Just another WordPress.com weblog

Posts tagged “stars that died

Pavle Jurina, Croatian handball player and coach, died he was 57.

Pavle “Pavo” Jurina was a Croatian handball player who competed in the 1980 Summer Olympics and in the 1984 Summer Olympics died he was 57..

(2 January 1954 – 2 December 2011)

Jurina was born in Našice. In 1980 he was a member of the Yugoslav handball team which finished sixth. He played all six matches and scored 33 goals.
Four years later he was part of the Yugoslav team which won the gold medal. He played all six matches and scored five goals.

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Chiyono Hasegawa, Japanese supercentenarian, nation’s oldest person and world’s second oldest living person, died she was 115.

Chiyono Hasegawa was a Japanese supercentenarian.[1] Aged 115 years 12 days at the time of her death, she was the oldest verified person in Japan since the death of Kama Chinen on 2 May 2010, and the oldest verified person in Asia died she was 115.. She was the 2nd oldest verified living person in the world behind American woman Besse Cooper.
Hasegawa remains one of the 30 oldest undisputed people ever. She was
the 26th verified and undisputed person to reach age 115, and only the
third undisputed Japanese and Asian person to reach this age. She was
the oldest person to die in 2011. She is also the first person aged 115
or more at the time of her death not to get the World’s Oldest Person title since 2007.


In September 2008 on Senior Citizen’s Day, Chiyono Hasegawa, then
111, and her 61-year-old grandson were visited by Governor Furukawa of Saga Prefecture.[2][3]
On 2 May 2010, the day she became the oldest verified living Japanese
person, Hasegawa attended a ceremony held at her nursing home which
announced her new record.[4]

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Bruno Bianchi, French cartoonist and animator (Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats), co-creator of Inspector Gadget, died he was 56.

Bruno Bianchi  was a French cartoonist and animator died he was 56.. Bianchi worked extensively as an artist, film and television director and screenwriter for animated productions, including the series Inspector Gadget, Rainbow Brite, Heathcliff and its spinoff film, Heathcliff: The Movie in 1986.[1][2]

(c. 1955 – December 2, 2011)

In 1980, Bianchi directed two series for DiC Audiovisuel, the studio he had been working for since 1977. One of them was Cro et Bronto (Cro and Bronto),
a series of 45 episodes á 1 minute and 20 seconds each, about a stone
age man trying to catch and eat a brontosaurus. The other series, Archibald le Magichien (Archibald the Magic Dog),
was an educational show, running for 46 episodes, about a magic
anthropomorphic dog (in reality an old wizard who had lost the magic
formula allowing him to become himself again). Archibald befriends a
young boy named Pierre and go on many highbrow adventures with him,
teaching him important lifestyle lessons along the way. This series was
presumably the first major collaboration between Bianchi and Jean Chalopin, who, as the founder and CEO of DiC, developed the show. Both Cro et Bronto and Archibald le Magichien are very hard to find today.
In 1981-82, Bianchi co-created the animated television series Inspector Gadget together with Andy Heyward and DiC’s founder Jean Chalopin.[3]
Bianchi also served as main character designer and supervising director
on the show, which ran for two seasons and became one of the most
iconic series created by DiC.
Bianchi worked as a producer, artist, animator, television and film director, and writer for numerous other DiC Entertainment, Saban Entertainment and S.I.P. Animation productions from the 1980s until the early 2000s. His credits include Heathcliff, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, M.A.S.K., Rainbow Brite, Iznogoud, W.I.T.C.H., Diplodos, Beverly Hills Teens, Princess Sissi and Gadget and the Gadgetinis (a spinoff of Inspector Gadget).[2]
In 2008, Bianchi founded his own studio, named Ginkgo Animation, following the closure of S.I.P. International.[2]
Biachi died on December 2, 2011, at the age of 56.[2] He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris on December 6, 2011.[2][3]




To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Robert Lawrence Balzer, American wine journalist, died he was 99..

Robert Lawrence Balzer has been called the first serious wine journalist in the United States  died he was 99.. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa.[1] At the age of 24, he was put in charge of the wine department of his family’s grocery/gourmet market in Los Angeles, California. Because he knew nothing about wine, he quickly educated himself on the subject. Balzer soon championed quality California wines and stocked his shelves with the best American wines available. He promoted wine in his customer newsletter and was asked by Will Rogers, Jr. to write a regular wine column in his local newspaper in 1937.[2]

(June 25, 1912 – December 2, 2011)


In 1948 Balzer published California’s Best Wines, the first of his 11 books. His wine writings include articles published in travel Holiday for over twenty years, a weekly column in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and Robert Lawrence Balzer’s Private Guide to Food and Wine. In 1973, Balzer organized the New York Wine Tasting of 1973 which was a precursor to the matching of French and Californian wine at the Judgment of Paris. Balzer oversaw food and wine at the presidential inaugurations of Ronald Reagan in 1981 and 1985 and for George H. W. Bush in 1989.
Balzer died on December 2, 2011 in Orange, California at the age of 99.[3]

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Christa Wolf, German writer, died she was 82.

Christa Wolf was a German literary critic, novelist, and essayist died he was 82..[1][2] She was one of the best-known writers to have emerged from the former East Germany.[3][4]

(née Ihlenfeld; 18 March 1929, Landsberg an der Warthe – 1 December 2011, Berlin)


Wolf was born in Landsberg an der Warthe in the Province of Brandenburg;[3] the city is now Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland. After World War II, Wolf and her family, being Germans, were expelled from their home on what had become Polish territory. They crossed the new Oder-Neisse border in 1945 and settled in Mecklenburg, in what would become the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany. She studied literature at the University of Jena and the University of Leipzig. After her graduation, she worked for the German Writers’ Union and became an editor for a publishing company.
She joined the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in 1949 and left it in June 1989. She was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the SED from 1963 to 1967. Stasi records found in 1993 showed that she worked as an informant (Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter) during the years 1959–61.[4]
The Stasi officers criticized what they called her “reticence”, and
they lost interest in her cooperation. She was herself then closely
watched for nearly 30 years. During the Cold War, Wolf was openly critical of the leadership of the GDR, but she maintained a loyalty to the values of socialism and opposed German reunification.[1]
Wolf’s breakthrough as a writer came in 1963 with the publication of Der geteilte Himmel (Divided Heaven).[2] Her subsequent works included Nachdenken über Christa T. (The Quest for Christa T.) (1968), Kindheitsmuster (Patterns of Childhood) (1976), Kein Ort. Nirgends (1979), Kassandra (Cassandra) (1983), Störfall (Accident) (1987), Medea (1996), Auf dem Weg nach Tabou (On the Way to Taboo) (1994), and Stadt der Engel oder The Overcoat of Dr. Freud (2010) (City of Angels or The Overcoat of Dr. Freud). Christa T
was a work that—while briefly touching on a disconnection from one’s
family’s ancestral home—was concerned with a woman’s experiencing
overwhelming societal pressure to conform.
Kassandra is perhaps Wolf’s most important book, re-interpreting the battle of Troy as a war for economic power and a shift from a matriarchal to a patriarchal society. Was bleibt (What Remains), described her life under Stasi surveillance, was written in 1979, but not published until 1990. Auf dem Weg nach Tabou (1995; translated as Parting from Phantoms) gathered essays, speeches, and letters written during the four years following the reunification of Germany. Leibhaftig
(2002) describes a woman struggling with life and death in 1980s
East-German hospital, while awaiting medicine from the West. Central
themes in her work are German fascism, humanity, feminism, and
Wolf died 1 December 2011 in Berlin, where she lived with her husband, Gerhard Wolf.[5] She was buried on 13 December 2011 in Berlin’s Dorotheenstadt cemetery.[6]


