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Stars that died 2010

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sam DeLuca, American football player and broadcaster (New York Jets), died from pancreatic cancer at 75.

Saverio Frank "Sam" DeLuca  was an American Professional Football offensive lineman in the American Football League and later a radio and television football coverage broadcaster. He played six seasons, three for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers and three for the New York Jets. He was a member of the 1969 New York Jet Championship season on IR. After football, he had a long career in sports broadcasting. He was the color commentator on the Jets’ radio broadcasts on WABC and then WOR before working NFL telecasts for NBC Sports and on the Jets’ pre-season games in the 1970s and 1980s. He went to Lafayette High School (Brooklyn) with Sandy Koufax, Larry King and Fred Wilpon.[1]

(May 2, 1936 – September 13, 2011)

Playing career

DeLuca was a three-year letterman in football at the University of South Carolina from 1954 through 1956. As a starting offensive tackle, he played for head coaches Rex Enright in his first two seasons and Warren Giese as a senior.[2] DeLuca graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Education in 1957.[3] He was inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.[2] He was also honored by the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.[4]
DeLuca was selected in the second round (23rd overall) by the New York Giants in the 1957 National Football League (NFL) Draft.[2] He signed with the Giants for US $7,000 a year with a $500 bonus.[3] He was to have succeeded starting offensive lineman Bill Austin, who was strongly considering retirement at the time. When Austin decided to play one more year,[1] DeLuca was sent to the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, where he spent three seasons from 1957 through 1959.[5]

Broadcasting career

DeLuca's first regular sportscasting assignment was hosting the pre- and postgame shows for New York Mets games on WABC-FM in 1968 and 1969.[6] Phil Pepe, then a baseball writer for the Daily News who had graduated a year ahead of DeLuca at Lafayette High School, helped him prepare for the assignment.[7]


DeLuca died at age 75 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Pelham, New York on September 13, 2011.[1]
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Wilma Lee Cooper, American country music singer, died from natural causes at 90.

Wilma Lee Leary , known professionally as Wilma Lee Cooper, was an American bluegrass-based country music entertainer.

(February 7, 1921 – September 13, 2011)


Born in Valley Head, West Virginia, Leary sang in her youth with her family's gospel music group, The Leary Family, which included her parents and sisters. They recorded for the Library Of Congress in 1938.
In 1939, Leary married fiddler and vocalist Dale T. "Stoney" Cooper, who was a musical accompanist for the Leary Family, and the duo formed their own bluegrass group, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper and the Clinch Mountain Clan. They were regulars for ten years on Wheeling, West Virginia's WWVA-AM's rival to the Grand Ole Opry, WWVA Jamboree, beginning in 1947 before joining the Opry in 1957.
Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper had remarkable record success in the late 1950s and early 1960s on Hickory Records given both their bluegrass sound (which has rarely been as commercially successful) and the damage rock-n-roll was doing to country music's popularity at the time. They scored seven hit records between 1956 and 1961, with four top ten hits on Billboard charts, notably "Big Midnight Special" and "There's a Big Wheel." They remained connected to the Leary Family tradition as well, recording popular gospel songs like "The Tramp on the Street" and "Walking My Lord Up Calvary's Hill."
Cooper died in 1977 but Wilma Lee stayed on the Opry as a solo star and on occasion recorded an album for a bluegrass record label. In 2001 she suffered a stroke while performing on the Opry stage which ended her career, but Cooper defied doctors who said she would never walk again and eventually returned to the Opry to greet and thank the crowds.
The Cooper's daughter, Carol Lee Cooper, is the lead singer for the Grand Ole Opry's backup vocal group, The Carol Lee Singers.
Wilma Lee Cooper died on September 13, 2011 at her home in Sweetwater, Tenn. from natural causes. She had been a member of the Opry since 1957 and was 90 years old. Her last solo performance on the Opry was at the Ryman Auditorium on February 24, 2001. Wilma Lee joined the Opry cast at the grand re-opening of the Opry House on September 28, 2010 for a group sing-along.


Singles with Stoney Cooper

Year Single US Country
1956 "Cheated Too" 14
1958 "Come Walk with Me" (with Carol Lee) 4
1959 "Big Midnight Special" 4
"There's a Big Wheel" 3
1960 "Johnny, My Love (Grandma's Diary)" 17
"This Ole House" 16
1961 "Wreck on the Highway" 8
LP Gusto Records PO-242 (1975) Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper - Walking my Lord up Calvary's Hill
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John Calley, American movie studio executive, died at 81.

John Calley was an American film studio executive and producer. He was quite influential during his years at Warner Bros. (where he worked from 1968 to 1981)[2] and "produced a film a month, on average, including commercial successes like The Exorcist and Superman."[3] During his seven years at Sony Pictures Entertainment starting in 1996, five of which he was chairman and chief executive, he was credited with "reinvigorat[ing]" that major film studio.[4]

(July 8, 1930 – September 13, 2011)

Awards and nominations

Together with Mike Nichols and Ismail Merchant, Calley produced 1993's The Remains of the Day, for which the trio received an Oscar nomination—Calley's only such Best Picture nomination.
A best picture nomination Calley potentially missed was when, as Sony's new head, he nixed the studio's backing of Terence Malick's 1998 film The Thin Red Line, reportedly because he thought Malick couldn't keep to the budget. (The film stayed on budget and received seven Academy Award nominations.)
He was honored with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the inaugural Governors Awards ceremony on November 11, 2009.[5] For the ceremony, Calley, unable to attend in person due to illness, recorded remarks that were projected on a giant video screen, remarks characterizing the life of a film studio executive and called "one of the night's more startling bits of honesty": "You're very unhappy for a long period of time. And you don’t experience joy. At the end you experience relief, if you’re lucky."[6]
According to Mervyn LeRoy in his autobiography Mervyn LeRoy: Take One, Calley played a big role in LeRoy's exit of Warner Bros. when The Kinney Company acquired it. Calley notified LeRoy that due to a "change in corporate thinking", the studio was not going to support his effort in producing the story Thirteen Clocks. When LeRoy asked Calley about the promises that he had made before, Calley answered "We'll have to wait and see".[7]


Calley attended Columbia University in the late 1940s, and then briefly served in the Army.[8] His early life also included working for his father—"who had possible criminal ties"—as a used-car dealer.[9] His first significant industry job was at NBC's New York headquarters, at age 21, [10] when he started in the mailroom.[9]
From 1972 until a divorce in 1992, he was married to Czech actress and former Playboy cover girl[11] Olga Schoberov√°, though neither spoke the other's language in their first few years together. Calley adopted her daughter Sabrina, who became a set costumer.[12]
When he left Warner Brothers in the early 1980s, citing an unhappy marriage and burn-out after involvement in the production of 120 films, Calley settled into life as a virtual hermit in his 35-room house on Fisher's Island in Long Island Sound.[9] Later in the 1990s, after marrying Sandra Cooke Lean, the widow of famed film director Sir David Lean[9], the couple moved to Washington, CT. [See Discussion] In 1995, he married actress Meg Tilly; they divorced in 2002.[13]
John Calley's best friend, director/producer Mike Nichols, with whom he collaborated on The Remains of the Day, as well as on Catch-22, Postcards from the Edge, The Birdcage and Closer, said this after Calley's death from a long-term, undisclosed illness[14]: "John was unique. As a friend he was always there and always funny. He made life a joy for those he loved. As a studio head he was unfailingly supportive and didn't try to do the filmmaker's job. When he believed in someone he trusted and supported him and when very rarely he had a suggestion it was usually a lifesaver. In fact that's what he was: a lifesaver." [8]
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