Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Notable Passings

There have been a number of interesting people who passed from the scene in recent days...I wanted to take time out to remember each of them.

First and foremost, of course, is actor-philanthropist Paul Newman (click title of post for story). I particularly liked him in 1957's UNTIL THEY SAIL. I also think his voicing of Doc in CARS worthy of special mention. A productive life which not only brought joy to many through his movies, but with his food products and many charitable endeavors.

Tributes to Newman can be read at The Shelf, Another Old Movie Blog, and Self-Styled Siren.

Big Band singer Connie Haines passed away recently, age 87. Haines performed with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey Orchestras alongside Frank Sinatra. Haines had a very interesting life, and rather remarkably is survived by her 109-year-old mother.

Robert Steinberg, the Harvard-educated physician who cofounded Scharffen Berger fine chocolate, has passed away at 61. Steinberg was diagnosed with terminal cancer -- nearly two decades ago. He sold his medical practice and eventually went into the chocolate business with a former patient, John Scharffenberger.

Two years ago Steinberg and Scharffenberger authored a beautiful, highly regarded cookbook, THE ESSENCE OF CHOCOLATE.

Southern Californians like me have watched and listened to restaurant and travel critic Elmer Dills for decades. I was surprised to learn Dills was 82; I would have guessed his age at least a decade younger. His presence in the local media will be missed.

Over the years John Taylor's name has periodically popped up in my reading. He worked for the National Archives for a remarkable 63 years. Taylor, who was 87, was still working there the week before he died.

Five very different lives, each making a unique contribution to our world.


Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

I didn't know that Connie Haines had passed away. I listen to her on several OTR shows still - including the Abbott and Costello show. She was a great singer. Thanks for mentioning her (and thanks for the link as well).

5:29 AM  
Blogger jau said...

Really nice essay, Laura. This is the kind of thing you do that makes you so wonderful. Thanks!


2:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you both for your kind comments!

J.C., that is really terrific that you regularly hear Haines singing on old radio shows --

Best wishes,

3:07 PM  
Blogger mel said...

Thank you for remembering Connie Haines, Laura. Not many people remember her today. I first became acquainted with her when she guested on the Frankie Laine TV show in the early 50s and loved her peppy style of singing. She also had a nice, though small, role in The Duchess Of Idaho (1950) which I saw again recently.

I miss her already.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I need to watch THE DUCHESS OF IDAHO again, Mel. I wrote about it here when I saw it for the first time a couple of years ago. I don't remember Haines in it that well so it's a good excuse to take another look. :)

Thanks for sharing your Haines memories!

Best wishes,

10:35 PM  

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