"If all the world is a stage, then put on the best performance you can before the curtain closes."DAVE COCKRUM, COMIC BOOK ILLUSTRATOR.
Wearing Superman pajamas and covered with his Batman blanket, comic book illustrator Dave Cockrum died Sunday. The 63-year old overhauled the X-Men comic, helped turn the title into a publishing sensation and major film franchise. Cockrum died at his home in Belton, South Carolina, after a long battle with diabetes. A family friend said he will be cremated in a Green Lantern shirt. Cockrum and writer Len Wein were handed the X-Men, a group of young outcasts enrolled in an academy for mutants. The premise had failed to capture fans. Cockrum and Wein added their own heroes to the comic and many signature characters Cockrum designed and co-created -- such as Storm, Mystique, Nightcrawler and Colossus -- went on to become part of the "X-Men" films. "Dave saw the movie and he cried because his characters were on screen and they were living " Meth said. He also said Cockrum will be remembered as "a comic incarnate. He had a genuine love for comics and for science fiction and for fantasy, and he lived in it," Meth said. "He loved his work."
WILLIAM DIEHL, NOVELIST.
The best-selling author of "Primal Fear,", died on Friday. He was 81. He started on his first novel, "Sharky’s Machine," while a juror. Mr. Diehl, then 50, was bored by the trial and started writing fiction on a notepad. The book, published in 1978, became a best seller and, in 1981, a movie starring Burt Reynolds. Mr. Diehl was unemployed when he got the news that the book was going to be published, when his agent first called to tell him, the phone line went dead, sice he hadn't paid the bill. Diehl’s other novels included "Primal Fear," a 1993 thriller, which became a 1996 film starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton. Mr. Diehl was formerly a writer for The Journal-Constitution and had been a freelance photographer and magazine editor. He also served in World War II as a ball-turret gunner aboard a B-24 bomber.
ANITA O'DAY, STAR OF THE BIG-BANDERA.
Anita O’Day, whose vocal style made her a premier singer of both the big-band and postwar jazz eras, and whose taste for fast living secured her name as one of jazz’s toughest survivors, died yesterday in Los Angeles. She was 87. Her career took off for the first time in the big-band era. "When you think of the great jazz singers, I would think that Anita is the only white woman that belongs in the same breath as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan," said the jazz critic Will Friedwald. Through most of the 1940s, Ms. O’Day ranked among the best of the big-band vocalists. Her Sunday afternoon performance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, as captured in Bert Stern’s film "Jazz on a Summer’s Day," was one of her great offhanded achievements. She sang an insinuating "Sweet Georgia Brown" and a breakneck "Tea for Two." Ms. O’Day was fond of asserting that she was not a singer, but a song stylist; she took pride in her self-made technique and her ability to deliver a tune with confidence, no matter how frenetic the setting.
Notable deaths this week in history...
In 1986, Cary Grant, the actor who starred in such classics as "His Girl Friday," "Bringing Up Baby," and "Suspicion".
In 1984, Robert Louis Stevenson, poet, novelist and essayist, who wrote the children's book "Treasure Island".
Also in 1986, Desi Arnaz, Cuban-American actor and television producer, best known for the popular television sitcom "I Love Lucy".
In 2001, rock musician George Harrison, who achieved legendary status as the lead guitarist for The Beatles.
"Life is the Great Indulgence. Death, the great abstinence! Therefore, make the most out of life here and now!"
~ Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible, Book of Satan 4:1.