Wolf’s works have sometimes been seen as controversial since German reunification. Upon publication of Was bleibt,
West German critics such as Frank Schirrmacher argued that Wolf failed
to criticize the authoritarianism of the East German Communist regime,
whilst others called her works “moralistic”. Defenders have recognized
Wolf’s role in establishing a distinctly East German literary voice.[7] Fausto Cercignani’s
study of Wolf’s earlier novels and essays on her later works have
helped promote awareness of her narrative gifts, irrespective of her
political and personal ups and downs. The emphasis placed by Cercignani
on Christa Wolf’s heroism has opened the way to subsequent studies in
this direction.[8]
Wolf received the Heinrich Mann Prize in 1963, the Georg Büchner Prize in 1980, and the Schiller Memorial Prize in 1983, the Geschwister-Scholl-Preis
in 1987, as well as other national and international awards. After the
German reunification, Wolf received further awards: in 1999 she was
awarded the Elisabeth Langgässer Prize and the Nelly Sachs Literature Prize, and Wolf became the first recipient of the Deutscher Bücherpreis (German Book Prize) in 2002 for her lifetime achievement. In 2010, Wolf was awarded the Großer Literaturpreis der Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste.

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Alan Sues, American comic (Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In), died from a heart attack he was 85.

Alan Grigsby Sues was an American comic actor widely known for his roles on the 1968–1973 television series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In died from a heart attack he was 85..
Alan’s on-screen persona was campy, outrageous and contained verbal
slapstick. Typical of his humor was a skit that found him following a
pair of whiskey-drinking cowboys to a Wild West bar and requesting a frozen daiquiri.[2][3] Alan’s recurring characters on the program included Big Al the Sportscaster and Uncle Al the Kiddie’s Pal.[2] Alan also parodied castmate Jo Anne Worley when she left the show, appearing in drag.

(March 7, 1926 – December 1, 2011)

Early life

Alan was born on March 7, 1926, in Ross, California. His parents were Alice (née
Murray) and Melvyn Sues, who raised racehorses, requiring the family to
move frequently. Alan served in the Army in Europe during World War II.[1]


Alan used World War II veterans’ benefits to pay for acting lessons
at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he performed, later making his Broadway
debut in the stage play Tea and Sympathy, directed by Elia Kazan, which had a successful run in New York City beginning in 1953.[1]
During this period, Alan met and married Phyllis Gehrig, a dancer and
actress, subsequently starting a vaudevillian nightclub act in Manhattan
— with which they toured North America before divorcing in 1958.[1]
After touring the country with his wife, Alan was able to get more
work in stand-up comedy (at Reuben Bleu and Blue Angel, both clubs in
Manhattan), worked with Julius Monk, and joined an improv/sketch group with The Mad Show, which led to his being cast in Laugh-In.[1]
Outside of Laugh-In, Alan appeared in the classic Twilight Zone episode “The Masks“,
in a non-comic role. This episode called for his character to be of
college (or, possibly even high school) age, as evidenced by references
to his being captain of the football team and doing well in school.
Being 38 at the time, his looks ran counter to this, with a comb-over and thinning hair.[4] He also had supporting roles in the films Move Over, Darling (1963) and The Americanization of Emily (1964).[5]
After Laugh-In, Alan also portrayed Moriarty onstage in Sherlock Holmes (opposite John Wood, and later Leonard Nimoy),
which, according to Alan, was “one of my favorite roles, because it’s
so against type, and I loved the makeup”. The makeup for Moriarty was
used in several books about makeup as an example of shadowing and
Alan appeared in television commercials for Peter Pan Peanut Butter during the 1970s, as a tongue-in-cheek Peter Pan. He also toured with Singin’ in the Rain, playing the Elocution Instructor. In addition, he appeared in several movies, and provided voiceovers including Oh! Heavenly Dog and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July.

Later years

Alan appeared in the short films Lord of the Road (1999) and Artificially Speaking (2009), the latter making its premiere at the 2009 Dances With Films festival in Los Angeles.[6]
In 2008, fifty years after his divorce from Phyllis, she conducted a lengthy interview with Alan at his home for her website.[7]
Alan had recently finished recording an audio stories CD collection, entitled Oh, Nothing..,
which was released for sale December 22, 2011 on his website. The
project is compiled of several comedic stories and anecdotes from his 50
years in theater, film and television.
Alan died on December 1, 2011, at Ceders-Sinai Medical Center, West
Hollywood, where he was taken after suffering an apparent heart attack
while watching television with his beloved dog, Doris,[1] according to his friend and accountant, Michael Michaud.
Michael Michaud said that, even though Alan never disclosed publicly
during his career that he was gay, his over-the-top, flamboyant,
stereotypically gay mannerisms displayed on Laugh-In were an
inspiration to many viewers when they were young, as he was “the only
gay man they could see on television at the time.”[1]
Alan was survived by various family members, including his late
brother’s widow, her daughter and her daughter’s husband and their three
children, and by many long-standing friends.
A private Memorial was held for Alan at his house in West Hollywood
on March 25, 2012, where he was remembered, on a sunny California
afternoon, with much humor and affection. Many surviving “Laugh-In”
alumnae attended.
Alan’s ashes were scattered on the ocean off the Connecticut coast.





To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Louis Silverstein, American artist and graphic designer, died he was 92.

Louis Silverstein was an American artist and graphic designer who is best known for his work at The New York Times. He was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame in 1984 died he was 92..

(October 10, 1919 – December 1, 2011) 

Silverstein was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Boys High School and graduated from the Pratt Institute with a degree in fine arts. During World War II, Silverstein served in the Army Air Forces, doing graphic design. After the war, he attended the Chicago Institute of Design, where he was exposed to avant-garde design.
Silverstein worked for a variety of employers, including labor unions and an advertising agency. He was art director for Amerika, a Russian magazine prepared by the U.S. State Department for distribution in the Soviet Union.
In 1952, Silverstein joined the promotions department at The New York Times. He helped make the newspaper more readable in 1967, when he enlarged the typeface. In 1976, he changed the format of the front page from eight columns
to six. Also that year, he helped introduce the new weekday sections of
the newspaper (“SportsMonday”, “Science Times”, “Living”, “Home”, and
Silverstein was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame in 1984. At the time, Massimo Vignelli
said, “We are affected by all the factors in the environment around us,
and nothing is more ubiquitous than the newspaper. By changing the Times and influencing so many newspapers in other cities, we are indebted to him for improving the quality of our lives.”
After his 1985 retirement, Silverstein continued to consult to The New York Times and other newspapers. He was responsible for the new look of 35 regional newspapers as well as papers in Brazil, Kenya, and Spain.


Silverstein, Louis (1990). Newspaper Design for the Times. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN 978-0-442-28321-6.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Bill McKinney , American actor (Deliverance, The Outlaw Josey Wales), died from esophageal cancer he was 80.

