F. Lee Bailey, 87, one of the most storied criminal trial lawyers and a tenacious defender of O.J. Simpson, Patty Hearst and a host of other famous and infamous clients in a tumultuous career punctuated by his own collisions with the law and his eventual disbarment, died Thursday at a hospice center in the Atlanta area. The cause of death was not available.
Known for his lightning-quick mind, relentless courtroom interrogations and insatiable self-promotion, he defended Dr. Sam Sheppard, whose story was reportedly the basis for “The Fugitive” TV series and film; Army Capt. Ernest Medina, accused of war crimes in Vietnam; confessed Boston Strangler Albert De Salvo; and newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, in trials that captivated the nation. Financial and personal troubles mounted for Bailey after the Simpson trial. His actions while defending a drug trafficker in Florida led to his being jailed in 1996, then disbarred, ending his courtroom career.
Mike Marshall, 78, who became the first reliever to win the Cy Young Award when he set a Major League record by pitching 106 games in a season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, died Monday in Zephyrhills, Florida.
Marshall pitched in the majors from 1967 to 1981 for nine teams, compiling a record of 97-112 and 3.14 ERA. He recorded 880 strikeouts and 188 saves. Marshall won the NL Cy Young Award in 1974, going 15-12 with a 2.42 ERA and 21 saves. The right-hander nicknamed “Iron Mike” set major league records that season for most appearances, relief innings (208 1/3), games finished (83) and consecutive games pitched (13).
Gavin MacLeod, 90, the veteran supporting actor who achieved stardom as Murray Slaughter, the sardonic TV news writer on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” before going on to even bigger fame as the cheerful Capt. Stubing on “The Love Boat,” died May 30.
B.J. Thomas, 78, the Grammy-winning singer who enjoyed success on the pop, country and gospel charts with such hits as “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” died from complications of lung cancer May 30 at his home in Arlington, Texas.
Thomas’ signature recording was “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” a No. 1 pop hit and an Oscar winner for best original song as part of the soundtrack to one of the biggest movies of 1969, the irreverent Western “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Thomas’ warm, soulful tenor fit the song’s easygoing mood, immortalized on film during the scene when Butch (Paul Newman) shows off his new bicycle to Etta Place (Katharine Ross), the girlfriend of the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford).
Carla Fracci, 84, Italy’s grande dame of ballet and one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century and who was admired for the naturalness and emotional directness of her performances, died May 27 at her home in Milan. The cause was cancer.
Over her five-decade career, critics and audiences marveled at Fracci’s ability to transcend technique, merging so completely with her characters that she seemed to become them. In Italy, she was called “the Duse of the dance,” a reference to the great 20th-century Italian actress Eleonora Duse.
Jerome Hellman, 92, a passionate and combative independent moviemaker who was the driving force behind several barrier-breaking films in the 1970s, died May 26 at his home in South Egremont, Massachusetts.
“Midnight Cowboy” — the John Schlesinger tale of a failed male hustler from Texas and a disabled, petty con man from the Bronx who forge a wary friendship, which in 1970 became the first and only X-rated film to win the Academy Award for best picture — and “Coming Home” (1978) — a Hal Ashby film about paraplegic Vietnam War veterans and the families left to cope with their injuries, both physical and psychological — were some of his most famous projects. The seven movies he produced in his career achieved 17 Oscar nominations and won six.