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Van Cliburn, Legendary pianist, dies 78

cibrunHarvey Lavan "Van" Cliburn, Jr., (July 12, 1934 – February 27, 2013) was an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at the age of 23, when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.

His mother, an accomplished pianist who had studied under a student of Franz Liszt, discovered him playing at age three and mimicking one of her students. She began his own lessons. He developed a rich, round tone and a singing voice-like phrasing, having been taught from the start to sing each piece.

Van Cliburn toured domestically and overseas. He played for royalty, heads of state, and every U.S. president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama.  His recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 was the first album by a classical artist to sell more than 1 million copies.

Cliburn received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2001. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003 by then President George W. Bush, and, in October 2004, the Russian Order of Friendship, the highest civilian awards of the two countries. He was also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award the same year and played at a surprise 50th birthday party for United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He was a member of the Alpha Chi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and was awarded the fraternity's Charles E. Lutton Man of Music Award in 1962. He was presented a 2010 National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Van Cliburn cause of death

Van Ciburn died of bone cancer.  Van Ciburn was 78 years old at the time of his death.  On August 27, 2012, Cliburn's publicist announced that the pianist had advanced bone cancer.

Lawsuit

In 1998, Cliburn was named in a lawsuit by his domestic partner of seventeen years, mortician Thomas Zaremba. In the suit, Zaremba claimed entitlement to a portion of Cliburn's income and assets and went on to charge that he might have been exposed to HIV, claiming emotional distress. The claims were denied by a trial court, and that decision was then affirmed by an appellate court, which held that palimony suits are not permitted in the state of Texas unless the relationship is based on a written agreement.

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 Mvt III - Van Cliburn

Vidal Sassoon, Celebrity stylist, dies 84

Vidal Sassoon, CBE (January 17, 1928 - May 9, 2012) was a British hairdresser, credited with creating a simple geometric, "Bauhaus-inspired" hair style, also called the bob.

Vidal Sassoon cause of death
Sassoon died on 9 May 2012 at his home in Los Angeles. At the time of his death, the cause was as yet unspecified

In June 2011 it was reported that Sassoon had been diagnosed with leukaemia two years earlier, and was receiving treatment in Beverly Hills and London.

Vesta Williams, 80s R&B singer, found dead 53

Vesta Williams (December 1, 1957 – September 22, 2011) was an American R&B singer. Originally credited by her full name, she was sometimes simply billed as Vesta from the 1990s onwards. Although Williams never had any albums certified gold nor any Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, she scored six Top 10 hits on the US Billboard R&B chart from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s. Williams was known for the hits, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", "Sweet Sweet Love", "Congratulations" and "Special"

Vesta Williams cause of death
Vesta Williams was found dead in a hotel room in El Segundo, California, on September 22, 2011.  An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death.
Vesta Williams was 53 years old at the time of her death

Congratulations - Vesta Williams

Vonetta McGee, 1970's blaxploitation actress (Blacula), dies 65

Lawrence Vonetta McGee (January 14, 1945 – July 9, 2010) was an American actress.

Vonenna McGee became well-known for her parts in the 1972 Blaxploitation films Melinda and Hammer.

In the action thriller Shaft in Africa (1973), McGee took the role of Aleme, the daughter of an emir, who teaches John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) Ethiopian  geography. She also starred alongside Clint Eastwood in the action thriller The Eiger Sanction (1975).

Death of Vonetta McGee
In 1987, McGee married the actor Carl Lumbly; they have one child. McGee passed away from a cardiac arrest on July 9, 2010.

Vonetta McGee on Soul Train (interview)

Vic Chesnutt, Folk Singer and Songwriter, Dies at 45

James Victor "Vic" Chesnutt (November 12, 1964 – December 25, 2009) was a singer-songwriter living in Athens, Georgia. He had been writing songs since he was five years old. Injured in a car accident in 1983, the paraplegic artist's first big breakthrough to commercial success came with the release of the tribute album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation.

An adoptee, Chesnutt was raised in Zebulon, Georgia, where he first started writing songs at the age of 5. At 18, a car accident left him partially paralyzed, though it wasn't long afterward that he realized he could still play guitar. After his recovery he left Zebulon and moved to Nashville, Tennessee; the poetry he read there (by Stevie Smith, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, W. H. Auden, Stephen Crane, and Emily Dickinson) served to inspire and influence him.

Death of Vic Chesnutt
On December 25, 2009, Chesnutt died from an overdose of muscle relaxants that had left him in a coma in an Athens hospital.

