Monthly Archives: November 2010



Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day is an occasion to promote the welfare of children and an understanding between children all over the world. It is held on November 20 each year

Local names

Name Language
Universal Children’s Day English
Día Universal del Niño Spanish

Universal Children’s Day 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Universal Children’s Day 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011
List of dates for other years follows below.

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children’s welfare.

Universal Children’s Day promotes the welfare of and understanding between children. © Bryson

What do people do?

Many  schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform  children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the  Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Teachers stimulate their  pupils to think about the differences between themselves and others and explain  the idea of “rights”. In countries where the rights of children are generally  well-respected, teachers may draw attention to situations in countries where  this is not the case.

In some  areas UNICEF holds events to draw particular attention to children’s rights.  These may be to stimulate interest in the media around the world or to start  nationwide campaigns, for instance on the importance of immunizations or  breastfeeding.

Many  countries, including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, hold Universal  Children’s Day events on November 20 to mark the anniversaries of the  Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the  Child. However, other countries hold events on different dates, such as the  fourth Wednesday in October (Australia) and November 14 (India). Universal  Children’s Day is not observed in the United States, although a similar  observance, National Child’s Day, is held on the first Sunday in June.

Public life

Universal  Children’s Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.


On December  14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should  introduce an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children’s Day to  encourage fraternity and understanding between children all over the world and  promoting the welfare of children. It was recommended that individual countries  should choose an appropriate date for this occasion.

At the  time, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a  Children’s Day on an “appropriate” date. Many of the countries respected this  recommendation and the Universal Children’s Day has since been annually observed on  November 20. There are however, some countries, such as Australia and  India, which still chose various different dates during the year to celebrate  this day.

On November  20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the  Child and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the  Child. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the  date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the  convention on children’s rights.


Universal  Children’s Day is part of the work carried out by UNICEF, the United Nations  Children’s Fund. UNICEF’s logo consists of an image of a mother and child, a  globe, olive branches and the word “UNICEF”. All parts of the logo are in UN’s  blue color, although it may be presented in white on a blue background.


Universal Children’s Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Nov 20 1980 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1981 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1982 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1983 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 1984 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1985 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 1986 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1987 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1988 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 1989 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 1990 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1991 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1992 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1993 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1994 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 1995 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 1996 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 1997 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 1998 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 1999 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 2000 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2001 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 2002 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2003 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 2004 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2005 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Mon Nov 20 2006 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2007 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2008 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 2009 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sat Nov 20 2010 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2011 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Tue Nov 20 2012 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Wed Nov 20 2013 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Thu Nov 20 2014 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day
Fri Nov 20 2015 Universal Children’s Day United Nation day


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Quick Facts

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims serves as a major advocacy day for road traffic injury prevention.

Local names

Name Language
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims English
Día mundial en recuerdo de las víctimas de los accidentes de tráfico Spanish

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011
List of dates for other years follows below.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is held on the third Sunday of November each year. It is a day to remember those who died or were injured from road crashes and the plight of their loved ones who must cope with the consequences of their deaths or injuries.

Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system, play a major role to promote the day.

Road victims are remembered on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims © Mitic

What do people do?

Remembrance  services and flower-laying ceremonies are held in memory of dead road victims  around the world on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Police  officers, associations supporting families of road victims, governments and communities  unite families and friends of those who died or were injured from road traffic  crashes in promoting the day through various activities.

These  activities include: media campaigns and coverage;  websites dedicated to the day; celebrity  involvement; information distribution via the internet, posters and leaflets;  DVD presentations on road traffic crashes; advocacy messages from world  leaders; moments of silence; seminars and workshops; exhibitions and displays  of photographs of injuries and road crash scenes; and marches or processions.  These activities occur in many countries in nearly every continent.

A book,  titled World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: a guide for organizers,  provides practical guidance to people or groups who organize events related to  this day. WHO, the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and  RoadPeace worked together in developing this book.

Public life

The UN’s  World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is a global observance and not a public holiday.


According  to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, road  crashes are the leading cause of death in people aged between five to 34 years  in the United States. It is the leading cause of death globally for children  and young people aged between 10 to 24 years, and the third leading cause of  death globally among people aged between 30 to 44 years. Every six seconds  someone is killed or injured on the world’s roads, including drivers,  passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

The World  Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first observed by RoadPeace in  1993 and has since been held by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in many  countries. Since then it has been observed and promoted worldwide by several non-governmental  organizations, including the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR)  and its associated organizations. On October 26, 2005, the United Nations  endorsed it as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November each  year.


RoadPeace uses  an image of red, bleeding flower on a black background with the words “Remember  Me” underneath the flower to promote the day. WHO’s emblem is also found in  promotions for the day. The emblem, which was chosen by the first World Health  Assembly in 1948, is often associated with the UN’s promotional material for  World Mental Health Day. The emblem consists of the UN symbol surmounted by a  staff with a snake coiling round it. The staff with the snake has long been a  symbol of medicine and the medical profession. It originates from the story of  Aesculapius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a god of healing and whose  cult involved the use of snakes.

Note: Although the day became an official UN day on  the third Sunday of November in 2005, many people around the world celebrated  the day since 1993.


World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sun Nov 21 1993 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 1994 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 19 1995 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 17 1996 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 1997 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 15 1998 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 1999 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 19 2000 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 18 2001 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 17 2002 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2003 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 2004 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2005 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 19 2006 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 18 2007 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2008 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 15 2009 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 21 2010 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 20 2011 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 18 2012 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 17 2013 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2014 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day
Sun Nov 15 2015 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nation day


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Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Tolerance is observed on November 16 each year to help people understand the importance of tolerance worldwide.

Local names

Name Language
International Day for Tolerance English
Día Internacional para la Tolerancia Spanish

International Day for Tolerance 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

International Day for Tolerance 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
List of dates for other years follows below.

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Tolerance is annually observed on November 16 to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.

The International Day for Tolerance educates people about the importance of global tolerance. © de Leseleuc

What do people do?

The  International Day for Tolerance is a time for people to learn about respecting  and recognizing the rights and beliefs of others. It is also a time of  reflection and debate on the negative effects of intolerance. Live discussions  and debates take place across the world on this day, focusing on how various  forms of injustice, oppression, racism and unfair discrimination have a  negative impact on society.

Many  educators use the theme of this day to help students in classrooms or in  lecture theatres understand issues centered on tolerance, human rights and  non-violence. These issues are also found in text books, lesson material and  other educational resources used for this event. The UN Chronicle Online  Education also features articles about tolerance.  Information on the day is disseminated  through flyers, posters, news articles and broadcasts, and other promotional  material to raise people’s awareness about the importance of tolerance. Other  activities include essays, dialogues and story-telling of people’s personal  accounts of intolerance and how it affects their lives.

