December 28 1981


December 28 1981



Claude Auchinleck, 96, one of the last surviving supreme commanders of the British armed forces in the Second World War. Though Auchinleck led the 1941 to ’42 North African campaign that halted German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at El Alamein, Egypt, he was fired by Prime Minister Winston Churchill for refusing to mount an immediate offensive. Historians now acknowledge him as the architect of Britain’s victories in the Western Desert.

Karl Böhm, 86, Austrian conductor of the works of Mozart, Wagner and his friend Richard Strauss. Throughout his association with the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Music Festival and the Vienna Philharmonic, Böhm remained a precise interpreter of great

Richard Boone, 63, American character actor best known for his sardonic portrayal of Paladin in the TV series Have Gun, Will Travel from 1957 to 1963. With his rasping voice and pitted face, Boone was often featured as a perfidious bad guy and psychotic killer in more than 40 motion pictures.

Omar Nelson Bradley, 88, the last of the U.S.’s five-star generals. Known as “the G.I.’s general,” Bradley was a methodical planner and cautious field commander who led 1.3 million U.S. troops through North Africa, the invasion of Sicily and the Battle of Normandy during the Second World War.

Thérèse Casgrain, 85, politician, author and civil libertarian who was largely responsible for the 1940 restoration of women’s voting rights in Quebec. Casgrain ran unsuccessfully nine times for public office but, in 1970, became the first member of the NDP to be appointed to the Senate.

Sidney (Paddy) Chayefsky, 58, Oscar award-winning screenwriter, playwright and humanist. A pioneer television writer, Chayefsky won his first Oscar in 1955 for his screen adaptation of Marty. His later works, such as The Hospital and Network, evolved into sophisticated and sometimes scathing social commentary.

Moshe Dayan, 66, Israeli statesman and war hero. The first child to be born on the first Jewish kibbutz in Palestine, Dayan became a protégé of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion after Israel gained independence in 1948. As defence minister, Dayan led the seizure of the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Old City of Jerusalem from the Arbas in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Frédéric Dorion, 82, former chief justice of the Quebec Superior Court whose commission of inquiry into federal corruption rocked the Lester Pearson government in 1965. Dorion’s report resulted in the resignation of Justice Minister Guy Favreau, over Ottawa’s role in attempting to obtain bail for Montreal underworld figure Lucien Rivard.

Roger Doucet, 62, the former nightclub singer and fervent federalist who caused a national debate by rewording 0 Canada during one of his regular centre-ice appearances at the opening of a Montreal Canadiens hockey game in 1978. Doucet’s version of the closing lyrics, We stand on guard for rights and liberty, was passed over when the anthem was officially adopted in 1980.

Melvyn Douglas, 80, romantic comedy star of the 1930s and ’40s who later became a powerful character actor. His portrayal of a crusty, incorruptible rancher in Hud won him his first Oscar (best supporting actor) in 1963. He won the second for his performance as a dying president-maker in the brilliant 1979 Peter Sellers’ film Being There.

Ariel Durant, 83, and her husband, Will Durant, 96, American Pulitzer Prize-winning historians who collaborated for 48 years on the best-selling magnum opus The Story of Civilization. They shared the Pulitzer for their 10th volume, Rousseau and Revolution. “The ego is willing but the machine cannot go on,” said Will upon publication of their last volume, six years ago.

John Fisher, 67, known as “Mr. Canada” for his tireless nationalism. The Sackville, N.B., native and former broadcaster travelled the country as the Centennial commissioner from 1963 to 1967. His forceful optimism earned him many honors, including the service medal in the Order of Canada.

Terry Fox, 22, the courageous cancer victim who became a national inspiration in 1980 and raised more than $24 million for cancer research by stubbornly running more than 5,300 km on an artificial leg. The cancer that had forced the amputation of Fox’s right leg in 1977 spread to his lungs and halted his “Marathon of Hope” last year.

Chief Dan George, 82, a former longshoreman and for 12 years chief of B.C.’s Tse-lal-watt tribe who began his acting career at age 61 on CBC-TV’s Cariboo Country. He won the New York Film Critics Award for his sage portrayal of Old Lodge Skins in the 1970 film Little Big Man.

