(荒木 伸吾 Araki Shingo , January 1, 1939 – December 1, 2011)
He developed an interest for drawing at age five. He graduated in Aichi Prefecture. In 1955, at age eighteen, he debuted as a cartoonist in the “Machi” magazine. He then joined Mushi Production as animator in 1965 and later founded Studio Jaguar in 1966. In 1970, he debuted as animation director in the Mushi TV Series “Joe of Tomorrow“, and later worked on the anime adaptations of several of Go Nagai‘s manga, including Devilman (1972), Cutie Honey (1973), and UFO Robo Grendizer (1975), serving as a character designer on the latter two. With his work on Cutie Honey as well as Mahō no Mako-chan, Mahou Tsukai Chappy, Majokko Megu-chan, and Hana no Ko Lunlun, Araki was an important figure in Toei Animation‘s early magical girl anime series of the 1970s.
He usually collaborated with animation director Michi Himeno, whom he met in 1973. They formed Araki Production in 1975. He worked as animation director in 1978’s “Goodbye Battleship Yamato:
Warriors of Love”. He, with Himeno, have been celebrated for their
success. The Araki-Himeno duo collaborated on TV series and animated
films such as “Saint Seiya” (1986–89), “Saint Seiya Overture” from 2004.
Some of his successes are Majokko Megu-chan (1974), Lupin III (1977), Mugen Kido SSX (Captain Harlock, 1978), Versailles no Bara (Lady Oscar, 1979), Hana no Ko Lunlun (Angel, 1979, which featured character designs by Michi Himeno and animation by Araki), Uchû Densetsu Ulysses 31 (Ulises 31, produced 1980, released 1981), and the versions for OVA of Fuma no Kojirô (1991). International accreditation came with Saint Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac,
1986), for his dynamic drawing style along with the elegant drawings
styles of Michi. This Dynamic Duel, as they are known, have been
instrumental in the success of the series.
Working for Toei Animation and Tokyo Movie Shinshia, Araki was also an animator on several American productions which outsourced animation work to Japan, including Inspector Gadget (Season 1, 1983–84, animation), Mighty Orbots (1984, key animation), The Adventures of the American Rabbit (1986) and G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987).
Anime television series
- Attack No. 1 (TV)1969 : Animation.
- Tomorrow’s Joe (TV)1970 : Animation director. (EP 4,6,9,13,16,18,21,23,26,30,34,40,47,50,56,62,66,71,76)
- Mahō no Mako-chan (TV)1970 : Animation director. (EP 30,34,42)
- Moonlight Mask (TV)1972 : Animation.
- Mahou Tsukai Chappy (TV)1972 : Animation director.
- Devilman (TV)1972 : Animation director. (EP 4)
- Cutie Honey (TV)1973 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Babel II (TV)1973 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Majokko Megu-chan (TV)1974 : Character Design, Animation director.
- UFO Robot Grendizer (TV)1975 : Character Design, Animation director.
- New Star of Giants (TV)1977 : Animation director.
- Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace (TV)1977 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Galaxy Express 999 (TV)1978 : Character Design.
- Hana no Ko Lunlun (TV)1979 : Animation (OP and first episode); Character Design for the series was done by Michi Himeno.
- New Star of Giants II (TV)1979 : Character Design.
- The Rose of Versailles (TV)1979 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Ulysses 31 (TV)1981 : Chief Animation Director.
- Baxinger (TV)1982 : OP Animator.
- Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX (TV)1982 : Animation director.
- Ai Shite Knight (TV)1983 : Animation director.
- Lupin III Part III (TV)1984 : Design Supervisor, Animation director.
- Glass Mask (TV)1984 : OP Animator (often mistakenly credited as Character Designer).
- Mighty Orbots (TV)1984 : Animation.
- Tongari Boushi no Memoru (TV)1984 : Animation director.
- Maple Town (TV)1986 : Animation director.
- Saint Seiya (TV)1986 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi (TV)1991 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Aoki Densetsu Shoot! (TV)1993 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Gegege no Kitaro (TV 4/1996) : Character Design.
- Kindaichi Case Files (TV)1997 : Character Design.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (TV)1998 : Character Design.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (TV)2000 : Character Design.
- Ring ni Kakero 1: Carnival Champion Hen (TV)2004 : Character Design, Chief Animation Director.
- Ring ni Kakero 1: Nichibei Kessen Hen (TV)2006 : Character Design.
- Panda! Go, Panda! (movie)1972 : Animation.
- Cutie Honey (movie)1974 : Animation director.
- Majokko Megu-chan (movie)1974 : Animation director.
- Ikkyū-san Chiekurabe (movie)1977 : Animation director.
- Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato (movie)1978 : Animation director.
- Tomorrow’s Joe (movie)1980 : Animation director.
- Cobra: Space Adventure (Movie)1982 : Animation.
- Saint Seiya: Evil Goddess Eris (movie)1987 : Character Design, Key Animation, Animation director.
- Saint Seiya: The Heated Battle of the Gods (movie)1988 : Character Design, Main Animation Design, Animation director.
- Saint Seiya: Legend of Crimson Youth (movie)1988 : Character Design, Main Animation Design, Animation director.
- The Rose of Versailles (movie)1990 : Animation director.
- Aoki Densetsu Shoot! (movie)1990 : Animation director.
- Gegege no Kitaro : Daikaijū (movie)1996 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Kindaichi Case Files Operaza Kan Saigo no Satsujin (special) (movie)1996 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Gegege no Kitaro: Yōkai Tokkyū! Maboroshi no Kisha (movie)1997 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Kindaichi Case Files 2 – Satsuriku no Deep Blue (movie)1999 : Character Concept Design.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (1999 film) (movie)1999 : Animation director.