Human  rights activists also use this day as an opportunity to speak out on human  rights laws, especially with regard to banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination  against minorities. In the workplace, special training programs, talks, or  messages from workplace leaders about the importance of tolerance are utilized  on this day.

Public life

The UN’s  International Day for Tolerance is a global observance and not a public holiday.


In 1996 the  UN General Assembly invited member states to observe the International Day for  Tolerance on November 16, with activities directed towards both educational  establishments and the wider public (resolution 51/95 of 12 December). This  action came in the wake of the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995,  proclaimed by the assembly in 1993 (resolution 48/126). The year was declared  on the General Conference of UNESCO’s initiative. On November 16, 1995, the  UNESCO member states adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up  Plan of Action for the year.

The 2005  World Summit Outcome document outlines the commitment of Heads of State and  Government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well  as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different  cultures, civilizations and peoples.


UNESCO’s  logo, which features a temple including the UNESCO acronym (for United Nations  Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) within itself and the words  “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization” underneath  the temple, is used for online or print promotional material associated with  the International Day for Tolerance. The use of the complete name in English,  in association with one or several other languages provides an explanation of  the acronym of the organization. The six official languages of UNESCO are  Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Images of people of all backgrounds, cultures and  ages, which are assembled into a collage, are also used for the International  Day for Tolerance to get the message across to people about understanding  tolerance regardless of differences.


International Day for Tolerance Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Nov 16 1996 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 1997 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Mon Nov 16 1998 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Tue Nov 16 1999 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Thu Nov 16 2000 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Fri Nov 16 2001 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sat Nov 16 2002 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2003 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Tue Nov 16 2004 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Wed Nov 16 2005 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Thu Nov 16 2006 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Fri Nov 16 2007 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2008 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Mon Nov 16 2009 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Tue Nov 16 2010 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Wed Nov 16 2011 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Fri Nov 16 2012 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sat Nov 16 2013 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Sun Nov 16 2014 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day
Mon Nov 16 2015 International Day for Tolerance United Nation day


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The power of the word nigger is like a sharp sword that can damage and insult, and its use by Black Americans remains a travesty, as detailed in the following Houston Chronicle article by Ms. Tammie Lang Campbell.


‘N’ Word Remains Far Too Pervasive


Oct. 30, 2010,  4:06PM

A string of incidents this year has made it clear that the offensive and destructive use of the “N” word, once thought to be on the wane, remains far too prevalent in our society.

In August, Dr. Laura Schlessinger used the word 11 times in a five-minute rant on her radio show as she tried to make a point about racism to an African-American caller.

In May, CNN played a song that included the N word as a tribute to a 103-year-old black woman.

In April, a black teacher’s aide at Sterling High School was sent home after using the N word in response to a student’s comment.

In March, protesters opposed to health care reform reportedly called U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the N word.

In February, filmmaker Spike Lee used the N word during his presentation at Houston Community College’s Black History Scholarship Banquet.

In February, a fifth-grade black male student at Quail Valley Elementary School in the Fort Bend Independent School District found the N word in a book he got from the school library called Catch a Tiger by the Toe.

Some people refuse to let the N word die. Hate is the culprit that keeps the word alive.

On Sept. 11, the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attack against our country in 2001, I was reminded of how hate destroys everything that it comes in contact with, including the hater. I chose that day to renew a campaign against the use of the slur.

This year’s string of N-word incidents only scraped the surface of how blacks are still being victimized by racial hate. From the days of slavery to the present day, the N word has been a code for perpetrating hate upon blacks. One of the most disturbing racial stereotypes is evident in the way dictionaries and other reference books defined the word over the years. Twenty years ago, for example, this is how the Merriam Webster dictionary defined the N word: “usually offensive; 1: a black person, 2: a member of any dark-skinned race, 3: a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons; (‘It’s time for somebody to lead all of America’s niggers … all the people who feel left out of the political process.’ — Ron Dellums).”

We’ve made some progress. A usage note that accompanies the word in today’s  Random House Dictionary describes the N word as “now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War.” It goes on to describe the “deeply disparaging” nature of the term, and to note that it is used “when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense.”

It certainly does cause great offense. But I’m looking forward to the day that the word has fallen so far out of usage that dictionaries no longer include it.

Defining black people as the N word is a character assassination of our good name. It reinforces racial stereotypes and diminishes our contributions. Being called the N word even affected one of America’s greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1966, during marches in Chicago, King said that being called the N word so many times made him wonder if he had a new name.

Since 1991, I have been on a mission to eradicate the N word. I started by petitioning Merriam-Webster and Random House to redefine or remove this offensive racial slur from their dictionaries. On July 7, 2007, I buried the N word during a symbolic service in Pearland. Unfortunately, some people have refused to let it die.

In Proverbs 22:1, King Solomon stated, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” To reclaim blacks’ good name/character, I renewed my anti-N-word campaign in September. This campaign, which is supported by Houston Area Urban League President Judson Robinson and Hawaii NAACP President Alphonso Braggs, is designed to liberate minds from this racial slur and promote healing and mutual respect among all.

Acknowledging that humanity must join forces to stop the destructive N word, John Mizuno, a Hawaii state representative, is introducing a resolution to ban it and stated that this racial slur does not need to be in the dictionary or used in our society.

To probe into America’s psyche regarding the racial incidents mentioned above, I conducted an online survey called “What’s in a Name? The Lethal Side Effects of the N word.”

The survey asked participants to rank several recent racially charged statements or actions. The demographics of participants were: African-American, 72.2 percent; Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.2 percent; Latino, 5 percent; Native American, 0.3 percent; Caucasian, 10.6 percent; multiracial, 8.4 percent; and other, 1.3 percent. Of 320 respondents, some selected “most offensive” for more than one statement.

The survey resulted in the following statements being independently rated as “most offensive:”

49.7 percent: Houston Independent School District’s double standard of purchasing reference books that define blacks as the N word while firing a Sterling High School black teacher’s aide for saying, “N——-, please.”

35.9 percent: Mel Gibson’s racial rant about the mother of his child dressing to solicit “rape by a pack of n——-s.”

26.3 percent: Sandra Bullock’s ex-husband using the N word and attempting to adopt a black baby.

22.2 percent: CNN’s standard apology for an N-word-laced song tribute to a 103-year-old black woman.

13.8 percent: Black rappers using the word as a term of endearment.

7.8 percent: Spike Lee saying “N——-, please” during Houston Community College’s Black History program.

