Recent necrology, January 2015

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Cover of Joyful ArchitectureIan Athfield, 1940-2015
    Eminent New Zealand architect whose whimsical and eclectic designs both offended and inspired
  • Rod McKuen, 1933-2015
    American singer-songwriter, musician and poet
  • Elena Obraztsova, 1939-2015
    Russian mezzo who took New York by storm but was criticised for supporting the Soviet regime
  • Ronnie Ronalde, 1923-2015
    Virtuoso whistler and bird song impersonator whose skills were admired by Frank Sinatra and John Peel
  • Cover of The Collected Letters of Katherine MansfieldDemis Roussos, 1946-2015
    Greek singer who sold 60 million albums and became an unlikely kaftan-wearing sex symbol
  • Robert Stone, 1937-2015
    Novelist who wrote bold American morality plays and courted danger in Vietnam and Central America
  • Rod Taylor, 1929-2015
    Actor who brought Australian machismo to Hollywood and starred in Hitchcock’s The Birds

Recent necrology, December 2014

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Joe CockerJoe Cocker, 1944-2014
    English rock and blues singer known for his gritty voice and his spasmodic body movement in performance
  • Leslie Dew, 1930-2014
    Christchurch transport historian and author
  • Kent Haruf, 1943-2014
    American novelist whose spare prose gave life to quiet human drama in the fictional town of Holt
  • Cover of PlainsongMichael Kennedy, 1926-2014
    Northern Editor of the Daily Telegraph who became a highly-renowned music critic and biographer of Elgar and Vaughan Williams
  • Virna Lisi, 1936-2014
    Italian actress who abandoned a promising Hollywood career to pursue more challenging roles in Europe
  • Lydia Mordkovitch, 1944-2014
    Russian violinist who made her name in Britain by drawing out the darker side of 20th-century composers
  • Cover of Anthem for Doomed YouthIvor Richardson, 1930-2014
    Eminent New Zealand jurist, legal writer and member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
  • Jon Stallworthy, 1935-2014
    Poet and literary scholar whose biography of Wilfred Owen shaped public understanding of the First World War
  • Jean Watson, 1933-2014
    New Zealand author and humanitarian, whose charitable work in India was recently featured in the documentary Aunty and the Star People
  • Billie Whitelaw, 1932-1014
    Actress and muse of playwright Samuel Beckett who terrified as the hellish nanny of The Omen

Recent necrology, November 2014

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Cover of Dalziel and Pascoe: Secrets of the DeadAcker Bilk, 1929-2014
    Bowler-hatted titan of trad jazz who conjured a warm, sentimental sound from his clarinet
  • Harry Evison, 1924-2014
    New Zealand historian specialising in Māori and colonial history
  • John Holt, 1947-2014
    Jamaican reggae star who scored hits in the British charts and performed with the Royal Philharmonic
  • E. B. Lock, 1932-2014
    Author and former editor of The Press
  • Mike Nichols, 1931-2014
    Prolific film and theatre director whose Oscar-winning movie The graduate was a cinematic landmark of the 1960s
  • Richard Pasco, 1926-2014
    Classical actor who famously alternated the roles of Richard II and Bolingbroke with Ian Richardson

Recent necrology, October 2014

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Cover of Lost and FoundLynda Bellingham, 1948-2014
    Versatile actress and author who, as the ‘Oxo mum’ , brought ‘man-appeal’ to the business of gravy making
  • Jack Bruce, 1943-2014
    Bass player and singer with Cream, the short-lived but  influential supergroup of the late 1960s
  • Park Honan, 1928-2014
    Scholar and biographer of great writers from William Shakespeare to Matthew Arnold
  • Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014
    Australian politician and Prime Minister from 1972 to 1975, before being controversially dismissed by the Governor-General
  • Gerald Wilson, 1918-2014
    Jazz composer and bandleader in the Duke Ellington mould