- The Siamese – First Mission (movie)2001 : Character Design (main).
- Saint Seiya Heaven Chapter: Overture (movie)2004 : Character Design, Animation director.
Original Video Animations
- Okubyo na Venus (OAV/VHS)1986 : Animation director.
- The Adventures of the American Rabbit (OAV/VHS)1986 : Animation.
- Amon Saga (OAV)1986 : Character Design, Animation Supervisor, Key Animator.
- Fuma no Kojirou : Yasha-hen (OAV)1989 : Character Design.
- Fuma no Kojirou : Seiken Sensou-hen (OAV)1990 : Character Design.
- Fuma no Kojirou : Fuma Hanran-hen (OAV)1992 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Fuma no Kojirou : Fuma Hanran-hen (OAV)1992 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Dragon Fist (OAV)1991 : Character Design, Animation director.
- Babel II (OAV)1992 : Character Design.
- Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter – Sanctuary : (OAV)2002 : Character Design, Chief Animation Director.
- Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter – Inferno : (OAV)2005, 2006 : Character Design, Chief Animation Director.
- Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter – Elysion : (OAV)2008 : Character Design, Chief Animation Director.
- BURAI: Jōken (Videogame) : Character Design.
- BURAI: Gekan – Kanketsu-hen (Videogame) : Character Design.
- BURAI: Hachigyoku no Yūshi Densetsu (Videogame) : Character Design.
- BURAI II: Yami Kōtei no Gyakushū (Videogame) : Character Design.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
Bill Waller, American politician, Governor of Mississippi (1972–1976), died from heart failure he was 85.
William Lowe “Bill” Waller, Sr. was an American politician. A Democrat, Waller served as the Governor of Mississippi
from 1972 to 1976 died from heart failure he was 85.. During his military service he attained the rank of
sergeant and was offered a commission in the Counter Intelligence Corps,
but he declined being discharged on November 30, 1953. He returned to
Jackson, Mississippi, to active Army Reserve duty under Colonel Purser
Hewitt, and resumed his legal career.
(October 21, 1926 – November 30, 2011)
As a local prosecutor, he unsuccessfully prosecuted Byron De La Beckwith in the murder of civil rights advocate Medgar Evers
(the first two murder trials of De La Beckwith both in 1964 ended in
hung juries and subsequently because De La Beckwith was never acquitted
in these trials, he was later eligible to be prosecuted again). In 1994,
De La Beckwith was found guilty of the murder.
In 1971, Waller defeated Lieutenant Governor Charles L. Sullivan in the Democratic primary run-off. His main opponent in the general election was Evers’ brother, James Charles Evers, then the mayor of Fayette, who ran as an independent. Waller handily prevailed, 601,222 (77 percent) to Evers’ 172,762 (22.1 percent).
Waller is credited with winning elections without using racially
charged or racially offensive rhetoric. He organized working class white
voters and African American voters separately and usually did not merge
their election efforts until it was too late in the election cycle for
internal conflicts to disrupt the campaign. Litigation in the Southern
Mississippi federal court and in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals at
New Orleans stripped the Regular Democrats of Mississippi of their
official status and their 25 seats in the 1972 Democratic National Convention.
Prior to a national party policy conference in December of 1974, the
Loyalist and Regular Democratic Party factions united when the subject
and Aaron Henry were elected as co-chairmen of the Mississippi delegation to the Kansas City conference. Waller effectively shut-down the segregationist Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission by vetoing its appropriation while he was governor. He appointed many blacks to positions in state government.
After leaving office, Waller lost the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate in 1978 and for governor again in 1987. He practiced law in Jackson for several years.
His son is the Hon. William L. Waller, Jr., Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court.
On November 30, 2011, Waller died at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson
of heart failure after being admitted the previous night. He was 85.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
(January 16, 1983 – November 30, 2011)
Early years and family
Benyamin was born to Turkish parents in Bremen, Germany. His father went in the 1970s to Germany as a tourist taking his musical instrument saz
with him. He stayed there, formed a musical group and earned his life
playing music at weddings. Later, his mother followed his father in
Germany. As Benyamin was three years old, the family with two boys
Benyamin spent his childhood in Akşehir, a town in Konya Province, where the alleged tomb of Nasreddin Hoca is located. During his primary school years, he contributed to family’s budget by selling food and drinks at street.
Benyamin Sönmez grew up in a family that performed music altogether at home. As his father played tambur and his mother sang, his elder brother Mehmet and he accompanied their parents by playing kanun and darbuka. He remembers that his childhood toys were musical instruments like kanun, oud, cümbüş, electronic organ, darbuka, tambur, saz, ney as well as guitar.
His father, a talented musician without any musical education, made
Benyamin love music and introduced him in playing various musical
As a child, he accompanied his father at his father’s musical
performances with his group on stage at weddings. Benyamin envied his
father, and imitated him at home after their return. A member of his
father’s musical group became aware of his elder brother’s musical
talent and advised to send him to conservatory. His brother Mehmet
Sönmez studied playing contrabass at Ankara State Conservatory. After winning an international prize, his brother went to Belgium to play with the Royal Orchestra. He is currently a member of the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra.
Benyamin was a primary school pupil as his brother Mehmet studied at
the conservatory in Ankara. Mehmet listened to classical music at home
when he was on vacation. Once, Benyamin was very impressed by Shostakovich‘s
music, his brother listened at home to. Mehmet, noticing his interest
in classical music, took him to Ankara, where he, at the age of 13, took
part at an admission test for the conservatory at the Hacettepe University. He failed the test and his brother was told by the jury that Benyamin was not talented for music.
