Saturday, July 27, 2013

Obituaries

Time to round up a few that I haven't previously noted:

Former congresswoman Lindy Boggs, also known as the mother of what's-her-face, who in turn is married to what's-his-name (I know: Cokie Roberts and Steve Roberts, respectively), has died at the age of 97.

She replaced her husband in Congress after he was presumed dead in an Alaska plane crash back in 1973. Lindy spent many years in Congress, representing Louisiana.

More:

When she was elected to her first full term in Congress in 1974, Mrs. Boggs became the first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana. During close to 20 years as Representative of the state’s Second Congressional District, which includes New Orleans, she would show a particular interest for women’s and children’s issues. She helped to write the Employment Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 and held seats on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families.

Roberts called her mother "a trailblazer for women and the disadvantaged."

When Boggs announced her retirement in 1990, she was the only white representing a black-majority district in Congress. "I am proud to have played a small role in opening doors for blacks and women," she said at the time.

Hale Boggs was first elected to Congress in 1940, two years after the couple married. Both were also active in local reform groups. Breaking with most Southern whites, Lindy Boggs saw civil rights as an inseparable part of the political reform movement of the 1940s and '50s.
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Actor Poncie Ponce, featured in the 1960s show Hawaiian Eye, has died at the age of 80:

During Hawaiian Eye’s opening each week, Ponce was seen floating in the ocean on an inner tube, wearing his trademark straw hat and stroking a ukulele. His character Kazuo "Kim" Quisado had a lot of friends in Honolulu, and he helped the show’s handsome private investigators (Anthony Eisley and Robert Conrad) crack cases. Connie Stevens played a nightclub singer/photographer on the series, which was actually filmed on a lot in Burbank.
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Welterweight and middleweight boxing champ Emile Griffith, 75, died a few days ago in an extended care facility.
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Actor Dennis Farina, 69, died Monday. He had earlier been found to have a blood clot on his lung.

Farina had a long career in law enforcement before turning to acting.

Mr. Farina quit police work after Mr. Mann cast him in 1986 in the NBC series "Crime Story" as Lt. Mike Torello, a detective who pursues a Chicago mobster to Las Vegas. "Crime Story" was well regarded by critics but lasted just two seasons.

Mr. Farina's work in "Crime Story" led to a role in the 1986 film "Manhunter," which Mr. Mann also directed. In 1988 Mr. Farina appeared in the film "Midnight Run" and in 1998 in Steven Spielberg's World War II epic, "Saving Private Ryan."

One of his most notable characters was the mobster Ray (Bones) Barboni in the 1995 film "Get Shorty," based on the novel by Elmore Leonard. The movie, which also starred John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito, was a critical and commercial success; Janet Maslin, writing in The New York Times, called Mr. Farina's work "a funny deadpan performance."

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