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Died on January 16

Published: 1/16/2014
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Pauline Phillips aka Abigail Van Buren, 1988 (Getty Images / WireImage / Ron Galella, Ltd.)

Pauline Phillips, better known as Abigail Van Buren, devoted decades to giving friendly advice in her syndicated newspaper column, "Dear Abby." Her readers' questions ran the gamut from prosaic to unbelievable, as did her answers. Her name became synonymous with good advice, and her sometimes-snarky words of wisdom found a home on social media, shared among friends and family across the Internet. We remember her life today and the lives of other notable people who died on this day in history.

2013: Pauline Phillips aka Abigail Van Buren, popular U.S. advice columnist who wrote "Dear Abby," dies at 94.

Abigail Van Buren, better known as Dear Abby, holds a photo showing her mother and father ... In 1905, her parents Abraham Friedman and Rebecca Rushall were faced with the decision of a lifetime, whether to leave Russia. It would be 13 years before Rebecca gave birth to the twins who would become America's best-loved advice columnists. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac)Van Buren left behind a massive legacy of good advice. Some of her advice was funny, some sassy, some very serious. And some of it was just plain weird … but only because some of the questions she was asked were equally weird. Many of these were immortalized in Van Buren's The Best of Dear Abby collection, and some of them are too strange to believe. Read more


2012: Jimmy Castor, U.S. pop and funk musician best known for his million-selling song "Troglodyte," dies of heart failure at 71.

Jimmy Castor (Photo by James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)Castor's music spoke for itself thousands of times in riffs and samples by such groups as N.W.A., the 2 Live Crew, Kanye West, Ice Cube and Mos Def, as well as acts including the Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera and Madonna. His son, Jimmy Castor Jr., 45, a filmmaker from Redondo Beach, Calif., told The Associated Press he's seen instant recognition hundreds of times at the first saxophone chords of "It's Just Begun," even before the lyrics begin. ("Watch me now. Feel the groove. Into something. Gonna make you move.") Read more


2009: Andrew Wyeth, U.S. artist and one of the best-known painters of the 20th century who worked in the realist style, dies at 91.

A Wyeth retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2006 drew more than 175,000 visitors in 15½ weeks, the highest-ever attendance at the museum for a living artist. The Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, a converted 19th-century grist mill, includes hundreds of works by three generations of Wyeths. Wyeth even made "Peanuts," in a November 1966 comic strip: After a fire in his dog house destroys his van Gogh, Snoopy replaces it with an Andrew Wyeth. Read more


2007: Benny Parsons, U.S. NASCAR  driver and commentator who won the 1973 Winston Cup championship, dies at 65.

A member of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers, Parsons retired from racing in 1988 and moved into the broadcasting booth. He spent six years as a commentator on NBC and TNT, and continued to call races from the booth during the time he was being treated for cancer. "Benny was a beloved and widely respected member of the NASCAR community, and of the NBC Sports family," said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports. Read more


2007: Ron Carey, U.S. actor known best for his role as Officer Levitt on TV's Barney Miller, dies at 71.

2006: Stanley Biber, U.S. physician who was a pioneer of transgender surgery, dies at 82.

2005: Marjorie Williams, U.S. columnist for Vanity Fair and The Washington Post, dies of cancer at 47. Read more

2000: Will "Dub" Jones, U.S. bass vocalist for the Coasters, dies at 71.

1997: Ennis Cosby, son of Bill Cosby, is killed in an attempted robbery at 29.

1996: Marcia Davenport, U.S. author and music critic for The New Yorker, dies at 92.

1993: Glenn Corbett, U.S. actor best known for his role as Lincoln Case in the TV series Route 66, dies of cancer at 59.

1989: Trey Wilson, U.S. actor who played manager Joe Riggins in the movie Bull Durham, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 40.

1987: Joyce Jameson, U.S. actress who played one of the "fun girls" on The Andy Griffith Show, dies after an overdose of pills at 54.

1987: Earl Wilson, U.S. columnist known for his column about Broadway called It Happened Last Night, dies at 79.

1979: Ted Cassidy, U.S. actor best known as Lurch in The Addams Family, dies after heart surgery at 46.

1972: David Seville, U.S. actor and singer who created Alvin and the Chipmunks, dies of a heart attack at 52.

1971: Kermit Maynard, U.S. actor who appeared in more than 200 films, dies at 73.

1942: Carole Lombard, U.S. actress known for her roles in screwball comedies of the 1930s, dies in a plane crash at 33.

AP PhotoLombard was one of the top movie stars of her era, acting in her first silent film when she was just 12. As talkies took over, Lombard's fame grew, and she played opposite stage legend John Barrymore in her first big hit, Twentieth Century. Released in 1934, the movie is considered a prototypical screwball comedy – one of the first and best. All the classic elements of the screwball comedy were there: rapid-fire dialogue, a charming hero and a lovely heroine (both of whom suffer from a bit of goofiness from time to time), slapstick humor and situations that played the different social classes off each other. It set the stage for a decade of imitators. Read more

1935: Ma Barker, U.S. criminal whose family was known as the Barker Gang, dies in a shootout with FBI agents at 61.

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