Returned home, Benyamin was eager to study music. He took the test
the next year again. Passed the test, he was asked what musical
instrument he liked to play. He replied violoncello, because its name
sounded nice to him, even though he had never seen an example of it. The
jury looked at his fingers and approved his choice. He saw the cello
for the first time in the conservatory’s string instruments workshop. He says he would not have complained if he had to study viola or violin instead of cello.
In the first years in the conservatory, he surprised everyone by
playing works that were actually reserved for higher classes. He used to
start the day by playing Dvořák and finish with Elgar. Benyamin was very impressed by Rostropovich. Even he admired Heinrich Schiff, André Navarra, Pierre Fournier and Pablo Casals much, he used to try imitate Rostropovich.
At the age of 17, he decided to take part at a cello contest at the Bilkent University, which had a different and heavier musical repertoire
than at the conservatory. He practized four months long for this
contest instead of preparing for the examination that was scheduled one
day before it. Benyamin failed his examination indeed, however won the
first prize the next day at the contest in front of a jury composed of
an American cellist, Gürer Aykal
and Doğan Cangal, who was a member of the examination commission the
day before. Sönmez says by winning the first prize, he was able to save
the honor of his cello teacher Nuray Eşen. From then on, he practiced
much more seriously.
For further studies, Benyamin was recommended to Natalia Gutman by Yuri Bashmet via pianist Gulmira Tokombaeva, a teacher from Kyrgyzstan at the Ankara conservatory. Between 2003 and 2007, he studied under Natalia Gutman, first at Stuttgart Hochschule für Musik in Germany and later at Moscow Conservatory in Russia.
In Moscow, he was frequently invited to her home, where he had the
opportunity to meet notable writers, artists and musicians including
Yuri Bashmet, Viktor Tretiakov, Vasily Lobanov, Eliso Virsaladze, Mischa Maisky, Kurt Masur.
By the time, he was 17, having proved his superior musical skills, he
came first in the national cello contest. He was given a place within BBC soloists in 2000. He won a special award at the International Young Concert Artists Contest organized in Leipzig, Germany in 2001.
Benyamin Sonmez became prize winner in the 2006 International Adam Cello Festival and Competition in New Zealand that was chaired by Rostropovich.
Sönmez, receiving great attention and admiration at each country he visited, had a rich repertoire from Bach to Sofia Gubaidulina. He also had master class performances with the great cellists like Rostropovich, David Geringas, Philippe Muller, Alexander Rudin, Stefan Popov, Frans Helmerson, Ruben Dobrovsky, Miklós Perényi and Yo-Yo Ma.
Sonmez has also studied authentic performance of the Cello Suites of Bach, together with the master of baroque cello Anner Bylsma. Of the important music festivals, he was invited to the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Oleg Kagan
International Music Festival in Germany, the International Adam Cello
Festival & Competition in New Zealand, RNCM Manchester International
Cello Festival in the United Kingdom and Istanbul International Music Festival in Turkey.
His last invitation was to the 80th birthday of M. Rostropovich in 2007. Sonmez, who has performed duo concerts with Oxana Yablonskaya, played his art at important musical centers such as Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, New York, Washington D.C. and Istanbul. He was living in istanbul, Turkey.
His repertoire included modern composers including Dmitri Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke, Giya Kancheli, Sofia Gubaidulina, Ástor Piazzolla and Zoltán Kodály as well as the composers of Baroque and other eras.
He played an 18th-century Matteo Goffriller cello from Venice, Italy.
Young cellist Benyamin Sonmez died on December 1, 2011, at the age of
28, after a heart attack in Ankara. Following a funeral ceremony at the
Hacettepe University Conservatory, his body was transferred to Fethiye, Muğla Province, where he was laid to rest.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
(12 December 1939 – 30 November 2011)
Sharma was born in Lahore,
Punjab, India (now in Pakistan) and was the oldest son of Dr. Baij Nath
Sharma and Dayawati (Pandit) Sharma. Sharma’s father was a civil
engineer who served as Technical Advisor to governments in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Tanganyika and Libya and later retired to their ancestral property in Punjab as a farmer. This colourful Punjabi village forms much of the backdrop of Sharma’s novel, Days of the Turban.
Sharma’s early education was in Trinity College, Kandy, Ceylon, and Bishop Cotton School, Shimla. Sharma received a triple promotion and completed school at 14 before going to study at St. Xavier’s College, Bombay;
all other universities in India required a minimum age of 16. He was
married to Susan Amanda Pick and they have two daughters: Namrita and Tara Sharma.
Sharma’s association with the Indian National Theatre, Mumbai,
began in 1961 with the production by it of his first full-length play
“Bars Invisible” and continued until the production of the banned “A
Touch of Brightness.” While working on his writing, Sharma freelanced as a narrator for short films and newsreels and directed a few documentaries for the Government of India. Sharma has voiced many national and international award-winning documentaries and short films. He is the voice on most of the Son et lumière shows produced in India, including the one still running forty years later, at the Delhi Fort, in Delhi. Sharma was the TV host of the popular programme “What’s the Good Word?” produced by Television Centre, Mumbai.
The Surangini Tales
The Surangini Tales (1973) is a children’s book, about Surangini,
daughter of the village zamindar. She is the most beautiful maiden
anyone has ever seen. Kalu, the poor weaver, loves her, but only the
wealthiest of eligible young men can ask for her hand in marriage.
Unless, Kalu with his deft hands, quick wit and unselfish love can
produce something like a miracle, unexpected and amazing, on the day she
is to choose her bridegroom….!