Even though the above incidents make the state of race relations in our country seem bleak, they are not as bleak as they once were. America is making great strides in race relations. In the past, incidents like these wouldn’t have had a negative impact upon the perpetrators, wouldn’t have been mentioned in the media and my call to action for the eradication of the N word wouldn’t have attracted any attention.

Won’t you please join in this campaign?

Campbell is the founder  and executive director of the Honey Brown Hope Foundation and a former president of Missouri City NAACP. For additional information about her work, visit the foundation’s Web site at


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IN REMEMBRANCE: 11-21-2010



Published: November 21, 2010

Lawrencia Bembenek, a former Playboy bunny and Milwaukee police officer whose conviction for the murder of her husband’s ex-wife and audacious escape from prison became tabloid and TV-movie fodder and a cause célèbre for supporters who insisted on her innocence — as she always did — died Saturday in a hospice in Portland, Ore. She was 52.

November 22, 2010    

Milwaukee Sentinel

Lawrencia Bembenek at her murder trial in 1982.

The cause was liver failure, said Ms. Bembenek’s lawyer, Mary Woehrer.

Known as Bambi, Ms. Bembenek (pronounced bem-BENN-eck) joined the Milwaukee Police Department in March 1980 after a stint as a waitress at a Playboy Club. Within a year she was married to Elfred Schultz, a Milwaukee police detective.

Then, on May 28, 1981, Detective Schultz’s former wife, Christine, was found dead in her bedroom, bound, gagged and shot in the back at point-blank range. Three months later Ms. Bembenek was arrested, and the case immediately became a media sensation.

Ms. Bembenek contended that vindictive colleagues had framed her because she was assisting a federal investigation into corruption and sex discrimination in the Police Department. She had also caused a storm by giving supervisors photographs of off-duty officers (including her future husband) posing naked at a party.

During her two-week trial, some of the most damaging testimony showed that Ms. Bembenek, who married Detective Schultz four months before the killing (they later divorced), had bitterly complained about the $700-a-month alimony he was paying his former wife. Ms. Bembenek was sentenced to life in prison, and her appeals were rejected by appellate courts and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Eight years later, Ms. Bembenek squeezed through a laundry room window, climbed a seven-foot barbed-wire fence and fled from the Taycheedah Correctional Institution, about 60 miles north of Milwaukee. Aiding her escape was her fiancé, Dominic Gugliatto, whom she had met while he was visiting his sister, an inmate at the prison.

Again Milwaukee was electrified by the case. A rally celebrating her escape attracted 300 people. Bars and restaurants named menu items after her, including a Bembenek Burger. T-shirts reading “Run, Bambi, Run” proliferated. Television stations conducted call-in polls asking viewers if they believed she was innocent.

On Oct. 17, 1990, three months after the escape, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Ms. Bembenek and Mr. Gugliatto in Ontario after she was recognized by a restaurant patron who had seen her on the Fox television show “America’s Most Wanted.”

Within a year, supporters produced a low-budget documentary, “Used Innocence.” And in a three-hour television movie, “Woman on Trial: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story,” Tatum O’Neal played the title role.

Another television movie about Ms. Bembenek, starring Lindsay Frost, was called “Calendar Girl, Cop, Killer?” And a 1992 book by Kris Radish titled “Run, Bambi, Run” was subtitled “The Beautiful Ex-Cop and Convicted Murderer Who Escaped to Freedom and Won America’s Heart.”

A reinvestigation of the case followed, and in December 1992 a judge reduced Ms. Bembenek’s life sentence to 20 years after she struck a deal with prosecutors in which she pleaded no contest to second-degree murder. She was immediately released for time served.

Lawrencia Bembenek was born in Milwaukee on Aug. 15, 1958. She is survived by two sisters, Melanie and Colette.

On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Pardon Advisory Board declined to consider Ms. Bembenek’s petition for a pardon. It remained unclear whether the board, which meets twice in December, will reconsider her petition before Gov. James E. Doyle leaves office. The final decision is up to the governor.

Ms. Woehrer, her lawyer, said that she would continue to seek a pardon, and that she believed newly uncovered ballistic and DNA evidence would exonerate Ms. Bembenek.

Last month Mike Jacobs, a news anchor at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, interviewed Ms. Bembenek at her home in Vancouver, Wash.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Jacobs said: “I asked, ‘If you are innocent, why did you plead no contest to second-degree murder in 1992?’ And her response was that her parents were in failing health and the only way that she could be guaranteed that she would be able to spend time with them was to plead no contest. Her father’s dying wish was that she get the family name cleared.”

In the televised interview, Mr. Jacobs asked Ms. Bembenek whether her attractiveness had hurt her credibility during her murder trial. “All they did was talk about what kind of blouse I wore,” she said, referring to the news media. “I would do it a lot differently now.”





Published: November 17, 2010

They called her Baby Marie Osborne, and in silent films nearly a century ago she was America’s little sweetheart, a precocious, chauffeured, $1,000-a-week prodigy who could turn on the tears or a sunshine smile and break your heart. She had sparkling eyes and dimpled arms. She also had a lisp, but no matter.
November 17, 2010    

Pathe, via Photofest

Baby Marie Osborne in her heyday, when she made nearly 30 movies by the age of 8.

She was a toddler when she made her debut in “Kidnapped in New York,” a 1914 potboiler with a tinkling piano to cue the drama. She made 28 more films in five years, including the memorable “Little Mary Sunshine,” her 1916 portrayal of a motherless 5-year-old whose love for a drunken father turns him away from the devil brew.

She retired at age 8, and might have lived happily ever after.

But her mother and father turned out to be foster parents who never told her she was adopted and frittered her fortune away before splitting up. She grew up fast, married twice, had a daughter and was divorced and widowed. She worked in a dime store, became a stand-in for Ginger Rogers in the 1930s and wound up draping actors in Hollywood wardrobe departments. She retired — for real — in 1976.

One of America’s earliest child stars, long forgotten except for Internet nostalgia buffs and silent-film aficionados, Baby Marie — Marie Osborne Yeats — died Thursday at her home in San Clemente, Calif. She was 99. Her daughter, Joan Young, confirmed her death. Five grandchildren also survive her.

With its triumphs, setbacks, poignant struggles and unpredictable turns, her life churned with the stuff of silent films. She was born Helen Alice Myres in Denver on Nov. 5, 1911, the daughter of Roy and Mary Myres. She soon became — under mysterious circumstances — the child of Leon and Edith Osborn, who called her Marie and added the “e” to the surname, apparently to obscure the adoption.

In 1914, the Osbornes moved to Long Beach, Calif. She was an actress calling herself Babe St. Clair, and he was a theatrical promoter. They rented a room and, unable to afford a baby sitter, took Marie along to the Balboa studios, where they had found work in silent films.

