2013 Obits – April

April 28: Kenny Kerr, 60 – the best performing drag queen ever to grace a stage in Las Vegas or anywhere else.

April 26: George Jones, 81 – country music legend, with a graceful, evocative voice which gave a depth to some of the greatest songs in country music including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” died at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN. He had been hospitalized since April 18 with a fever and irregular blood pressure.

April 22: Richie Havens, 72 – folk and Woodstock legend, was a protest music hero and the man who opened the 1969 Woodstock festival died from a sudden heart attack at his home in New Jersey.

April 20: Joan Bridge Baez, 100 – Big Joan, as the mother dubbed herself after her namesake daughter became world-famous. In life Joan Bridge was best known as the mother of Joan Baez, (she gained the surname Baez after marrying renowned Mexican-born American physicist Albert Vinicio Baez) who along with her husband, instilled into their daughters a sense of justice, racial equality and social conscience.

Allan Arbus

Allan Arbus

April 19: Allan Arbus, 95 – Psychiatrist with Zingers on M*A*S*H died at his home in Los Angeles. His daughter Amy confirmed his death. In addition to playing on M*A*S*H, Mr. Arbus appeared in films like Coffy and Crossroads and was a TV regular during the 70s and 80s, appearing on Taxi, Starsky & Hutch, Matlock and other shows. But his best-known role was Major Freedman, the liberal psychiatrist who appeared in a dozen episodes of M*A*S*H. He treated wounds of the psyche much as Capt. Hawkeye Pierce treated surgery patients: with a nerve-ending string of zingers.

April 18: Patrick Kennedy, 59 – Milwaukee police detective who got serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to talk about his crimes died after suffering an apparent heart attack. Chris James Thompson, the director of an independent documentary The Jeffrey Dahmer Files said about Kennedy, “It’s the defining moment in his career and his life, in a sense. That’s the career moment for him. At the same time, it’s this horribly dark moment for the city.”

April 16: Pat Summerall, 82 – legendary sports broadcaster died in his hospital room where he was recovering from surgery after a broken hip. He had a liver transplant in 2004.

April 14: Michael France, 51 – Screenwriter behind several Marvel superhero adaptations died from complications from diabetes, according to his sister.

April 11: Dempsey Morgan, 91 – American fighter pilot, member of the Tuskegee Airmen.

TWILIGHT ZONE.  Jonathan Winters in "A Game of Pool".  Image dated July 28, 1961, origanal airdate October 13, 1961.  Season 3, episode 5.   Copyright ©1961 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Credit: CBS Photo Archive.  File t22619_63.

TWILIGHT ZONE. Jonathan Winters in “A Game of Pool”. Image dated July 28, 1961, origanal airdate October 13, 1961. Season 3, episode 5. Copyright ©1961 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Credit: CBS Photo Archive. File t22619_63.

April 11: Jonathan Winters, 87 – American comedian, actor and artist, died of natural causes in Montecito, Calif., surrounded by friends and family. Winters’ career began when he won a talent contest which led to radio shows and appearances at comedy clubs. He was one of Jack Paar’s favorite guests and a Johnny Carson regular. He co-starred with Robin Williams as Mearth, Mork and Mindy’s son, who was hatched from an egg and aged backwards.

April 8 – Actress Annette Funicello, 70 – longtime Disney and “Beach Party” star died in Bakersfield, Calif. according to the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases Inc. and the Official Disney Fan Club. She passed away from complications of multiple sclerosis.

April 8 – Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 87 –  Britain’s only female prime minister died following a stroke. Thatcher served from 1979 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was known as the “Iron Lady” for her personal and political toughness. She retired from public life after a stroke in 2002.

April 7 – Lilly Pulitzer, 81 – Trendsetting fashion designer, known since 1959, particularly in preppy enclaves as the designer Lilly Pulitzer, died at her Palm Beach residence. She was surrounded by family and loved ones.

April 5 – Matthew Warren, 27 – Son of Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Valley Community Church, a megachurch in Southern California, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. In a note from his father sent to CNN, it stated in part that he struggled with mental illness, depression and suicidal thoughts.

April 4 – Roger Ebert, 70 – died after battle with cancer. “No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.” Ebert, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic is dead at age 70.

April 2 – Jane Nebel Henson – partner to Jim Henson and mother to Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John and Heather, died in her Connecticut home after a long battle with cancer. She met Jim in a puppetry class at the University of Maryland and soon after became an integral creative and business partner with him to form the Muppets. They were married in 1959. Their son Brian is currently chairman and Lisa is CEO of The Jim Henson Co., which continues to generate Muppets films.

April 1 – Shain Gandee, 21 – Reality television star of MTV’s “Buckwild,” plus two others were discovered inside a Ford Bronco in Sissonville, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Gandee’s vehicle was found next to a ridge-top trail which was passable by four-wheel drive vehicles but the Bronco was in a mud pit next to the trail and was partially submerged in deep mud. Mud covered the lower part of the passenger side door of the vehicle and the muffler of the vehicle was completely below the surface of the mud. It is believed that the three died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

William H. Ginsburg

William H. Ginsburg

April 1: William H. Ginsburg, 70 – The lawyer who represented Monica Lewinsky during the 1998 scandal that engulfed the Clinton presidency died of cancer on Monday, April 1 at his home in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, Calif.

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