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Life In Legacy - Week ending Saturday, May 27, 2017

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Roger Moore, second actor to play James BondAlexander Burdonsky, Russian theater director and grandson of StalinHal Childs, former NY Knicks general manager and later public relations director for several teamsBarbara Smith Conrad, operatic mezzo sopranoNicky Hayden, former MotoGP world championCortez Kennedy, Seattle Seahawks defensive tackleJimmy LaFave, Texas singer-songwriterDina Merrill, wealthy actress who played socialites like herself, shown with one-time husband Cliff RobertsonJerry Perenchio, media mogul whose mansion was home on 'The Beverly Hillbillies'Dr. Amy Reed, cancer patient and crusaderLisa Spoonauer, actress in award-winning film 'Clerks'Arthur St. John, oldest employee of Market Basket grocery chainAl Vecchione, first producer of PBS's 'MacNeil/Lehrer Report'Bill White, former Chicago Blackhawks all-star defenseman

Business and Science

Dr. Amy Reed (44) physician and cancer patient who turned a personal calamity into a crusade to spare other women from the medical procedure that harmed her. Reed and her husband, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, fought for years to ban the use of a surgical tool called a power morcellator, which has a spinning blade that slices up tissue so it can be extracted through small incisions. Although the device is regarded as a great boon to minimally invasive surgery, if a patient has cancer, as Reed did, morcellation can spread the disease. The couple won some notable victories: Because of their efforts, the Federal Drug Administration studied morcellation and in 2014 recommended that it not be used in the “the vast majority” of women having surgery for uterine fibroids, a common tumor that is usually benign but can hide a dangerous type of cancer. The mother of six children, Reed died of leiomyosarcoma of the uterus, a type of cancer, in Yardley, Pennsylvania on May 24, 2017.

Arthur St. John (96) longtime bagger at New England's Market Basket grocery chain and its oldest employee. St. John worked as a bagger at the Stratham, New Hampshire Market Basket store for 26 years. He was the oldest employee working at any of the supermarket chain's 77 locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, and one of the most popular. Customers would wait in line to talk to him when other lines were open. St. John worked mill jobs and at a nursing home before joining Market Basket. After he turned 96 in 2016, Arthur T. Demoulas, the store's president, sent him a note, calling him an inspiration. St. John died in Exeter, New Hampshire on May 22, 2017.

News and Entertainment

Alexander Burdonsky (75) honored theater director in Russia and a grandson of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin (died 1953). Burdonsky was decorated in 1996 as a People’s Artist of Russia, one of his country’s most prestigious awards. He directed more than two dozen plays. including Chekhov’s The Seagull, at the Russian Army theater. He was the son of Vasily Stalin, Stalin’s youngest son, but as a teenager adopted his mother's surname. Burdonsky died of cancer in Moscow, Russia on May 23, 2017.

Barbara Smith Conrad (79) Texas mezzo soprano who was ordered dropped from a leading role in a student-produced opera at the University of Texas in 1957 because she was black. Conrad later enjoyed a long operatic career, appearing at major opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and performing in concert with leading symphony orchestras. She died of Alzheimer's disease in Edison, New Jersey on May 22, 2017.

Jimmy LaFave (61) singer-songwriter whose 2007 album Cimarron Manifesto drew critical raves and reached the top of the Americana music chart. The East Texas native embraced the spirit of folk music icon Woody Guthrie. LaFave also was a two-time Austin Music Award winner for singer-songwriter. More than 1,000 people attended a sold-out concert on May 18 at Austin's Paramount Theatre to honor him. He died of cancer in Austin, Texas three days later, on May 21, 2017.

Dina Merrill (93) actress and heiress to two fortunes who wintered at her family’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida as a child before becoming a leading lady in movies, most often in upper-class roles. An elegant presence in most of her 30 or so mid-20th-century movies, Merrill played the betrayed wife who loses both her husband, Laurence Harvey, and her mink coat to Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8 (1960). The daughter of Wall Street broker E. F. Hutton and cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, she grew up in luxury, spending up to six months a year on the Sea Cloud, the family yacht. Her home during the winter was the 115-room Mar-a-Lago estate, bought by Donald J. Trump in 1985 and converted into a private club. Once married to actor Cliff Robertson (died in 2011), Merrill died of Lewy Body dementia in East Hampton, New York on May 22, 2017.

