Making “fun of the people higher on the totem pole”
By David Walsh, 2 July 2020
Reiner may not be a name known by many under a certain age, but his influence and impact on American comedy and performance in the postwar period was considerable.
By Paul Bond, 27 June 2020
It is difficult not to see his subsequent representation of a character’s inner life as being drawn from his family background.
By Paul Bond, 19 May 2020
The cultural background of a disoriented avant-garde in the aftermath of World War II and the division of Germany helped shape the music of Schneider and his peers.
By Paul Bond, 13 May 2020
His long-time collaborator Fela Kuti once declared “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.”
By Hiram Lee, 12 May 2020
Little Richard played a significant role in shaping rock ’n’ roll in the 1950s and left an indelible influence on the world of music and pop culture in the decades that followed.
By John Andrews, 20 April 2020
COVID-19 has claimed the life of Lee Konitz, one of the foremost improvisers of post-war jazz.
By Paul Bond, 15 April 2020
Blackman’s feisty independence and intelligence were refreshing and even inspiring, and the product of her upbringing.
By Hiram Lee and Matthew Brennan, 13 April 2020
In his art and his very personality, Prine pursued an existence entirely opposed to the sort led by those whose criminal negligence made possible his death from COVID-19.
The death of singer-songwriter Bill Withers, 1938-2020: “I never tried to be a star, but to be an artist”
By Helen Halyard, 8 April 2020
Three-time Grammy award winner Bill Withers, who wrote and sang music that still resonates with millions of people around the world, died from heart complications on March 30 in Los Angeles at 81.
By Hiram Lee, 6 April 2020
Among the more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the nearly 70,000 lives lost, may be counted those of numerous well-known musicians and performers.
By Paul Bond, 19 March 2020
For more than six decades, the Swedish-born von Sydow, who has died at 90, was a standard bearer for serious, thoughtful acting in a remarkable range of work.
By Matthew Brennan, 16 March 2020
Tyner was the last living member of the famed “classic” John Coltrane quartet, which included bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones.
By Joanne Laurier, 4 March 2020
The film treats the persecution of a security guard for the 1996 Olympics bombing. It condemns the role of the US government and the American media, which, as one character points out, are “two of the most powerful forces in the world today.”
“What we think changes how we act.”
By Erik Schreiber, 19 February 2020
Gill consciously broke with musical convention to develop his own style of guitar playing and to create a distinctive sound for his band. Similarly, he sought to understand the origins of social and political conditions, rather than accepting them as given.
By David Walsh, 10 February 2020
Douglas, one of the leading film actors in the post-World War II era, is also credited with helping to end the anti-communist blacklist by hiring blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo on Spartacus (1960).
By Fred Mazelis, 5 February 2020
The son of Rudolf Serkin, he was a musician of intelligence, passion and integrity, a solo recitalist and chamber musician, who also performed with orchestras worldwide.
By Paul Bond, 31 January 2020
Alongside his role in the development of British comedy, Monty Python writer and director Terry Jones, who has died at 77, made significant contributions to Chaucerian scholarship and mediaeval history.
By our reporter, 16 January 2020
Garnett’s career spanned 50 years, but he is identified above all with one of the most significant and creative periods in the history of television drama in the UK.
By Kevin Reed, 14 January 2020
Peart, the hard-driving drummer and lyricist of the Canadian progressive rock band Rush, died on January 7 at the age of 67.
Including an interview from 1996
By David Walsh, 3 January 2020
Sleepy LaBeef, singer and musician, died the day after Christmas at his home in Arkansas. The musical world and all of us are poorer for the loss.
By David Walsh, 17 December 2019
Anna Karina, the Danish-born actress indelibly associated above all with the early films of French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard, died Saturday at a Paris hospital from cancer.
By Fred Mazelis, 10 December 2019
Jansons, who died November 30 at the age of 76, was one of the world’s greatest conductors, and at the same time one of the most beloved, by audiences and above all by the musicians he led.
By Fred Mazelis, 5 October 2019
Born in the Jim Crow South, the singer became a world-famous star of the opera and concert stage.
By Sandy English, 7 September 2019
Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison wrote several significant novels, but as a public figure turned to the selfish racialist politics of the upper middle class.
By Richard Phillips, 10 August 2019
Pennebaker pioneered the use of handheld cameras and editorial comment to achieve an immediacy and closeness not previously achieved in documentary film-making.
