Other Notable Deaths


November 19, 2006

Ruth Brown, 78

Rhythm-and-blues singer

Ruth Brown, whose recordings of "Teardrops in My Eyes," "5-10-15 Hours" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" shot her to rhythm-and-blues stardom in the 1950s, died Friday of complications from a stroke and heart attack at a Las Vegas-area hospital.

Her soulful voice produced dozens of hits for Atlantic Records, cementing the fledgling record label's reputation as an R&B powerhouse. She retired in the late 1950s and spent most of the 1960s raising her two sons and earning a living as a maid, school bus driver and teacher.

She enjoyed a career renaissance in the mid-1970s when she began recording blues and jazz tunes for a variety of labels and found success on the stage and in movies. She won acclaim in the R&B musical Staggerlee and won a Tony Award for best actress in the Broadway revue Black and Blue. She also played a feisty disc jockey in the 1988 John Waters movie Hairspray.

LEONARD SCHRADER, 62 Screenwriter

Leonard Schrader, who wrote the Academy Award-nominated film Kiss of the Spider Woman and co-wrote the critically praised Mishima, died of heart failure Nov. 2 in Los Angeles. He had suffered from a number of ailments, including cancer, said his brother, Taxi Driver screenwriter Paul Schrader.

He was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., to a family of Dutch Calvinists who forbade the brothers to see any movies. He didn't see his first film until he was in college in the 1960s.

In 1969 and the early 1970s, he lived in Japan, where he taught American literature at universities and became interested in Japanese Yakuza gangster culture. His first film was The Yakuza, co-written in the 1970s with his brother and starring Robert Mitchum. He wrote or co-wrote about a dozen movies, including 1978's Blue Collar and three Japanese-language movies.

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