2013 Obits – March

March 30: Phil Ramone, 79 – music producer and innovator, a former violin prodigy and expert engineer. He worked with Dylan, Sinatra, McCartney, Bennett, Charles, Streisand, Simon, Joel and Bacharach and spent more than50 years in the music business. He won 14 Grammies and was nominated 33 times and was once dubbed the “Pope of Pop.”

March 26: Don Payne, writer, 48 – (“The Simpsons,” “Thor”) died at his home in Los Angeles after battling bone cancer.

March 25 – Scott Hardkiss (born Scott Friedel), 43 – Bay Area DJ and 90s Rave pioneer and founding member of Bay Area trio the Hardkiss Brothers died. He suffered from a degenerative eye disorder Keratoconus and underwent eye transplant surgery to restore vision in his left eye in 2011 but the surgery was unsuccessful. Keratoconus is not known to be fatal and very little information is known about the cause of Hardkiss’ death.

March 24 – Todd A. Breitenstein, 47 – Owner (along with his wife) of Twilight Creations, a gaming company, best known for “Zombies!!!”

In this Nov. 21, 1979 file photo, Harry Reems discusses his acting career in New York. Reems, the former porn star who co-starred in the 1972 movie "Deep Throat," died Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in Slat Lake City.  He was 65.(AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)

In this Nov. 21, 1979 file photo, Harry Reems discusses his acting career in New York. Reems, the former porn star who co-starred in the 1972 movie “Deep Throat,” died Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in Slat Lake City. He was 65.(AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)

March 19 – Harry Reems, 65 – The man who brought pornography to mainstream audiences, died at the veterans’ hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his wife, Jeanne Sterrett Reems said. Reems became famous for his role in the adult-film classic “Deep Throat” which brought middle class audiences to the theater and became a forerunner of today’s hardcore adult-entertainment industry.

March 16 – Bobby Smith, 76 – Co-founder and long time co-lead singer of the legendary  Spinners, died from complications of influenza and pneumonia. He had also been diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2012.

March 15 – Olen Burrage, 82, suspect in the 1964 Klan slayings. No cause of death was given. Burrage owned land in Neshoba County in central Mississippi where the three civil rights workers were buried in an earthen dam after the Klan members murdered them in 1964. He was acquitted of conspiracy in 1967.

March 11 – Robert Troyan, 63 – An American socialite living in London was found dead from head injuries at his Mayfair flat. He was the first person in London to enter a civil partnership. His partner, Anthony Feldman, a renowned architect, interior designer and com poster, died of pancreatic cancer in 2005. The pair had been together since 1983 and entered into a civil partnership just one month before Feldman’s death, becoming the first couple in the capital to do so. The police have launched a manhunt to find who beat Robert Troyan.

March 11 – Erica Andrews – Mexican-born American drag performer, Miss Continental (2004), long ailment. Renowned for her unique routines including her Mommie Dearest boardroom/Shirley Bassey mix to “I Who Have Nothing,” her many titles include Universal Show Queen (2004), Miss Gay USofA (1999) and Miss Continental (2004). She was also featured in the 2006 Showtime documentary Trantasia and had a role as Emma Grashun in the 2010 revenge-horror-exploitation opus Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives. She was often referred to as “the most beautiful drag queen in captivity.”

March 9 – Sybil Christopher, 83 – the wife that Richard Burton left for Elizabeth Taylor died, from an unknown cause. When married to Burton, they had two daughters, Kate Burton – a successful actress currently starring in ABC’s “Scandal” and Jessica Burton, who suffered from autism. Following the media circus of her break-up with Burton, Ms. Christopher reinvented herself, moved to New York and opened a Manhattan nightclub called Arthur (named after George Harrison’s hair style). For the next several years, there was no hotter discotheque in the city and it transformed Sybil into a celebrity. In 1966 she married Jordan Christopher, 10 years her junior, the lead singer of the Arthur house band The Wild Ones. He died in 1996. They had one child.

March 5 – Hugo Chávez, 58 – Venezuelan politician and military officer, President (since 1999), cancer. Mr. Chávez had been seriously ill with cancer for more than a year, undergoing several surgeries in Cuba. He was a controversial figure in Venezuela and on the world stage, a critic of the US, he inspired a left-wing revival across Latin America.

March 5: William ‘Paul Bearer’ Moody, 58 – the pasty-faced, urn-carrying manager for performers The Undertaker and Kane of the WWE, died on Tuesday, March 5.

March 5: Wilfried Knight, 35 – Gay porn actor reportedly committed suicide according to a press release from an adult entertainment industry news site and porn studios Falcon Studios and Raging Stallion Studios have confirmed that Knight took his own life. Though the details of his death still aren’t clear, Knight did lose his husband of nine years, Jerry Enriquez, to suicide, earlier this month.

March 3 – Bobby Rogers, 73 – Co-Founder of The Miracles in 1956 with Smokey Robinson, his cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White. The Miracles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 after recording hits including “I Second That Emotion” and “The Tears of a Clown.” Rogers had been ill for several years.

Bonnie Franklin

Bonnie Franklin

March 1 – Bonnie Franklin, 69 – The veteran stage and television performer who became a well-known star after playing the divorced mom Ann Romano on “One Day at a Time” died at her home in Los Angeles due to complications from pancreatic cancer.

March 1 – Jewel Akens, 79 – R&B crooner whose song “The Birds & The Bees” vaulted him into short-lived fame in the mid 60s, died of complications from back surgery in Inglewood, as told by his wife, Eddie Mae.

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