Due to the lack of notable deaths this week, we have a bare bones edition of The Dead Pool. Who said everybody seemed to by dying this year??
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Charmian Carr, 73, American actress and singer (The Sound of Music), complications from dementia.
- Curtis Hanson, 71, American film director and screenwriter (L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile, Wonder Boys), Oscar winner (1998).
- Bill Nunn, 63, American actor (Do the Right Thing, Spider-Man, Sister Act), cancer.
In Other News
We start this week with the sad news that Monty Python star Terry Jones has been diagnosed with a severe variant of dementia. The 74-year-old is suffering from primary progressive aphasia, which affects his ability to communicate. As a result, Jones “is no longer able to give interviews”, his spokesman said. The news was confirmed as Bafta Cymru announced the Welsh-born comedian is to be honoured with an outstanding contribution award. The National Aphasia Association describes primary progressive aphasia as a neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become slowly and progressively impaired. “It commonly begins as a subtle disorder of language, progressing to a nearly total inability to speak, in its most severe stage,” their website states. Jones, who is from Colwyn Bay in north Wales, was a member of the legendary comedy troupe with Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin and the late Graham Chapman. He directed Monty Python’s Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life and co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Gilliam.
A lawyer for Michael Schumacher has told a court in Germany that the former Formula 1 world champion “cannot walk” following his skiing injury. Felix Damm was detailing the extent of Schumacher’s injuries in a lawsuit against German magazine, Bunte. The magazine had reported last Christmas that the seven-time world champion could walk again. But Mr Damm said that Schumacher, 47, “cannot walk” more than two and a half years after the accident. Bunte had quoted a source at the end of last year as saying that Schumacher could manage some steps with the help of therapists and could raise an arm. At the time, Schumacher’s agent, Sabine Kehm, released a statement denying the story, saying: “Unfortunately we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true. “Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, his privacy is very important. Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many involved people.” Schumacher suffered a head injury in a skiing accident in France in 2013. He was placed in a medically induced coma for six months before being transferred to his home in Switzerland to continue his treatment. Very little is known of the sports icon’s recovery as his family has strongly protected his privacy.
What do you do to someone who has already tried to commit suicide? Well, a military prison disciplinary board has seen fit to sentence US whistleblower Chelsea Manning to 14 days in solitary confinement. She will serve seven days, with another seven suspended, for charges relating to her attempt to kill herself in July. She ended a hunger strike last week, after the military agreed to provide her with gender dysphoria treatment. The army private, born as Bradley Manning, is serving a 35-year sentence for espionage. Last July, the former intelligence analyst attempted to take her own life, after what lawyers said was the Army’s refusal to provide appropriate health care. She was found guilty on Thursday by prison officials in Leavenworth, Kansas, of “conduct which threatens” for her suicide attempt. She also was convicted of having “prohibited property” – the book “Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy” by Gabriella Coleman. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013, after being found guilty of espionage for her role in leaking diplomatic cables and battlefield reports to Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy group. The leak of more than 700,000 documents and videos was one of the largest breaches of classified material in American history.
On This Day
- 1956 – TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, is inaugurated.
- 1983 – Maze Prison escape: Thirty-eight republican prisoners, armed with six handguns, hijack a prison meals lorry and smash their way out of the Maze prison. It is the largest prison escape since World War II and in British history.
- 1992 – NASA launches the Mars Observer, a $511 million probe to Mars, in the first U.S. mission to the planet in 17 years. Eleven months later, the probe would fail.
- 1984 – Walter Pidgeon, Canadian-American actor (b. 1897)
- 1987 – Mary Astor, American actress (b. 1906)
- 2012 – Andy Williams, American singer (b. 1927)
Last Week’s Birthdays
Frankie Avalon (76), Jada Pinkett Smith (45), Lance Armstrong (45), Jeremy Irons (68), Twiggy (67), Jimmy Fallon (43), Sofia Loren (82), Kristen Johnson (49), Stephen King (69), Bill Murray (66), Ethan Coen (59), Faith Hill (49), Ricki Lake (48), Alphonso Ribeiro (45), Luke Wilson (45), Liam Gallagher (44), Nick Cave (59), Joan Jett (58), Andrea Bocelli (58), Scott Baio (56), Tom Felton (29), Julio Iglesias (73) and Bruce Springsteen (67).
The Last Word
“Is it not meningitis?”– Louisa May Alcott, an American novelist and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women.
- Alcott had been in ill health for many years and took a turn for the worse after she visited her father. She did not have meningitis. She may have died of mercury poisoning, the after-effect of an earlier treatment for typhoid fever.
Next week peeps!