Monday: People We Lost in 2014

2014 road


Good Morning!!

Since the year 2014 will soon be in the rear view mirror, I thought I’d call attention to some of the people we lost over the past 12 months. When I started looking for lists of notable 2014 deaths, I found there have been far more than I could possibly include in a blog post. Since this is a political blog, I go into a little more detail in the politics category than the others. In case you want more names and information, the best comprehensive list (with photos) that I found was at The Chicago Tribune: Notable Deaths 2014.


Frank Mankiewicz, 90, a towering figure in Democratic politics and media, died Oct. 23. Mankiewicz was born into Hollywood royalty–his father Herman Mankiewicz was the drama critic for The New Yorker, and wrote Citizen Kane, and his uncle Joseph Mankiewicz directed All About Eve.

Frank Mankiewicz speaking to reporters about Bobby Kennedy's condition, 1968.

Frank Mankiewicz speaking to reporters about Bobby Kennedy’s condition, 1968.

Mankiewicz, who fought in the Battle of Bulge during WWII, became an attorney and journalist, and then worked in the Kennedy administration. Later he served as press secretary for Robert Kennedy had the sad duty of announcing RFK’s death in LA after the 1968 California primary. He later worked in George McGovern’s failed 1972 campaign. Among other accomplishments, he wrote two books about Richard Nixon and as head of National Public Radio,

During his six years at the helm, the NPR news department more than doubled and listenership nearly tripled. He helped start the popular program “Morning Edition” in 1979; opened the first overseas bureau, in London; and used his access to top Democratic lawmakers such as Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.) to obtain gavel-to-gavel radio coverage of important hearings.


Marion Barry, 78, longtime Mayor of Washington DC, died Nov. 23. From The Washington Post:

Marion Barry Jr., the Mississippi sharecropper’s son and civil rights activist who served three terms as mayor of the District of Columbia, survived a drug arrest and jail sentence, and then came back to win a fourth term as the city’s chief executive….

The most influential and savvy local politician of his generation, Mr. Barry dominated the city’s political landscape in the final quarter of the 20th century, also serving for 15 years on the D.C. Council, whose Ward 8 seat he held until his death. Before his first stint on the council, he was president of the city’s old Board of Education. There was a time when his critics, in sarcasm but not entirely in jest, called him “Mayor for Life.”

Robert Strauss, 95, died on March 19. He was a Democratic insider who began his political career in 1937 as a volunteer in the first congressional campaign of Lyndon B. Johnson and was a fundraisaer for John Connolly in his run for Governor in 1962. Strauss went on to manage Hubert Humphrey’s campaign in 1966 and is credited with bringing the Democratic Party back from the dead after George McGovern’s disastrous loss to Richard Nixon in 1972 by “masterminding” the election of Jimmy Carter, according to The New York Times.

Robert Strauss with Jimmy Carter

Robert Strauss with Jimmy Carter

The Washington Post wrote that Strauss

held several held several influential positions in politics and government: Democratic national chairman, special trade representative and Middle East troubleshooter during the Carter administration, and the first U.S. ambassador to Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

He was known as a deal-maker and intermediary–a man who could work with Republicans when necessary and who could bring even sworn enemies together to work for common goals.

Other notable political figures who died in 2014:

Howard H. Baker Jr., 88, died on June 26. He was a Republican ex-senator who was involved in the Watergate hearings and famously asked “What did the President know and when did he know it?”

Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, 63, dictator of Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown in 1986. He died Oct. 4.

Thomas Menino, 71, died on Oct. 30. Mayor of Boston from 1993-2014, he was the city’s longest serving mayor.

James Brady, 73, died on Aug. 14. He was Ronald Reagan’s press secretary. After he was nearly killed during the attempted assassination of Reagan in 1981, he became a highly visible supporter of gun control.

Joan Mondale

Joan Mondale

Joan Mondale, 83, wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, died on Feb. 3. She was known as “Joan of Art.” A former museum guide she used her position to “promote the arts locally and worldwide. She made her tastes and influence felt from famous galleries and performance stages to subway stations and light-rail stops.”

Ian Paisley, 88, died Sept. 12. “Protestant firebrand who devoted his life to thwarting compromise with Catholics in Northern Ireland only to become a peacemaker in his twilight years” (WaPo).

