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April 16, 2019

Actress Georgia Engel, best known for her portrayal of Georgette on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died Friday in Princeton, New Jersey. She was 70.

Engel's friend and executor, John Quilty, said she was a Christian Scientist, and because she did not see doctors, the cause of death is unknown.

Engel had recurring roles on Everybody Loves Raymond and Hot in Cleveland, and also appeared on Broadway, starring in The Drowsy Chaperone in 2006. She was nominated for five Emmy awards, and was last seen in 2018 on the Netflix revival of One Day at a Time. Engel is survived by her sisters Robin Engel and Penny Lusk. Catherine Garcia

March 25, 2019

Rafi Eitan, the Israeli spy who captured Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann in 1960, died Saturday at his home in Tel Aviv. He was 92.

Rafael Eitan was born on a kibbutz in Mandatory Palestine. After studying at the London School of Economics, he joined Shin Bet, the Israeli equivalent of the FBI, then made the move to Mossad, becoming the intelligence agency's chief of operations.

Eitan led the seven-person operation to capture Eichmann, one of the architects of the Holocaust, near his home in Buenos Aires. Eichmann was tried in Jerusalem and found guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was executed in 1962.

Mossad Director Yossi Cohen said Eitan's "work and his actions will be etched in gold letters in the annals of the state. The foundations that Rafi laid in the first years of the state are a significant layer in the activities of the Mossad even today." Cohen said much of what Eitan did isn't even known to the public. Later in life, Eitan became head of the Pensioners Party, and in 2006, he helped his party capture seven seats in parliament. Catherine Garcia

March 25, 2019

Beloved experimental singer-songwriter Scott Walker has died at the age of 76, his label, 4AD, announced Monday morning. Walker, who was born in Ohio as Noel Scott Engel, first came to fame in the 1960s with the Walker Brothers group, reaching number one on the U.K. charts with "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" and "Make It Easy on Yourself." Walker subsequently released 14 solo albums, including the self-titled and critically-acclaimed series Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3, and Scott 4.

"Walker’s career was a storied one," reflected Pitchfork. "He started as a session musician, made huge hits with the Walker Brothers, became the object of screaming teenage fans' adulation, and, later in life, became an enigmatic pioneer of dark and experimental avant-garde."

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke called Walker "a huge influence on Radiohead and myself, showing me how I could use my voice and words." Walker is also known for his film scores, including, most recently, the music he wrote for Vox Lux, starring Natalie Portman. Listen to his 2006 album The Drift, which AllMusic writes will "make your body temperature drop a few degrees," below. Jeva Lange

March 18, 2019

Guitarist Dick Dale, known as the king of surf rock, died on Saturday. He was 81.

Born Richard Monsour, he taught himself how to play guitar and got his start performing at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Newport Beach, California. He pounded rather than plucked the strings, and was known to shred his guitar picks in the middle of songs. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones appear in several Beach Party movies, and his 1962 hit "Miserlou," adapted from a Middle Eastern folk song, was used decades later in Quentin Tarantino's 1994 cult classic Pulp Fiction. He continued to tour, even as he hit his 80th birthday.

Dale was left handed, and when he met guitar builder Leo Fender, Fender offered to make him a left-handed model in exchange for Dale testing out Fender's new line of guitars and amps. In a 1997 interview with The Associated Press, Dale said he became Fender's "personal guinea pig," and because he played so loudly, he kept blowing up amps. Finally, Fender built the "Dick Dale Dual Showman," a double-sized amp able to keep up with him. Dale had cancer in the 1960s, and it came back in 2015; he also had a severe foot infection in the 1970s, caused by a surfing injury. Dale is survived by his wife, Lana, and son, James. Catherine Garcia

February 21, 2019

Peter Tork, bassist and keyboardist for The Monkees, died on Thursday. He was 77.

In 2009, Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer affecting his head and neck. Known for their hits "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer," The Monkees had four No. 1 albums and a television show that ran from 1966 to 1968. The group, comprised of Tork, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Michael Nesmith, released the movie Head in 1968, and Tork left the band later that year. He participated in several reunion tours, both before and after Jones died in 2012. Tork's last solo record, Relax Your Mind, came out in 2018.

Dolenz tweeted on Thursday that his heart is "broken," and Nesmith said he is "clinging to the idea that we all continue," but the "pain that attends these passings has no cure." Catherine Garcia

February 19, 2019

Don Newcombe, a star pitcher for the Dodgers, died Tuesday, following a long illness. He was 92.

Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a statement that Newcombe's "presence and life established him as a role model for major leaguers across the country. He was a constant presence at Dodger Stadium and players always gravitated toward him for his endless advice and friendship." Sandy Koufax said Newcombe was "a mentor at first, a friend at the end. He will be missed by anyone who got to know him."

After getting his start in the Negro Leagues, Newcombe broke barriers as one of the first black pitchers in Major League Baseball. Newcombe played for 10 seasons, starting with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, and in 1956 he won the inaugural Cy Young Award and National League MVP. Following his retirement, Newcombe disclosed that he had a drinking problem, and after becoming sober in the 1960s, he raised awareness about alcohol abuse. He later worked with the Dodgers as director of community affairs and later special adviser to the team's chairman. Catherine Garcia

February 10, 2019

Rep. Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.), a one-time supporter of the Iraq War who regretted his vote after attending the 2003 funeral of a Marine killed in action, died Sunday, on his 76th birthday.

Jones broke his hip in a fall, and after suffering complications, entered hospice care in January. His congressional office did not release the cause of death. In November, he was re-elected to his 13th term in office.

Jones initially supported the Iraq War, and after France opposed the invasion, he was behind the push to have House cafeterias call French fries "Freedom Fries," NBC News reports. In 2003, he attended the funeral of a Marine killed in the war, Sgt. Michael Blitz, and he then regretted his vote, Jones told The Associated Press in 2017. Jones wrote a letter of apology to Blitz's family, and went on to write 11,000 more to the relatives of service members who died in the war.

A conservative Christian, he opposed abortion, same-sex marriage, and taxes, and in 2017, was the only Republican in the House to vote against the GOP tax bill, saying it would add too much to the national debt. "He was a public servant who was true to his convictions and who will be missed," Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) said in a statement. Catherine Garcia

February 7, 2019

Former Rep. John Dingell, the country's longest-serving congressman, died on Thursday, after battling cancer and heart issues. He was 92.

A Democrat from Michigan, the World War II veteran was first elected to Congress in 1955, taking over the seat his father held for two decades. He retired in January 2015 at age 88, after helping write major environmental, energy, civil rights, and health care legislation. He was also a champion of the automotive industry.

Once he announced his retirement, Dingell's wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), said she would run for his seat; she was elected in 2014. Over the last several years, Dingell was active on Twitter, commenting on politics and sports. In his last message, posted Wednesday, Dingell said his wife insisted he "rest and stay off here, but after long negotiations, we've worked out a deal where she'll keep up with Twitter for me as I dictate the messages. I want to thank you all for your incredibly kind words and prayers. You're not done with me just yet." Catherine Garcia

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