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Teacher who was held captive in Lebanon for more than six years until he was freed in 1991 and returned home to become professor emeritus at Colorado State University. July 22. Marni Nixon, 86. Hollywood voice double whose singing was heard in place of the leading actresses’ in such movie musicals as “West Side Story,” ”The King and I” and “My Fair Lady.” July 24. Rev. Tim LaHaye, 90. Co-author of the “Left Behind” series, a multimillion-selling literary juggernaut that brought endtimes prophecy into mainstream bookstores. July 25. Sam Wheeler, 72. Renowned land speed motorcycle racer. July 25. Injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash.
Anne of Romania, 92. Wife of Romania’s last monarch, King Michael. Aug. 1. Ahmed Zewail, 70. Science adviser to President Obama who won the 1999 Nobel Prize for his work on the study of chemical reactions over short time scales. Aug. 2. Pete Fountain, 86. Clarinetist whose Dixieland jazz virtuosity and wit endeared him to his native New Orleans and earned him national television fame. Aug. 6. John McLaughlin, 89. Conservative commentator and host of a long-running television show that pioneered hollering-heads discussions of Washington politics. Aug. 16. Arthur Hiller, 92. Oscar nominee for directing the hugely popular romantic tragedy “Love Story” during a career that spanned dozens of popular movies and TV shows. Aug. 17. Toots Thielemans, 94. Belgian harmonica player whose career included playing with jazz greats like Miles Davis and whose solos have figured on numerous film scores. Aug. 22. Gene Wilder, 83. Frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in “The Producers” and the mad scientist of “Young Frankenstein.” Aug. 28. Juan Gabriel, 66. Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon in the Latin music world. Aug. 28.
Jon Polito, 65. Raspy-voiced actor whose 200-plus credits ranged from “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Modern Family” to the films “Barton Fink” and “The Big Lebowski.” Sept. 1. Phyllis Schlafly, 92. Outspoken conservative activist who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group. Sept. 5. Bobby Chacon, Schlafly 64. Hall of Fame boxer whose memorable fights included victories over Rafael “Bazooka” Limon, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Danny Lopez and Ruben Olivares. Sept. 7. Edward Albee, 88. Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “A Delicate Balance.” Sept. 16. W.P. Kinsella, 81. Canadian novelist who blended magical realism and baseball in the book that became the smash hit film “Field of Dreams.” Sept. 16. Arnold Palmer, 87. Golfing great who brought a country-club sport to the masses with a hardcharging style, charisma and a commoner’s touch. Sept. 25. Shimon Peres, 93. Former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state and who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace. Sept. 28.
Aaron Pryor, 60. Relentless junior welterweight who fought two memorable bouts with Alexis Arguello. Oct. 9. Andrzej Wajda, 90. Poland’s leading filmmake. Oct. 9. Junko Tabei, 77. The first woman to climb Mount Everest. Oct. 20. Tom Hayden, 76. 1960s antiwar activist whose name became forever linked with the Chicago 7 trial, Vietnam War protests and his ex-wife, actress Jane Fonda. Oct. 23. Bobby Vee, 73. Boyish, grinning 1960s singer whose career was born when he took a stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Hayden Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Oct. 24.
Janet Reno, 78. First woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration, including the seizure of Elian Gonzalez. Nov. 7. Leonard Cohen, 82. Baritonevoiced Canadian singer-songwriter who blended spirituality and sexuality in songs like “Hallelujah,” ”Suzanne” and “Bird on a Wire.” Nov. 7. Robert Vaughn, 83. Debonair, Oscar-nominated actor whose many film roles were eclipsed by his hugely popular turn in television’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” Nov. 11. Leon Russell, 74. He performed, sang and produced some of rock ‘n’ roll’s top records. Nov. 13. Gwen Ifill, 61. Co-anchor of PBS’ “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff and a veteran journalist who moderated two vice presidential debates. Nov. 14. Denton Cooley, 96. Cardiovascular surgeon who performed some of the nation’s first heart transplants and implanted the world’s first artificial heart. Nov. 18. Sharon Jones, 60. Powerhouse who shepherded a soul revival despite not finding stardom until middle age. Nov. 18. Cancer. Ralph Branca, 90. Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who gave up the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” that still echoes six decades later as one of the most famous home runs in baseball history. Nov. 23. Florence Henderson, 82. Broadway star who became one of America’s most beloved television moms in “The Brady Bunch.” Nov. 24. Fidel Castro, 90. He led his bearded rebels to victorious revolution in 1959, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of U.S. presidents during his half-century of rule in Cuba. Nov. 25. Fritz Weaver, 90. Tony Award-winning actor who played Sherlock Holmes and Shakespearian kings on Broadway while also creating memorable roles on TV and film from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” to “Marathon Man.” Nov. 26. Grant Tinker, 90. He brought new polish to the TV world with beloved shows including “Hill Street Blues” as both a producer and a network boss. Nov. 28.
John Glenn, 95. His 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate. Dec. 8. Esma Redzepova, 73. One of the most powerful voices in the world of Gypsy music. Dec. 11. Joe Ligon, 80. Singer and dynamic frontman of the Grammywinning gospel group Mighty Clouds of Joy. Dec. 11. E.R. Braithwaite, 104. Guyanese author, educator and diplomat whose years teaching in the slums of London’s East End inspired the international best-seller “To Sir, With Love” and the movie of the same name. Dec. 12. Alan Thicke, 69. Versatile performer who gained his greatest renown as the beloved dad on the sitcom “Growing Pains.” Dec. 13. Lawrence Manley Colburn, 67. Helicopter gunner in the Vietnam War who helped end the slaughter of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers by U.S. troops at My Lai. Dec. 13. Craig Sager, 65. Longtime NBA sideline reporter famous for his flashy suits and probing questions. Dec. 15. Henry Heimlich, 96. Surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims. Dec. 17. Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99. Jet-setting Hungarian actress and socialite who helped invent a new kind of fame out of multiple marriages, conspicuous Sager wealth and
jaded wisdom about the glamorous life. Dec. 18. George Michael, 53. Musician who shot to stardom at an early age in the teen duo WHAM! and moved smoothly into a solo career. Dec. 25. Carrie Fisher, 60. Actress who found enduring fame as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars.” Dec. 27. Debbie Reynolds, 84. Actress who lit up the screen in “Singin’ in the Rain’ and other Hollywood classics, one day after losing her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Dec. 28. »denverpost.com/lifestyle