William Denison “Bill” McKinney was an American character actor whose most famous role was the sadistic mountain man in the movie Deliverance. McKinney was also recognizable for his performances in seven Clint Eastwood films, most notably as Union cavalry commander Captain “Redlegs” Terrill in The Outlaw Josey Wales died from esophageal cancer he was 80..

(September 12, 1931 – December 1, 2011) 

Early life

McKinney was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He had an unsettled life as a child, moving twelve times. Once when his family moved from Tennessee to Georgia, he was beaten by a gang and thrown into a creek. At the age of 19, he joined the Navy during the Korean War. He served two years on a mine sweeper in Korean waters, as well as being stationed at Port Hueneme in Ventura County, California.[citation needed]
While on leave from this posting, he visited Los Angeles;
during this time, he decided he wanted to be an actor. Upon his
discharge in 1954, he settled in southern California, attending acting
school at the famous Pasadena Playhouse in 1957. His classmates included Dustin Hoffman and Mako. During this time, McKinney supported himself by working as an arborist,
trimming and taking down trees – he continued working in this field
until the mid-1970s, by which time he was appearing in major films.[citation needed]


After Pasadena Playhouse he moved onto Lee Strasberg‘s Actors Studio, making his movie debut in exploitation pic She Freak (1967). For ten years he was a teacher at Cave Spring Middle School. He made his television debut in 1968 on an episode of The Monkees and attracted attention as Lobo in Alias Smith and Jones. It was the film Deliverance which provided his breakthrough in 1972, and remains his signature role.[citation needed]
He cemented his reputation as an onscreen villain in the 1970s with appearances in Junior Bonner, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and The Parallax View. It was with Clint Eastwood that McKinney would become most associated, becoming part of Eastwood’s stock company[1] after they worked together in Michael Cimino‘s Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, in which McKinney played a character called Crazy Driver. He starred as ‘Capt. “Redlegs” Terrell’ in The Outlaw Josey Wales under Eastwood’s direction. He appeared in another six Eastwood films from The Gauntlet in 1977, Every Which Way but Loose in 1978, Any Which Way You Can in 1980, Pink Cadillac in 1989 when the stock company disbanded.
Other memorable roles include a misanthrope who is done in by John Wayne‘s The Shootist. He also appeared in such later films as First Blood (1982), Heart Like a Wheel (1983), Against All Odds (1984), Back to the Future Part III (1990), and The Green Mile (1999). He appeared in the TV movie The Execution of Private Slovik (1974), while guest-starring on such television shows as The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Starsky and Hutch, The A-Team, Murder, She Wrote and Columbo. He also had an uncredited role in the TV miniseries Roots (1977), playing alongside Georg Stanford Brown, Lloyd Bridges and Burl Ives.
McKinney took up singing in the late 1990s, eventually releasing an album of standards and country & western songs appropriately titled Love Songs from Antri, reflecting Don Job’s pronunciation of the infamous town featured in Deliverance. One of his songs featured in the film Undertow, directed by David Gordon Green. [2] He also played Jonah Hex in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series called “Showdown”. In February 2010 he accepted a role in the Robin Hood–inspired horror film Sherwood Horror[3] and formerly had a short cameo in 2001 Maniacs.[4]


McKinney’s death was announced on his Facebook page on December 1, 2011.[5][6] The announcement read:

“Today our dear Bill McKinney passed away at Valley Presbyterian
Hospice. An avid smoker for 25 years of his younger life, he died of
cancer of the esophagus. He was 80 and still strong enough to have
filmed a Dorito’s commercial 2 weeks prior to his passing, and he
continued to work on his biography with his writing partner. Hopefully
2012 will bring a publisher for the wild ride his life was. He is
survived by son Clinton, along with several ex-wives. R.I.P. Bill
sept.12 1931 – dec. 1 2011″ [sic]”.

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

François Lesage, French embroidery designer, died he was 82.

François Lesage was a French embroidery designer and heir to the embroidery atelier  died he was 82., Maison Lesage. Lesage was a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur.[1]
Lesage was born in Chaville, France, on March 31, 1929.[2]
Lesage inherited the Maison Lesage, which was bought by his father, Albert Lesage, in 1924.[2] He became well known for his embroidery work throughout the French high fashion houses in Paris.[1]
Lesage shepherded the business throughout the late 20th Century, at a
time when many other traditional embroidery houses in France
disappeared.[1] Under Lesage, the House collaborated with new, well known fashion clients, including Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Balenciaga and Dior.[1] Lesage partnered with many of the era’s best known fashion designers, including Elsa Schiaparelli and Vionnet.[1]
François Lesage sold the Maison Lesage to Chanel in 2002. Chanel had begun its acquisition of many of Paris’ top petites mains in a bid to ensure their continued survival in a changing fashion industry.[1]
Lesage was awarded the Maître d’Art from the French Ministry of Culture in November 2011, just one week before his death.[2] At the time, Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand said, “I cannot imagine fashion without embroidery, embroidery without Monsieur Lesage.”[2]
Francois Lesage died at a Paris hospital on December 1, 2011, at the age of 82.[2] He was survived by his wife and four children.[3]

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Kuldeep Manak, Indian Punjabi language singer, died from pneumonia he was 62.

Kuldeep Manak was a noted Punjabi singer[3][4] of Indian Punjab died from pneumonia he was 62.. He was best known for singing a rare genre of Punjabi music, Kali,[5] also known by its plural form kalian or kaliyan.[1][6]


(Punjabi: ਕੁਲਦੀਪ ਮਾਣਕ‌) ( 15 November 1951 – 30 November 2011)

Early life

Manak was born as Latif Muhammad (Urdu: لطیف محمد‎) on 15 November 1951, to father Nikka Khan, in the village of Jalal[1] in Bathinda district of Indian Punjab.
He completed his matriculation from the village school, where he was a
keen field hockey player. He had an inclination towards singing from a
very young age and was persuaded by his teachers to sing and perform on


Manak’s father, Nikka Khan, was a singer himself. Manak had two
brothers: Siddqui, a devotional singer, and Rafiq, a tantric, who was
also briefly noted. Kuldeep Manak’s ancestors were the Hazoori Raagis (designated cantors) of Kirtan for Maharaja Hira Singh of Nabha.
He was married to Sarabjeet and had two children, a son named Yudhvir Manak and a daughter named Shakti.[3] They both are married. Yudhvir is following in his father’s footsteps as a singer.[3][7]