Omar Torrijos Herrera, 52, the Panamanian strongman who successfully negotiated his country’s control of the Panama Canal zone in 1978. Torrijos seized power in Panama in 1968, ousting President Arnulfo Arias Madrid. In 1978, he installed a figurehead civilian as president but remained as the head of the country’s National Guard until his death in a jungle plane crash.

William Holden, 63, Oscar-winning leading man noted for his man-of-action roles. Although most of his career was spent in adventure films, he is probably best remembered for his subtle portrayal of moral quandaries in Sunset Boulevard and Network.

George Jessel, 83, entertainer and dinner speaker who was dubbed the “toastmaster-general of the U.S.A.” by Harry Truman in 1949. Beginning in New York city as a vaudeville comedian, Jessel became a Hollywood movie musical producer and then master of ceremonies and fund raiser.

Valery Kharlamov, 33, Soviet hockey star, in a car crash near Moscow, with his wife, Irina. Kharlamov came to prominence in the West by scoring two dazzling goals in the first game of the 1972 Canada-Russia series. Despite his small size (five feet, eight inches, 155 lb.), he was considered one of the world’s best hockey players.

David Lewis, 72, leader of the federal New Democratic Party from 1971 to 1975. A brilliant and brash labor lawyer, Lewis joined the fledgling Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in 1936 and over the course of the next 40 years helped mould it from a splinter party into the New Democratic Party of today.

Joe Louis, 66, “the Brown Bomber,” heavyweight champion of the world from 1937 to 1949 whose slow, methodical style was called “creeping death.” Louis defended his title a record of 25 times. When he finally retired from the ring, Louis sank into debt and depression. His last years were spent as an “official greeter” in Las Vegas, where his body was displayed before he was buried at Arlington National Cemetary by special decree of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Bob Marley, 36, Jamaica’s most distinctive reggae singer and Rastafarian spokesman, of brain cancer. The son of an English army captain and a Jamaican native, Marley founded his band, theWailers, in 1964. His music popularized reggae internationally 10 years later, paving the way for a host of other reggae performers such as Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh.

William Saroyan, 72, flamboyant and prolific author of short stories, novels and plays, best known for The Time of Your Life. The play (which he completed in six days) was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1940, but he refused to accept the award saying the wealthy should not patronize the arts. Broke by 1960, Saroyan announced he would, from then on, write solely for the money.

Albert Speer, 76, the German architect who orchestrated the dramatic lighting effects at the Nuremberg rallies in the 1930s and, in 1942, became Hitler’s minister of armaments. At the Nuremberg trials, he was charged with using slave labor in Germany’s weapons industry, confessed, and spent 20 years in Berlin’s Spandau prison.

Sean Toolan, 43, Maclean's correspondent in Beirut, Lebanon, found shot and stabbed in a gutter of Abdel Aziz Street in the Moslem section of the city. Born in County Mayo, Ireland, Toolan worked for a number of publications before going to the Middle East in 1980. His killers remain unknown.

Barbara Ward, 67, British economist and author whose influence extended from the Vatican to the White House. Her several books, including the classic The Rich Nations and the Poor Nations, stressed the responsibility of developed nations to the Third World. Recent works, such as Progress for a Small Planet, underlined the need to protect the earth’s dwindling resources.

Eric Williams, 69, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who led his nation to independence from Britain in 1962. Williams’ political reforms and economic developments made the nation one of the most wealthy and industrialized in the Caribbean.

Natalie Wood, 43, dark-eyed star whose screen and TV portrayals ranged from the doubting child in Miracle on 3Uh Street to the sultry Maggie in Laurence Olivier’s version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She was nominated for an Academy Award three times. Married to actor Robert Wagner in 1972 for a second time, her death brought a tragic end to what was seen as one of the great Hollywood romances.

Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, 79, mentor of Pope John Paul II, primate of Poland and outspoken advocate of social justice. Earning the nickname of the “worker priest” early in his career for writing extensively on rural and labor problems, Wyszynski became a symbol of Polish defiance during both the Nazi occupation and the present Soviet domination.