One of last survivors of 1921 Tulsa race riot
OKLAHOMA CITY — Olivia Hooker, one of the last survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race riots and among the first black women in the U.S. Coast Guard, has died. She was 103.
Ms. Hooker was 6 years old when one of the worst race riots in U.S. history broke out and destroyed much of a Tulsa neighborhood known as “Black Wall Street.” She hid under a table as a torch-carrying mob destroyed her family’s home, she told National Public Radio in an interview this year.
She recalled hearing the mob use an ax to destroy her sister’s piano. For a child, she said, it was horrifying trying to keep quiet.
“The most shocking was seeing people you’d never done anything to irritate would just, took it upon themselves to destroy your property because they didn’t want you to have those things,” said Ms. Hooker, who died this week at her home in New York, according to her goddaughter.
The number of deaths from the riot was never confirmed, but estimates vary from about three dozen to 300 or more. The violence began after a black man allegedly assaulted a white woman in an elevator in Tulsa.
Following the riots, Ms. Hooker’s family moved. And during World War II, she became the first African-American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard as a member of the Semper Paratus program, or SPAR, in which she prepared discharges for guardsmen returning from the war and rejoining civilian life, according to the Coast Guard.
“She was a national treasure, she was a very special lady,” Coast Guard spokesman Barry Lane said.
She went on to earn a master’s degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Rochester and later worked as a professor at Fordham University in New York, according to the Coast Guard.
Her goddaughter, Janis Porter, said Ms. Hooker died Wednesday at their home in White Plains, New York. Porter said her godmother had no surviving relatives. She didn’t provide a cause of death.
“Her mind was clear, no dementia. She was just tired,” Porter said Friday.
Ms. Hooker was also a member of the Tulsa Race Riot Commission, now called the Tulsa Race Massacre Commission, which has sought reparations for those impacted by the violence and their survivors.
LONDON — Nicolas Roeg, a director of provocative and otherworldly films who gave Mick Jagger and David Bowie enduring screen roles, has died. He was 90.
The British director of “Don’t Look Now” and many other films died Friday night, his son, Nicolas Roeg Jr., told Britain’s Press Association.
“He was a genuine dad,” Roeg Jr. said Saturday. “He just had his 90th birthday in August.”
He didn’t provide details about his father’s death during a brief telephone call with the association.
During the 1970s, Mr. Roeg sent Jenny Agutter and his son Luc Roeg on the Australian Outback odyssey “Walkabout;” gave Jagger a big-screen role in the thriller “Performance,” which was co-directed with Donald Cammell; and plunged Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland into psychological horror in the Venice-set “Don’t Look Now.”
“Don’t Look Now” became famous for its realistic depiction of sex. Mr. Roeg said later that rumors the sex had been real were “very flattering” because that meant people felt the film was authentic.
Sutherland said Mr. Roeg was “a fearless visionary.”
“He was a liberating joy to work for,” Sutherland said in a statement. “I fell in love with him then and will love him forever.”
In “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” Mr. Roeg directed Bowie — perfectly cast and sublimely strange — as an alien who crashes on Earth looking for a way to save his own planet.
Bowie’s son, filmmaker Duncan Jones, wrote on Twitter: “Just heard another great storyteller, the inimitable Nicolas Roeg left us today. What an incredible body of work he’s left us with!”
Mr. Roeg’s later films include the intellectually playful “Insignificance,” in which Albert Einstein matched wits with Marilyn Monroe. His last major film was “The Witches,” in 1990, a Roald Dahl adaptation which starred Anjelica Huston.
The British Film Institute has named “Don’t Look Now” and “Performance” as two of the greatest films in Britain’s Top 100 film poll.
Born in London in 1928, Mr. Roeg worked his way into directing after winning acclaim as a cinematographer. He began his career as an editing apprentice in 1947 — among his duties was serving tea.
Mr. Roeg worked on major films including “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Fahrenheit 451” before he entered the directing ranks in 1970. He said he couldn’t understand how someone could become a director without first working in cinematography.
Mr. Roeg didn’t believe in meticulous planning when it came to scripts and shooting schedules, preferring to give himself room to maneuver and improvise as needed. He was fond of saying that God laughed at people who made too many elaborate plans.
“I shoot a lot of stuff,” he once said in an interview for the book “Talking Movies.” “I think that’s probably come from not having gone to film school. Things work themselves out. You’ve lost the showmanship thing, the fairground barker, come-see-what’s-inside aspect of filmmaking when you try to plan everything for the audience.”
Mr. Roeg was married three times, including to actress Theresa Russell, and had six children.
Olivia Hooker at age 90 in 2005 gives her personal account of the historic Tulsa race riot at a briefing with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Nicolas Roeg (right) and actors Gary Busey (from left), Theresa Russell, Tony Curtis and Michael Emil take questions at a May 11, 1985, press conference for “Insignificance” at Cannes.