Manak learned music under Ustad Khushi Muhammad Qawwal[8] of Firozpur[5] He left Bathinda and went to Ludhiana to pursue his career as a singer and started singing with the duo Harcharan Grewal and Seema.[1] When they came to Delhi, a music company official spotted Manak and asked him to record the song jija akhian na maar ve main kall di kurhi (written by Babu Singh Maan Mararawala) with Seema. In 1968, at the age of 17,[6] he was given the chance to record the song with Seema. His first record features this song along with laung karaa mittra, machhli paunge maape (written by Gurdev Singh Maan).[1] This record was a runaway success.
Later, he started an office at Bathinda along with writer Dilip Singh Sidhu of Kanakwal, but did not stay there for long and returned to Ludhiana. The first folk song sung by Manak was “maa Mirze di boldi”, followed by, “ohne maut ne waajan maarian”.[citation needed]
The writer and lyricist, Hardev Dilgir (also known as Dev Tharikewala) spotted Manak at one of his live performances and penned many Lok Gathavan (English: old folk stories) for him.[6]
His first EP, Punjab Dian Lok Gathawan,[9] was released by HMV in 1973 which included the 4 songs Jaimal Phatta, Heer Di Kali (Teri Khatar Heere) (Kali), Raja Rasalu and Dulla Bhatti
(Dulleya ve tokra chukayeen aanke), all penned by Hardev Dilgir and
music composed by Ram Saran Das. This was followed by another Lok
Gathawan album in 1974 including Gorakh da Tilla and Allah Bismillah teri Jugni. In 1976 his first LP, Ik Tara, was released including the kali Tere Tille Ton,[2][8] Chheti Kar Sarwan Bachcha and Garh Mughlane Dian Naaran
and more. Further albums included , ‘Sahiban Bani Bharaawan Di’ (1978),
‘Sahiban Da Tarla’ (1979), ‘Maa Hundhi Ae Maa’ (1980), ‘Akhan ch Najaiz
Vikdi’, ‘Ichhran Dhaahan Maardi’ (1981), ‘Mehroo Posti’ (1982) ‘Jugni
Yaaran Di’ (1983), ‘Bhul Jaan Waaliye’ (1986), ‘Singh Soorme’ and ‘Do
Gabhru Punjab De’. Manak’s voice was versatile as within one album he
sang in many different pitches and tones to reflect a song’s meaning.
For example in the album ‘Sahiban da Tarla’ the songs Sahiban da Tarla, Yaari Yaaran di and Teri aan ma Teri Ranjha are all sang with different pitches.[citation needed]

In films

He also acted and sung in many Punjabi films like ‘Saidan Jogan’ (1979) with the song, sathon naee majhin chaar hundian, ‘Lambardaarni’ (1980) with yaaran da truck balliye (song), and Balbiro Bhabi (1981) as actor, singer and composer. He also sung a song, “ajj dhee ik raje di“, in the 1983 film Sassi Punnu.[10]


Manak also took part in the parliament elections of 1996 as an independent member from Bathinda[11] but did not win.

In popular culture

On 25 December 2012, a tribute album was released by Moviebox under the title The Folk King (subtitle Ustad Kuldeep Manak Ji Tribute)
and featured a number of artists interpreting his songs, including Aman
Hayer, Angrej Ali, Balwinder Safri, Jazzy B, Malkit Singh, Manmohan
Waris, Sukshinder Shinda and A.S. Kang.
Live renditions had also been recorded during the Brit Asia Music
Awards 2012 with Angrez Ali (singing “Vaar Banda Bahadur”), Malkit Singh
(“G.T. Road Te”), Sukhshinder Shinda (” Maa Hundi ae Maa”), A.S. Kang
(“Chithiyan Sahiba Jatti Ne”, Manmohan Waris (“Sahiba Bani Bharaawa
Di”), Balwinder Safri (“Nakhre Bin Sohni”) and Jazzy B (“Tere Tille To”)

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Martina Davis-Correia, American civil rights activist, died from breast cancer he was 44.

Martina Davis-Correia was an American civil rights activist died from breast cancer he was 44.. She was the older sister of Troy Anthony Davis, a cause célèbre in the campaign to abolish capital punishment. Davis-Correia was a steadfast supporter and public organizer on his behalf. She died of breast cancer at the age of 44.[1]

(1967 – December 1, 2011) 

The week before her brother’s execution, Correia made an emotional,
symbolic gesture in support of him when she got up from her wheelchair.
“I’m here to tell you that I’m going to stand here for my brother
today,” she said. Correia then stood up on stage with the help of others
around her.[2]
The COO of Amnesty International
called Davis-Correia “a powerful example of how one person can make a
difference … she remained brave and defiant to the core of her being,
stating her conviction that one day [her brother’s] death would be the
catalyst for ending the death penalty.”[3] the full statement is here.
Davis-Correia was a trained nurse and served in the 1991 Gulf War.[1]
To obtain a voice in civic society, she turned to organizations within
civic society. These included Georgians for an Alternative to the Death
Penalty, The Campaign to End the Death Penalty, on whose national board
she served, and Amnesty International,[1]
where she chaired the Steering Committee for Amnesty
International/USA’s Program to Abolish the Death Penalty and where, for
11 years, she served as Amnesty International’s coordinator in Georgia
for local death penalty programs.[3]


  • The Georgia Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union, 2009[4]
  • The Frederick Douglas Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights,2009[4]
  • The Sean McBride Award for Outstanding Contributions to Human Rights from the Irish section of Amnesty International.[5]

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Arthur Beetson, Australian rugby league footballer, first Indigenous Australian to captain a national team in any sport, heart attack.Arthur Beetson, 66, Australian rugby league footballer, first Indigenous Australian to captain a national team in any sport, died from a heart attack he was 66

Arthur Henry “Artie” Beetson OAM  was an Australian rugby league footballer and coach died from a heart attack he was 66.. He represented Australia, NSW and Queensland from 1964 to 1981. His main position was at prop. Beetson became the first Indigenous Australian to captain his country in any sport [3]
and is frequently cited as the best post-war forward in Australian
rugby league history. He also had an extensive coaching career, spanning
the 1970s to the 1990s, coaching Australia, Queensland, Eastern Suburbs, Redcliffe Dolphins and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. On 1 December 2011, Beetson died after a heart attack, aged 66.

(22 January 1945 – 1 December 2011[2])

Playing career

Beetson’s mother was a member of the Stolen Generation.[4] His rugby league career began with Redcliffe in the Brisbane Rugby League competition between 1964 and 1965. After winning the club’s player of the year award in 1965 as well as the Brisbane Rugby League premiership with them, he moved to Sydney to play in the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership with the Balmain Tigers.
In his first year with them, 1966, he played in the grand final against
St. George and was also selected to make his representative debut for
Australia against England and scored two tries. Beetson played with
Balmain from then until 1970, with a spell in England with Hull Kingston Rovers in 1968.[5] He later joined the Eastern Suburbs club where he stayed from 1971 to 1978, where he captained the side to the 1974 and 1975 premierships. During the 1976 NSWRFL season, Beetson captained Eastern Suburbs to victory in their unofficial 1976 World Club Challenge match against British champions St. Helens
in Sydney. This Easts team would go down as one of the greatest club
sides in rugby league history. During this period Beetson also played
with distinction for Australia and in 1974 he was named as Rugby League Weeks player of the year.
He possessed great strength and toughness, a surprising turn of speed
for a big man and was unequalled as a ball player. His skill as a
footballer was matched only by his skill as an eater, earning nicknames
such as ‘Meat Pie Artie’. He is known and immortalised by his
performance of eating 11 hot dogs before a gala dinner for the
Australian team in 1973.
His big frame, pure speed and brilliant ball skills won countless
games for all his teams. His off-loading and attacking workrate broke
the mould for front rowers and changed the way they played the game.
After two years with Parramatta
in 1979 and 1980, capped off with a man of the match performance in the
Eels 8-5 Tooth Cup Final win over Balmain. Beetson achieved further
immortality as captain of Queensland in the inaugural 1980 State of Origin game,
won 20–10 by Queensland on 8 July. He returned to Queensland for one
final year of playing with his old Redcliffe team in 1981. He also
captained Queensland for the final ‘traditional’ interstate match in
1981 and at the end of the season the Dolphins were beaten in the final
minute of the grand final by Southern Suburbs.
In 1987 he received the Medal of the Order of Australia “in recognition of service to the sport of Rugby League”.