The cute kid was spotted and cast in one of the hundreds of forgettable silents made in 1914. In 1915, the actor-director Henry King put her in “The Maid of the Wild.” She was talented, and Balboa signed her to a contract. Mr. King had “Little Mary Sunshine” written especially for her.

The picture, one of her few that survive, was a huge success and made her an international star. She soon had her own production company and was churning out Baby Marie films. She was cast as an orphan, a child of social climbers, the charmer of a crotchety millionaire, a diplomat, a cupid. She could register fear, shock, delight, pity, sorrow; could cry real tears — and always made things turn out right.

Behind the scenes, her parents squabbled over custody, money and infidelities. In 1919, Baby Marie’s career waned. She made a last film, “Miss Gingersnap,” and retired. In 1920, The New York American ran a cautionary tale of lost money and bitter divorce under a banner headline: “How Baby Marie’s Big Salary Ruined Her Happy Home.”

The trauma faded, Baby Marie grew up, silent movies became talkies in the late ’20s, and in 1931 Ms. Osborne married Frank Dempsey. They had a daughter, Joan, in 1932, but were divorced four years later. In 1945 she married Murray Yeats, who died in 1975.

In 1933, as her first marriage deteriorated, Ms. Osborne took a job in a dime store. It was a low point. Then came an astonishing call from the superintendent of the Colorado Children’s Home, who informed her that she had been adopted as an infant by the Osbornes! And that a man who said he was her real father, H. L. Shriver, had become a tycoon!! And that he had left her a substantial inheritance!!!

Next, with the help of her old mentor, Mr. King, now a major Hollywood director, she got minor parts in a dozen films from 1934 to 1950. She also became a stand-in for Ginger Rogers in “The Gay Divorcee” (1934), “Swing Time” (1936) and “Shall We Dance” (1937), and for Deanna Durbin and Betty Hutton.

In 1954, she joined 20th Century Fox as a costumer. She later became a wardrobe supervisor. Over two decades she draped Jean Simmons, Marlon Brando, John Wayne, Rita Hayworth, Rock Hudson, Robert Redford, Lucille Ball and Elizabeth Taylor. Her work appeared in “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956), “How to Murder Your Wife” (1965), “The Godfather, Part II” (1974) and other films.

She was featured in Michael G. Ankerich’s 1993 book, “Broken Silence: Conversations with 23 Silent Film Stars,” and in 1999 she was interviewed by Billy Doyle for

“It means little to her that she is regarded by film historians as an icon of film history,” Mr. Doyle wrote. “We cannot share her modesty. For historians, her contributions to the film industry give her an almost legendary status as one of the last living witnesses of the crucial early years when Hollywood rose to a position of international importance.”





Published: November 19, 2010

Helen Boehm, a self-made businesswoman known as the Princess of Porcelain for her company’s elaborate sculptures, which have graced the coffee tables of royalty and heads of state for six decades, died on Monday at her home in West Palm Beach, Fla. She was 89.

November 20, 2010    

Chet Gordon

Helen Boehm in 1993, with a porcelain owl created by Boehm porcelain studios.

Mrs. Boehm had been ill with cancer and Parkinson’s disease for some time, said Sharon Lee Parker, the current president and chief executive of Boehm Porcelain, the Trenton-based company Mrs. Boehm helped found and indefatigably promoted.

With her husband, Edward, Mrs. Boehm (pronounced beam) founded the company, known early on as E. M. Boehm Studios, in 1950. At the time, neither knew a thing about porcelain. He was a veterinary assistant trained in animal husbandry; she was an optician.

But Mr. Boehm was a gifted sculptor and Mrs. Boehm a natural pitchwoman. After all, she had once persuaded a customer named Clark Gable to buy a pair of sunglasses, and who in his line of work would not already own one?

Considered highly collectible, Boehm porcelains often depict flora and fauna and are known for their handpainted colors and lifelike detail. The current line ranges in price from $125 for a tiny lamb to $20,000 for a three-foot-high eagle. Rare vintage pieces have fetched in the neighborhood of $100,000, Ms. Parker said.

Boehm sculptures can be found in museum collections, including at the Metropolitan Museum and the Vatican. They have been owned by luminaries like Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Pope John Paul II and Sophia Loren.

In a marketing coup scored by Mrs. Boehm decades ago at the cost of 3 cents, Boehm pieces have been presented to every United States president from Eisenhower to Obama. For years they have been the de facto state gift from the White House to foreign dignitaries, as in 1972, when President Richard M. Nixon presented Mao Zedong with a pair of life-size porcelain swans.

After Mr. Boehm’s death in 1969, Mrs. Boehm continued to run the company with characteristic savvy. No sooner was someone in the headlines, it seemed, then a commemorative piece was made and bestowed on the recipient with all attendant fanfare.

For Diana, Princess of Wales, Mrs. Boehm created a porcelain copy of her wedding bouquet. After Diana’s death in 1997, she issued a limited-edition white rose, sending one each to Princes William and Harry and offering the rest for sale at $350 apiece. (A pink rose honoring Diana can be purchased on the company’s Web site for $395.)

Under Mrs. Boehm’s stewardship, Boehm grew into a multimillion-dollar business with studios in Trenton and Malvern, England. Boehm porcelain was sold in high-end stores like Bonwit Teller, and the company had its own showrooms in New York and other cities.

In consequence, Mrs. Boehm kept (simultaneously) a Rolls-Royce, a Mercedes and a Duesenberg; maintained a constellation of homes in the United States and abroad; owned a prizewinning polo team; and cheerfully dripped Harry Winston.

All this Mrs. Boehm, the daughter of working-class Italian immigrants, built from a business begun in a cellar with a $1,000 loan.

Elena Francesca Stephanie Franzolin was born in Brooklyn on Dec. 26, 1920, and grew up in the Bensonhurst neighborhood there. Her father, a cabinetmaker, died when she was 13, and Helen, as she was known, worked as a dressmaker to help support the family. As a young woman, she became an optician.

In 1944, she married Edward Marshall Boehm. An experienced livestock breeder, he made realistic clay sculptures of animals as a pastime. Mrs. Boehm encouraged him to pursue his art professionally, and eventually, with a loan from one of her eyeglass clients, they started a porcelain studio in a Trenton basement.

She often said that Mr. Boehm cared nothing for business. So she took matters into her own hands and was soon on the telephone to the Met, which purchased a Hereford bull and a Percheron stallion. In the mid-1950s she wrote to the first lady, Mamie Eisenhower.

Before long, a reply came from the White House inviting her to lunch. (The letter had 3 cents postage due, which Mrs. Boehm promptly paid.) She arrived in Washington with bull in hand, the first in a long line of presidential Boehms. And thus, president by president and prince by prince, Boehm bloomed.