Recent necrology, August-September 2014

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Frans Bruggen, 1934-2014
    Dutch conductor, recorder player and baroque flautist
  • Mary Cadogan, 1928-2014
    English author who wrote on popular and children’s fiction
  • Graham Joyce, 1954-2014
    British writer of speculative fiction
  • Bill Kerr, 1922-2014
    Australian actor and comedian
  • John Ritchie, 1921-2014
    Music educator, composer and conductor, ‘father’ of Christchurch music
  • Joan Rivers, 1937-2014
    American actress, comedian, writer and TV host
  • David St John Thomas, 1929-2014
    English publisher and writer who founded David & Charles publishing house
  • Eoin Young, 1939-2014
    New Zealand motoring journalist

Recent necrology, July 2014

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Cover of The Garner FilesCarlo Bergonzi, 1924-2014
    Opera singer whose glorious style, phrasing and tone made him the epitome of Italian vocal art
  • James Garner, 1928-2014
    Actor who breathed new life into the Western genre and excelled as the hero of the Rockford Files
  • Nadine Gordimer, 1923-2014
    Masterly liberal South African novelist who chronicled her country’s journey from apartheid to troubled democracy
  • Cover of The ConservationistCharlie Haden, 1937-2014
    Double bass player who drew on his country music roots to master a bewildering range of jazz styles
  • Anthony Hobson, 1921-2014
    Bibliophile and scholar aesthete who won the admiration of Cyril Connolly
  • John Leach, 1931-2014
    Composer and cimbalom player who helped create the jarring ‘sound’ of the Cold War for The Ipcress File
  • Cover of What Is On Top?Ray Lonnen, 1940-2014
    Actor whose TV career spanned 50 years and who was best known for his role as an undercover agent in Ulster
  • Lorin Maazel, 1930-2014
    Conductor who ranged across the classical repertoire and became the first American and the first Jew in the postwar period to conduct at Bayreuth
  • Louis Zamperini, 1917-2014
    American Olympian and airman whose extraordinary tale of endurance after being shot down was the subject of the bestselling book Unbroken

Recent necrology, June 2014

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Cover of Best Poems on the UndergroundGerard Benson, 1931-2014
    Poet who brought Hardy and Milton, Auden and Yeats to the London Underground
  • Patsy Byrne, 1933-2014
    Actress with the RSC who later played the dim-witted Nursie in Blackadder
  • Felix Dennis, 1947-2014
    Hedonistic publisher behind Oz and The Week who dreamed of being a great poet but found his true forte was making money
  • James Douglas-Home, 1952-2014
    Racehorse trainer and writer who castigated the new Ascot racecourse as one of the ‘world’s worst dumps’
  • Cover of Night Night Spot!Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, 1933-2014
    Spanish-born conductor of German parentage who blended Teutonic precision with Iberian sensuality
  • Peter Matthiessen, 1927-2014
    Author, naturalist and reluctant CIA agent who gave up espionage to champion a different kind of wild life in his bestseller The snow leopard
  • Rik Mayall, 1958-2014
    Anarchic comedian who took on the British Establishment in The young ones, and The new statesman
  • Josephine Pullein-Thompson, 1924-2014
    Author whose pony club novels thrilled a generation of girls with the jolly adventures of the gymkhana set
  • Cover of Regal Records Live in New OrleansJimmy Scott, 1925-2014
    Jazz singer who was later in Twin Peaks
  • Horace Silver, 1928-2014
    Jazz pianist and composer behind Latin and hard-bop tunes that became post-war standards
  • Eli Wallach, 1915-2014
    Masterly and versatile actor of stage and screen who particularly delighted in playing villains
  • Bobby Womack, 1944-2014
    ‘Soul survivor’ of an astonishingly lurid lifestyle who fused passionate gospel and dulcet crooning

