Fred “Curly” Neal, 77, the dribbling wizard who entertained millions with the Harlem Globetrotters for parts of three decades, died in his home outside of Houston on Thursday morning. Neal played for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the exhibition team known for its combination of comedy and athleticism.
Michel Hidalgo, 87, the coach who led France to the 1984 European Championship title and the 1982 World Cup semifinals, died on Thursday. Hidalgo coached the national team from 1976-84 and led host France to its first major title at Euro 1984 with midfielder Michel Platini scoring nine goals. Hidalgo coached France in 75 games, behind only Raymond Domenech and current coach Didier Deschamps.
Richard Reeves, 83, a journalist and author who explored the presidency, the internment of Japanese Americans during World II, the role of the media and other aspects of American history in muscular, passionate and occasionally acerbic prose, died of cardiac arrest Wednesday in Los Angeles. He had been treated for cancer. He wrote more than a dozen books and, from 1979 to 2014, a syndicated column that appeared in more than 100 newspapers.
Bryce Beekman, 22, a redshirt senior defensive back on Washington State’s football team, died Tuesday in Pullman, Pullman Police Commander Jake Opgenorth confirmed. Police responded to a 5:44 p.m. distress call from Beekman’s apartment, complaining of breathing problems. When they reached the location, he was already dead. Police said there were no signs of foul play, and no further detail was available.
Terrence McNally, 81, one of America’s great playwrights whose prolific career included winning Tony Awards for the plays “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Master Class” and the musicals “Ragtime” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” died Tuesday at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida, of complications from the coronavirus.
His plays and musicals explored how people connect — or fail to. With wit and thoughtfulness, he tackled the strains in families, war, and relationships and probed the spark and costs of creativity. He was an openly gay writer who wrote about homophobia, love and AIDS.
Albert Uderzo, 92, one of the two creators of the beloved comic book character Asterix, who captured the spirit of the Gauls of yore and grew a reputation worldwide, died on Tuesday of a heart attack in the Paris suburb of Neuilly. Asterix, portrayed as a short man with a droopy mustache always wearing a helmet with wings, was created in the early 1960s by Uderzo and René Goscinny. The character lived in a village in Gaul, now France, resisting Roman conquerors, along with his inseparable big-bellied friend, Obelix.
Stanley Sporkin, 88, who was the scourge of industry in the 1970s as the crusading chief enforcement officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission and who later had a colorful and controversial tenure as a federal judge in Washington, D.C., with strongly worded rulings on high-profile cases, died Monday at in Rockville, Maryland, of congestive heart failure.
Eric Weissberg, 80, a multi-instrumentalist whose melodic banjo work on the 1973 hit single “Dueling Banjos” helped bring bluegrass music into the cultural mainstream, died in Detroit on March 22.
Kenny Rogers, 81, the smooth, Grammy-winning balladeer who spanned jazz, folk, country and pop with such hits as “Lucille,” “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream” and embraced his persona as “The Gambler” on records and on TV, died March 20, at home in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He was under hospice care and died of natural causes.
Betty Williams, 76, a grassroots activist who shared the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize as a founder of a protest movement that mobilized tens of thousands of people to demand an end to the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles, died March 17. Her death was announced on the Nobel Peace Prize website, which provided no further details.
Molly Brodak, 39, poet who chronicled in a critically acclaimed memoir the trauma she experienced as the child of a compulsive liar and bank robber, died March 8 near her home in Atlanta. The cause was suicide. Before she published “Bandit: A Daughter’s Memoir” in 2016, her poems appeared in publications like Granta, Guernica and Poetry and in a book, “A Little Middle of the Night,” which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. An accomplished baker, she also appeared on “The Great American Baking Show” in 2019, the same year she started a home-baking business called Kookie House.