Notable Deaths: the March 2011 Collection
RIP, Blair River.
Art Attack is back with another installment of dead folks for everyone's perusal. Of course, the world is well aware of the passing of stars like Dame Elizabeth Taylor and rap legend Nate Dogg, aka Nathan Hale. So here's a peek at some other notable people that left us in March 2011.
Former Houston Oilers wide receiver Drew Hill passed away after a pair of strokes on March 19. As a member of the Run And Shoot offense, Hill set the team record for most career pass receptions.
English actor Michael Gough died at the age of 94 on March 17 after a short illness. Gough is probably most recently remembered for his role as Alfred the butler in the Batman movies directed by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher.
His credit list, however, spans more than150 film and television credits, and he can be seen in a string of horror movies including Dracula, The Phantom Of The Opera, Horrors of the Black Museum, The Corpse and Satan's Slave.
Blair River, spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill, succumbed to complications from pneumonia on March 3. River was the 575-pound creative mastermind behind the ads of the Heart Attack Grill, a depraved celebration of food in Phoenix, Arizona that serves up "Quadruple Bypass" burgers that clock in at 8,000 calories and awards customers weighing more than 350 pounds with free meals. What's the only other city to have a franchise of such a brazenly gluttonous establishment? Why, it's Dallas of course. See an ad featuring River here.
This sweet little lady had to be a simply loving old woman that would make for an absolutely delightful grandma, right? Well, while Dorothea Puente was described at her trial as a caring person who took chances on folks with "hard cases," she was also a convicted murderer. Police found the bodies of seven elderly people in Puente's yard in 1988, and she was found guilty of three murders. In 2004, her pen pal Shane Bugbee released the book Cooking with a Serial Killer, a collection of recipes that Puente had shared in her correspondence during incarceration, as well as a lengthy interview and various pieces of prison artwork. Puente passed on March 27.
Embatteled comic Mike DeStefano died of a heart attack on March 6. A former heroin addict, DeStefano ranted like many comics do, in profanity-laced segments about anything and everything, and was featured on the past season of NBC's Last Comic Standing.
Harry Coover died on March 26 of natural causes. Coover was an inventor holding 460 patents, and the genius behind Super Glue. In addition to creating the sticky substance, he was also the first to realize its potential as a tissue adhesive, and it was first implemented to temporarily patch internal cuts during the Vietnam War.
Drummer Carl Bunch passed away on March 26 as well. Bunch was drumming for Buddy Holly's band on "The Day The Music Died," but escaped Holly's unfortunate fate due to hospitalization from frostbite just days earlier. After a stint in the military, Bunch would eventually return to music, moving to Nashville and drumming for Hank Williams, Jr. and Roy Orbison.
Leonard Weinglass was a criminal defense lawyer and civil rights activist who championed a number of liberal and radical causes. Among his list of clients were the Chicago 7, Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo (the duo accused of leaking the Pentagon Papers) and Bill and Emily Harris (the kidnappers of Patty Hearst). For several years, Weinglass was the lead attorney for Mumia Abu-Jamal, and just last year he had worked with the defense team of Julian Assange. In 1972, Weinglass defended John Sinclair of the White Panther Party, a case which eventually went to the Supreme Court and resulted in a decision that prohibited the governmental use of electronic surveillance without a warrant. Leonard Wineglass died on March 23.
David Lynch was shot and killed at his home on March 4, but fear not, film fans. This Lynch was a white supremacist leader whom the Southern Poverty Law Center described as a "clever and charismatic racist skinhead organizer whose history of racist activism dates back to the late 1980s."
Astronaut Mike Lounge died March 1 of complications from liver cancer. A veteran of three shuttle flights, Lounge worked at NASA from 1978 to 1991. Upon resigning from NASA, Lounge graciously explained, "This is a very tough job to leave, but I feel that three flights is my fair share, and I'm ready for a new challenge." He would go on to become Boeing's Director of Space Shuttle and Space Station Program Development.
Finally, disco singer Loleatta Holloway, known for hits like "Love Sensation," "Strong Enough," and "Hit N' Run," passed away on March 21. Holloway is often termed the "most sampled woman in music," as her numbers have been plucked frequently due to her bombastic voice. Holloway is the woman belting "Good Vibrations" behind Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch in his 1991 number one hit. See her here.
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