Jeb Stuart Magruder, 79. “Watergate conspirator-turned-minister who claimed in later years to have heard President Richard Nixon order the infamous break-in,” according to the WaPo. He died May 11.

James Traficant, 73. “Colorful Ohio politician whose conviction for taking bribes and kickbacks made him only the second person to be expelled from Congress since the Civil War.” (Wiki) Plus, he had the weirdest hair ever. He died Sept. 27.

Fred Phelps, Sr., 84, founder of Westboro Baptist Church and professional hater, died March 20.

Stage, Screen, and Radio

The ones I’ll miss most:

Lauren Bacall, 89, died on Aug. 12 model, then accomplished actress and author, she was married to Humphrey Bogart and later Jason Robards.

James Garner, 86, died July 19. He was successful star in both movies and TV. He played mostly romantic leads in films and was very popular as start of the TV shows Maverick and The Rockford Files.

James Garner and Lauren Bacall

James Garner and Lauren Bacall

Bob Hoskins, 71, died on April 29, star of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa, and The Long Good Friday.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, died Feb. 2 at age 46. He was a great actor. I still haven’t forgiven him for going back to drugs and alcohol.

Robin Williams, 63, died Aug. 11. A great comedian and actor.

Tom Magliozzi, 77, co-host with his brother of National Public Radio’s “Car Talk,” died Nov. 3.

Tom Magliozzi (right) with brother Ray

Tom Magliozzi (right) with brother Ray

Other stars we lost this year

Harold Ramis, 69, comedy writer, actor, director, died Feb. 24.

Ruby Dee, 91, actress and civil rights activist, died June 11.

Joan Rivers, 81, pathbreaking comedienne, died Sept. 4.

Polly Bergen, 84, actress, nightclub singer, writer, TV host, game show star, “ardent feminist,” campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2008. She died Sept. 20.

Elaine Stritch

Elaine Stritch

Elaine Stritch, actress and singer best known for her work on Broadway, died July 17 at 89.

Sheila MacRae, 92, British comedienne, “accomplished singer, dancer, and impressionist,” married to Gordon MacRae. She replaced Audrey Meadows as Alice Kramden on The Honeymooners. She died march 6.

Martha Hyer, 89, died May 31. She was an “Oscar-nominated actress who starred alongside the likes of Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart, and later gained notoriety for her extravagant lifestyle.” She got her big break in Sabrina.

Richard Attenborough, 90, British actor and academy award winning director of Gandhi, died on Aug. 14.

Mike Nichols, 83, famed director of The Graduate, and many other great movies and plays, died Nov. 19.

Sid Caesar, 91, died Feb. 12. He was a comic and TV pioneer, best known for his weekly live show, Your Show of Shows.

Shirley Temple Black, 85, famous and beloved child star, died Feb. 10.

Mickey Rooney, 93, died on Sept. 23, with an estate of $18,000. He was a popular child actor who maintained his stardom in adulthood.

Eli Wallach, 89, died June 24. He was a great character actor whose career lasted six decades. Probably best known for his roles in Westerns The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and The Magnificent Seven, but he was also a “masterful stage actor, the acclaimed interpreter of Tennessee Williams…”

David Brenner, comedian, died March 28 at 78.

Meshach Taylor, 67, died June 28. He played Anthony Bouvier on the sitcom Designing Women.

Marilyn Burns after surviving Leatherface

Marilyn Burns after surviving Leatherface

Marilyn Burns, 65, star of the cult film Texas Chainsaw Massacre, died Aug. 5. She also played Linda Kasabian in Helter Skelter (1976).

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., 95, Golden Globe winning actor, died May 2. I loved him in 77 Sunset Strip and The FBI.

And there were many, many more.

Literature and Journalism

Maya Angelou, 86, poet, dancer, actor, and singer, died May 28. She wrote seven books of autobiography, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. He died April 17 at age 87.

Amiri Baraka, 79, died Jan. 9. “Militant man of letters and tireless agitator whose blues-based, fist-shaking poems, plays and criticism made him a groundbreaking force in American culture.” (WaPo)

Nadine Gordimer, 90, South African novelist, died July 13. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991.