Dog Detective Ranjha
Dog Detective Ranjha (1978) is a story book about Sharma’s Alsatian
dog Ranjha. Sharma dedicates the book to animal lovers the world over,
and particularly in India where some of the world’s earliest animal
stories were written.
Even today the streets in India are open not only to traffic and
human beings but also the friendly cows and bulls who wander freely as
they please, sometimes absentmindedly standing in a bus queue or staring
in with curiosity from the doorstep of a shop. There are even festivals
for the less loved creatures, like snakes. Birds, of course, are often
fed little morsels even by those who can hardly afford a daily meal for
themselves. In the great epic, Mahabharata, it is said that when the
legendary hero, Yuddhister went to heaven he insisted that his dog
should be allowed to accompany him.
‘Sharma has written a good, old-fashioned adventure story book, its
rather solid virtues enlivened by the amusing device of having events
narrated by the dog.’ – Rosemary Stones, Children’s Book Bulletin (UK)
The Little Master of the Elephant
The Little Master of the Elephant (1984) tells the story of a parched
land, where people are dying or leaving. Chintu and his elephant Vivek
go in search of water to save a dying uncle. They come back with a
retinue of people and animals and a river of water instead of first a
bucketful. This is just the beginning of their adventures together and
their search for the meaning of life. In a part Chintu finds love and is
promised to be king and find the meaning of what he is looking for.
Top Dog (1985) has more stories about Ranjha, the dog detective. They
live in Mumbai and Ranjha has been so skillfully trained in the art of
tracking that he has become famous for the crimes he has solved. All the
stories in this book are based on real cases and Ranjha tells us, in
his own words, about some of the most puzzling he has helped to solve.
He tracked down a local thief, he got involved in a particularly
unpleasant case of what seemed to be ritual murder, he got to the bottom
of a series of thefts from a warehouse that had reduced the owner of
the goods to despair. He helped to find and return to her family a
little girl, who had been kidnapped.
Days of the Turban
Sharma’s novel Days of the Turban (1986) presents a picture of
Indian Society from the inside. It shows a country in transition, where
old values are under attack from new ideas but where, in the end, the
traditions and ways of life still have their place.
It tells the story of Balbir, the youngest member of a wealthy
Punjabi family, the descendant of a great Brahmin warrior dynasty. In
the Punjab the family counts for everything. Over-educated and bored
with life in a Punjabi village, Balbir wants only to escape, to get away
from the demands of ever-present family. Most of all he would like to
follow his glamorous elder brother Raskaan, who has escaped to Europe
and become westernised and rich, a businessman in Berlin.
Searching for adventure and trying to raise the money to finance his
escape, Balbir becomes entangled with local gunrunners. Venturing into
the golden Temple at Amritsar with a message for the Sikh extremists who
have fortified it, he is held hostage to ensure that his cousin
Satyavan will provide the arms the movement needs.
The book provides an insight into the mind of extremists. It shows
how extremism builds on fear and then has to reach further into
terrorism, not necessarily to further its aim, but for its leadership to
keep ahead of its supporters and rivals. The descent from revolutionary
to terrorist can be jagged and rapid.
A Touch of Brightness
“A Touch of Brightness” (1964) centres around Rukmini, a girl sold to
a brothel in Mumbai and her relationship with Pidku, a street urchin,
who tries desperately to rescue her from her life as a prostitute.
Rukmini mesmerises Pidku with her visionary stories of the gods and her
dreams of a married life as the wife of the blue god Krishna.. Even in a
brothel, her extravagant optimism never ceases but only deepens.
In 1965 the play was selected for the first Commonwealth Arts
Festival from among 150 works of Commonwealth writers. It was also
invited to tour four theatres in Britain for a commercial run. In
September 1965 the production troupe, sponsored by the Indian National
Theatre, was prohibited from proceeding to England. To prevent the
troupe of actors from going abroad to present the work, fifteen
passports were impounded overnight. The authorities gave no explanation
for this, but the reason was obvious. To quote directly from an
editorial “Do these people honestly believe that the prestige of India
will be enhanced by letting drama-lovers in London know the heartening
fact of the existence of brothels in this country?”
The play was banned in Mumbai in 1966 on the grounds that it was set
in the infamous redlight area of the city and therefore ‘dealt with
subjects which should not be depicted on stage’. Seven years later, in
1972, the Mumbai High Court decreed that the censoring authority had
‘exceeded its jurisdiction’ and the ban was revoked. The play was
produced by the Indian National Theatre in Mumbai in 1973.
It is interesting to note that forty years on, in 2006 it was
selected by Sahitya Akademi (India’s National Academy of Letters) to
launch a series of contemporary plays by Indian writers in English.
Meanwhile, the play had become a subject of academic study in
universities in India and abroad. The play has also been produced and
published in at least five countries in various languages. It was
broadcast for the first time over radio by the BBC Third Programme on 3
November 1967 with a cast that included Judi Dench (as Prema/Rukmini), and music specially composed for it by the famous sitar player, Pandit Ravi Shankar. Well known literary critic Walter Allen wrote of this play when it was first broadcast “the most imaginatively satisfying” experience in his recent listening.
It was rebroadcast on BBC 7 in 2007.
In 1999, Geeta Citygirl staged the American premiere of A TOUCH OF BRIGHTNESS at Aaron Davis Hall in Harlem, NY. Partap Sharma was present for the opening night performance.
The Zen Katha of Bodhidharma is a historical play about the founder
of zen who was also a master of martial arts. Revered in China, Okinawa
and Japan, the Indian monk Bodhidharma was, till the writing,
performance and publication of this play, almost forgotten in his
It tells the story of how Bodhidharma, born a prince in South India
in the fifth century, had to discover ways to excel at unarmed combat
because the royal Pallavas prided themselves on their wrestling skills.