Recent necrology, May 2014

Some well-known people who have died recently

  • Cover of I Know Why The Caged Bird SingsMaya Angelou, 1928-2014
    American poet, novelist and civil rights activist
  • Jack Brabham, 1926-2014
    Driver with an engineering flair who was the first man to win the Formula 1 title in a car of his own making
  • Lorraine Cohen, 1943-2014
    Woman at the centre of an infamous international drug case
  • Don Donovan, 1933-2014
    New Zealand writer and illustrator
  • Radu Florescu, 1925-2014
    Romanian historian who claimed Bram Stoker based Count Dracula on real-life Vlad the Impaler
  • Cover of A Daughter's TaleH. R. Giger, 1940-2014
    Swiss artist who brought his hellish, eroticised creatures to Hollywood, winning an Oscar for Alien
  • Antony Hopkins, 1921-2014
    Composer and conductor whose infectious enthusiasm animated his BBC broadcasts for four decades
  • Robert Masters, 1917-2014
    Violinist who played at the Coronation, taught Nigel Kennedy and created Yehudi Menuhin’s orchestra
  • Barbara Murray, 1929-2014
    Actress from the Rank Charm School who starred in Passport to Pimlico
  • Mary Soames, 1922-2014
    Last of Churchill’s children, who acted as ADC to her father and wrote an acclaimed life of her mother
  • Cover of Mary Stewart's Merlin TrilogyMary Stewart, 1916-2014
    Author of romantic thrillers who wrote for love not money, and had an intuitive feel for the past
  • Philip Sugden, 1947-2014.
    Historian who brought a new, much-needed scholastic rigour to Jack the Ripper’s crimes
  • Joe Wilder, 1922-2014
    Trumpeter noted for the beauty of his tone who played with Count Basie and the New York Philharmonic

Recent necrology, April 2014

Some well-known people who have died recently:

  • Rubin Carter, 1937-2014
    Boxer wrongly convicted of murder who found Bob Marley fighting his corner
  • Cover of Love in the Time of CholeraAlan Davie, 1920-2014
    Artist who won the admiration of Rothko and Pollock and later embraced ‘magic symbolism’
  • Bob Hoskins, 1942-2014
    Actor who excelled as the tough but engaging anti-hero of Mona Lisa and The long good Friday
  • Richard Hoggart, 1918-2014
    Commentator and academic whose Uses of Literacy lamented the impact of mass culture on traditional working-class life
  • Doris Pilkington, 1937-2014
    Aboriginal author whose story of Australia’s stolen generation inspired a film starring Kenneth Branagh
  • Cover of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4Mickey Rooney, 1920-2014
    Icon of American youth and energy who was as prolific in his marriages as he was on screen
  • Patrick Seale, 1930-2014
    Author who deputised for Kim Philby in Beirut and became the pre-eminent expert on Syria
  • John Shirley-Quirk, 1931-2014
    Former science teacher turned bass-baritone whose talents proved an inspiration to Benjamin Britten
  • Sue Townsend, 1946-2014
    Writer whose diaries of spotty teenager Adrian Mole became a publishing sensation
  • Owen Woodhouse, 1916-2014
    NZ jurist and chair of government commissions, notably workers’ accident compensation

Recent necrology, March 2014

cover of Rifling through my drawersSome well-known people who have died recently:

  • Tony Benn, 1925-2014
    British Labour Party politician, orator, campaigner and diarist, recognisable by his pipe, tape recorder and outsized mug
  • Clarissa Dickson Wright, 1947-2014
    Bombastic, outspoken lawyer who was brought to her knees by riches and alcoholism then rose again as a cook on Two Fat Ladies
  • Ann Howard, 1934-2014
    Opera singer who portrayed ‘witches and bitches’ and excelled as Carmen
  • Bob Larbey, 1934-2014
    Scriptwriter who mined the comic potential of suburbia in The Good Life, and Ever Decreasing Circles
  • Kate O’Mara, 1939-2014
    Actress best known for her role in Dynasty in the mid 1980s
  • Alain Resnais, 1922-2014
    French New Wave director celebrated for tackling in film Proustian themes of time and memory
  • Richard Vaughan, 1927-2014
    Medieval historian and ornithologist who studies bird life from Europe to the Arctic