PD James, 94, brilliant British crime and science fiction novelist, died Nov. 27.

Peter Matthieson, 86, novelist, nonfiction writer, and founder of The Paris Review, died April 5. He won the National Book Award three times for The Snow Leopard (1979, nonfiction – contemporary thought), The Snow Leopard (1980, General nonfiction), and Shadow Country (fiction, 2008).

Mark Strand, 80, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and former Poet Laureate of the US, died Nov. 29.

Joe McGinniss in 1996

Joe McGinniss in 1996

Joe McGinnis, 71, journalist and author of the pathbreaking book The Selling of the President 1968 and several true crime works, including Fatal Vision.

Ben Bradlee, 93, editor of the Washington Post during Watergate and long after, died Oct. 21.

Al Feldstein, 88, spent “28 years at the helm of Mad magazine transformed the satirical publication into a pop culture institution.” He died April 29. (WaPo)


Pete Seeger, folksinger and activist, Jan. 27.

Aker Bilk, clarinet player, 85, “Jazz clarinettist known for his 1960s hit Stranger on the Shore, his smooth playing and his dapper stage presence,” died Nov. 2.

Jack Bruce, 71, base player for Cream, died Oct. 25

Paul Revere, of Paul Revere and the Raiders died Oct. 4 at 76.

Paul Revere (second from right) and the Raiders

Paul Revere (second from right) and the Raiders

Tim Hauser, 72, of Manhattan Transfer died Oct. 16.

Johnny Winter, 70, blues guitarist and singer, died July 16.

Joe Cocker, 70, blues and rock singer, died Dec. 22.

Joe Cocker at Woodstock

Joe Cocker at Woodstock

Tommy Ramone, 65, drummer, The Ramones, and record producer, died July 11.

Bob Casale, Devo guitarist, died Feb. 17

Charlie Haden, 76, jazz bassist, died July 11.

Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, died Jan. 3 at 74.

Bobby Womack, 70, singer-songwriter and musician, died June 27.

Gerry Goffin, 75, wrote lyrics for Carole King’s music, died June 19.

Jerry Vale, pop singer, died May 18, at 83.

Bobby Keys, 70, saxophone player who backed up John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, died Dec. 2.

Jesse Winchester, singer-songwriter who moved to Canada in protest against the Vietnam war, died April 11, at 69.

There were many more notable deaths this year, and I ignored plenty of categories of people too. Maybe I’ll have to do another post. So . . . who will you miss most? If I left someone important out, please tell us about him/her in the comments (as always, feel free to post links on any topic.) 

11 Comments on “Monday: People We Lost in 2014”

  1. Good morning, BB…I remembered this tweet from Ben Mankiewicz, it was back in November….I had to go look for it in his twitter feed. It was something that stuck in my mind:

    TCM has a few movies scheduled: In Memoriam 2014

    IN MEMORIAM 2014 – 12/30
    2014 saw more than its share of major losses to the film and entertainment world, and as the year draws to a close TCM respectfully remembers some of the greats we were unable to honor with a full programming tribute. Oscar®-winning actor/writer/director/ producer MAXIMILIAN SCHELL, born in Austria in 1930, excelled in intensely dramatic roles but also shone in the lighthearted Topkapi (1964), a spoof of heist films. JUANITA MOORE, born in Mississippi in 1914, earned an Oscar® nomination for her best-remembered role as Lana Turner’s troubled housekeeper in Imitation of Life (1959). ELAINE STRITCH, born in Detroit in 1925, was a force of nature on the musical stage, who also had a number of roles on television and films including the star part in Kiss Her Goodbye (1959).

    The beloved actor/comic genius ROBIN WILLIAMS, born in Chicago in 1951, won a Best Supporting Oscar® for his performance as the empathetic therapist of Good Will Hunting (1997). Another brilliant performer, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, was born in Rochester, NY, in 1967, and plays an ambivalent priest in the important TCM premiere Doubt (2008). Director ALAIN RESNAIS, born in France in 1922, made several films that became international successes including Mon Oncle D’Amerique (1980). GORDON WILLIS, born in Astoria, NY, in 1931, was a celebrated cinematographer who defined the look of American cinema of the 1970s and ’80s in such films as Woody Allen’s Zelig (1983), for which he was Oscar ®-nominated. The distinguished actor/filmmaker RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, born in Cambridge, England, in 1923, is honored by a screening of Brighton Rock (1947), in which he recreates his breakout stage role as a ruthless young killer.