The Prince became a monk and fled from the demands of a throne to China,
but could not so easily escape the woman who loved him.
The irrepressible ‘Mahatma’ in Gandhi is the Inner Voice he could not
ignore. This intricately crafted play portrays Gandhi’s journey from a
tongue-tied lawyer to a shrewd politician and finally the Mahatma (Great
Soul). Set against the dramatic background of India’s struggle for
freedom, this outstanding play surprises our expectation at every turn
of the story. Full of humour and style, the play makes past events seem
like present gossip and the audience is transported deeper within
The play brings alive Gandhi’s philosophy, pragmatism, and sense of
humour. Partap Sharma’s play unwinds Gandhi’s concepts and his
techniques for non-violent struggle. The play is captivating as we
realise that Gandhi’s struggle has no enemy, no arms, no hate nor
revenge, but only the inner strength of millions of ordinary men, women
The play has won the 2006 META 
awards in India for Best Original Script, Best Director, Best Actor and
Best Costumes. It is playing to great acclaim in India, and S.E Asia
and after the European Premiere in Brussels in October 2006, travelled
to the US,UK in 2007. It then travelled to New Zealand  and Australia where it received standing ovations.
Sharma’s Sammy has also travelled all the way successfully to the
Scotland. The story in itself will be a form of reviving the values of
Mahatma in foreign lands through theatre and this play has been woven as
the director (Pranay Ahluwalia) has tried to show history through
modern eyes which would lead the audience into the era which shaped the
future of India for generations to come.
90 Minutes for Gandhi, was staged at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe
Festival 2009 as a horizontal adaption of the original play under the
banner of The Holycow Performing Arts Group, an Edinburgh-based amateur theater group. The play has been very well received.
Set in the late eighteenth century The Rebel Courtesan, Begum Sumroo (she is also known as Begum Samru), traces the picaresque adventures of a legendary historical figure from British India, Begum (Queen) Sumroo.
Farzana is a peerless courtesan who morphs into a powerful ruler,
known for her political accomplishments as well as her amorous liaisons.
After seducing Walter Reinhardt Sombre,
a Swiss German mercenary, she acquires the kingdom of Sardhana from
Emperor Shah Alam, and commands a fierce brigade of 3000 European and
It is said that tourists who visited British India were advised to see the Taj Mahal, and to pay their respects to the Begum! The story is of an amazing Indian woman who was ahead of her time and ours.
- Brothers Under The Skin, (1956)
- Bars Invisible (1961)
- A Touch Of Brightness (1965)
- The Word (1966)
- The Professor Has A Warcry (1970)
- Queen Bee (1976)
- Power Play (1991)
- Begum Sumroo (1997)
- Zen Katha (2004)
- SAMMY! (2005)
Documentaries and films
Partap Sharma has directed some outstanding documentaries, as
independent producer and for the Government of India’s Films Division,
and Channel Four Television, UK. His film credits include:
- The Framework Of Famine, 1967, an investigation of how
nature’s devastation is compounded by human corruption and inefficiency;
banned for it’s “ruthless candour” then released after other
- The Flickering Flame, 1974, a study of the mismanagement of the energy crisis and its effect on the suburban housewife; banned and never released.
- Kamli, 1976, a short film depicting the status of women in rural Indian society.
- The Empty Hand, 1982, (co-directed) a prize-winning audiovisual about the art of karate.
- Viewpoint Amritsar, 1984, co-directed a film about the Golden Temple and environs in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star.
- The British Raj Through Indian Eyes, 1992, a documentary series telecast in 1992 by Channel Four Television UK. Part I: The Uprising of 1857. Part II: The Massacre at Jallianwallah Bagh 1919.
The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum
in Bristol, UK, now has a permanent section entitled ‘The Sharma
Archive’ consisting of 30 video and 67 audio tapes made by Partap
Sharma. Interviews and footage of Indian nationalists, freedom fighters
and writers. Indian perspectives on the Raj. Some transcripts available
(CDs, Videos and Cassettes).
- Sailing Around The World And Discover America Yachting Rally, two video programmes directed by Sandhya Divecha and produced by Sharma’s Indofocus Films Pvt. Ltd.
- British Raj Hindustani Nazron Se, 1995–98, A Hindi TV Serial.
The Case Of The Hidden Ear-Ring, 1983
As an actor Sharma played a role in the Merchant-Ivory film “Shakespeare Wallah”. Other films include the lead role in the following Hindi films:
- Phir Bhi (1971)
- Andolan (1975)
- Tyaag Patra (1980)
- Pehla Kadam (1980)
- Nehru – The Jewel of India (1989)
- The Bandung Sonata (2002) Filmed in China, Sharma played Nehru in
this international film which was subsequently re-titled for release in
China as Chou-en-Lai in Bandung.
- Julius Caesar (2007)
“Commonly acknowledged as one of the most recorded (for advertising
shorts) voices of India, actor-playwright and thespian Pratap Sharma’s
latest venture – a solo recording of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a
literary tour de force. It makes for spell-binding listening as he holds
the stage all alone, lending each character a completely distinctive
tone and nuance. This recording … is particularly remarkable, since
Sharma was on oxygen at all times to combat emphysema, a lung ailment
from which he has been suffering for the past few years.” – Gaver
Chatterjee, Education World. “Quite a solo feat. He lent each role a
certain shading, using nuance, inflection…” -Indian Express.
- The Merchant of Venice (2007)
“The recording has an amazing range of voice – without break for
changing from one character to another. Partap Sharma, the Golden Voice
of India…” – Hindustan Times.