Mrs. Boehm sold the company in 2003. When, several owners later, Ms. Parker took over last year, it was in brittle shape, its staff of more than 400 reduced to four. Today, Boehm pieces can be purchased on the company’s Web site and through several dozen authorized retailers.

Mrs. Boehm leaves no immediate survivors. She was the author of a memoir, “With a Little Luck: An American Odyssey” (Rawson, 1985, with Nancy Dunnan), with a foreword by Letitia Baldridge.

Not all of Mrs. Boehm’s marketing schemes worked out happily, at least not at first. There was the time, in 1958, that she brought a flock of exotic birds — real ones — to Tiffany’s in New York to promote her company’s bird figurines. The birds slipped out of their cage and were pursued through the store, gingerly, by employees brandishing small blue boxes. Some fled into Gotham’s wild blue yonder and were never seen again.

The story made the papers, and Mrs. Boehm appeared on television for days afterward.


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November 18, 2010 ColorLines Direct | Published by the Applied Research

DREAM is Alive! Obama, Dems Set Lame-Duck Immigration Vote

Democrats vow to make good on election promises to the immigrant
community. Juilanne Hing reports.
Also: McCain Runs
Away from DREAMers as Reid Vows Senate Vote

Positive and I Don’t Blame Anybody—Including Myself

Kirk Grisham says shared responsibility for the AIDS epidemic will save all
of our lives. He opens up about facing down HIV.

Generation of Black Youth Is Losing Its Future in the Jobs Crisis

Even among college grads, the racial disparity in joblessness is stunning.
Naima Ramos-Chapman looks at the consequences
Limbaugh Calls Obama a “Juvenile Delinquent”

The right-wing talk show host is at it again with his race-baiting
The Physical and Emotional Costs of Long-Term

Studies show this crisis isn’t just about
money any more.
Whitman Still Owes Housekeeper Money

After her failed bid for California governor,
the millionaire must respond to claims that she owes her housekeeper unpaid
Oprah Reunite To Talk Race and Politics

After years apart, two of the industry’s
leading black women get down to Hollywood’s basics.
Internet Advocates Try to Reboot Fight for Access

While legislative wrangling continues on
Capitol Hill, the public’s speaking up.
New TSA Screening Guidelines Anger Sikh

Since Sept. 11, Sikhs have increasingly become
targets of racial profiling.
Now What?
Oscar Grant Trial
& Culture
Schools & Youth
Like us Follow us
Drop the I-Word

Introducing “9500 Liberty”–and the Power of

ColorLines is teaming up with the “9500 Liberty” crew and with to make sure this film gets a wide
viewing. You can get a copy
of the film AND sign the Drop the I-Word pledge

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Wow, absolutely wow.

Talk about hypocrisy to the nth degree.

Since when did Western society America ever respect women?

When it allowed the brutal torture, rape and dismemberment of Native American women at the coming of White European males?

When it forced White European women into indentured servitude, and only when slavery was abolished, created the fake worship of white womanhood as an excuse to butcher, castrate and immolate the bodies of so many Black men?

When it allowed the mass gang rapes of enslaved Black women and girls not only during slavery, but, also during Jane Crow segregation?

When it mistreated Asian women who cames to these shores from China, Japan and Korea?

When it used Latina women as pack mule workers?

When it made a mockery of marriage, the Virgin Mary (as well as Mary Magdelene).

When this society showed no love and care towards little children by forcing them into inhumane child labor in factories, where they toiled upwards of 12-16 hours of labor in sweatshop environments?

Where, Herr Duke, has all this magnanimous love been towards those considered the least of in this nation?

You are the last one to talk about morality, when time and time again, you have shown yourself to be the abomination of so much filth, lies, and perversions.


David Duke, Huffing About Sexual Mores, Calls the Kettle Black

by  David Neiwert on November 18, 201
Now that he’s gaining in years, former Klan boss and longtime white supremacy advocate David Duke, who in his youth gained a notorious reputation as a womanizing playboy, is apparently now shifting to a more traditional role of moralizing geezer. Witness his most recent video “lecture,” wherein he piously instructs his audience on the historical roots of the “sexual revolution” — which, in Duke’s view, is the product of Sigmund Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis and therefore is yet another civilization-destroying product of conniving Jews:

Duke: Wherever the globalist media reaches on this planet, there is an ongoing sexual revolution. It should be called sexual dehumanization. In traditional Western culture, sex is idealized and embedded with the idea of family and children and the deep and sacred respect for the love between a man and a woman, and marriage as a beautiful, even holy, institution.

A perfect example of the veneration of womanhood, fidelity and purity, as expressed in countless artworks, is the Virgin Mary. The Madonna is also venerated in the Muslim Koran, which defends Mary from the Jewish Talmudic slanders that claim Mary was a whore and Jesus a bastard. I hate to quote those words.

Today the name Madonna fits the Talmudic slander. It’s the image of a degenerate superstar whore, engaging in gang sex and mocking the crucifixion. The latest media-promoted female phenom is Lady Gaga, and this teen idol is also depicted engaging in gang sex, sadism, masochism, and other forms of degeneracy, along with her trendy music. Now this is the hottest new star promoted by the Jewish controlled globalist media, including MTV – Sumner Redstone. Real name: Rothstein.

The media of the Western world, and thus of the whole globe, has become a weapon of mass destruction of the highest in human values. The human cost has been enormous. Hundreds of millions of families have been destroyed. Children now commonly grow up without fathers. Sexually rooted epidemics, including STDs, hepatitis and HPV are now soaring. AIDS, a disease primarily of promiscuity, will cost hundreds of millions of lives. Millions of people have suffered sterility, and will never know the joy of children. Child rape, molestation, and abuse has grown exponentially.


Never mind the hypocrisy of the nation’s foremost practitioner of racial and ethnic dehumanization lecturing us about “sexual dehumanization.” What’s agonizingly hilarious about this diatribe is how starkly Duke’s new moral ethos contrasts with his own personal behavior over the years.

Duke, to put it simply, was widely regarded a “horndog” on the prowl among the white supremacists and other far-right extremists he at one time claimed to lead. Indeed, he essentially abandoned his first family, including his children, in the process.

David Duke

A 2003 article by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) exposed in some depth this aspect of the personal behavior of Duke (seen above with one-time girlfriend Lori Eden, who was then a lingerie model), along with his penchant for spending donor money on his gambling addiction:

Others in the racist movement angrily responded to what would soon become Duke’s notorious womanizing.

