We’ve lost two great visionaries this week: writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak passed away on Tuesday at 83, and just yesterday we received the news that Vidal Sassoon, 84, died peacefully in his Los Angeles home due to natural causes stemming from his enduring leukemia. He eclipsed a troubling childhood in Britain, placed by his destitute immigrant mother in an orphanage for seven years following the departure of his philandering father, and began a hairdressing apprenticeship at only 14. He said of his vision, “If I was going to be hairdressing, I wanted to change things. I wanted to eliminate the superfluous and get down to the basic angles of cut and shape.”
Sassoon’s architectural insight freed women from the constraint of the stiff, artificial-looking styles of the late ’50s and early ’60s by pioneering sensual, low-maintenance hair that didn’t require wearing “hair curlers to bed” or “weekly trips to the salon.” Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue, was a model for the stylist in the 1960s, and said yesterday of Mr. Sassoon, “He changed the way everyone looked at hair. Before Sassoon, it was all back-combing and lacquer; the whole thing was to make it high and artificial. Suddenly you could put your fingers through your hair!” Coddington wore an original version of the stylist’s classic helmet-like five-point bob cut: “He didn’t create it for me; he created it on me. It was an extraordinary cut; no one has bettered it since. And it liberated everyone.”
After the jump, a few of the master’s most iconic cuts. Rest in peace, Sassoon. [NY Times] Keep reading »
“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim: I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”
– Late, great children’s book author Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) recalling one of his favorite exchanges with a fan. How frigging darling. He ate it up, he loved it so! [Goodreads]
We knew you for such a short time, but though our moments were fleeting, you made a big impression on us. You cuddled with Anderson Cooper. You befuddled “The Today Show” and you ambled into our hearts — Meow, we will never forget you. You lived large, and your spirit will continue to shine as a beacon for all of us. From the Santa Fe Animal Shelter: “Meow had been doing so well in his foster home: Walking up stairs and seeking affection — that it is so very hard to believe he is gone.” Gone to soon, furry friend, gone too soon. [Facebook]
We were heartbroken to hear of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch’s passing today, after a protracted battle with throat cancer. Yauch, who also went by MCA (and Nathanial Hornblower) was an integral part of the Beasties from their beginnings as an early ’80s hardcore band through their most recent release, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. The band’s outstanding thirty year career earned them a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last month, though Yauch was too ill to attend the ceremony. We are deeply saddened to learn he lost his fight against cancer, but pleased to learn that heaven just got a little bit more Beastie. Enjoy their amazing Spike Jonze-directed video for “Sabotage” and share your favorite Beastie songs and videos in the comments. [Global Grind] Keep reading »
Legendary radio and television host Dick Clark died from a massive heart attack this morning, TMZ reports exclusively.
He was 82 years old. Details surrounding his death are unclear, but Clark had suffered a significant stroke in 2004 — forcing him to retire from his hosting gig at “New Years’ Rockin’ Eve,” which he created in 1972. Ryan Seacrest took over in 2006. Dick has co-hosted the show ever since. Read more…
UPDATE (Sunday, 3:45 p.m. EST): TMZ is now reporting that Whitney Houston was found in her room’s bathtub and that it’s possible she drowned? Sources also say prescription drugs were found in the room and that Houston took Xanax before performances; only an autopsy will be able to reveal if she died via drowning, overdose, or some other cause. An autopsy is scheduled for today, but an official cause of death won’t be available until the toxicology report is complete.
Seriously sad news to report: the Associated Press is reporting that singer Whitney Houston died today at the age of 48. She is survived by her daughter Bobbi Kristina (with ex husband Bobby Brown). The singer was photographed leaving a pre-Grammy party on Thursday night looking potentially intoxicated. Houston, of course, battled drug addiction in the past, although there is no word on her cause of death. In May 2011, Houston’s representative said that the singer had checked into rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. She had recently been seen out and about with former boyfriend Ray J. [TMZ, Dlisted, CNN]
More updated info after the jump… Keep reading »
At right, what’s believed to be Whitney Houston’s final performance, filmed Feb. 9, two nights before her death. The singer sang “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” at the Kelly Price & Friends pre-Grammy concert. Houston passed away today in Los Angeles at the age of 48. [via Huffington Post]
We wrote about adorable little Rupert in yesterday’s Quickies, but it seems the little runt died today. Staff members at the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham, England said they tried to keep him alive by giving him lamb’s milk, but he needed nutrients from his mom — plus, the little nugget was three weeks premature. I’m depressed. [Bucks Herald via DListed] Keep reading »
Ayveq, a 2,700-pound Pacific walrus who lived at the New York Aquarium passed away on Sunday of a bacterial infection. Ayveq loved to whistle and flip his flippers at the glass to attract attention, but he may be best known for regularly masturbating. “Ayveq’s frequent public self-gratification made him the Coney Island institution’s singular attraction,” wrote The Brooklyn Paper. May you find a mate in heaven so you can give your fins a rest, Ayveq. [The Brooklyn Paper via NYMag.com] Keep reading »