Ralph McQuarrie, an artist whose paintings of a gold-plated robot in an otherworldly desert and an intergalactic sword duel between a scraggly youth and a black-masked villain helped persuade film executives to gamble on a young director named George Lucas and his visionary story, “Star Wars,” died March 3 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 82.
Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Jimmy Dean, a country music star known for his hit about a workingman hero, ”Big Bad John,” and an entrepreneur known for his sausage brand, died on Sunday. He was 81.
His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her husband died at their Henrico County, Va., home.
We always admired Mr. Dean hear at the BRI—and not just because of “Big Bad John.” We wrote a little something about him some years ago in an article about people who had made the Big Time—despite not having done a lot of schooling:
The singer-songwriter left school at 16 and joined the Merchant Marines. He knew that fame could be fleeting, so after his prime-time TV variety show ran its course, he founded the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company and kept his TV appearances to folksy sausage commercials. He sold the company to Sara Lee in 1991, but is still chairman of the board.
And oh man, check this out, Jimmy doing that great song must have been just a year ago or so:
Our beloved mother Lynn Rachel passed away peacefully after a seven-year journey with breast cancer. She lived, loved and worked harder than ever before. The endless memories she created as a mother, grandmother, writer, actor and friend will sustain us for the rest of our lives. Our entire family asks for privacy through this difficult time.