Transitions

Observations on the passing of prominent Angelenos and others whose lives we found interesting
Gil CatesElizabeth TaylorScott WilsonJill Kinmont Boothe
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Anne Meara, 85*, and John Nash, 86

anne-meara-nyt.jpg Meara, the actress and comedian, died in Manhattan. Nash, the mathematician portrayed in "A Beautiful Mind," was killed with his wife Alicia in a New Jersey taxi crash.

Los Angeles artist Chris Burden dies at 69

urban-light-burden.jpg Burden's "Urban Light" outside LACMA has become one of the most admired and photographed works of art in Los Angeles.

Dave Goldberg's legacy in the music business

dave-goldberg.jpg The Survey Monkey chief executive who reportedly died outside the U.S. while on vacation with his wife -- no details have been released -- was a pioneer in bringing digital music to the Internet.

Ben E. King tribute by 'Rhapsody in Black' (videos)

bill-gardner-fb.jpg rhapsody-in-black.jpg Bill Gardner soared with his on-air set devoted to the late Ben E. King on Saturday afternoon on KPFK.

Jack Ely, 71, lead singer on 'Louie Louie' (video)

kingsmen-cover.jpg richard-berry-louie-louie.jpg Ely co-founded the Portland garage band the Kingsmen and was the lead singer on their 1963 cover of "Louie Louie." Written by Angeleno Richard Berry, "LL" may be the most recorded rock song ever.

Richard Corliss, Time film critic, was 71

richard-corliss-time.jpg Corliss wrote about film for Time for 35 years, becoming "perhaps the magazine’s most quoted writer of all time."

Betty Willis, designer of iconic Las Vegas sign, was 91

LVSign_.jpg "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada" says the sign placed on the road into Vegas from LA in 1959. "A luminous diamond stretched like Silly Putty, each letter of 'Welcome' encircled by silver dollars."

Michael Higby, LA blogger, was 50

The lead blogger for many years at Mayor Sam's Sister City died Wednesday after a visit to the dentist.

Percy Sledge, soul singer, was 73

percy-sledge-rrhof.jpg "When a Man Loves a Woman" "raised the bar for soul balladeering for all time," the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wrote. Sledge died today in Baton Rouge.

David Laventhol, retired LA Times publisher, was 81

Laventhol created the Washington Post Style section and came to the Times through Newsday.
1969-Thunderbirds.jpg If you remember the names Ralphie Valladares and Shirley Hardman, this post is for you. Whoa, Nellie!

Stan Freberg -- satirist, ad man and more -- dies at 88

Stan-Freberg-album.jpg Stan Freberg had one of those Los Angeles careers. "The first great genius of American musical satire," says Harry Shearer.

Billy DeLury, Dodgers link to Brooklyn, was 81

vin-and-billy-soohoo.jpg Vin Scully had to announce another death in his Dodger family on Sunday, the day before the season opens at Dodger Stadium.

George Fischbeck, TV's Dr. George, dies at 92

dr-george-fischbeck.jpg Fischbeck was Channel 7's weatherman for nearly 20 years in the 1970s and 80s.

Joe McDonnell, 58, longtime LA sports media figure

mcdonnell-laradio.jpg McDonnell died today at Good Samaritan after a brief illness. He "worked at almost every sports outlet on the local radio dial," LA Radio's Don Barrett said.
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Previously on LA Observed
In case you missed it
Wanda Coleman, poet was 67
wanda-coleman-2012.jpgThe Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman died after a long illness. The LA Times said Coleman "was a key figure in the literary life of Los Angeles....[and] helped transform the city's literature." Story
How the media missed Jenni Rivera
jenni-rivera-smile.jpgHalf a century after Ritchie Valens, the national and local media got caught unawares again by the death of a major LA talent. Read
Mass burial of unclaimed dead
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Ashes of 1,656 people interred at Los Angeles County cemetery in Boyle Heights. Story
Oscar Niemeyer
strick-house-schall.jpgLate architect designed the Strick House in Santa Monica. Obit
David Courtney
courtney-cup-300.jpg
Stadium voice of the Angels, Clippers and Kings silenced at age 56. Story and videos
Sheriff John, beloved SoCal figure

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John Rovick — Sheriff John on KTTV for 18 years — died at 93 in a Boise nursing home. For a generation of Angelenos, his smile, fatherly messages and happy birthday greetings never faded from memory. You could call Sheriff John a pre-Vin Scully for LA boomers. Story and videos

Pedro E. Guerrero, 95
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Photographer teamed with architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Obit
We don't forget
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