Prince Norodom Ranariddh, 77, former prime minister of Cambodia and the son of the late King Norodom Sihanouk, died Nov. 28 in France. Ranariddh had been in ill health since an auto accident in Cambodia in 2018. Ranariddh’s career was always in the shade of his charismatic father and his wily and ruthless political rival, Hun Sen, with whom he shared power before being pushed aside. Hun Sen remains prime minister.
Virgil Abloh, 41, a leading designer whose groundbreaking fusions of streetwear and high couture made him one of the most celebrated tastemakers in fashion and beyond, died on Nov. 28 in Chicago after a two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer.
In 2018, Abloh became the first Black artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton in the French design house’s storied history. He also founded his own brand, Off-White. A first generation Ghanaian American whose seamstress mother taught him to sew, Abloh had no formal fashion training but had a degree in engineering and a master’s in architecture.
Phil Saviano, 69, a clergy sex abuse survivor and whistleblower who played a pivotal role in exposing decades of predatory assaults by Roman Catholic priests in the United States, died Nov. 28 after a battle with gallbladder cancer.
Saviano’s story figured prominently in the 2015 Oscar-winning film “Spotlight” about The Boston Globe’s 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that revealed how scores of priests molested children and got away with it because church leaders covered it up. The scandal led to the resignation of Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law and church settlements with hundreds of victims.
David Gulpilil, 68, an Indigenous Australian who found film stardom as a teenager in 1971 when he was featured in “Walkabout” and went on to become Australia’s most famous Aboriginal actor, appearing in dramas like “Charlie’s Country,” for which he won a best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, and comedies like the 1986 hit “Crocodile Dundee,” died Monday in Murray Bridge, in South Australia. In 2017 Gulpilil learned that he had terminal lung cancer, something he addressed in a documentary released this year called “My Name Is Gulpilil.”
Arlene Dahl, 96, who parlayed success as a movie actress in the 1940s and ’50s into an even more successful career as an author, beauty expert, astrologist, and fashion and cosmetics entrepreneur, died Monday at her home in Manhattan.
With her fiery red hair, she was a natural for Technicolor; she notably played the seductive sister of another famous redhead, Rhonda Fleming, in the 1956 crime drama “Slightly Scarlet.” But although she demonstrated her range in everything from Westerns to Red Skelton comedies, critics tended to focus on her looks more than her acting. In 1951, she began writing a beauty column, “Let’s Be Beautiful,” which she would continue for 20 years. She founded a cosmetics and lingerie company, Arlene Dahl Enterprises, and would later write a syndicated astrology column as well as numerous books on both astrology and beauty.
Jim Warren, 85, a charismatic trade show impresario, editor and activist who personified the blend of technical enthusiasm and counterculture values that shaped the early days of personal computing, died Nov. 24 in Silverdale, Kitsap County. His wife, Malee Warren, said the cause was lung cancer.
Jim Warren was a leading figure in the community that sprang up in the San Francisco Bay Area around the emerging personal computer industry in the 1970s. In 1977, Warren staged the West Coast Computer Faire. He calculated that the event might break even if it could attract 60 exhibitors and perhaps 7,000 people.
Nearly 13,000 people showed up. As recounted in “Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer,” by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, the Commodore PET was introduced at that first fair, as was the Apple II. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs manned the company’s booth on the exhibition floor. The West Coast Computer Faire became an annual event and the largest computer conference in the world for a few years.
Stu Rasmussen, 73, who in 2008 became what is believed to be the first openly transgender mayor in America, died Nov. 17 at his home in Silverton, Oregon. His wife, Victoria Sage, said the cause was prostate cancer. Rasmussen identified as a woman but typically used masculine pronouns.
Rasmussen defied many conventions, gender being just one of them. He belonged to both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association. He was socially progressive but fiscally conservative.
A lifelong resident of Silverton, he was an engineer and entrepreneur who brought cable TV to the town in the 1970s — often wiring customers himself. He also co-owned and operated the town’s only first-run movie theater, the Palace. He sold tickets, served popcorn, ran the projector and often dressed as a character from whatever film was showing.
A musical, “Stu for Silverton,” debuted in Seattle in 2013.