“Shakespeare comes alive loud and clear. Partap’s is among the most
marvellous voices in not just India but the world. This recording of one
man speaking in so many accents will be a staple for young students.” –
The Times of India.
- Macbeth (2008)
“It comes as no surprise that the man with the golden voice needs no
advertising or publicity for his work. Sharma, the man they call simply
‘the voice’ has voiced all the characters in the play, from the three
witches to Macbeth himself – an aural treat. The series is also
testimony to the writer-documentary filmmaker-actor’s fighting spirit as
he battles with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema.” –
Awards and honours 
Sharma won numerous first prizes in school & university in
debating, elocution & acting including first prize at the All India
Inter-University Youth Festival, Delhi, in 1958.
1971 National Award for the lead role in the feature film “Phir Bhi”
which also won the National Award for the best Hindi film of the year.
Cleo Award U.S.A for best voice.
1976 RAPA First Prize for best voice in radio spots.
1992 the “Hamid Sayani” Trophy for a lifetime of all-round excellence in radio and television.
2000 Ad Club of Mumbai Award for Lifetime Contribution to Advertising.
2006 “Meta Award” for Best Original Script for SAMMY!
2007 “Yuva Thespo 9 Lifetime Achievement Award ” 
Hindi film actress Tara Sharma is Partap Sharma’s daughter.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
(May 12, 1945 – November 30, 2011)
At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, Robie received a silver medal for his second-place finish in the men’s 200-meter butterfly. Four years later at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, he won a gold medal for winning the men’s 200-meter butterfly.
Robie broke the world record in men’s 200-mter butterfly four times
during his career, including twice on the same day in August 1962.
Robie practiced civil trial law in Sarasota, Florida. He was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an “Honor Swimmer” in 1976.
Robie died at the age of 66 on November 29, 2011.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
Robert Osserman was an American mathematician died he was 84..
(December 19, 1926 – November 30, 2011)
Raised in Bronx, he went to Bronx High School of Science (diploma, 1942) and New York University. He earned a Ph.D. (1955) from Harvard University on the thesis Contributions to the Problem of Type (on Riemann surfaces) advised by Lars Ahlfors.
He joined Stanford University in 1955. He joined the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in 1990. He worked on geometric function theory, differential geometry, the two integrated in a theory of minimal surfaces, isoperimetric inequality,
and other issues in the areas of astronomy, geometry, cartography and
complex function theory. Osserman was the head of mathematics at Office of Naval Research, a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Paris and Guggenheim Fellow at the University of Warwick. He edited numerous books and promoted mathematics, such as in interviews with celebrities Steve Martin and Alan Alda.
Robert Osserman died on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at his home.
- Two-dimensional calculus (Krieger, 1977)
- Survey of minimal surfaces (1986)
- Poetry of the universe — a mathematical exploration of the cosmos (Random House, 1995)
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellow (1976)
- 2003 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics Communications Award.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
Chester McGlockton, American football player (Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos), died from an apparent heart attack he was 42
Chester McGlockton was an American football defensive tackle who played for four different teams in his twelve season National Football League career from 1992 to 2003 died from an apparent heart attack he was 42..
(September 16, 1969 – November 30, 2011)
McGlockton was a High School All-American as a Tight End/Defensive Lineman at Whiteville High School in Whiteville, North Carolina.
He played Varsity Football all four years. During his senior year he
led the Whiteville Wolfpack to a 15-0 record, a State Championship, and a
USA Today National Ranking.
McGlockton was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1st round (16th overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft. He played six seasons with the Raiders, earning all four of his Pro Bowl appearances with them. McGlockton also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, the Denver Broncos, and ended his career by playing one season with the New York Jets. McGlockton finished his NFL career with 51 sacks including a career season high of 9.5 in 1994.
McGlockton died of an enlarged heart on November 30, 2011.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
Peter Northcote Lunn was a British alpine skier who competed in the 1936 Winter Olympics died he was 97.. As a spymaster in the early Cold War, he was noted for his resourceful use of telephone tapping.
(15 November 1914 – 30 November 2011)
The son of Arnold Lunn, he was born in Coventry and educated at Eton.
Shortly before his second birthday in 1916, Lunn’s father introduced him to skiing at Mürren, which was the Lunn family’s winter home.
“I remember endlessly walking up the practice slope, skiing over a
large bump and falling over,” Lunn said at the age of 95. “My mother
picked me up and said, ‘Lean forward’ — rather good advice.”
During the 1930s, Lunn was one of Britain’s leading skiers. He was a
member of the British international ski team from 1931 to 1937, and its
captain from 1934 to 1937. At the 1936 Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, he led the British ski team and finished twelfth in the alpine skiing combined event,
the highest British placing. “I was overawed by the event and skied too
carefully,” he said later. “It was the only major international downhill race in which I failed to fall.” Lunn and his father, who refereed the slalom
in the 1936 Winter Olympics, detested every form of totalitarianism.
Neither marched in the opening procession or attended the lavish banquet
given by the Nazis.
As well as two skiing manuals and The Guinness Book of Skiing, Lunn also wrote Evil in High Places, a thriller with a skiing background.
On 24 April 1939, Lunn married the Hon. Antoinette Preston (1912–1976), the daughter of Viscount Gormanston (1879–1925). They had three sons and three daughters.
Espionage writer Richard C. S. Trahair provides this description of
Lunn: “He had a slight build and blue eyes, spoke in a soft voice with a
lisp, and appeared to be a quiet gentle fellow. However benign his
appearance, he was a forceful man of strong will, hardworking, a devout Roman Catholic, and militant anti-Communist.”