“I idolized Duke when I was younger. I looked up to him,” the Rev. Johnny Lee Clary, who served as Duke’s bodyguard in the late 1970s but later became an anti-racist activist, said in an interview. “He would get up and wave the Bible around and talk about Christian values. But when I got to know him on a personal level, I saw what he was really like, and it disgusted me. … I traveled alongside Duke and I watched him at work. I saw him take a Klansman’s wife to his hotel room.”

Duke, then a married man with two children, pursued female sex partners so avidly and so openly that it embarrassed many of his closest colleagues. [Tom] Metzger, then Duke’s state leader in southern California, became livid when Duke showed up for a 1977 Klan anti-immigrant “border watch” stunt and immediately started hitting on women.

“We used to tell people, ‘When Duke comes to town make sure your wife is safely locked up and don’t let him near your daughters,’” Metzger recalled.

As SPLC reported, Duke even later went on to write, under a pseudonym, a sex manual for women — with most of the advice focusing on female submissiveness. No doubt Dr. Freud would have found that interesting.


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#1 R&B Song 1974:   “Woman to Woman,” Shirley Brown

Born:  William Christopher “W.C.” Handy, 1873; Garnet Mimms, 1933; Winifred “Blue” Lovett (the Manhattans), 1943


1873   “W.C.” Handy, the Father of the Blues,” was born in Florence, AL.






The first to put jazz and blues on paper, William Christopher Handy, born November 16, 1873, was a brilliant composer who created classics like “St. Louis Blues” (1914), reportedly the most recorded song of all time, and “Memphis Blues” (1912). The bandleader, cornet player, and music teacher first charted pop with “Livery Stable Blues” (#7) in 1918. He died in 1958, the year Nat King Cole portrayed him in a film about his life.

1946   Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra charted with “Hawk’s Boogie,” reaching #3 R&B.

1963   The Coasters recorded “Taint Nothin’ To Me” (#64). It was their last chart single of the ’60s and the B-side of “Speedo’s Back in Town” featuring Cadillacs’ lead Earl “Speedo” Carroll.

1968   Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland album topped the American charts, becoming his biggest seller of twenty-eight career albums.

1986   Robert Cray won six W.C. Handy Awards at the seventh annual National Blues Awards Show, hosted by B.B. King.

1991   R. Kelly charted with “She’s Got That Vibe,” his debut single, reaching #7 R&B. It would take the disc four more months to reach the pop charts, leveling off at #59. Kelly’s popularity is reflected by the fact that he had amassed thirty pop hits by 2002 and sixty-seven R&B winners by 2004. The Donny Hathaway-inspired singer/keyboardist first name is Robert.

(SOURCE: Much appreciation to author Jay Warner for his book, “On This Day In Black Music History” [Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006], to whom I am greatly indebted.)


This is my last entry in the series of “On This Day In Black Music History.”

It has been a fabulous journey, as I am sure many readers have enjoyed the great music videos as well as learned so much from the wonderful history of Black American’s influence on America’s musical history—-I know I have leaned a lot, that’s for sure.

It has been a joy to not let remain unknown the names, and profound effect, the many artists have had on their millions of fans, the lasting contributions on such genres as R&B, gospel, blues, bluegrass, hip hop, disco, country and western, folk, jazz, swing, reggae, ragtime, alternative, jump blues, doo wop, opera, and especially the music genre that started my series—-rock ‘n’ roll.

I will forever be grateful and thankful for the many artists who blazed the trails so that others could follow in their footsteps; the many artists who created styles unique unto themselves; the many artists who have gone unknown and forgotten–artists I did not want the world to remain uninformed of; artists who are still with us, still giving us their exquisite talents, and artists who are no longer with us.

So, to those who wrote, sang, performed, regaled, enthralled, made us cry, made us laugh, made us want to get up and dance–and most of all, to the artists whose memories shall always remain with us–in this life–and the next. . . .

I humbly thank you and bow in obeisance to your towering genius.

Thank you Jackie Wilson, B.B. King, Clyde McPhatter, Sam Cooke, Barbara Harris, the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Spinners, the O’Jays, Michael Jackson, the Neville Brothers, the Main Ingredient, the Temptations, the Impressions, Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton, Scott Joplin, James Ingram, Public Enemy, Eubie Blake, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Billie “Lady Day” Holliday, William “Count” Basie, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, Minnie Riperton, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Ike and Tina Turner, Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole, Mary Wells, Martha & the Vandellas, the Coasters, the Drifters, the Platters, the Dixie Cups, the Shirelles, Little Eva, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Etta James, the Mills Brothers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rissi Palmer, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone, Gamble & Huff, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. . . . . .

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#1 R&B Song 1952:  “You Know I Love You,” B.B. King & His Orchestra

Born:  Joe Hinton, 1929; Clyde McPhatter (the Dominoes and the Drifters), 1933; Walter Edgar “Little Willie” John, 1937; Michael Cooper (Confunkshun), 1952


1969   The Jackson 5’s debut disc, “I Want You Back,” charted en route to #1. It was their first of thirty-one Top 100 hits over twenty years.

1975   Jackie Wilson, who in 1951 started his chart career with a group (the Dominoes), ended it with a group after a seventeen-year Hall of Fame career as a solo artist. He charted today singing lead for the Chi-Lites in a one-off recording, “Don’t Burn No Bridges,” which reached #91 R&B. It was his forty-seventh R&B entry. His last pop hit was “You Got Me Walking,” which was his forty-fourth single on the Top 100.

1975   Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes charted with “Wake Up Everybody,” reaching #1 R&B and #12 pop. It was the group’s fourth #1 in three years and would be revitalized in 2005 by Babyface and many other stars on a compilation album of the same name produced for the Democratic National Convention to motivate young people to vote.

1989   James Ingram and Patti LaBelle began a five-month U.S. tour at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis.

1990   Stevie Wonder received the Honorary Global Founders “Don’t Drive Drunk” Award from the Recording Artists Against Drunk Driving. This may not be as ironic as it sounds. Though Stevie had been blind since birth,  rumors persisted that he liked to go out to uninhabited areas with his friends and drive by himself at top speeds to his heart’s content while they followed (presumably at a safe distance) in a second car.

1991   Diana Ross performed at London’s Wembley Arena.

1994   Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder sang “For Once In My Life” with Frank Sinatra on his Duets II album, released today.

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 11-14-2010



Published: November 11, 2010

Dino De Laurentiis, the high-flying Italian film producer and entrepreneur whose movies ranged from some of Federico Fellini’s earliest works to “Serpico,” “Death Wish” and the 1976 remake of “King Kong,” died on Wednesday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 91.
November 12, 2010    

Mike Blake/Reuters

Mr. De Laurentiis in 2001, when he was given the Thalberg Award at the Academy Awards. More Photos »

November 11, 2010    

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Dino De Laurentiis with Oscars for “La Strada” in New York in 1957. More Photos »

November 12, 2010    

Tiziana Fabi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Dino De Laurentiis at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984. More Photos »

His death was confirmed by his daughter Raffaella.