Beetson’s coaching career began while still playing for Easts in 1977. He was captain-coach of Redcliffe in 1981 and that season was appointed coach of the Queensland State of Origin side, taking them to repeated series victories over New South Wales
from 1981 to 1984 . He had a brief, but unsuccessful period, coaching
Australia in 1983 before returning to coach his former club Eastern Suburbs, from 1985 to 1988, being named Coach of the Year in 1987 and Cronulla-Sutherland for the 1992 and 1993 seasons, where he enjoyed mixed success.
Beetson has also spent many years years as a recruitment officer for both Eastern Suburbs and Queensland.
In the post-1999 NRL season an Aboriginal side managed by Arthur Beetson defeated the Papua New Guinean national team. He then pushed, unsuccessfully, for an Australia Day match against the Australian national team.[6]


Big Artie the autobiography.jpg

Beetson is often regarded as Australia’s best ever forward, and in 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal, then in 2001 the Centenary Medal “for service to Australian society through the sport of rugby league”. He was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2003. In May 2004 his book, Big Artie: The Autobiography was published. Also that year he became the seventh selected post-war “Immortal” of the Australian game with Churchill, Raper, Gasnier, Fulton, Langlands and Wally Lewis.
In February 2008, Beetson was named in a list of Australia’s 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code’s centenary year in Australia.[7][8] Beetson went on to be named in the front-row in Australian rugby league’s Team of the Century.
Announced on 17 April 2008, the team is the panel’s majority choice for
each of the thirteen starting positions and four interchange players.[9][10] Beetson chose to boycott the presentation ceremony, stating that he did not agree with the direction rugby league is taking.[11] In June 2008, he was chosen in the Queensland Rugby League’s Team of the Century at second-row.[12] In 2008, rugby league in Australia‘s centenary year, Beetson was named at second-row forward in the Toowoomba and South West Team of the Century.[13] He was made a life member of the Sydney Cricket Ground and a plaque in the Walk of Honour there commemorates his career. He is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
As part of the Centenary of League celebrations in 2008, Beetson was retrospectively awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as Man of the Match in the 1974 Grand final.[14]


On 1 December 2011, Beetson died following a heart attack while riding his bicycle at Paradise Point on the Gold Coast, Queensland. He was 66.[15]

Public memorial

The Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh announced that a bronze statue of Beetson is to be situated at Lang Park.[16] It was unveiled on 3 July 2012.[17]

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Eric Arnott, British eye surgeon, died he was 82.

Eric John Arnott FRCS[1][2] was a British ophthalmologist and surgeon who specialized in cataracts,
a condition which in many parts of the world still remains the
principal cause of blindness died he was 82.. He is known for inventing new surgical
techniques for treatment of various ophthalmological disorders, and
received professional awards for his contributions.

(12 June 1929 – 1 December 2011)


Arnott was educated at Harrow School (Elmfield) and Trinity College, Dublin
where he was awarded the Surgical Prize in 1952; BA (Hons) 1953 and MB
(Hons), BCh(Hons)and BAO (Hons)1954. He gained his Diploma in
Ophthalmology (DO) in 1956 and Fellowship to the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) in 1963.
Arnott’s first ophthalmic appointment was as Houseman at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin, following which he held early appointments at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, and University College Hospital London, where he trained under Sir Stewart Duke-Elder and Henry Stallard.
Whilst at Moorfields he worked with Sir Harold Ridley, the inventor of the intraocular lens; Arnott was inspired by Ridley’s work on the intraocular lens and they later became lifelong friends.
After completing training at University College Hospital, Arnott was appointed as consultant initially to the Royal Eye Hospital and later, in 1965, to Charing Cross Hospital; then still in the Strand. In 1973 the hospital moved to its current site in Fulham, where Arnott was responsible for setting up the ophthalmic surgical services.
In 1974, Arnott and his wife Veronica organised the first Live
International Ophthalmic Micro-Surgical Symposium in Charing Cross
Hospital, where ten of the world’s top eye surgeons performed live
surgery, relayed to over 300 international delegates, courtesy of the BBC.
This novel concept in advanced surgical teaching set a standard for
future surgical conferences. He later organised two other live symposia
with Professor Emanuel Rosen, with the objective of bringing new ideas
in cataract surgery to a wider audience.
Arnott was known for his pioneering work in ophthalmology and many of
today’s top eye surgeons were trained by him whilst registrars at
Charing Cross.
He retired from the NHS in 1994.


In 1968, whilst Secretary of the Ophthalmic Society of the United Kingdom he invited Dr Charles Kelman MD, the inventor of phacoemulsification (“phaco”), to address the Society. Kelman had found a method of removing the cataract
through an incision of 3.5mm compared to the 12mm required for most
surgery at the time. This meant that patients no longer had to remain in
bed for two weeks after surgery with all movement restricted.
In 1971, Arnott visited the USA to attend one of Kelman’s first
courses. On his return, he privately raised the finance to buy the
expensive equipment required for the procedure. When he started
performing this new type of cataract operation, history indicates that
it was not well received by his colleagues. Six years later Arnott was
virtually alone in performing and teaching this procedure outside
Today, almost all cataract surgery is carried out using a variation
of the technique that Arnott pioneered in the UK in the early seventies.

Lens implantation

In 1974, influenced by Sir Harold Ridley‘s work on lens implantation, Arnott designed the Little-Arnott lens, which was manufactured by Rayners. This was one of the first intraocular lenses to be positioned behind the iris,
the normal position of the natural lens. Previously, lenses were
implanted in front of the iris, and many of them caused severe ocular
problems.[3] Arnott followed this up with several other designs before inventing “the totally encircling loop” lens [3] which was manufactured under license by Alcon, Pharmacia and Smith & Nephew
and others. Clinical data demonstrated that this lens maintained an
excellent position within the eye and over 2 million were implanted
worldwide during the 1980s and 1990s.[4]
During the seventies, all of the lenses designed by Arnott were made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). In 1981, Arnott and Richard Packard, his then senior registrar at Charing Cross Hospital, were the first to describe the use of a soft lens material, which could be folded to go through a small incision.[5] In 1988 Arnott was the first surgeon to insert a bi-focal lens implant in Europe.
Following cataract removal, it used to be common for patients to
require thick pebble glasses to be able to see. Nowadays, virtually all
patients receive a lens implant following cataract surgery, avoiding the need for glasses.

