We remember “Super Freak” singer Rick James and other famous people who died this day in history.
We remember “Super Freak” singer Rick James and other famous people who died this day, August 6, in history.
Darren Daulton, legendary former catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, dies at 55.
Stan Lynde, U.S. cartoonist who created the comic strip “Rick O’Shay,” dies of cancer at 81. “I wanted to be a cartoonist all my life — from age 5 or 6, that’s what I wanted to do,” Lynde said in December 2012, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He drew daily comics in high school and created the comic strip “Ty Foon” for the Navy newspaper while he served during the Korean conflict. In the 1950s, he moved to New York, where he drew on his ranch background and his affinity for Western humor to create the “Rick O’Shay” strip that included characters such as gunslinger Hipshot Percussion, banker Mort Gage and a kid named Quyat Burp who lived in the Western town of Conniption. Read more
Dan Roundfield, U.S. NBA forward who averaged over 14 points a game and was a three-time All-Star for the Atlanta Hawks, dies at 59 in a drowning accident while saving his wife.
Robert Hughes, Australian-born art critic known as the chief art critic for Time magazine for many years, dies after a long illness at 74.
Richard Cragun, U.S. ballet dancer who was one of the most influential dancers of the 20th century, dies after having a seizure at 67.
Mark O’Donnell, U.S. writer known best for writing the play and 2007 movie “Hairspray,” dies at 58 after collapsing in the lobby of his apartment complex. O’Donnell was picked to help write the musical version of the 1988 John Waters movie “Hairspray” because producer Margo Lion felt he “could appreciate Waters’ voice but was idiosyncratic enough to inject his own personality into the piece,” according to his obituary by The Associated Press. The story centers on an overweight white teenager who lives to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” Baltimore’s version of American Bandstand. She also wants to integrate its all-white environs, and, along the way, be accepted for her full-figured self. “The structure I had in mind was: Girl does Mash Potato, girl charms Baltimore, girl integrates nation,” O’Donnell told The Associated Press in 2002. “My script was like a great Mad magazine article.” Read more
Marvin Hamlisch, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. composer who was one of the few to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards and whose many compositions included “The Entertainer” for the movie “The Sting” and the title song for the movie “The Way We Were,” dies at 68. In his 1992 memoir “The Way I Was,” Hamlisch describes how producer Ray Stark asked him to write a theme song for the new movie he was working on — on spec. “Which meant that if he didn’t care for the song, it was no harm, no foul. I’d be here today, gone tomorrow,” Hamlisch wrote. “If, on the other hand, he liked it, I would get the job of scoring the whole movie. What Stark didn’t tell me till the end of the conversation was that the director was Sydney Pollack, the stars were Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, and the movie was “The Way We Were.” For this I would certainly work ‘on spec,’ and I must confess that I sensed from the beginning that this was going to be my watershed in the movies.” Read more
John Hughes, U.S. director and screenwriter whose popular movies included “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” dies of a heart attack at 59. Hughes’ ensemble comedies helped make stars out of Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, and many other young performers, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He also scripted the phenomenally popular “Home Alone,” which made little-known Macaulay Culkin a sensation as the 8-year-old accidentally abandoned by his vacationing family, and wrote or directed such hits as “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” and “Uncle Buck.” Read more
Willy DeVille, U.S. singer-songwriter whose band Mink DeVille was one of the original house bands at the New York club CBGB and who played with Dr. John and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, dies of pancreatic cancer at 58.
Ibrahim Ferrer, Cuban singer and musician who was a popular Afro-Cuban artist and a member of Buena Vista Social Club, dies at 78.
Rick James, U.S. musician and singer-songwriter known for the hit R&B songs “Super Freak” and “Cold Blooded,” dies at 56. James said he wrote “Super Freak” quickly, just looking to assemble “a silly song that had a bit of new wave texture to it.” As he explained to Musician magazine in 1983: “So I just came up with this silly little lick and expounded on it. I came up with the bass part first. Then I put a guitar on it and keyboards, doing the ‘ehh ehh,’ silly keyboard part. Then I found a tuning on my Oberheim OB-Xa that I’d been wanting to use for a long time — it sounds like ghosts. And I put a very operatic vocal structure on it ’cause I’m really into opera and classical music.” Read more
Sherwood Bailey, U.S. child actor known best for playing “Spud” in The Little Rascals serials, dies of cancer on his 64th birthday.
Kurt Kasznar, Austrian actor who appeared in more than 80 films and television shows and was a regular cast member on the TV series “Land of the Giants,” dies of cancer at 65.
Memphis Minnie, U.S. blues guitarist and singer-songwriter whose recording career lasted from the 1920s until the ’50s and whose songs included “Me and My Chauffeur Blues,” dies at 76.
Nancy Carroll, U.S. actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “The Devil’s Holiday,” dies at 61.
Cedric Hardwicke, English actor who starred in “The Invisible Man Returns” and “Suspicion” during a career that lasted almost 50 years, dies of cancer at 71.
Preston Sturges, Academy Award-winning U.S. playwright, screenwriter, and director whose movies included “The Lady Eve” and “Sullivan’s Travels,” dies at 60.
Tony Lazzeri, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman who was a valuable member of the famous New York Yankee teams of the 1920s and ’30s, winning five World Series championships, dies at 42.
Warner Oland, Swedish actor known best for starring as detective Charlie Chan in 16 “Charlie Chan” movies, dies at 58.
Bix Beiderbecke, U.S. jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer who is considered one of the pioneers of jazz, dies of pneumonia at 28.