Other Deaths of Note


December 12, 2006

MARTIN NODELL, 91 Illustrator

Martin Nodell, an illustrator who helped invent two iconic characters - the comic book superhero Green Lantern and baker's hero the Pillsbury Doughboy - died Saturday at a hospice near Waukesha, Wis. He was one of the few surviving artists from the Golden Age of comic books.

It was a subway ride in Manhattan that inspired Green Lantern. En route to his Brooklyn home in 1940, Mr. Nodell noticed a trainman waving a lantern along the darkened tracks. He coupled the imagery with a magic ring - akin to Wagner's Ring Cycle, which also inspired The Lord of the Rings - and the hero was born.

But when Green Lantern debuted in All-American Comics No. 16 in 1940, the Philadelphia-born artist felt obliged to use the nom de plume Mart Dellon. "Comics were a forbidden literature, culturally unacceptable," Mr. Nodell told Newsday in 2000. "It wasn't something you were proud of."

Green Lantern's prominent fans include Jerry Seinfeld (who joked about the hero in several episodes of his sitcom), science fiction author Harlan Ellison, singers Donovan and Eminem, DJ Green Lantern, and director Francis Ford Coppola, who said the character stoked his desire to tell stories.

After stints at DC and Marvel Comics (where he drew Captain America and the Human Torch), Mr. Nodell joined the Leo Burnett Agency as art director. In 1965, his design team created the Pillsbury Doughboy.

"They wanted something in 3-D for live stop-motion," Mr. Nodell said. "Most commercials don't last more than a season. He's still going."

Mr. Nodell spent his later years in West Palm Beach, Fla., and was a regular at comic-book conventions. "His last show was in Detroit in May, and he was still drawing until about two weeks ago," said his son Spencer Nodell of Waukesha.

ELIZABETH BOLDEN, 116 World's oldest person

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bolden, recognized as the world's oldest person, died Monday in a nursing home in Memphis, Tenn. She was 116.

Mrs. Bolden was born Aug. 15, 1890, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a Los Angeles organization that tracks the ages of the world's oldest people. Guinness World Records recognized her as the oldest person in the world in August after the death of Maria Esther de Capovilla of Ecuador, who also was 116.

Mrs. Bolden died at the Mid-South Health and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home where she had been living for several years, said the center's administrator, Charlotte Pierce. She had suffered a stroke in 2004, and her family said she spoke little after that and slept much of the time.

Family members said this year that she had more than 500 descendants - 40 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 150 great-great-grandchildren, 220 great-great-great grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great grandchildren.

SID RAYMOND, 97 TV, voice actor

Sid Raymond, an actor who landed roles alongside A-list stars and was the voice of beloved cartoon characters but was himself largely unknown, died Dec. 1 in Aventura, Fla., a week after suffering a stroke.

His agent called him the day he died about an audition for a cholesterol drug commercial, said his daughter, Cynthia Raymond.

The voice of the obese cartoon duck Baby Huey, the comical bartender of 1960s beer commercials for Schlitz and a familiar face on television from The Ed Sullivan Show to The O.C., Mr. Raymond was a show business fixture for six decades. But decades of brief, sometimes-uncredited appearances on Broadway, in movies such as The Hustler and Big Trouble and on the small screen made him a familiar face.

During World War II, Mr. Raymond led a small troupe that performed at the front lines, sometimes under fire. He took over the role of Finnegan, the bartender on the radio show Duffy's Tavern, in 1950.

Throughout the 1950s, he appeared in televised dramas such as Kraft Theater and episodes of The Honeymooners and The Ed Sullivan Show. He also lent his voice to Katnip, the cartoon cat that appeared in the Herman and Katnip series of animated film shorts in the 1940s and 1950s, and to mischievous cartoon magpies Heckle and Jeckle.


Cardinal Salvatore Pappalardo, who publicly denounced the Mafia during his tenure as Archbishop of Palermo, died Sunday, the archdiocese said.

His 25-year tenure in Palermo began in 1970, at a time when the Mafia operated virtually unchallenged in Sicily. The slayings of two prominent anti-Mafia prosecutors in 1992 pushed Cardinal Pappalardo to publicly denounce the Mafia.

Born in the small town of Villafranca Sicula near Sicily's southern coast, he was ordained in 1941 in Rome and was named the Holy See's apostolic nuncio in Indonesia in 1965, according to a biography posted on the archdiocese's Web site. He was consecrated bishop in 1966, and became archbishop of Palermo four years later. He was elevated to cardinal in March 1973.

RONNIE LIPPIN, 59 Publicist and manager

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