Other contributions

Arnott was also responsible for introducing other surgical techniques.
In 1966 he was amongst the first surgeons in the world to follow Dermot Pearce’s use of the surgical microscope.[6]
In 1967 he and Paddy Condon, his then senior registrar, used the first silicone implant for retinal detachment surgery.
In 1968 he modified the final approach to glaucoma surgery by making the opening into the anterior chamber through the clear cornea, as opposed to the previous dialysis approach.
In 1976 he and Jared Emery of Houston,
Texas, invented the diamond tipped “spear headed” surgical knife for
making the phaco incision and in 1978 he was the first surgeon to
perform a combined phaco cataract and glaucoma operation.
Arnott was very early in recognising the new trend of laser refractive surgery to correct myopia (shortsightedness). He acquired one of the first excimer lasers, which he located in Cromwell Hospital in 1991, where his private practice was based. In 1992 he was the first person in the UK to perform LASIK.[7]
In 2000 Arnott received an award from the International Intra-Ocular Implant Club – the IIIC Medal, at the Club’s annual autumn meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

Charity work

In 1982 he reduced his work in the NHS
(from maximum part time) to four sessions a week and began
concentrating on charitable work at the Royal Masonic Hospital, London,
(where he remained an honouree consultant until 1994) and international
teaching commitments.
Over the course of his career, Arnott lectured and performed live
surgery throughout the world, paying particular attention to the Asian
and African continents where cataracts are most prevalent.
In 1984 he was one of the first surgeons to demonstrate phaco surgery and lens implantation in India and in 1991 he received a special award from the Asian branch of the Royal National Institute for the Blind for “outstanding support“ to blind Asians in London and India. The same award was presented a year later to his son Stephen,[8]
who managed Arnott’s private practice. In 1996, Arnott was invited to
officially open the first meeting of the Indian Academy of
Ophthalmology, and in 1998 he was made an honorary visiting Professor at
Indore University.
After Arnott’s retirement in 1999, with the help of his wife Veronica[8]
and son Stephen, he raised funds to fund and equip a mobile operating
theatre to perform modern eye surgery in remote Indian villages. This
project was undertaken in conjunction with the Sathya Sai Institute.[9]
Along with Dr G Chandra, he established the charity organisation
‘Balrampur Hospital Foundation UK’ in 2007 and served as a Trustee and
its President.

Medical societies

Arnott was a member of many international ophthalmic societies and
was the founder President of the European Society for Phaco and Laser
Surgery (1986–89), Secretary of the Ophthalmic Society of the United
Kingdom (1967 – 1968), President of the Chelsea Clinical Society (1985)
and President of the International Association of Ocular Surgeons
He was also one of the original founder members of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
In 2007 Arnott received the Honoured Guest award from the ASCRS for his services to ophthalmology.[10]


He wrote over 40 published scientific articles for British and
foreign ophthalmic journals on strabismus surgery, congenital
abnormalities, cataract extraction, Phaco-emulsification and
intra-ocular lenses.[11]
Between 1992 and 1997 he wrote a regular chapter on the latest ophthalmic advances for the annual Royal College of General Practitioners Reference Book[12]
Arnott was co-author of the 1983 textbook Extra-capsular Cataract
Surgery and contributed specialist chapters to many other medical books
including Emergency Surgery by H Dudley, Intra-ocular Lens Implantation
by Rosen et al., Current Perspectives in Ophthalmic Surgery by Easty et
al., and a Colour Atlas of Lens Implantation by Percival.[13]
Arnott, with assistance from his son Stephen, wrote and published “A
New Beginning in Sight” in September 2006, chronicling the development
of modern cataract and refractive surgery.[14]

Personal life

Arnott was born in Sunningdale, Berkshire, the second son of Sir Robert Arnott Bt.[8] and Cynthia Amelia (née James) . His family were notable Anglo-Irish philanthropists who owned, amongst other things, Arnotts department store, the Irish Times, and the Phoenix Park Racecourse.
He was married to Veronica (née Langué) from 1960 until her death in
2011 and had two sons, Stephen John 1962, Robert Laureston John 1971 and
one daughter Tatiana Amelia 1963.[8]
Until 2001 he remained fit by swimming a mile every morning and in
1974 he successfully completed a challenge to swim from the infamous Alcatraz Island to the shore of San Francisco.
When Arnott finally retired at the age of 70 years, he bought a retirement cottage in Cornwall in Mounts Bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from where he wrote his memoirs “A New Beginning in Sight” before his death 1 December 2011.

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Shingo Araki, Japanese animation artist and character designer, died he was 72.

Shingo Araki [1][2] was a Japanese animation artist and character designer died he was 72..[3][4]

(荒木 伸吾 Araki Shingo?, January 1, 1939 – December 1, 2011)


He developed an interest for drawing at age five.[1] 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


Original Video Animations

Video Games

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.[1]

(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.[2]
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.[3] 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.[4]
On November 30, 2011, Waller died at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson
of heart failure after being admitted the previous night. He was 85.[5][6]

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Benyamin Sönmez, German-born Turkish cellist, died he was 28.

Benyamin Sönmez  was a Turkish classical cellist died he was 28..[1]

(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
returned home.[2]
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.[2]
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.[2]
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.[2]
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.[2]
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.[2]
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.[2]


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.[3][4]

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Partap Sharma, Indian playwright, died he was 71.

Partap Sharma was an Indian playwright, novelist, author of books for children, commentator, actor and documentary film-maker died he was 71..[1]

(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

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.

Zen Katha

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
homeland India.
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.[2]


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

Sammy, English

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
and children.
The play has won the 2006 META [3]
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.[4] It then travelled to New Zealand [5] and Australia where it received standing ovations.[6]
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,[7] an Edinburgh-based amateur theater group. The play has been very well received.

Begum Sumroo

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
Indian soldiers.
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.

Staged plays

  • 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
    documentary-makers protested.
  • 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 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.

Children’s film

The Case Of The Hidden Ear-Ring, 1983

Feature films

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.

Audio CDs

  • 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 [1]

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.[2]
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![3]
2007 “Yuva Thespo 9 Lifetime Achievement Award ” [4]


Hindi film actress Tara Sharma is Partap Sharma’s daughter.

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Carl Robie, American Olympic gold (1968) and silver-medal winning (1964) swimmer, died he was 66.

Carl Joseph Robie, III was an American swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder died he was 66..[1]

(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, American mathematician, died he was 84.

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.[1]
He joined Stanford University in 1955.[2] He joined the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in 1990.[3] 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[4] and Alan Alda.[5]
Robert Osserman died on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at his home.[2]


  • Two-dimensional calculus (Krieger, 1977)
  • Survey of minimal surfaces (1986)
  • Poetry of the universe — a mathematical exploration of the cosmos (Random House, 1995)


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) 

Early years

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.

College career

He played college football at Clemson University under Danny Ford and Ken Hatfield. He scored a touchdown as a freshman in the 1989 Gator Bowl vs. the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Professional career

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.


At the start of 2009, he was an intern coach with the University of Tennessee football team. He accepted a defensive assistant position at Stanford in 2010 and worked on David Shaw‘s staff.[2]


McGlockton died of an enlarged heart on November 30, 2011.[3]

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

Peter Lunn, British Olympic alpine skier (1936) and spymaster, died he was 97.