Mr. De Laurentiis’s career dated to prewar Italy, and the hundreds of films he produced covered a wide range of styles and genres. His filmography includes major titles of the early Italian New Wave, including the international success “Bitter Rice” (1949), whose star, Silvana Mangano, became his first wife; two important films by Fellini, “La Strada” (1954) and “Nights of Cabiria” (1957), which both won Academy Awards; and the film that many critics regard as David Lynch’s best work, “Blue Velvet” (1986). In 2001, Mr. De Laurentiis himself was given the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement.

But Mr. De Laurentiis never turned his nose up at unabashed popular entertainments like Sergio Corbucci’s “Goliath and the Vampires” (1961), Roger Vadim’s “Barbarella” (1968) and Richard Fleischer’s “Mandingo” (1975) — several of which hold up better today than some of Mr. De Laurentiis’s more respectable productions.

“A producer is not just a bookkeeper, or a banker, or a background. He makes the picture,” Mr. De Laurentiis told Cue magazine in 1962. “If the film is a failure, I am responsible. If it is a success, then it is the joint contribution of the actors, director, writers, set designers, musicians and script girl — everybody except the producer. This is a fact of life; I do not complain.”

Mr. De Laurentiis was among the first European producers to realize the potential of the international co-production. In the early 1950s, when the vertically integrated Hollywood studios were breaking up because of a Justice Department antimonopoly decree, studio-groomed stars were turning into freelance agents and back lots were beginning to be sold off in favor of using location photography, the studios started to turn to outside suppliers to keep a steady stream of product coming in for their distribution apparatus.

Mr. De Laurentiis lured Anthony Quinn to Rome for “La Strada,” and shortly after that cast Kirk Douglas in the title role of “Ulysses,” a spectacular that was directed by the Italian film veteran Mario Camerini (with an uncredited assist from the director and cinematographer Mario Bava) and that Mr. De Laurentiis sold to Paramount. The formula proved to be a profitable one, allowing Mr. De Laurentiis to pay grandiose salaries to his imported stars while cutting costs by using local technicians.

Actors like Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda (“War and Peace,” 1956), Anthony Perkins (“This Angry Age,” 1958), Vera Miles and Van Heflin (“5 Branded Women,” 1960) and Charles Laughton (“Under Ten Flags,” 1960) made their way to Italy, where they often performed with other international stars. The results, filmed in a Babel of tongues, were dubbed into different languages for different markets.

At the same time, Mr. De Laurentiis continued making films for the home market. He had a close relationship with the legendary Italian clown Totò (for whom he produced the 1952 “Totò a Colori,” one of the first Italian feature films shot entirely in color) and Alberto Sordi, a rotund comic whose portrayals of middle-class Romans struggling to stay ahead of the game became a projection of the national identity. His success, aided by the government subsidies that had been put in place to encourage postwar production in Italy, eventually allowed him to build his own studio, which he named Dinocittà.

Mr. De Laurentiis’s empire began to crumble in 1965, when Italy’s Socialist government passed new regulations that put severe restrictions on what could be called an Italian movie.

With his subsidies in doubt, his contract with Mr. Sordi coming to an end and a continuing legal battle with Fellini over unmade projects, Mr. De Laurentiis closed Dinocittà in 1972 and the next year moved to New York, where he opened an office in what was then the Gulf & Western building on Columbus Circle.

In New York, Mr. De Laurentiis initiated a series of well-known productions, including “Serpico” (1973), “Death Wish” (1974), “Three Days of the Condor” (1975), John Wayne’s final film, “The Shootist” (1976), and John Guillermin’s big-budget remake of “King Kong” (1976).

But the successes alternated with failures, like “King of the Gypsies” (1978) and “Hurricane” (1979), and soon Mr. De Laurentiis was founding and closing production companies with dizzying speed, often selling the rights to his old films to secure the financing for his new ones.

Expensive follies, like a hotel opened on Bora Bora (the location of “Hurricane”), an upscale delicatessen on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and a studio complex in North Carolina, strained Mr. De Laurentiis’s bottom line, and in later years he was forced to sell many of his properties and rein in his activities.

Still, he persisted through the 1980s and ’90s, thanks chiefly to a relationship with Stephen King, many of whose books were filmed by Mr. De Laurentiis, and his ownership of Thomas Harris’s first novel in the Hannibal Lecter series, “Red Dragon.” Mr. De Laurentiis filmed the Harris novel twice: first in 1986 as “Manhunter,” with Brian Cox in the role of the cannibalistic serial killer, and then under the novel’s original title in 2002, with Anthony Hopkins back for another turn in the role after becoming a star playing Lecter in the non-De Laurentiis “Silence of the Lambs.”

Agostino De Laurentiis was born in Torre Annunziata, a town in the province of Naples, on Aug. 8, 1919, the third in a family of seven brothers and sisters.

He had four children with Ms. Mangano: Veronica, Raffaella (who eventually joined her father in business), Federico and Francesca. Federico De Laurentiis died in an airplane crash in 1981. After Ms. Mangano’s death in 1989, Mr. De Laurentiis married the American-born producer Martha Schumacher, with whom he had two daughters, Carolyna and Dina.

In addition to his wife and daughters, he is survived by three sisters, Rose Balsamo, Raffaella Cimino and Anna De Laurentiis; five grandchildren, including the chef and Food Network host Giada De Laurentiis; and two great-grandchildren.

Mr. De Laurentiis’s second wife, as Martha De Laurentiis, continued to work with him as a co-producer. Their most recent projects included “Hannibal Rising” (2007), a prequel to the Lecter saga starring the young French actor Gaspard Ulliel as the apprentice flesh eater.

A master at publicizing his movies and himself, Mr. De Laurentiis made a lot of proclamations that were hard to take seriously. (He referred to his “King Kong” remake as “the greatest love story of all time.”) He could also be wryly self-deprecating, as in this explanation of how he became a producer:

“I see my face in the mirror, and I said, ‘No, my ambition is not to be an actor.’ ”





Published: November 7, 2010

Artie Wilson, a pesky, slap-hitting shortstop in the Negro leagues who created a signing feud between the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians after he hit .402 for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948, a circumstance that may have cost him a major league career, died Oct. 31 in Portland, Ore. He was 90.
November 8, 2010    

Harold Filan/Associated Press

Artie Wilson went to spring training with Cleveland in 1949.

The cause was heart failure, said his wife, Dorothy.

Wilson played five years for Birmingham, where, in spite of having lost the top joint of his right thumb in a factory accident, he twice led the Negro American League in batting and became a mentor and friend to a teenage teammate, Willie Mays.

