Heath Andrew Ledger

Heath Ledger

HEATH ANDREW LEDGER

April 4, 1979 to January 22, 2008

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

heath-and-jake-in-brokeback.jpgHe had a somewhat lumpy face, a bit of a goofy smile and an undistinguished nose.  Yet, something transformative happened when he spoke in that rich baritone, when those young/old brown eyes communicated his complex inner life–a connection happened. No, Heath Ledger was never about surface or superficiality. He came from a deeper place. That depth, which crystallized with restrained brilliance in his Oscar-nominated role as the laconic, gay cowboy Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain (2005), was not plumbed without great peril to his psyche.  (Jake Gyllenhaal, shown in still above left, costars as Jack Twist, Del Mar’s love interest in the film.)

He fought to keep the private man private

Unlike many of today’s publicity-hungry young stars, Heath Ledger detested notoriety and fought to keep the private man private. Even friends encountered no trespassing signs, many say, and interviewers found him fidgety and walled off. Esteemed in the industry, innately likable on screen, the blond, 6’1″ Australian-born actor, who sought to play against his sex-symbol image, had his demons. Appeasing them with drugs, partying and alcohol spelled his end. Still, the startling details that dribbled out following the shocking news that he had died of an overdose at age 28 in his SoHo loft on January 22nd didn’t seem to fit. The combination of sedatives and painkillers with long generic names that made his heart forget to beat, his lungs forget to breathe, his brain forget to function, seemed no more Heath Ledger than his parting from his wife, nixing rehab and running around with notorious party-girls Lindsay Lohan and Mary Kate Olsen.

His absence is experienced on a different level

Continue reading “Heath Andrew Ledger”

Irv Letofsky

Irv Letofsky

IRVIN MYLES LETOFSKY

1931 to 2007

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

In the company of an apostle at the LA Times

Journalists who worked for Irv Letofsky during his fifteen years as editor of the Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar were forever changed—in their personal lives as well as their careers. His piquant personality, the expletive-littered asides, the mood-elevating spirit that made you feel you were in the company of an apostle, well, that was Letofsky, a man who loved writers and never worried about political correctness. He died just before Christmas.

1letofsky1225.jpgSince all the usual suspects have been eloquently presented in a myriad of obits, I’ll touch on just a few statistics here. Born a Taurus in Fargo, North Dakota on April 26, 1931, he graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of North Dakota in 1954; served as assistant city editor at the Minneapolis Tribune from 1963 to 1976; editor of the arts and entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times until 1991; TV critic for the Hollywood Reporter until 2007, and, in 2003, he co-produced the documentary “All the Presidents’ Movies.”  Married since 1978 to beauteous actress Brian Ann Zoccola; father of four children: Laurie, PJ, Cara and Polly (who walked around the world on behalf of breast cancer, a four-year trek her father championed every step of the way), and grandfather of Rosie and Eamon.

Take two aspirin and call me in the morning

Continue reading “Irv Letofsky”

F.W. Stark, Jr.

FREDERICK WILLIAM STARK, JR.

September 4, 1935 to May 24, 2007

by Katharine Blossom Lowrie

He drew so many, especially “the chicks”

Stark & GoobersAn unparalleled mentor and friend, Frederick William Stark, Jr. (“Willie” or “Bill” to most) departed this earth on May 24, 2007—in his single-engine Diamond Star, no doubt—to see “what life is like on Jupiter and Mars.” He was 72. Legendary for his verbal shorthand, tireless research and racy wit, Bill enjoyed no greater honor than to serve those seeking and maintaining the sobriety he prized for 25 years. Whether offering encouragement, a flight to some distant meeting, or the “even-keel” approach that drew so many (especially “the chicks,” said one), he availed himself to others with utter confidence and enthusiasm 24/7. “He would drop anything if you needed him,” said longtime pal Christine Peterson, one of hundreds of friends who packed an airplane hangar at Palomar Airport in Carlsbad by the Sea in early June.

Two things came easily: flying and entrepreneurship

Continue reading “F.W. Stark, Jr.”

Page 11 of 11
1 9 10 11