By Hiram Lee, 13 July 2019
Together with the composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto pioneered a “new wave” in Brazilian popular music during the mid-to-late 1950s that had a worldwide impact.
By Matthew Brennan, 29 June 2019
His early recordings spanned a remarkable musical range, from funk-driven pop songs and New Orleans jazz and blues to at least a half-dozen other musical styles and influences.
Director of Boyz n the Hood, Higher Learning and other films focusing on the African-American working class and poor
By Nick Barrickman, 29 May 2019
At his best, Singleton’s work shows warmth and concern for his films’ struggling and imperfect characters.
By Clare Hurley and Clara Weiss, 24 May 2019
Oz published 40 books of fiction, collections of essays, speeches and letters that have been translated into 45 languages, including Esperanto.
By David Walsh, 15 May 2019
Her most compelling performances came in films such as Young Man with a Horn (1950), Love Me or Leave Me (1955) and, above all, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).
By Matthew Brennan, 22 April 2019
Best known as a member of the 1960s pop trio the Walker Brothers, Scott Walker became an elusive and yet influential figure in the rock and electronic music genres in later years.
By Hiram Lee, 19 March 2019
Drummer Hal Blaine died March 11, one month past his 90th birthday. Blaine was an incredibly prolific studio musician who appeared on countless recordings during the 1960s and 1970s.
By Sybille Fuchs, 9 March 2019
On February 16, Swiss-born actor Bruno Ganz, aged 77, died of cancer at his home on Lake Zurich. Ganz was one of the leading figures in the contemporary German-speaking theatre and film world.
By Fred Mazelis, 7 March 2019
Previn was often compared to Leonard Bernstein, for the breadth of his achievements and his insistence on appealing to a broad public.
By Sandy English, 15 January 2019
Johnson (1949-2017) wrote convincingly and often movingly about the painful personal conundrums that people found themselves in, particularly as social conditions declined in the US in the 1970s and beyond.
By John Andrews, 19 December 2018
Nancy Wilson, a distinctive vocalist for more than 50 years, and the long-time host of NPR’s “Jazz Profiles,” passed away last week.
By Richard Phillips and David Walsh, 28 November 2018
Bertolucci will be remembered for valuable films he made in the 1960s and 1970s, including La commare secca (1962—English title, The Grim Reaper), Before the Revolution (1964), The Conformist (1970) and 1900 (1976).
By Paul Bond, 6 October 2018
Aznavour grew up with a love of music and theatre and leaves a legacy of some 1,200 songs, innumerable recordings, and some notable film appearances.
One of the greatest musical figures of the 20th century
By Fred Mazelis, 24 August 2018
There was no one else who combined Bernstein’s genius as a composer, conductor, educator and pianist.
By Hiram Lee, 18 August 2018
Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin died August 16 at the age of 76. She was a major figure, one of the great performers of the second half of the twentieth century.
By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 24 July 2018
Our basic objective was to examine Peries’s general contribution to Sri Lankan cinema and how he came to be known as its father.
By Clara Weiss, 11 July 2018
Rozhdestvensky had a formative influence on Soviet musical life throughout much of the postwar period.
By Josh Varlin, 10 July 2018
Soto was best known for his work with the seminal hardcore punk band Adolescents.
By David Walsh, 18 June 2018
In the wake of writer Philip Roth’s death May 22, numerous commentaries have appeared accusing him of misunderstanding or being hostile to women and related failings.
By David Walsh, 24 May 2018
Among Roth’s best known works are Goodbye, Columbus (1959), Letting Go (1962), Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), Zuckerman Unbound (1981), Sabbath’s Theater (1995), American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998) and The Human Stain (2000).
By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 23 May 2018
Peries’s best films, like the great dramas directed by India’s Satyajit Ray and Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, have left their mark on Asian and world cinema.
Director of The Loves of a Blonde, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus
By David Walsh, 16 April 2018
Forman was originally identified with the so-called Czech New Wave, a group of directors whose lively and honest films came to international prominence in the mid-1960s.
By Nick Barrickman, 13 April 2018
Brendon Whitney (“Alias”) was a founding member of the experimental hip hop/electronic music label Anticon.
By Elle Chapman and David Walsh, 7 April 2018
Takahata, one of Japan’s most influential animation filmmakers and co-founder of the famed Studio Ghibli, died from lung cancer in a Tokyo hospital April 5. We repost a review of his Grave of the Fireflies (1988).