In 1939 Peter Lunn entered government service, and in 1941 he joined the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). A Royal Artillery officer, he was seconded to MI6 and supervised secret operations for 30 years. He worked in Malta (1939–1944), Italy (1944–1945), West Germany (1945–1946), London (1946–1948), Vienna (1948–1950), Bern (1950–1953), Berlin (1953–1956), London again (1956-1957), Bonn (1957–1962), Beirut (1962–1967), and London for a third time (1967–1968).
Wherever he went, Lunn seized every opportunity to ski. “We had four
weeks in Mürren every Christmas,” his son Stephen recalled. “He skied
every day from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm, and he was furious if he went a day
without a big fall, because that meant he wasn’t trying hard enough.”
As head of the SIS station in Vienna, Lunn discovered that beneath
the French and British sectors, there were telephone cables that linked
field units and airports of the Russian Army to Soviet headquarters. He
got expert advice on tapping these lines, and a private mining
consultant agreed to construct a tunnel from the basement of a police
post to the main phone cable between the Soviet headquarters in the
Imperial Hotel and the Russian military airfield at Schwechat.
Operation Conflict, conceived by Lunn, was the first Cold War tunnel
operation. It garnered a rich trove of message traffic from 1948 to 1951
and was a forerunner for the more ambitious Berlin Tunnel a few years later.
In 1954 Lunn was SIS head of station in Berlin, and cooperated with his CIA opposite number William King Harvey to bring about work on the Berlin Tunnel (known as Operation Gold by the Americans and Operation Stopwatch
by the British). The operation was codenamed PBJOINTLY, with the P and B
standing for Peter and Bill respectively. Most of the manpower and
funds were provided by the Americans, while the technical skills and
experience from the Vienna tunnel came from Lunn’s officers. Unknown to
either the SIS or the CIA, the tunnel was revealed to the Soviets from
the beginning by George Blake, who worked for SIS on the project. In the event, the KGB
was quite happy to let the West snoop on the Red Army, and did not use
the tapped lines for disinformation, as that could have led to Blake’s
exposure. A full account of the operation from a British perspective is given by espionage writer David A. T. Stafford in his book Spies Beneath Berlin (2002).
Lunn retired from government service in 1986. In 2008, at a centenary dinner, he became an honorary member of the Alpine Ski Club, which his father Arnold Lunn had founded 100 years earlier.
- High-Speed Skiing (1935)
- Evil in High Places (1947)
- A Ski-ing Primer (1948)
- The Guinness Book of Skiing (1983)
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
Leka, Crown Prince of Albania, Albanian royal and politician, pretender to the Albanian throne (since 1961), died he was 72.
Leka, Crown Prince of Albania, was the only son of King Zog I of the Albanians and his queen consort, born Countess Géraldine Apponyi de Nagyappony died he was 72.. He was called Crown Prince Skander at birth. Leka was pretender to the Albanian throne and was referred to as King Leka I by Albanian monarchists and some members of the media.
(also known as King Leka I; 5 April 1939 – 30 November 2011)
Family and early life
King Zog I of the Albanians was forced into exile only two days after the birth of Crown Prince Leka due to the Italian invasion of Albania. Shortly after, he was replaced on the throne of Albania by Victor Emmanuel III of Italy — an action the King of Italy would later plead personal forgiveness for. Count Ciano, the Italian
Foreign Minister, arrived in the immediate aftermath of the invasion.
On searching the Palace in Tirana he found the ‘labour room’ in the
Queen’s suite; seeing a pile of linen on the floor, stained by the afterbirth, he kicked it across the room. “The cub has escaped!” he said.
Crown Prince Leka began life in exile in various countries. After travelling across Europe, the Royal Family settled in England, first at the Ritz Hotel in London, then moving for a very short period in 1941 to Sunninghill near Ascot in Berkshire, and then in 1941 to Parmoor House, Parmoor, near Frieth in Buckinghamshire.
After the war, Zog, Queen Geraldine and Leka moved temporarily to Egypt, where they lived at the behest of King Farouk I.
Through his mother, Leka has some attested distant mediaeval roots in Albania,
whereas his father’s much closer Albanian ancestry cannot be
historically attested, except by oral history as far as the Middle Ages.
The Zogu family were one of the main Principalities that fought beside
the Albanian hero Skanderbeg against the invading Turks, and Mamica Kastriot (Skanderbeg’s sister) reputedly married into the Toptani family, which King Zog’s mother came from.
Leka was educated at Parmoor House, and then at English schools in Egypt and at Aiglon College, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. Fluent in many languages he also studied economics at the Sorbonne and passed out of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England. Following this he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the British Army. He had since made his money with successful business deals in commodities.
Leka became heir apparent of the abolished throne on 5 April 1957. On the death of King Zog in 1961, Leka was proclaimed King of the Albanians by a convened Albanian National Assembly-in-Exile, in a function room at the Hotel Bristol, Paris. He also holds the position of 2nd Sovereign Head of the Order of Skanderbeg, the Order of Fidelity and the Order of Bravery.
Marriage and exile
In 1975, Leka married Australian citizen and former teacher Susan Cullen-Ward in Biarritz. They were married in a civil ceremony in the Hôtel de Ville, Biarritz.
The wedding reception, at a five-star Toledo Roadhouse, was attended by
members of other exiled royal families, loyal Albanians and friends,
who toasted “Long live the King”.
