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Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Seamas Heaney, Hugo Chavez, David Frost and James Gandolfini probably had the most obituaries this year.

Here’s my own goodbye list:

 

Richard Beeston – Foreign Editor of the London Times and the great foreign correspondent of his generation. Rick was only 50.

Roger Ebert – A great film critic, the first film reviewer to win a Pulitzer, and a very nice man. (my piece on him here)

Peter Kaplan – Great editor, lovely man. (obit)

Norman Geras – Professor, pioneer blogger and Eustonian. (tel obit)

 

Elmore Leonard – the Great.

Tom Clancy – the man who predicted the use of civilian airliners as a weapon

Vince Flynn – shocked by his early death.

James Herbert (his “The Rats” terrified me as a kid

Tom Sharpe (comic genius see Porterhouse Blue etc.)

Oscar Hijuelos (loved Mambo Kings….)

 

James Gandolfini

Patrice Chereau – director of La Reine Margot and Intimacy; Gen Montcalm in Last of the Mohicans

Tom “Billy Jack” Laughlin

Paul Walker – underrated actor

Dennis Farina – Chicago cop turned actor

Karen Black – cult actress

Michael Winner – director, amusing restaurant reviewer, philanthropist, bon viveur

Bryan Forbes – actor/writer/director

Mel Smith – Comedian, the heart of Not the Nine O’Clock News

Ken Norton – marine, boxer, actor

Lewis Collins – Bodie

 

Ray Manzarak – as he said, the piano in Riders of the Storm was ‘genius’

Lou Reed

 

Mikhail Kalashnikov – rifle inventor

Syd Field – screenwriting guru

Ray Dolby – Sound pioneer

Amar Bose – Sound pioneer

General Vo Nguyen Giap – North Vietnamese victor

Marcella Hazan – author of the famous Italian cookbook

Alan Whicker – TV journalism pioneer

Al Goldstein – New York in the 80s and 90s wouldn’t have been the same without him, Screw magazine and Channel 35

 

 

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