By Sandy English, 8 March 2018
Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the most significant and popular English-language writers of speculative fiction, associated with feminism and utopianism, died January 28 at the age of 88.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 2 March 2018
The German jazz guitarist Coco Schumann remained active musically until near the end of his life. He ranks as a jazz musician with one of the longest musical biographies ever.
By Hiram Lee, 29 January 2018
Veteran Hollywood actress Dorothy Malone, who appeared in the Douglas Sirk classic Written on the Wind, has died at the age of 93.
By Nick Barrickman, 19 January 2018
O’Riordan was pronounced dead on January 15 in her London hotel room.
By Fred Mazelis, 10 January 2018
Mann championed the collaborative musical form of the string quartet, and helped train generations of famed musicians.
By Clare Hurley and David Walsh, 12 December 2017
Art historian Linda Nochlin published a number of valuable and insightful works on the art of the 19th century in particular. Later, she played a seminal role in establishing a feminist approach to art history.
By Fred Mazelis, 11 December 2017
The Siberian-born singer, who was known especially for his Verdi and Tchaikovsky roles, had performed in nearly every major opera house in the world.
By Nick Barrickman, 18 November 2017
Lil Peep, who died November 15 of a drug overdose while on tour, had come to be seen as the foremost representative of the genre-bending musical style known as “emo rap.”
By Hiram Lee, 4 November 2017
Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino died October 24 at the age of 89. The gifted pianist was second only to Elvis Presley in popularity during the early days of the genre.
By Hiram Lee, 5 October 2017
Tom Petty died suddenly October 2 at the age of 66. He was a genuine and unpretentious songwriter and performer.
By David Walsh, 23 August 2017
Lewis was a performer of extraordinary talent. At his improvisational and manic best, with a rapid-fire delivery, a variety of personas and all manner of physical contortions, he represented something anarchic and disruptive.
By Richard Phillips, 9 August 2017
Gurrumul’s music, like all honest creative work, transcended language and cultural barriers, making him the highest selling Aboriginal singer-songwriter in Australian history.
By Ben Trent, 4 August 2017
Bennington was best known for his vocal range, and his ability to combine anguish and pain in his singing.
By David Walsh, 2 August 2017
Shepard had an undoubted influence on American culture over the past several decades. Having grown up in southern California, he first came to prominence as an Off-Off-Broadway playwright in New York with a series of one-act works in the mid-1960s.
By Paul Bond, 2 August 2017
The revival of the fortunes of traditional Cajun music owes much to Menard’s love of country music, and his warmly nasal voice.
Including a conversation with film historian Tony Williams
By David Walsh, 21 July 2017
The American director of numerous horror and other films, including Night of the Living Dead, died July 16 in Toronto.
By Adam Soroka, 22 May 2017
Cornell (born July 20, 1964 in Seattle, Washington) will be best remembered as the lead vocalist of the Seattle metal band Soundgarden. His vocals combined an R&B sensibility with a dynamic, multi-octave range.
Citizens Band, Something Wild, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia …
By David Walsh, 13 May 2017
American filmmaker Jonathan Demme died April 26 in New York City from complications stemming from esophageal cancer and heart disease. He was 73.
By Vladimir Volkov, 3 May 2017
Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the best-known Soviet poet from the 1960s to the 1980s, died at 85 from cancer on April 1, 2017, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
By Hiram Lee, 23 March 2017
It would be difficult to overstate Berry’s influence on American popular music in the second half of the 20th century. Perhaps more than any other artist in the genre, he defined the sound of rock ’n’ roll.
By David Walsh, 8 March 2017
Osborne was an affable and intelligent presence on American television—something increasingly rare!
By Kevin Martinez, 17 February 2017
Renowned for playing outsiders and “commoners,” British actor John Hurt died January 25, three days after his 77th birthday.
By Nick Barrickman, 15 February 2017
Axelrod crafted and inspired some of the more haunting, cinematic and versatile popular American music during the second half of the 20th century.
By Sandy English and David Walsh, 7 February 2017
Prominent left-wing art critic John Berger died on January 2 and left a mixed legacy of writing on art and society.
By Lee Parsons, 13 January 2017
Last August the Soviet-Russian sculptor Ernst Neizvestny, one of the most interesting artists of the postwar period, and someone with a distinctive political history, died in New York City at the age of 91.
By David Walsh, 29 December 2016
The announcement Tuesday that Carrie Fisher had died at only 60 was sad news. The actress, writer and humorist was an appealing figure and personality.