A speedy left-handed hitter, Wilson epitomized the table-setting leadoff man. He hit so often to the opposite field that some teams played three infielders on the left side against him. He was also an accomplished base-stealer and a slick fielder, especially adept at turning the double play.

His sky-high average in 1948, the year after Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues, is thought to represent the last time anyone at the top level of professional baseball broke the .400 barrier. (Ted Williams, the last major league player to accomplish the feat, batted .406 in 1941.)

After the ’48 season, Wilson was playing winter ball and managing in Puerto Rico when the Yankees and the Indians claimed to have purchased his contract from the Birmingham team. Wilson preferred Cleveland, and he was playing for their top farm team, the San Diego Padres, when the baseball commissioner, A. B. Chandler, ruled in May that he was the property of the Yankees.

The Yankees immediately unloaded him, selling him to the Oakland Oaks, an unaffiliated club in the Pacific Coast League, where his teammate — and roommate — was Billy Martin. Though he led the league in batting in 1949 with a .348 average and batted .312 in 1950, he did not get a chance to play in the majors until 1951, when he played 19 games with the New York Giants but was let go in midseason.

Arthur Lee Wilson was born in Springfield, Ala., on Oct. 28, 1920, and raised by his mother, Martha Wilson, in Birmingham. He played semipro ball for a factory team before joining the Black Barons in 1944. After being released by the Giants, he played minor league ball for several more seasons before starting a career in auto sales.

In addition to his wife, the former Dorothy Daniels, whom he married in 1949, he is survived by their two children, Zoe A. Wilson Price, of Forsyth, Ill., and Arthur Lee II, of Honolulu; a daughter from a previous marriage, Jean Walden, of Youngstown, Ohio; a grandson, three granddaughters and nine great-grandsons.

“A baseball team,” Dorothy Wilson said.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 10, 2010

An obituary on Monday about Artie Wilson, a Negro leagues baseball star, misstated the number of games he played with the New York Giants in 1951 and referred incorrectly to his association with Willie Mays at that time. Wilson played 19 games, not 22. (He had 22 at-bats in those games.) And while Wilson and Mays were former teammates on the Birmingham Black Barons, they did not play for the Giants at the same time. (Mays moved to New York after Wilson was released.)





Published: November 12, 2010

Coleman Jacoby, a comedy writer during the golden age of television who, with his partner Arnie Rosen, created some of Jackie Gleason’s most memorable characters and engineered one of the great match-ups in television history, Gleason and Art Carney, died on Oct. 20 in East Meadow, N.Y. He was 95 and lived in Manhattan.

November 13, 2010    

Dumont Network

From left, Arnie Rosen, Jackie Gleason and Coleman Jacoby during a rehearsal for a show, in a photograph from about 1951.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, his daughter, Catherine Loria Parker, said.

Mr. Jacoby, a former writer for Fred Allen’s radio show, also wrote more than 50 episodes for Phil Silvers’s Sergeant Bilko character. He found a foothold in the fledgling television industry in 1950 when he and Mr. Rosen were hired to write sketches for Gleason, the new host of the DuMont network’s “Cavalcade of Stars.”

The partners created characters that became a permanent part of Gleason’s act over the years: “that devil-may-care playboy” Reginald Van Gleason III, the Poor Soul, Joe the Bartender, Charlie Bratton the Loud Mouth, the nebbishy Fenwick Babbitt and the stupendously inept Rudy the Repairman. Their first Reggie Van Gleason sketch called for Gleason to appear as the Man of Compunction, a swipe at Calvert whiskey’s Man of Distinction ads, in a photo session for a magazine liquor advertisement. The advertising agency’s photographer, trying to demonstrate the correct way to quaff a drink insouciantly — “I want you to toss a drink off with the élan of a polo player, heir to millions,” he tells Gleason — unwittingly initiates a tit-for-tat boozefest that ends in chaos.

For the role of the photographer the two men suggested Art Carney, a comic and impressionist they had worked with on Robert Q. Lewis’s CBS radio show. “We got to know Art pretty well when Arnie Rosen and I were working at CBS,” Mr. Jacoby told Michael Seth Starr, the author of “Art Carney: A Biography” (1997). “He was brilliant, and we remembered him. We brought him in cold and pushed him down Gleason’s throat.”

The two men clicked, and Carney became a regular, with Mr. Jacoby and Mr. Rosen writing him into as many sketches as they could, creating the characters Sedgwick Van Gleason (Reggie’s father) and the milquetoast Clem Finch (victim of the Loudmouth).

Gleason and Carney went on to television immortality in the 1950s comedy “The Honeymooners,” Gleason as the bus driver Ralph Kramden and Carney as his friend and neighbor Ed Norton.

In 1956 Mr. Jacoby and Mr. Rosen were hired to write for “You’ll Never Get Rich,” Nat Hiken’s service comedy starring Phil Silvers as Sergeant Ernie Bilko. Over the next four years they wrote dozens of episodes for the series, which was later known as “The Phil Silvers Show.”

Coleman Jacobs was born on April 16, 1915, in Pittsburgh. After his mother died and his father abandoned the family, he was placed at the age of 7 in the Jewish Home for Babies and Children.

He studied art at a settlement house near Pittsburgh and at 16 left for New York, where he painted murals on the walls of nightclubs and began writing jokes for stand-up comedians and Broadway press agents angling to get their clients, via a joke, into Walter Winchell’s column.

At the suggestion of the gossip columnist Earl Wilson, he changed his last name to Jacoby, which Wilson said had a pleasing ring to it. Mr. Jacoby broke into radio by writing jokes for Bob Hope and went on to write for Allen. In 1940 he married Violeta Velero, one half of the Velero Sisters, who appeared with Latin bands. The marriage ended in divorce. He later married the dancer Gaby Monet, who died in 2009. He is survived by his daughter, of Mineola, N.Y.

After writing for “Your Show of Shows,” featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, he teamed up with Mr. Rosen. Following their work with Silvers, the partners wrote for “The Garry Moore Show” for five years. They split up when Mr. Rosen left for California in 1967 to produce “The Carol Burnett Show.”

With his second wife, Mr. Jacoby formed Jacoby-Monet Productions, which made television specials, many of them for children. In his later years he worked on a memoir, unfinished at his death, titled “Nobody Likes an Arrogant Orphan.”

In it, Mr. Jacoby described working with Jackie Gleason as a painful learning experience. “From the very first show he is a problem,” he wrote. “We know he is a talent and a boon to our efforts but it is a question of inhuman endurance. As I once said to Arnie, ‘We have a tiger by the tail — a fat, funny tiger.’ ”


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