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A chronology of those who died in 2015

A chronology of those who died in 2015


April 2

-- Tom Towles, 71, the mustached character actor who popped up in several Rob Zombie's movies, in Pinellas, Florida, from complications following a stroke.

April 4

-- Jenny Wallenda, 87, the matriarch of the famous family of high-flying circus performers, in Sarasota, Florida, after a lengthy, unspecified illness.

April 5

-- Julie Wilson, 90, a musical theater actress and cabaret star who earned a Tony Award nomination and was cheered for her ability to harness the songs of Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter, in New York after having suffered two strokes over the last several days.

-- Fredric Brandt, 65, a pioneering dermatologist and an early proponent of Botox who was also an author, radio host and frequent television talk show guest, in Miami, of an apparent suicide.

April 6

-- Francesco Smalto, 87, an Italian-born designer who fashioned clothes for world leaders and celebrities, in Marrakech, Morocco.

-- James Best, 88, a prolific television and movie character and actor best known for his role as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on "The Dukes of Hazzard" comedy show, in Hickory, North Carolina, of complications from pneumonia.

April 7

-- Stan Freberg, 88, the spirited comic genius who lampooned American history in his landmark recordings "The United States of America" and was hailed as the father of the funny commercial, in Santa Monica, California.

April 8

-- Jean-Louis Cremieux-Brilhac, 98, a Jewish member of the French Resistance in charge of propaganda during World War II, in Paris.

-- Joel Spira, 88, who brought the light dimmer switch to households across the U.S. and transformed his Lutron Electronics Company into a leading manufacturer of lighting controls, in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, of natural causes.

April 9

--Ivan Doig, 75, an award-winning author whose books set in his native state of Montana made him one of the most respected writers of the American West, in Seattle of multiple myeloma.

-- Moira Gemmill, 55, a leading British design expert charged with modernizing two of Queen Elizabeth II's residences, in London in a cycling accident.

-- Paul Almond, 83, a Canadian-born filmmaker whose landmark 1964 documentary "Seven Up!" inspired an extended look at British children's unfolding lives, in Los Angeles of complications from heart disease.

April 11

--Sheila Kitzinger, 86, an anthropologist and childbirth expert Sheila whose books helped people around the world begin new lives as parents near Oxford, England, after a brief, unspecified illness.

April 13

-- Guenter Grass, 87, the Nobel-winning German writer who gave voice to the generation that came of age during the horrors of the Nazi era but later ran into controversy over his own World War II past and stance toward Israel, in Luebeck, Germany.

-- Eduardo Galeano, 74, a Uruguayan author whose "The Open Veins of Latin America" became a classic text for the left in the region and propelled the author to fame, in Montevideo. He had been ill with lung cancer for several months.

April 14

-- Percy Sledge, 74, who soared from part-time singer and hospital orderly to lasting fame with his aching, forlorn performance on the classic "When a Man Loves a Woman," in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, of liver failure. He had been battling cancer for a year.

-- Homaro Cantu, 38, a chef who artfully blended science and fine dining at his Michelin-starred Chicago restaurant, in Chicago. His death was ruled a suicide.

April 15

Surya Bahadur Thapa, 87, who served as Nepal's prime minister five times, near New Delhi, India. He had stomach cancer.

April 16

-- Stanislav Gross, 45, who became the Czech Republic's youngest prime minister but was forced to resign nine months later, in Prague. No cause of death was given but he had been battling an unspecified illness.

-- Bahamian R&B singer Johnny Kemp, 55, who is best known for the hit song "Just Got Paid," in Jamaica. Police said that Kemp was found floating at a beach in Montego Bay. It had not yet been determined how he died.

April 17

-- A. Alfred Taubman, 91, the self-made billionaire whose philanthropy and business success -- including weaving the enclosed shopping mall into American culture -- was clouded by a criminal conviction late in his career, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, of a heart attack.

Taubman, who donated hundreds of millions of dollars to universities, hospitals and museums, dies at his home of a heart attack, according to son Robert S. Taubman, president and CEO of Taubman.

April 18

-- Cardinal Francis George, 78, a vigorous defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy who played a key role in the church's response to the clergy sex abuse scandal and led the U.S. bishops' fight against Obamacare, in Chicago after a long battle with cancer.

April 19

-- Elio Toaff, 99, the longtime chief rabbi of Rome who helped set Judaism and the Catholic Church on the path to reconciliation after centuries of distrust, in Rome.

April 21

-- M.H. Abrams, 102, an esteemed critic, teacher and tastemaker who helped shape the modern literary canon as founding editor of the Norton Anthology of English Literature and joined the elite himself by writing one of the 20th century's most acclaimed works of criticism, in Ithaca, New York.

-- Mary Doyle Keefe, 92, the model for Norman Rockwell's iconic 1943 Rosie the Riveter painting that symbolized the millions of American women who went to work on the home front during World War II, in Simsbury, Connecticut, after a brief, unspecified illness.

April 23

-- Richard Corliss, 71, Time magazine's longtime film critic, who conveyed the sheer joy of watching movies and writing about them, in New York. He suffered a stroke.

-- Pierre Claude Nolin, 64, the speaker of Canada's Senate, in Ottawa after a five-year battle with a rare form of cancer.

April 24

-- Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, 93, a former Polish Auschwitz prisoner and member of the underground wartime resistance who helped save Jews and later served twice as the country's foreign minister, in Warsaw.

April 28

-- Marcia Brown, 96, a celebrated author and illustrator of children's books and three-time award winner whose work ranged from the bold strokes of "Once a Mouse" to the more abstract and lyrical sketches of "Cinderella," in Laguna Hills, California, of congestive heart failure.

Updated : 2021-05-16 02:29 GMT+08:00