 Vic Chesnutt - Band Camp

Val Avery, Tough-Guy Actor in Movies, dies 85

Val Avery (July 14, 1924 - December 12, 2009) was an American character actor who appeared in hundreds of movies and television shows since the 1950s. In a career that spanned 50 years, Avery appeared in over 100 films and had appearances in over 300 television series.

Avery portrayed a cat burglar who conspires with Lieutenant Columbo to catch another criminal, the deputy police commissioner, in A Friend in Deed (1974), directed by another Cassevetes collaborator, Ben Gazzara. He also appeared in Dead Weight (1971), The Most Crucial Game (1972) and Identity Crisis (1975).

Avery appeared Cassavetes' Too Late Blues (1961), Faces (1968), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) and Gloria (1980). Avery's other appearances have come in everything from films like The Long, Hot Summer (1958), The Magnificent Seven (1960), Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) The Wanderers (1979) and Donnie Brasco (1997) to TV shows like Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, The Munsters and Law & Order.

Death of Val Avery
Avery died Saturday December 12, 2009 in his Greenwich Village home. He was 85.

Vern Gosdin, country music singer-songwriter, dies 70

Vern Gosdin (August 5, 1934 - April 28, 2009) was an American country music singer. He idolized The Louvin Brothers and The Blue Sky Boys as a young man and sang in a gospel quartet called The Gosdin Brothers. Nicknamed "The Voice," an inheritor of the soulful honky tonk style of Lefty Frizzell and Merle Haggard rose to the top of the business and notched hit after barroom hit. Some of these scored hits in the 1970s and 1980s, included "Chiseled in Stone," "Set 'em Up Joe," "I'm Still Crazy," "That Just About Does It," "If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)," "Today My World Slipped Away," "Slow Burning Memory," "This Ain't My First Rodeo," "Way Down Deep" and "I Can Tell By The Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me Tonight)."

Death of Vern Gosdin
Gosdin, who suffered a stroke at the start of April 2009, died peacefully in his sleep at a Nashville hospital the evening of April 28, 2009 at the age of 74

Vern Gosdin - Chiseled in Stone

1940's heartthrob actor Van Johnson dies 92

Charles "Van" Johnson (August 25, 1916 - December 12, 2008) was an American film and television actor and dancer.

He passed away on December 12, 2008 at an assisted living center in Nyack, NY. He was 92.

Van Johnson with Lucy

Van Johnson's filmography continues next page

Van Johnson Filmography

Too Many Girls (1940)
Murder in the Big House (1942)
The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942)
Somewhere I'll Find You (1942)
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942)
The Human Comedy (1943)
Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
Pilot #5 (1943)
Madame Curie (1943)
A Guy Named Joe (1943)
Two Girls and a Sailor (1944)
The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)
Three Men in White (1944)
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
Between Two Women (1945)
Thrill of a Romance (1945)
Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
Ziegfeld Follies (1946) (scenes deleted)
Easy to Wed (1946)
No Leave, No Love (1946)
Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
High Barbaree (1947)
The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947)
The Bride Goes Wild (1948)
State of the Union (1948)
Command Decision (1948)
Mother Is a Freshman (1949)
Scene of the Crime (1949)
In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
Battleground (1949)
The Big Hangover (1950)
Duchess of Idaho (1950)
Grounds for Marriage (1951)
Three Guys Named Mike (1951)
Go for Broke! (1951)
It's a Big Country (1951)
Too Young to Kiss (1951)
Invitation (1952)
When in Rome (1952)
Washington Story (1952)
Plymouth Adventure (1952)
Confidentially Connie (1953)
Remains to Be Seen (1953)
Easy to Love (1953)
Siege at Red River (1954)
Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)
The Caine Mutiny (1954)
Brigadoon (1954)
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)
The End of the Affair (1955)
The Bottom of the Bottle (1956)
Miracle in the Rain (1956)
23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)
Slander (1956)
The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1957)
Kelly and Me (1957)
Action of the Tiger (1957)
The Last Blitzkrieg (1959)
Beyond This Place (1959)
Subway in the Sky (1959)
The Enemy General (1960)
Wives and Lovers (1963)
Divorce American Style (1967)
Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows (1968)
Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
Eagles Over London (1969)
The Price of Power (1969)
Eye of the Spider (1971)
Concorde Affaire '79 (1979)
From Corleone to Brooklyn (1979)
The Battle of the Eagles (1979)
The Kidnapping of the President (1980)
Murder in an Etruscan Cemetery (1982)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Down There in the Jungle (1986)
Taxi Killer (1988)
Killer Crocodile (1989)
Delta Force Commando II: Priority Red One (1990)
Clowning Around (1992)

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