mossler
discovered the affair, evicted Mr. Powers in October 1963 and moved to his
condominium in Key Biscayne, one of his six residences. He left his wife in the
Houston mansion and gave her $5,000 a week for its upkeep. He was said to have
considered suing Mr. Powers for breaking up his home but decided against it,
fearing publicity.
Divorce was unappealing, because a 1948 prenuptial agreement required Mr.
Mossler to give his wife half of his fortune if he divorced her. She would get
only $200,000 if she divorced him. Of course, if he died while still married,
she would get everything — as happened.
Tensions mounted. Employees of Mr. Powers at the mobile home business his
aunt had helped him buy testified that he had mentioned killing Mr. Mossler.
Mr. Mossler wrote in his own diary, “If Mel and Candace don’t kill me
first, I’ll have to kill them.”
Mr. Mossler was killed on June 30, 1964, stabbed 39 times and bludgeoned on
the head. His wife found his body wrapped in an orange blanket when she returned
from a hospital where prosecutors said she had gone to establish an alibi.
It was unclear why she had gone to Florida a month before the killing. Mr.
Powers was arrested in Houston three days after the killing.
After the not-guilty verdict, the police never sought other suspects.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “IN REMEMBRANCE: 10-24-2010

  1. J Starwalker

    I was acquainted w/Mel Powers because my husband who was in commercial real estate was contacted by him. We went out on his boat (not the later yatch). His subsequent girlfriends that I met were all transformed into Candace look-alikes. He treated them and his friends kindly, I thought.

  2. J Starwalker

    As for Candace Mossler, I was acquainted with a domestic worker in the household who showed me shocking photos of her naked with several men (also naked), one supposedly being her driver. I heard also the awful rumor that she had her driver teach her daughter about sexual practices.

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