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.[2]
“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.”[3]
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[4] 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.”[3] 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.[5]
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),[6] the daughter of Viscount Gormanston (1879–1925). They had three sons and three daughters.[4]
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.”[4]
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).[4]
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.”[3]
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.[4]
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.[7]
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.[4] 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.[7] 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.[4] 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.[1]

(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.[2]
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.[3] 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.[4] He also holds the position of 2nd Sovereign Head of the Order of Skanderbeg, the Order of Fidelity and the Order of Bravery.[3]

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”.[1]
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. [5] 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”.[6]
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.[citation needed]
During the 1997 rebellion in Albania, Leka returned again, this time being greeted by 2,000 supporters.[7] 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.[8]
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
was manipulated.”[9]
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.[1][10]
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.[11] 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.[12]

Leka was head of the Movement for National Development.[13]
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.[11] However, in February 2006, he announced he would be withdrawing from political and public life.[13]


He died on 30 November 2011 in Mother Teresa Hospital, Tirana.[14] 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, American soul singer, died from cancer he was 65.

J. Blackfoot ,[1] 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.[2]
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.[3]
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.[3][4]
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.[5][6] 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.[4][5][7] 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.[4] In 2010, Blackfoot appeared as part of David Porter’s music revue.[2]
On November 30, 2011, Blackfoot died after having been diagnosed with cancer.[2]



  • 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

Patrice O’Neal, American actor and comedian (Web Junk 20, The Opie and Anthony Show), died from complications from a stroke he was 41.

Patrice Malcolm Oneal , usually credited as Patrice O’Neal, was an American stand-up comedian, radio personality, and actor died from complications from a stroke he was 41.

(December 7, 1969 – November 29, 2011)

Early life

Patrice Malcolm Oneal was born in New York City, New York,[6] on December 7, 1969, and grew up in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.[7] His mother, Georgia, named him after Patrice Lumumba, the leader of the Congolese independence movement, and Malcolm X. He was raised by his mother and never met his father.[8]
Oneal was a star football player at West Roxbury High School,
ending his career with 3 letters in varsity football and a state
championship his senior year. He turned down football scholarships in
order to attend Northeastern University on a public housing grant, majoring in Performing Arts.[9]
At the age of 17, Oneal was convicted of statutory rape of a 15 year old girl and sentenced to 60 days in prison[10], served during his summer break, so as not to disrupt his schooling.[11] The act, which occurred when Oneal was still 16, would have been legal in most states, but Massachusetts lacks a close-in-age exception, and has an age of consent of 16.[12] Oneal said his humor helped him to negotiate the harsh realities of prison.[11][13]


Oneal began his comedy career in Boston at an open mic at Estelle’s Bar and Grill in October 1992.[14] In the late 1990s, he moved to New York City, where he became a regular at the Comedy Cellar, before relocating to Los Angeles, in the hopes of finding greater fame. “I tap danced like you wouldn’t believe… trying to get something,” he said in a 2008 interview with Ron Bennington
. “I’m telling you, if I’d have had a gun back then, I would have shot
myself.” His inability to achieve success on other people’s terms
motivated him to prioritize his own integrity first. “At the end of the
day I just want to know that I was true to myself.”[15] Later in his career, Patrice would walk away from successful shows like The Office, Arrested Development, Web Junk 20, and a writing position on the WWE. “I’m a professional bridge-burner,” Oneal stated in an interview.[16]
Unwilling to yield to the demands of American club owners that he change his often confrontational act, Oneal relocated to the United Kingdom
to work on his comedy there. He worked harder as an outsider and a
foreigner to gain the respect of his peers. “It took about 5 months…
for them to go ‘Ok, this guy’s not playing around,'” he told Bennington.
It was also during this time that he caught the eye of British comedian
Ricky Gervais, still early in his stand-up career.[15] Gervais frequently mentioned Oneal as a favorite comic.[17][18][19]
He returned to the New York area in 2002 when he got the offer to do
his first half-hour special for Showtime. Later that year he joined the
cast of The Colin Quinn Show and then Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. The following year, he recorded a Comedy Central Presents special.
Oneal’s first television appearance was on The Apollo Comedy Hour where he performed his Malcolm XXL bit. From there, he moved on to appearances on Showtime at the Apollo, FNight Videos, and a brief stint as a writer for the WWE. He appeared in guest-starring roles on MTV’s Apt 2F, Assy McGee, Ed, Z Rock, Yes Dear, Arrested Development, Chappelle’s Show and The Office. Oneal was a regular on the Fox series The Jury, and he starred in the Comedy Central animated program Shorties Watching Shorties, along with Nick DiPaolo. He supplied the voice of Harold Jenkins on Noggin’s animated program O’Grady High and was featured as Jesus in Denis Leary’s Searchlight. In 2005, Oneal filmed a half-hour One Night Stand special for HBO, and shortly thereafter became the first host of VH1‘s Web Junk 20.
Oneal left the show after two seasons, expressing concerns that the
show’s audience was too different from his own. In 2006 and 2007 he
joined Opie and Anthony’s Traveling Virus Comedy Tour, playing large outdoor concert arenas across the country.

Oneal at the 2007 O&A Traveling Virus at PNC

After moving back to New York in 2002, Oneal became a recognized
radio personality as a regular guest and occasional co-host on the Opie and Anthony program. Along with Bill Burr and Robert Kelly, he filled in as co-host for comedian Jim Norton while Jim filmed Lucky Louie. From 2006 to 2008, Oneal hosted a call-in relationship advice show on XM Radio, which ended when the satellite network merged with rival Sirius. Initially promoted as Bitch Management, the show was titled The Black Philip Show, a reference to Dr. Phil.
Dante Nero co-hosted, and a rotating cast of female comedians played
third mic. The show aired until the station suspended much of its
Saturday night programming when they were unable to reconcile budget
concerns with the new management following the merger. Oneal had also
appeared as a guest on other radio shows such as Alex Jones along with numerous political talk shows on the Fox News channel.
Living in the New York area, Oneal performed at comedy clubs in the area, including headlining appearances at Comix Comedy Club and Caroline’s. He was also popular in Montreal, making five appearances at the Just for Laughs
festival, including one of the most memorable in fest history: a
one-man, one-week show at Théâtre Ste. Catherine in 2008. Oneal had also
been slated to do five sold-out, one-man shows at Les Katacombes at the
2010 Just for Laughs Festival, but he was refused entry into Canada at
the U.S. border and the shows were cancelled.[20]
In February 2011, Comedy Central aired his first hour-long special, Elephant in the Room. He eventually began a web series and podcast called The Patrice Oneal Show – Coming Soon![21]
showing various episodes as of May 15, 2007. He performed with a
five-person group—Bryan Kennedy, Dante Nero, Vondecarlo Brown, Harris
Stanton and Wil Sylvince—touching on many fictional scenarios. The show
was produced by For Your Imagination and can be found on Oneal’s
website. He guest-starred in another For Your Imagination-produced show,
called Break a Leg, playing Adult-Sized Gary Coleman. Oneal voiced Jeffron James in Grand Theft Auto IV, on an in-game radio show, Fizz!.
On September 19, 2011, Oneal was one of the many roasters at the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen.
This would be his final television appearance before his death two
months later. A little more than halfway through the show in a small
interview, leading up to the commercial break, Oneal says “this should
be my last show ever.” Oneal’s final recorded interview was with Jay Mohr on his “Mohr Stories” Podcast #17, uploaded October 27, 2011, shortly after news of his stroke.
Shortly after O’Neal’s death, BSeen Media announced the release of his first album, Mr. P, to be released February 7, 2012. It was recorded at the D.C. Improv.[22] Although announced after his death, the album had been completed before his illness, with the comedian’s full involvement.[23] On Nov 6, 2012, Better Than You, a 20 minute “digital single” of previously unreleased material was released on O’Neal’s website and via iTunes.[24]