Roger Moore (89) suave British star of seven James Bond films. Moore's relaxed style and sense of whimsy, which relied heavily on the arched eyebrow, seemed a commentary on the essential ridiculousness of the Bond films, in which the handsome British secret agent was as adept at mixing martinis, bedding beautiful women, and ordering gourmet meals as he was at disposing of supervillains trying to take over the world. While he never eclipsed Sean Connery in the public's eye as the definitive James Bond, Moore did play the role of secret agent 007 in just as many films as Connery did, taking over the role in 1973 after Connery tired of it. Moore had already enjoyed a long career in films and TV. He was remembered by fans of the popular US ‘50s-‘60s TV series Maverick as Beau Maverick, English cousin of the Wild West's Maverick brothers, Bret and Bart. In England Moore had a long-running TV hit with The Saint, playing Simon Templar, the action hero who helped to put wealthy crooks in jail while absconding with their fortunes. He died of cancer in Switzerland on May 23, 2017.

Jerry Perenchio (86) media mogul, billionaire former owner of Univision, and producer behind a slew of hit shows and sporting events. But Perenchio’s house appeared more often on TV than he did. His Bel Air mansion was seen every week as the home of the Clampett family on the ‘60s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. Perenchio's 50 years in the entertainment business included stints as talent agent, sports promoter, and TV and movie tycoon. His wealth, recently estimated by Forbes at $2.8 billion, allowed him to be a generous political donor and philanthropist. He contributed some $50 million to candidates and causes and tens of millions more to schools, hospitals, museums, and charities of all types. He died of lung cancer in Los Angeles, California on May 23, 2017.

Lisa Spoonauer (44) actress who starred in the 1994 award-winning movie Clerks. Kevin Smith cast Spoonauer in the role of Caitlin Bree in his first movie, set in the New Jersey convenience and video stores where he worked in real life. Smith said that Spoonauer was one of the chief architects of the movie, which won him accolades at the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. Spoonauer soon left acting and became a restaurant manager and event planner. She died in Jackson, New Jersey on May 21, 2017.

Al Vecchione (86) first executive producer of The MacNeil/Lehrer Report on PBS. Vecchione created the 30-minute NewsHour program in 1976, which bucked the trend of nightly news shows by focusing on a single story every night. It became the US's first hour-long nightly news broadcast in 1983. Vecchione worked on NewsHour and related documentaries until retiring in 1996. In 1973 he was general manager of a short-lived news service called the National Public Affairs Center for Television, which broadcast gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings. He died of lung cancer in Bethesda, Maryland on May 24, 2017.


Hal Childs (84) former assistant general manager of the New York Knicks (1987–91) and public relations director for the Golden State Warriors and the Seattle Mariners. Childs ran the Warriors' PR department during the organization's first championship season in 1974–75. He also worked in PR for the Seattle SuperSonics and the San Diego Clippers. He died of heart disease in Dublin, California on May 21, 2017.

Nicky Hayden (35) former MotoGP world champion. Hayden won the MotoGP title in 2006, finishing narrowly ahead of Italian great Valentino Rossi. In a MotoGP career spanning 2003–16 with Honda and Ducati, Hayden posted three victories and 28 podium finishes in 218 races. After switching to the World Superbike championship in 2016, he finished fifth overall. He was 13th in Superbike this season, riding for the Red Bull Honda team, and was training on the Rimini coast after a motorcycle race at nearby Imola. He died of severe cerebral damage and multiple traumatic injuries in Cesena, Italy, five days after he was hit by a car while training on his bicycle, on May 22, 2017.

Cortez Kennedy (48) 300-pound but nimble defensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks in the ‘90s who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. Kennedy was unexpectedly quick for his size, which enabled him to explode off the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. He became the prototype for the strong, 300-pound-plus defensive linemen of the ‘90s. Kennedy had been experiencing headaches over the past week. He was found dead at his home in Orlando, Florida on May 23, 2017.

Bill White (77) former Chicago Blackhawks all-star defenseman and a member of Canada's 1972 Summit Series team. A Toronto native, White started his career with the Los Angeles Kings in 1967 before being traded to Chicago during the ‘69–70 season. He formed an imposing tandem on the Blackhawks' blue line with Pat Stapleton and helped the team to reach the playoffs in all seven of his seasons in Chicago. He appeared in six consecutive All-Star games between 1969–74 and briefly was head coach of the Blackhawks for the final 46 games of the ‘76–77 season. White finished his career with 50 goals, 215 assists, and 495 penalty minutes in 604 NHL games with LA and Chicago, adding seven goals and 32 assists in 91 playoff appearances. He joined Canada's squad for the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union after Game 1, finishing with a series-best plus-7 defensive rating while acting as a key part of Canada's penalty-killing unit. He died in Toronto, Canada on May 21, 2017.

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