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OBITUARIES  2005

Richard Pryor   Age: 65
Richard Pryor, the caustic yet perceptive actor-comedian who lived dangerously close to the edge both on stage and off died 12/10/05. He was 65. Pryor died of a heart attack at his home in the San Fernando Valley. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system.
Rosa Parks   Age: 92
Rosa Lee Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, died 10/24/05 Monday evening. She was 92. Mrs. Parks died at her home during the evening of natural causes, with close friends by her side, said Gregory Reed, an attorney who represented her for the past 15 years.
Shirley Horn   Age: 71
Jazz pianist and vocalist who got her start opening for Miles Davis and became revered as a master interpreter of American standards. Horn died in her native Washington, D.C., after a long illness.Horn was often compared to Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae, and considered one of the last great jazz vocalists of her era.
Lamont Bentley    Age: 31
Lamont Bentley, who was a regular in the 1990s sitcom Moesha and appeared frequently in television and movies, was killed in a car crash on 1/18/05. Bentley died when his vehicle plunged off the San Diego Freeway, manager Susan Ferris said. He was the only person in the vehicle.
Nipsey Russell   Age: 80
Nipsey Russell, who played the Tin Man alongside Diana Ross and Michael Jackson in "The Wiz" as part of a decades-long career in stage, television and film, died 10/2/05.. He was 80. The actor, who had been suffering from cancer, died Sunday afternoon at Lenox Hill Hospital, said his longtime manager Joseph Rapp.
August Wilson   Age: 60
The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Wilson died of liver cancer Oct. 1 in Seattle. He was 60. Wilson's plays dealt with the effects of slavery on generations of black Americans.
John H. Johnson   Age: 87
Publisher John H. Johnson, whose Ebony and Jet magazines countered stereotypical coverage of blacks after World War II and turned him into one of the most influential black leaders in America, died 8/8/05, his company said. He was 87.
Brock Peters   Age: 78
Actor Brock Peters, best known for his heartbreaking performance as the black man falsely accused of rape in "To Kill a Mockingbird," died 8/23/05 at his home after battling pancreatic cancer.
Luther Vandross   Age: 54
Grammy award winner Luther Vandross, whose deep, lush voice on such hits as "Here and Now" and "Any Love" sold more than 25 million albums while providing the romantic backdrop for millions of couples worldwide, died on 7/1/05. He was 54. Vandross died at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, N.J., Cause of death unknown.
Renaldo "Obie" Benson    Age: 69
Renaldo "Obie" Benson (June 14, 1936 - July 1, 2005) was an African-American soul and R&B singer and songwriter. He was best known as a member of Motown group The Four Tops. Benson died of lung cancer and other illnesses on July 1, 2005. His last performance as a Four Top was on April 8, 2005 live on Late Night with David Letterman.
Johnnie Cochran Jr.   Age: 67
Johnnie Cochran Jr., an attorney who rose to fame when he helped win an acquittal for O.J. Simpson in a double-murder trial, died 3/29/05. Cochran died at his home in Los Angeles, his family said in an e-mailed statement. He had been suffering from a brain tumor, the family said.
Ronald Winans   Age: 48
Ronald Winans, a Grammy-winning member of The Winans and of gospel's first family, died 6/17/05 at the age of 48. Winans, who had suffered a heart attack in 1997, died at Harper Hospital of heart complications. He had recently been admitted for observation after doctors realized he was retaining fluid.
Ossie Davis   Age: 87
Actor Ossie Davis, who pioneered roles for African Africans in a stage and screen career that spanned more than 50 years died at age 87 on 2/4/2005. Davis was found dead early Friday by his grandson and paramedics at the Shore Club hotel in Miami Beach, where the actor had been shooting the film "Retirement".
Reggie Roby,   Age: 43
A 16-year NFL veteran punter and three-time Pro Bowl selection, Reggie Roby died February 22nd 2005, after being found unconscious at home by his wife. Melissa Roby found her husband with no pulse. Cause of death is unknown.
Shirley Chisholm   Age: 80
Mrs. Chisholm died 1/1/05 at age 80, and her obituaries inevitably led, as she knew they would, with her litany of firsts -- first black woman in the House, first black woman to seek a major party presidential nomination.





 
 
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