Daily | Obits | Eggerth, Rhett, Ruskin

Marta Eggerth

Marta Eggerth

Death has been on a tear over the past several days. Yesterday, I posted entries on Juanita Moore and Mike Vraney, and today, another on Run Run Shaw. Sadly, the notices don’t stop there.

“Between the two world wars, during the so-called ‘silver age’ of Viennese operetta, the coloratura soprano Marta Eggerth, who has died aged 101, reigned supreme on stage and, above all, on screen,” writes Ronald Bergan in the Guardian. “In the films of the 1930s, the blonde, wide-eyed beauty’s bright bell-like tones and charming personality provided a welcome relief from ruinous inflation, world depression and the approaching sound of Nazi jackboots. The leading operetta composers of the day, Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán, Oscar Straus, Robert Stolz and Paul Abraham, all wrote songs for her films.”

Gone with the Wind actress Alicia Rhett, the oldest surviving credited cast member of the 1939 Oscar-winning blockbuster, died on January 3, 2014,” reports Andre Soares at the Alt Film Guide. “Rhett played India Wilkes, the embittered sister of Ashley Wilkes, whom Scarlett O’Hara loves—even though Ashley eventually marries Melanie Hamilton (Rhett had auditioned for the role), while Scarlett ends up with Rhett Butler.”

Joseph Ruskin, the actor who also served as SAG’s first national vice president for eight years, died on Saturday at the age of 89, reports Parade: “The Massachusetts native acted in 25 films, including The Magnificent Seven, Prizzi’s Honor, Indecent Proposal, and Smokin’ Aces. He also appeared in over 120 TV shows, including Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Mission Impossible, and Alias.”

“Barbara Lawrence, who played Gertie Cummings in the 1955 movie Oklahoma!, has died. She was 83.” The AP reports.

From Variety: “Actress and producer Carmen Zapata, one of the most respected Hispanic-Americans in the performing arts, died Sunday night in Van Nuys, Calif., from complications of heart failure. She was 86. Zapata was perhaps best known to wider audiences for her roles in the film Sister Act and its sequel, both starring Whoopi Goldberg, and for her recurring role as Mrs. Castillo on the soap Santa Barbara, but she was also a champion of bilingualism, co-founding in 1973 the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts.”

“Bernard Glasser, a substitute teacher at Beverly Hills High School who went on to produce such films as the sci-fi classics Return of the Fly and The Day of the Triffids, died Thursday in Los Angeles, He was 89.” Mike Barnes tells his story in the Hollywood Reporter.

Novelist, actress, model, and playwright Elizabeth Jane Howard, best known for the series of books adapted into the popular BBC television series The Cazalets, died on Thursday, aged 90. “She was married three times, including to fellow author Sir Kingsley Amis,” notes the BBC, and Martin Amis‘s remembrance is one of the most notable of those coming from fellow writers such as Elizabeth Day and Boyd Tonkin.

“Phil Everly, the younger of the Everly Brothers, who influenced some of the greatest voices in rock’n’roll music, from Bob Dylan to the Beatles to Simon & Garfunkel, has passed away. He was 74.” Connor Simpson collects remembrances for the Wire.

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