Illness and death

On October 19, 2011, Oneal reported being unable to move his legs, the first signs of a stroke. He was rushed to Jersey City Medical Center, and later Englewood Hospital
where doctors performed surgery to remove a blood clot. He lost his
ability to speak, and later his ability to move, for a time
communicating by eye movements, before losing that ability as well.
Doctors warned that if he survived, he would likely remain permanently
paralyzed and unable to speak.[8]
Initially the family made efforts to keep news of Oneal’s illness quiet. On October 26, 2011, it was announced to the public on The Opie and Anthony Show that Oneal had suffered a stroke a week earlier.[25][26] At 7:00 AM on November 29, 2011, he died from complications from his stroke.[27] Oneal was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes while in his early twenties, and also struggled with weight issues for years.[28][29]
He is survived by his longtime partner (whom he often referred to as
his wife) Vondecarlo Brown, mother Georgia, stepdaughter Aymilyon, and
sister Zinder.[7]
Oneal’s funeral was held on December 5 at Park Avenue Christian
Church in New York City, and was attended by notable comedians including
Chris Rock, Colin Quinn, Nick DiPaolo, Artie Lange, Jim Norton, Dane Cook, Wanda Sykes, and Kevin Hart.[8]

Reactions and tributes

On November 30, 2011, a dozen comedians gathered to eulogize Oneal on The Opie and Anthony Show, a radio program that Oneal had appeared on over 100 times. These comedians were: Jim Norton, Bob Kelly, Louis CK, Joe Rogan, Bill Burr, Colin Quinn, Amy Schumer, Dave Attell, Jim Florentine, Russ Meneve, Joe DeRosa, and Kurt Metzger.[30] The channel dedicated its programming that weekend to the comedian, by airing a 16-hour special entitled A Tribute to Patrice O’Neal featuring some of his best appearances, along with memories from some of his fellow comedians.[31]
Always known as a comedian’s comedian, Oneal was one of the best loved acts by his peers. Many comics reacted via Twitter.[32] “The best comedian in the world has died,” proclaimed Norm Macdonald. Dave Attell
tweeted “Patrice O. was and is one of the best comics I have ever had
the pleasure to watch perform.” Ricky Gervais, a long time vocal fan of
Oneal’s, said “One of my favourite stand up comedians. So sad. RIP.” Denis Leary
called him “one of the funniest men who ever walked this earth” and
Bill Burr concurred, saying he was “the most purely funny human being
I’ve ever met.” Doug Stanhope
remembered Oneal as “one of the best ever. Inspiring every time I heard
him on anything.” Dozens of other comedians echoed similar sentiments
on Twitter.[33][34] Comedian Jon Stewart paid his respects through his “Moment of Zen” bit, in his show The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,
stating: “Sad News. Once again in comedy we lose somebody, who’s too
funny, too soon.” This statement was followed by a clip of Oneal’s stand
up special Elephant in the Room.[35]
Many entertainers outside of the comedy community reacted as well. Director Kevin Smith said, “I shared some air & some air time with the man on O&A & he was always funny & thoughtful. He WILL be missed.” Rapper Talib Kweli said “Super funny and I had the pleasure of meeting the man. We will miss you.” The Roots drummer Questlove
mourned “so grateful I got to see Patrice Oneal do his last NYC gig.
Man, this is so devastating. He truly was one of my favorite comics.” Nick Cannon called him “An amazing comedian and an even better person.”[33] Actor Charlie Sheen
paid his respects through his blog, saying: “The entertainment world as
well as the world at large lost a brilliant man today. Patrice had that
rare “light” around him and inside of him. I only knew him for the few
days leading up the Roast. Yet I will forever be inspired by his
nobility, his grace and his epic talent. My tears today are for the
tremendous loss to his true friends and loving family.”[36]
Comedians Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange
paid tribute to Oneal on their radio show by recounting stories of the
late comedian, “As a standup comic, guys like Nick and Patrice are like
Babe Ruth, and on a good day I’m maybe Robin Yount,” said Lange.
Comedy Central aired Oneal’s special Elephant in the Room on November 30 in the wake of his death.[37]
Comedian Louis C.K. dedicated his comedy special Live at the Beacon Theater to Oneal’s memory. He later commented on Twitter that O’Neal had been his favorite living comedian.[38]
Rolling Stone ran a four-page article about Oneal’s career and passing in the February 16, 2012 issue.[8]
In June 2012, Jim Norton dedicated his 1 hour EPIX comedy special Please Be Offended to Oneal.
On September 23, 2012, during the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, Oneal was remembered during the “In Memoriam” tribute.[39]
On November 26, 2012, at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC, a benefit show for Oneal’s family was held. The comedians who performed sets were: Colin Quinn, Artie Lange, Wil Sylvince, Danny Lobell, and Keith Robinson.[40]
On November 29, 2012, Bill Burr announced, via Twitter, that there would be a memorial benefit show for Oneal’s family on February 19, 2013. The comics who performed at New York City Center were: Colin Quinn, Jim Norton, Dave Attell, Bill Burr, Bob Kelly, Rich Vos, Keith Robinson, Ian Edwards, Wil Sylvince, and Marina Franklin.[41]

Comic style

Oneal’s comedy has been described as conversational.[42] Except during televised appearances, he seldom performed standing up, preferring a relaxed, philosophical delivery.[43]
Oneal was also known as a provocateur, often inciting audience members to call out, or even leave the club. “I’ve seen him give people money to leave,” recalls Gregg “Opie” Hughes.[44]
At times he would encourage people to call out to the stage in order to
set up a punchline. “Ladies, how would you keep your man if you lost
your vagina?,” Oneal would ask of his audience. When the women would
invariably reference oral and anal sex, the comedian would respond,
“See, I gave you the chance to talk and you qualified yourself as a
series of holes.”[42]


  • Mr. P (2012)[45]
  • Better Than You (2012) [download][46]



Year(s) Title Role Notes
2002 The Colin Quinn Show Various
2002 Contest Searchlight Himself
2002 Chappelle’s Show Pit Bull 2 Episodes
2002-2004 Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn Himself/Various
2003 Yes, Dear Tow Truck Driver 1 Episode
2003 Ed Andre Stangel Uncredited
2003 Arrested Development T-Bone 1 Episode
2004 The Jury Adam Walker Recurring
2004 Shorties Watchin’ Shorties Baby Patrice Voice
2004-2006 O’Grady Harold Voice
2005-2007 The Office Lonny 3 Episodes
2006 The Best Man Himself unaired Comedy Central pilot
2006 Web Junk 20 Host 2 Seasons
2008 Assy McGee Blind Anthony Voice
2008 Z Rock Stage Manager Guest Star
2011 The Roast of Charlie Sheen Himself


Year(s) Title Role Notes
2002 25th Hour Khari
2003 Head of State Warren
2003 In the Cut Hector
2006 Scary Movie 4 Rasheed Uncredited
2010 Furry Vengeance Gus
2011 Elephant in the Room Himself
2012 Nature Calls Mr. Caldwell

To see more of who died in 2011 click here