The couple returned to Madrid, where they were befriended by King Juan Carlos and continued to enjoy the attentions of Albanians while awaiting what they knew must be the fall of Communism. But when it was discovered that Leka not only retained some Thai bodyguards, but had what was described as an arms cache in their home, the Spanish Government asked him to leave. That Leka had some reason for his fears was proved when his plane arrived at Gabon for refueling, to find it was being surrounded by local troops, who were said to have been hired to capture him by the Albanian government. He saw them off by appearing at the plane’s door with a bazooka in his hand.  The couple went on to Rhodesia but, after Robert Mugabe took power, they settled in a large compound near Johannesburg where they were given diplomatic status by the South African Government.
Leka spent many years exiled in Bryanston, South Africa, where his son, Prince Leka Anwar Zog Reza Baudouin Msiziwe, was born. He eventually returned to Albania, settling in Tirana, Albania, where his wife, Crown Princess Susan, died on 17 July 2004.
Return to Albania
In 1993 he entered Albania for the first time (since being exiled aged a few days old in 1939), doing so under a passport issued by his own Royal Court-in-exile. In this passport, which the Albanian government had refused to recognise previously, Leka listed his profession as “King”.
Leka was greeted by a crowd of approximately 500 supporters on his
arrival at the airport. He stated at this time that he would renounce
this passport and accept the status of a normal citizen if a referendum
on the monarchy failed.
During the 1997 rebellion in Albania, Leka returned again, this time being greeted by 2,000 supporters. A referendum was held in Albania concerning a monarchical restoration. After a recount it was announced that the restoration was rejected by approximately two-thirds of those voting.
The King questioned the independence of the election. Police
intervened, gunfire broke out, one person was killed, and Leka fled. In
2011, Salih Berisha who was President at the time admitted “By 2003, the
Albanian Parliament passed the law that recognized the attributes of
the Royal Family and it was a right decision. Also I remind you that
even the referendum was held in the context of flames of the communist
rebellion and therefore cannot be considered a closed matter. The
Stalinist principle of: ‘you vote, but I count the votes’ was applied in
that referendum. But, the fact of the matter is the Albanians voted
massively for their King, but the referendum failed to meet quotas as it
When asked if he intended to leave Albania he replied: “Why? It is my
country.” After leaving Albania of his own accord he was tried and
sentenced to three years imprisonment for sedition, in absentia; this conviction was pardoned in March 2002, when 72 members of Parliament asked the royal family to return.
Leka was backed by the Party of Right and Legality (PLL). PLL is an extreme-right monarchist party and a marginal factor in Albanian politics. It formed a coalition with other parties in Albania. Leka, however, did not vote, stating that
|“||I am above all political parties, even my own.||”|
Leka was head of the Movement for National Development.
He argued that he was a fighter for a Greater Albania in terms of
ethnicity and that his restoration as king would make possible this
goal. However, in February 2006, he announced he would be withdrawing from political and public life.
He died on 30 November 2011 in Mother Teresa Hospital, Tirana. He was buried next to his wife’s and mother’s grave at the public Sharra cemetery in a Tirana suburb.[
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
J. Blackfoot , was an American soul singer, who was a member of The Soul Children
in the late 1960s and 1970s, and subsequently had a moderately
successful solo career died from cancer he was 65.. His biggest hit was “Taxi”, which reached the
charts in both the US and UK in 1984.
(born John Colbert, November 20, 1946 – November 30, 2011)
John Colbert was born in Greenville, Mississippi, moving to Memphis, Tennessee
with his family as a child. Generally known as “J.” or “Jay”, he
acquired the nickname “Blackfoot” as a child, for his habit of walking
barefoot on the tarred sidewalks. In 1965, while spending some time in Tennessee State Penitentiary in Nashville for car theft, he met Johnny Bragg, the founder of the Prisonaires vocal group.
After leaving prison he recorded a single under his own name for the
small Sur-Speed label, before returning to Memphis, where he was heard
singing in a street corner group by David Porter of Stax Records. After the plane crash that claimed the lives of Otis Redding and four members of The Bar-Kays, he joined the reconstituted group as lead singer, and performed with them for several months but did not record.
In 1968, after Sam & Dave had moved from Stax to Atlantic Records, Porter and his songwriting and production partner Isaac Hayes
decided to put together a new vocal group of two men and two women.
They recruited Blackfoot, together with Norman West, Anita Louis, and
Shelbra Bennett, to form The Soul Children. Between 1968 and 1978, The
Soul Children had 15 hits on the R&B chart, including three that crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, and recorded seven albums.
The Soul Children disbanded in 1979. Blackfoot worked with bands in
the Memphis area, and recorded solo for the local Prime Cut label. In
1983, he began working again with writer and producer Homer Banks, with whom he had recorded with The Soul Children, and recorded “Taxi”, a song originally written for Johnnie Taylor
but not recorded by him. Blackfoot’s record rose to no. 4 on the
R&B chart and no. 90 on the pop chart, also reaching no. 48 in the
UK. He recorded several albums, and had several more R&B hits on Banks’ Sound Town label before moving to the Edge label formed by Al Bell in 1986. In 1987, he had another significant hit, “Tear Jerker”, a duet with Ann Hines, reaching no. 28 on the R&B chart. He later moved to the Basix label, continuing to release albums into the new millennium.
In 2007, Blackfoot and West reformed the Soul Children, with Hines and fourth member Cassandra Graham. In 2010, Blackfoot appeared as part of David Porter’s music revue.
On November 30, 2011, Blackfoot died after having been diagnosed with cancer.
- City Slicker (Sound Town, 1983)
- Physical Attraction (Sound Town, 1984)
- U-Turn (Edge, 1987)
- Loveaholic (Basix, 1991)
- Room Service (Basix, 1993)
- Reality (Basix, 1995)
- This Christmas (Basix, 1997)
To see more of who died in 2011 click here