These are the most recent obituary items from LA Observed.
Jeffries was one of Los Angeles car culture's "preeminent automotive sculptors and engineers." He began pinstriping with Von Dutch in the early 1950s and settled into the Valley.
In an era before CGI, Harryhausen used clay monsters and mythical creatures to bring life to live-action adventure films like 'Clash of the Titans,' 'Valley of the Gwangi' and 'Jason and the Argonauts. He was one of the sci-fi club members who patronized Clifton's with Ray Bradbury in the 1930s.
Mario Machado was a familiar presence on Los Angeles TV and radio for a few decades starting in 1967, when he joined Channel 9 (then KHJ-TV) as the city's first Chinese-American TV news reporter. He was a soccer booster in LA before the sport was cool and a founder of AYSO. Girls play soccer today because of Mario Machado, a friend posted on Facebook.
Sandstone Retreat was a clothing-optional refuge in Topanga Canyon that began in the late 1960s, became famous during the sexual revolution, and survived efforts by the county to shut it down. John Williamson opened the retreat with his wife, Barbara, after being inspired by Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" to quit his aerospace job at Lockheed.
Wilson was a Los Angeles Times art critic from 1965 until he retired in 1998, and the chief critic for 20 of those years.
Noel Greenwood was the editor in charge of local and California coverage at the Los Angeles Times during the 1980s and some of the '90s, I believe. He hired scores if not hundreds of the journalists who passed through the Times and went on to populate newsrooms around the world. Greenwood died today at his home in Santa Barbara of prostate cancer complications.
The high school social studies teacher gained legend status on the Eastside for his mentoring of Chicano students and for being arrested during the 1968 Chicano walkouts. The middle school on the campus of Belmont High was named for Castro in 2010.
Another of Southern California's fast food pioneers has died. John Galardi was a student at Pasadena Junior College when he started working for Glen Bell, the founder of Taco Bell. Galardi opened his first hot dog stand on Pacific Coast Highway in Wilmington, next to a Taco Bell, in 1961.
Jonathan Winters had one of those long, varied entertainment industry careers after working New York comedy clubs and moving to early television in the 1950s. "One of the great comedians of the 20th century," the LA Times says.
The Orange County Register's longtime radio writer, Gary Lycan, died in his sleep on Tuesday, the paper reported this afternoon. Lycan had prostate cancer in recent years. His friend and collaborator Manny Pacheco posts a nice tribute: "the most difficult blog story I have ever written..."
America's 1950s darling was discovered by Walt Disney in a dance recital at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. After the original "Mickey Mouse Club" on ABC, she became popular again as a teen idol and in the mid-1960s "Beach" movies with Frankie Avalon. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she long ago lost the ability to walk or talk. Last year, Canada's CTV aired a superb report on Funicello and MS. Videos and links inside.
The Pulitzer Prize winner had been battling cancer for years, He was 70.
Dan Turner was a member of the Los Angeles Times editorial board who wrote on a wide range of topics. He died Saturday at home in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed about two years ago. He had continued to write editorials and blog items for the Times' opinion section until taking a leave of absence only about a week ago.
Bobby Rogers shared a birthday with Smokey Robinson and they began singing together at Detroit's Northern High School. Their group, The Matadors, changed its name to The Miracles after Rogers' cousin, Claudette Rogers, joined. They became the first Motown Records success.
Colby Evett owned and operated Evett's Model Shop on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica. The store celebrated its 65th anniversary in January.