    The Brighton Rock film is extraordinary…and if you get a chance to see it…you will see one hell of a performance.

    And the TCM video:

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, JJ. If I had had time, I would have dug up some of the posts in which you wrote about some of these people. I meant to include Maximilian Schell, darn it.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    A few more TV stars who died this year:

    Ann B. Davis, maid, The Brady Bunch, June 3
    Molly Glynn, Chicago Fire, Sept. 6
    Sarah Goldberg, 7th Heaven, Sept. 27
    Bob Hastings, Lt. Elroy Carpenter, McHale’s Navy, July 2
    Jan Hooks, Saturday Night Live, Oct. 9
    Russell Johnson, “the professor,” Gilligan’s Island, Jan. 16
    Arlene Martel, Star Trek, Aug. 12
    Mary Ann Mobley, former Miss America, many TV appearances
    Don Pardo, announcer, Aug. 18
    Elizabeth Pena, Oct. 14
    Steve Rossi of Allen and Rossi, June 22
    Marcia Strassman, Welcome Back Kotter, Oct. 24
    Ralph Waite, The Waltons, Roots, NCIS, Feb. 13
    Ken Weatherwax, Pugley on The Addams Family, Dec. 7

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Maybe cops should stop whining about being persecuted and get busy catching actual criminals.

    Thousands of criminals escape arrest and prosecution because police decide not to pursue them across state lines–USA Today investigation.

    The newspaper found this year that more than 330,000 accused felons — including some wanted in rapes and murders — can escape the charges against them merely by crossing a state border because police and prosecutors secretly decided in advance not to go that far to retrieve them. In the months that followed, officials from Florida to Pennsylvania reversed those decisions by the thousands, informing the FBI that they intend to retrieve fugitives from anyplace in the USA.

    In Philadelphia, prosecutors reviewed thousands of the city’s old felony case files and identified hundreds of fugitives they plan to retrieve if the suspects surface in other states, a process known as extradition. Prosecutors approved extradition in at least 500 new cases, promising to seek people from other states for crimes as minor as drug possession, according to FBI records and court files….

    Progress in Philadelphia and elsewhere has nonetheless been halting, illustrating the challenges officials face in pursuing fugitives across the nation’s patchwork justice system. Despite having identified hundreds of fugitives who should have been approved for extradition, many of the changes had yet to be entered into the FBI’s fugitive tracking database as of mid-October, meaning some of the suspects could continue to get away. In many other cities, the number of fugitives police say they won’t pursue has shot up dramatically.

    • NW Luna says:

      That’s (nearly) incomprehensible … you’d think coordination across state lines would be a given.

    • Fannie says:

      Last time I checked there were thousands, and thousands of untested rape kits sitting in storage in police departments all across this country. Why in hell don’t they do some investigating and bring these criminals to justice. I mean, it not they have been sitting on shelves for a year, we are talking decades old cases. Maybe if they got up off their asses and got going on this, they’d get some a notch more of respect from people for doing their jobs.

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    I loved James Garner, he was one of my favorite actors. I loved him in the Rockford Files, in the movies he did with Doris Day and in the Western roles he had over the years.

  5. Hey, I see a LA Rep. Congressman is in the news…and damn if it isn’t Vitter. Scalise on hate group: I detest these kinds of views –

    Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3-ranking House Republican, defended his speech before a white supremacist forum in 2002 on Monday night, saying he did not subscribe to their philosophy.

    In comments to, Scalise reiterated what a spokeswoman said earlier in the day — that he didn’t know who he was speaking to.

    “I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous,” he said.