By Kevin Reed, 17 December 2016
Greg Lake was a founder, along with schoolmate Robert Fripp, of the British band King Crimson in 1968 and later the 1970s’ supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
The “Mark Twain of jazz” dies at 89
By James Brewer, 26 November 2016
Over his six-decade musical career, Allison performed live thousands of times and released over 50 albums. He left behind a tremendous body of recorded work dating back to the mid-1950s.
By Hiram Lee, 23 November 2016
Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, famed for songs such as “Suzanne,” “The Stranger Song,” “So Long, Marianne,” “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” “Famous Blue Raincoat” and “Bird on the Wire,” died November 7 at the age of 82.
By Dorota Niemitz and Stefan Steinberg, 14 October 2016
Film and theatre director Andrzej Wajda, who made some of the most significant Polish films of the twentieth century, has died at the age of 90.
By David Walsh, 22 September 2016
Albee is best remembered for The Zoo Story (1959), The Death of Bessie Smith (1960), The Sandbox (1960), The American Dream (1961), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962).
By James Brewer, 1 September 2016
Although his work in film ended more than 25 years ago, Wilder will be long remembered for the humor and humanity he displayed in films like Young Frankenstein.
Toots Thielemans: 1922-2016
By James Brewer, 25 August 2016
The Belgian-born multi-instrumental jazz musician became widely known for his virtuosic harmonica playing.
By Hiram Lee, 1 August 2016
Guitarist Scotty Moore, who performed on all the classic Elvis Presley recordings of the 1950s, died June 28 at the age of 84.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 16 July 2016
In addition to a remarkable command of his instrument, guitarist Häns’che Weiss was distinguished by his thrilling musicality.
By David Walsh, 14 July 2016
The Iranian director will be best remembered and long honored for the series of feature films, including documentaries, that he made between 1987 and 1997.
By Richard Phillips, 11 July 2016
Cox directed over 40 dramatic features and documentaries—the overwhelming majority on paper-thin budgets—during his more than forty-year career.
By David Walsh, 7 July 2016
Cimino is best known as the director of The Deer Hunter (1978), which won numerous Academy Awards, and Heaven’s Gate (1980), which was denounced by leading critics, lost a great deal of money and severely damaged Cimino’s career.
By Hiram Lee, 6 July 2016
Ralph Stanley led one of the most remarkable groups in Bluegrass music and was among the genre’s greatest banjo players and singers.
By Hiram Lee, 27 April 2016
While music icon Prince, who died April 21 at the age of 57, was among the more electrifying performers of his generation, his work could be terribly uneven.
By Hiram Lee, 29 March 2016
The members of A Tribe Called Quest were more relatable than the superstar rappers who came before them and more sensitive and intelligent than the lyricists of then-emerging gangster rap.
By Hiram Lee, 15 March 2016
Legendary music producer George Martin, who supervised almost all of the Beatles’ recordings, died on March 8.
By Hiram Lee, 16 January 2016
British rock icon David Bowie died January 10, just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final album Blackstar .
By Alex Lantier, 7 January 2016
As a conductor who worked and recorded extensively with leading orchestras and opera companies, Boulez elicited powerful, precise, unpretentious and always tasteful performances, though they sometimes had a touch of coldness.
By Hiram Lee, 12 November 2015
On tour at the time of his death, Toussaint suffered a heart attack following a performance at the Teatro Lara in Madrid, Spain.
By Hiram Lee, 28 October 2015
Irish-born actress Maureen O’Hara, star of The Quiet Man and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, died October 24 at the age of 95. She was one of the most compelling actresses of her generation.
By Kevin Reed, 30 July 2015
The British-born bass player, song writer and vocalist for the progressive rock band Yes, died on June 27 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He was 67.
By Hiram Lee, 18 June 2015
Saxophonist Ornette Coleman helped to define the free jazz movement during an often controversial career spanning half a century.
By Sybille Fuchs, Wolfgang Weber and Peter Schwarz, 25 April 2015
Günter Grass, who died at the age of 87 on April 13, was one of Germany’s most outstanding storytellers and a man who remained true to his political principles throughout his life.
By Kaye Tucker, 21 April 2015
Seymour’s most successful play The One Day of the Year is one of the very few that challenges the myths surrounding Anzac Day.
By Dorota Niemitz and Matthew Brennan, 5 March 2015
The appeal of the Detroit native, who won a Pulitzer Prize and was named Poet Laureate of the US, was due in part to the accessibility and directness of his poems.