Benigno Aquino III, 61, former Philippine president and the son of pro-democracy icons who helped topple dictator Ferdinand Marcos, died Thursday of renal failure in Manila. Aquino, who had diabetes, was preparing for a kidney transplant.
During his presidency, from 2010 to 2016, Aquino stood up to China, oversaw economic growth and passed an important reproductive rights bill, but he later faced troubles that marred his legacy. In November 2013, he was accused of reacting sluggishly to Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 6,000 people. In 2015, 44 special forces police officers and some civilians were killed in a botched attempt to capture one of the region’s most-wanted terrorism suspects.
John McAfee, 75, the outlandish security software pioneer who tried to live life as a hedonistic outsider while running from a host of legal troubles, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona, Spain, on Wednesday. His death came just hours after a Spanish court announced that it had approved his extradition to the United States to face tax charges.
McAfee, who was among other things a cryptocurrency promoter, tax opponent, U.S. presidential candidate and fugitive, who publicly embraced drugs, guns and sex, had a history of legal woes spanning from Tennessee to Central America to the Caribbean. In 2012, he was sought for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor in Belize but was never charged.
Lisa Banes, 65, a husky-voiced actress who played roles in films such as “Cocktail” and “Gone Girl” and was a frequent performer on the New York stage, died June 14 at Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in Manhattan. Banes had sustained severe head trauma when she was struck by a scooter on June 4 while crossing a street.
Banes, who was known for her wry humor and confident, elegant presence, had appeared in various roles in television, on stage and in movies over more than four decades. She won a Theatre World Award in 1981 for her performance in “Look Back in Anger.”
Ned Beatty, 83, who during a prolific acting career that spanned more than four decades earned an Oscar nomination for his role in “Network” and gave a cringe-inducing performance as a weekend outdoorsman assaulted by backwoods brutes in “Deliverance,” died June 13 at his home in Los Angeles.
Beatty appeared in more than 150 movies and television projects over the course of his career, frequently in supporting roles. While the beefy actor was not known as a leading man of the screen, he became associated with some of Hollywood’s most enduring films. His credits include “All the President’s Men” (1976), “Superman” (1978), “Back to School” (1986) and “Rudy” (1993).
Mark Peel, 66, one of the young California cooks enamored with local ingredients who emerged in the 1970s and 1980s and created a looser, farm-focused style of cuisine that would change the trajectory of American food culture, died June 20 in Los Angeles. He was admitted to a hospital with unusual pain nine days earlier and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of germ cell cancer.
Peel worked at restaurants that would come to define California cuisine before anyone called it that, among them Spago, the West Hollywood restaurant that Wolfgang Puck opened in 1982. But his biggest platform was the restaurant Campanile and the adjacent La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles, both of which he opened in 1989 with his wife at the time, the chef Nancy Silverton, and Manfred Krankl.
Kenneth Kaunda, 97, who helped lead Zambia to freedom from British rule and served as its first president, running the country for 27 years before presiding over multiparty elections that forced him from power in 1991, died June 17 after being treated for pneumonia in Lusaka.
Kaunda was a regional leader in southern Africa, where he backed efforts to end apartheid in South Africa and supported groups fighting to end white minority rule in countries including Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Karla Burns, 66, a singer and actor who in 1991 won a Laurence Olivier Award, Britain’s highest stage honor, for her role as the riverboat cook Queenie in a production of “Show Boat” — the first Black performer to win the honor — and who later fought to regain her soulful voice after losing it in an operation to remove a growth in her throat, died June 4 in Wichita, Kansas. The cause was a series of strokes.
After losing her voice in 2007, Burns began working with a speech therapist and in 2011 she made her comeback in Wichita in a small theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” in the leading role (usually played by a man) of Pseudolus. The show sold out.
Edward Diener, 74, a playful social psychologist who was nicknamed Dr. Happiness for his pioneering research into what defined contentment, died April 27 at his home in Salt Lake City. The cause was bladder cancer, said his son, Robert Biswas-Diener. His death had not been widely reported.
Diener, who earned a doctorate in psychology at the University of Washington in 1974, brought legitimacy and scientific rigor to a field that had been largely uncharted when he began his research in the 1980s at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.