Jerry Burns, 94, the colorful character who took over as the Minnesota Vikings’ head coach in a time of turmoil and led the team to three playoff berths in six seasons, has died. Vikings spokesman Bob Hagan said Burns’ son-in-law informed him of Burns’ death Wednesday morning.
Burns helped the Green Bay Packers win the first two Super Bowls as the defensive backs coach for Vince Lombardi. Then he joined the staff of another future Hall of Fame coach when Bud Grant hired him as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator in 1968. Burns held the position until 1985 and became head coach in 1986, following Les Steckel’s 3-13 season in 1984 and Grant’s 7-9 campaign in 1985 when he was coaxed out of retirement.
Norman Lloyd, 106, whose role as kindly Dr. Daniel Auschlander on TV’s “St. Elsewhere” was a single chapter in a distinguished stage and screen career that put him in the company of Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin and other greats, died Tuesday in Los Angeles.
His credits stretch from the earliest known U.S. TV drama, 1939’s “On the Streets of New York,” to 21st-century projects including “Modern Family” and “The Practice.” In 2015, he appeared in the Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck.”
His most notable film part was as the villain who plummets off the Statue of Liberty in 1942’s “Saboteur,” directed by Hitchcock, who also cast Lloyd in the classic 1945 thriller “Spellbound.”
Lloyd Price, 88, an early rock ’n’ roll star and enduring maverick whose hits included such up-tempo favorites as “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Personality” and the semi-forbidden “Stagger Lee,” died Monday in New Rochelle, New York. The cause was complications from diabetes.
Price, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, was among the last survivors of a post-World War II scene in New Orleans that anticipated the rise of rock in the mid-1950s.
Along with Fats Domino and David Bartholomew, among others, Price fashioned a deep, exuberant sound around the brass and swing of New Orleans jazz and blues that placed high on R&B charts and eventually crossed over to white audiences.
Spencer Silver, 80, a research chemist at 3M who inadvertently created the not-too-sticky adhesive that allows Post-it Notes to be removed from surfaces as easily as they adhere to them, died May 8 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since their introduction in 1980, Post-it Notes have become a ubiquitous office product, first in the form of little canary-yellow pads — billions of which are sold annually — and later also in different hues and sizes.
Rachel Zoll, 55, who for 17 years as religion writer for The Associated Press endeared herself to colleagues, competitors and sources with her warm heart and world-class reporting skills, died May 7 in Amherst, Massachusetts, after a three-year battle with brain cancer.
She was at the forefront of coverage of two papal transitions, the clergy sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and tensions within many denominations over race, same-sex marriage and the role of women.
She often broke news, as in 2014, when she was the first to report Pope Francis’ appointment of Blase Cupich to become the new archbishop of Chicago.
Tawny Kitaen, 59, the actor who appeared on the big screen with Tom Hanks in the 1984 comedy “Bachelor Party” and, perhaps more famously, in a series of music videos for Whitesnake, died May 7 in Newport Beach, California, Variety reported, citing a report by the Orange County coroner’s office. The cause of death was not released.
Paul Van Doren, 90, co-founder of Vans, a shoe brand that became a multibillion-dollar action-sports empire thanks to the SoCal skate community and a focus on custom kicks, died May 6. His death, confirmed the next day by Costa Mesa, California-based Vans, comes just nine days after the publication of Van Doren’s book, “Authentic: A Memoir by the Founder of Vans.”
Chuck Eck, 92, a longtime Seattle Times copy editor from the mid-1960s until 1991, died May 1.
He served as one of the last editors to look over a story and make sure the paper got it right, and a makeup editor, laying out the pages. He knew there was just something about a newsroom, and the actual physical noise in printing a newspaper, that was magical and enjoyed bringing his kids for a tour.
He was there when the paper went from using the 3,000-pound Linotype machines that cast type in metal to the early computerized days when stories were typed on an IBM Selectric and the paper was scanned and turned into type.
He is remembered as a guardian of the language, working in the background, saving reporters from mistakes and making the paper better.