    According to an agenda for the event and notes attendees posted afterward, Scalise appeared at the National/International EURO Workshop on Civil Rights, a white nationalist organization founded by David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
    Jones and Scalise debate Obama’s fix

    “When you look at the kind of things they stand for, I detest these kinds of views. As a Catholic, I think some of the things they profess target people like me. At lot of their views run contradictory to the way I run my life,” he added.
    Obamacare site a ‘national embarrassment’

    Scalise also equated his appearance before the white supremacist forum with one before the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan group known for helping to register new voters.
    Cicilline: Boehner needs Democrats

    “I spoke to the League of Women Voters, a pretty liberal group. … I still went and spoke to them. I spoke to any group that called, and there were a lot of groups calling,” he said.

    The controversy comes just days before Republicans take full control of Congress with House Majority Whip Scalise poised to play a key role in shepherding through conservatives’ legislative priorities.

    Say what? You compare the KKK with League of women voters? fuck you…you bastard!

    And then there is this…the APF is reporting: Missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 LIVE UPDATES — RT News

    Tuesday, December 30
    05:37 GMT:

    Items resembling an emergency slide and a plane door have been spotted during the search for the missing AirAsia flight, Indonesian authorities have stated, as cited by AFP.

    The latest on that ferry in the Adriatic Sea: Ferry stricken by blaze fully evacuated, 10 dead | Reuters

    As for tonight, it feels like spring outside down here in Banjoville.

  6. Sean Murphy says:

    Sadness at the loss of so many talented people. Sadness, even more so, by those who chose to end their own lives.

    Depression, manic depression, the darkness, often unable to go outside and participate in the daily things in life, often can lead to taking one’s life. Suicide is having nothing left to lose. When you get to that point, a place I have been several times, it seems the only way. It seems like the last act to hurt yourself, but let those around you escape further pain. Your are alone, you want to be, you don’t want to tell anyone what you plan to do, they will stop you. You want to end, what to you, has become an empty, worthless life, that often has inflicted pain and heartache on your family, those who love you. You believe this act will allow them to move forward with no further pain or heartache from you.

    We need to find a way to help the person check back into reality. To help the person realize all is not lost, there is another path, more opportunity, your life is worth something, if nothing else, share your story with others to help them avoid the life ending emptiness.

    As an example, in Good Will Hunting, we see Robin Williams play a part of himself, he was able to save Will, free him front he chains of his abuse, allow him to move on in life, by sharing his own abuse. For those of us who have been abused, we need to be told “it’s not your fault”. He made him see there was value to his life, one worth living and pursuing.

    Undiagnosed and unmedicated I destroyed my life and ended up where Robin Williams was. My attempts where unsuccessful. Since my diagnosis with manic depression in 1999, having survived suicide attempts, being repeatedly raped by a priest, jail, I have found that there are always other paths in life. Everyone’s life is a gift, one worth sharing.

    I was devastated, shell-shocked by Robin Williams suicide. I was sick, to close, to real.

    At the time I wrote something, which I will share here.

    In the end Robin Williams’ eyes reflected the emptiness he was feeling. The disconnect with the world. I have been there, unsuccessful, and you do what you need to do to carry on, find purpose, a reason to be here, perhaps a new path to embrace.

    My daughter said to me, maybe it was a mistake, maybe he didn’t really want to do it. I thought to myself, yes he did.

    Out of madness comes creativity. Robin Williams had a greatness in his craft. An ability to make us all laugh, when he was crying inside.

    While this is a difficult time for everyone, saddened by his loss, especially those of us suffering from depression who are still here, and are scared by this, we must remember the gifts Robin Williams gave us. The laughter, the fun, the ability to put our own day to day troubles aside, and laugh.

    He was selfless in his giving, when at times he probably had nothing left to give. Let’s remember him at his best.

    Laugh today, love today, hug today, because God knows, there is someone near to you, or a total stranger who needs it.

    Wayne Bardy earlier this year shared his story, I share my story, so many others, because this illness does need to be brought out into the open. People need help, not ridicule. Yes it is misunderstood, but needs to be understood, because it is treatable.

    It is nothing to be afraid of. Many very successful people were manic depressive, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Kay Redfield Jamison and many actors and actress’ amond them Catherine Zeta Jones. Understanding starts the healing. Wayne Brady has started the healing. Glenn Close has helped start the healing, many others.

    Out of darkness comes light. Let’s continue the conversation to bring those who are suffering into the light.

    Sean Murphy
    Marblehead, MA