Categotry Archives: Writers/Editors

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Eddie Bunker

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Categories: Actors, Criminals, Hollywood, Writers/Editors

Edward Bunker Jr., a career criminal and author, died on July 19 from complications of surgery. He was 71.
The Hollywood, Calif., native was the son of stagehand Edward Bunker Sr., and dancer/chorus girl Sarah Bunker. A born troublemaker, Eddie was only three years old when he destroyed a neighbor’s incinerator with a claw hammer. The following year, he set fire to his family’s garage.
Bunker spent the rest of his childhood attending reform schools and running away from foster homes. By the time he reached his teens, Bunker had become an accomplished thief, drug dealer and thug. He would eventually serve up to 18 years behind bars for various crimes, such as extortion, assault, forgery and armed robbery.
Using his experiences as the backdrop for fiction, Bunker began writing hard-boiled crime novels in prison. He sold his blood to pay for postage and submitted his manuscripts to dozens of magazines and publishers. When his first novel, “No Beast So Fierce,” was released in 1973, Bunker decided to reenter mainstream society as a professional writer. He was paroled two years later.
Over the next three decades, Bunker wrote screenplays (“Straight Time,” “Animal Factory”) and books (“Little Boy Blue,” “Dog Eat Dog” and “Education of a Felon”), and befriended authors William Styron and James Ellroy. He received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay “Runaway Train,” which was based on a story by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, and won a Macallan Dagger Prize for his autobiography, “Mr. Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade.”
Bunker also acted in more than 20 movies, including “The Running Man,” “Tango and Cash” and “The Longest Yard.” In Quentin Tarantino’s violent debut, “Reservoir Dogs,” he played the character Mr. Blue.

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James Doohan

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Categories: Actors, Hollywood, Writers/Editors

jdoohan.jpg James Montgomery Doohan, the veteran actor who spent several decades saving the U.S.S. Enterprise from disaster, died on July 20 of pneumonia. He was 85.
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Doohan attended the Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School. His father, William Doohan, was an abusive alcoholic who made life miserable for his wife Sarah and their four children. To escape the old man’s wrath, James left home at 19 and enlisted in the Canadian Army at the outbreak of World War II. He attained the rank of captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery, and on June 6, 1944, landed with Allied forces on Juno Beach, Normandy. Doohan was struck by seven bullets in the D-Day battle, and doctors later amputated the middle finger of his right hand.
Upon his return to Canada, Doohan enrolled in a drama class. His commanding presence and ear for dialogue earned him a two-year scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, where he studied the craft alongside Leslie Nielsen and Tony Randall. For the next decade, Doohan found steady work as a character actor in films and television, but his big break came in 1966 when he adopted a Scottish accent and landed the role of Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in the classic science fiction series, “Star Trek.”
As the chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise, Doohan kept the crew from getting blown up, captured by aliens or trapped on uncharted planets. His frazzled demeanor in the midst of crisis never stopped him from efficiently working the ship’s particle beam transporter whenever Capt. Kirk or one of the other crew members demanded (in some variation): “Beam me up, Scotty.”
Doohan remained on the show for its three-season run, provided dozens of voices to characters on “Star Trek: The Animated Series” and appeared in seven “Star Trek” movies. His dramatic exploits made him a popular speaker on the science fiction/fantasy convention circuit and inspired the Milwaukee School of Engineering to award him an honorary degree in 1993. Doohan’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
Married three times, Doohan was also the father of nine children. In his spare time, he collaborated with author S.M. Stirling on three science fiction novels (“The Rising,” “The Privateer,” “The Independent Command”), and wrote his 1996 autobiography, “Beam Me Up, Scotty.” He retired from public life after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004. Per his request, Doohan’s ashes will be blasted into outer space later this year.
Listen to a Tribute From NPR

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Deborah Hutton

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Categories: Writers/Editors

Deborah Helen Hutton, the first health editor of British Vogue, died on July 15 of cancer. She was 49.
Raised near Langley, Norfolk, England, Hutton graduated from York University with a degree in English. She worked for the British Council until 1979 when she won a talent contest and landed a job at Vogue magazine. At the time, the publication had no “Health” section, so Hutton launched one. She spent the next two decades writing hundreds of articles on a variety of health issues — from female ejaculation and incontinence to weight gain and loss.
When she wasn’t writing articles for Vogue or freelancing for other newspapers and magazines, Hutton penned the books “Vogue Complete Beauty,” “Vogue Essential Beauty” and “Vogue Beauty for Life: Health, Fitness, Looks and Style for Women in Their 30s, 40s, 50s.” She co-authored “The Parents Book: Getting on Well With Our Children” with Ivan Sokolov, and edited the “Vogue Exercise Book” and “Vogue Complete Diet and Exercise.”
Due to the nature of her job, Hutton was supremely “health aware.” She ran half-marathons, became a yoga enthusiast, drank in moderation, watched what she ate and rarely became ill. Last November, however, Hutton sought treatment for a persistent cough and was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She would later quip: “There is no Stage V.”
Determined to face her fate with grace and dignity, Hutton spent the last eight months of her life chronicling her battle with the disease and campaigning to help others. Even though she was a non-smoker for 24 years, Hutton fought to remove the societal stigma that people with lung cancer “bring it upon themselves.” She also appeared on television and urged young girls and women to avoid smoking.
Hutton’s latest book, “What Can I Do to Help?” was released on July 14. The guide offers practical information on cancer, and gives family and friends useful tips on how to make the patient’s life a little bit easier. As a final gesture of compassion, she donated her royalties to Macmillan Cancer Relief, a British charity that helps people living with the disease.
To keep her friends and fans abreast of her progress, Hutton wrote nearly every day in her Weblog. She maintained the journal until last week when it was updated by her husband, photographer Charlie Stebbings, and her twin sister Paris. Hutton is also survived by her four children, her dog Scallywag, her cat Rogan Josh and a very large goldfish.

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Jacques Roche

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Categories: Media, Writers/Editors

Jacques Roche, a well-known Haitian journalist, was found shot to death on July 14 on a Port-au-Prince street. He was in his early 40s.
The print/broadcast reporter and poet was kidnapped at gunpoint on July 10 while driving in the capital city. The abductors requested ransom money from his family, but they were unable to comply.
“They demanded $250,000, but after a lot of negotiation, they revised the amount downwards to $10,000. His relatives and friends had collected $10,000 that was sent to the kidnappers. Then they said they were waiting for the $240,000 remaining,” said journalist Chenald Augustin.
Roche edited the arts and culture section of Le Matin newspaper, and worked as a sports commentator for Radio IBO. He also hosted a local TV program on civil society issues, including one show about Groupe des 184, a coalition of 13 prominent business, religious and civic groups. Groupe des 184 played a role in the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide last year.
Roche’s body, which was found handcuffed and chained to a chair, showed signs of torture. His arms had been broken and burned, and his body was covered in blood.
[Update – July 19, 2005: Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue plans to schedule a national day of mourning for Roche. The government is also considering renaming the street where Roche’s body was found after him.]

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