Betty White, 99, an Emmy-winning comedian who was best known for her role as a hungry television host on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s and a bizarre widow on The Golden Girls in the 1980s before its end. -The resurrection of life as a stern, ridiculous and stern old woman, died at her home Friday in Los Angeles. She died less than three weeks before her 100th birthday.

In a career spanning seven decades, White became one of the most beloved and enduring faces on television. She appeared in an experimental television broadcast in 1939 and later became a supporter of local comedies, game shows, anthology series, soap operas, and television films. Her trademark was a disarming purity, with dimpled cheeks – her very name evoked appeal to the girl next door – but her impeccable comic time knew a wide range, from mild innocence to stiletto bites.

In 2010, she starred in a Snickers cake bar ad that aired during the Super Bowl – she appeared facing muddy ground while playing football. This led to a massive online protest for her to present “Saturday Night Live”, for which she received an Emmy Award for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.

Harry Reid, 82, the Democrat who rose from childhood poverty in the rural Nevada desert at the height of power in Washington, where he ran the Affordable Care Act to pass as leader of the Senate majority, died Tuesday in Henderson, Nevada. Reid was treated for pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed in 2018, but lived to see the Las Vegas airport renamed for him this month.

Reid was elected to the Senate in 1986 and became the Democratic leader of the chamber after the 2004 election. But only when his colleague Barack Obama was elected president four years later was Reid able to consolidate his in-depth knowledge of the rules of Congress. , its ease with the horse trade, and its accursed determination to unify its 60-seat majority and pass historic legislation.

Boosting inclusive economic stimulus after the Great Recession, a new set of rules governing Wall Street and the most significant expansion of health care coverage since the Great Society of the 1960s – all with little Republican support – was became Reid, together with the Speaker of the Chamber. Nancy Pelosi, one of the indispensable lawmakers of the Obama era.

John Madden, 85, the Hall of Fame coach who became one of America’s most famous ambassadors of professional football, reaching millions and generations, from the broadcast booth and popular video game bearing his name, died Tuesday at his home in Pleasanton, California, The cause of death was not disclosed.

In his irresistible manner and with his distinctive voice, Madden left a mark on the sport on par with the Titans like George Halas, Paul Brown and his coach idol, Vince Lombardi. Madden’s influence, immersed in Everyman’s sensibilities and filled with wild gestures and paroxysms of onomatopoeia – wham! doink! ohosh! – made the NFL more interesting, more important and more fun, for over 40 years.

Madden received 16 Sports Emmy awards, including 15 for Leading Analyst.

Desmond Tutu, In 1990, the Anglican archbishop and great apostle of justice and racial reconciliation of South Africa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against the white domination system known as apartheid, died on December 26 in Cape Town. The cause of death was complications from cancer.

A small, ardent man with a crooked nose and infectious toothed smile, Tutu served as South Africa’s informal Black ambassador to the world during the dark days of repression and as a decisive voice in the racial equality campaign that culminated in the election of Nelson Mandela as the country’s first colored President in 1994. Throughout the war, he preached nonviolence, even though he denounced apartheid as “a wicked system.”

After the fall of apartheid, Tutu chaired the controversial Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which sought mixed success to heal the wounds of the apartheid era. He went on to become an international spokesperson and human rights activist worldwide.

Sarah Weddington, 76, who as a young Texas lawyer appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court to successfully argue Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 case that established the constitutional right to an abortion and touched on one of the fiercest battle battles of American culture, died in December. 26 at her home in Austin. The cause of death was not available.

“I felt a mixture of emotions when I went before the Supreme Court to debate Roe v. Wade,” said Weddington, who was 26 when she first addressed the judges, for Texas Monthly years later. “I was scared and I felt the weight of the need to win for women. “I felt honored for the Supreme Court and what it represented.”

But she was also “upset,” she said. “I had gone to the bar isht in advance to review my notes,” Weddington recalled. “I discovered that the salon only had one men’s room.”

The 7-2 decision in Roe’s favor, written by Judge Harry Blackmun and rendered on 22 January 1973, was based on the concept of due process and what the court had found to be a fundamental right to privacy. The decision was later modified and has been the subject of ongoing challenges, including Mississippi law currently before the Supreme Court banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. But this had the effect of guaranteeing generations of women the right to an abortion.

Edward O. Wilson, 92, a Harvard naturalist whose design of social behavior in ants led him to study social behavior across organisms and who became one of the greatest naturalists of his generation, died Dec. 26 in Burlington, Mass. . The EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation announced his death but gave no cause.

Often cited as the greatest heir of Charles Darwin of the 20th century, Wilson was an eloquent and extremely influential environmentalist and was the first to determine that ants communicate primarily through the exchange of chemicals now known as pheromones. Of his many achievements in evolutionary biology, his greatest contribution was probably to the new scientific field of sociobiology, in which he addressed the biological basis of social behavior in animals, including humans.

He wrote technical science studies and popular science, receiving two Pulitzer Prizes for non-phytic literature, as well as the National Medal of Science.

Karolos Papulias, 92, the former 1967 military coup’s resistance fighter in Greece, who became president from 2005 to 2015 and helped the country form a government during the euro crisis sparked mass demonstrations in Greek cities against austerity measures, has died. on December 26th.

In Andreas Papandreou’s government during the 1980s and 1990s, Papoulias served as foreign minister and sought to improve relations with Egypt and Turkey. As a member of the Greek parliament for the Social Democrat Pasok party, he played a key role in organizing the 1983 evacuation of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and other Palestinians on Greek ships from Lebanon during the country’s civil war.

Jean-Marc Vallee, 58, the Canadian director and producer who won an Emmy for directing the HBO hit series “Big Little Lies” and whose 2013 Dallas Buyers Club drama won many Oscar nominations, died suddenly in his cabin outside Quebec City , Canada, during Christmas. weekend.

Vallée was praised for his naturalistic approach to filmmaking, directing stars including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Emily Blunt in the 2009 film “The Young Victoria”. He often shot with natural light and handheld cameras and gave actors the freedom to improvise and move around the location of a stage. The crew roamed up and down the Pacific trail to shoot the Witherspoon in the 2014 Wild.

Thomas Lovejoy, 80, a prominent biologist for key conservation groups, who spent decades on an extensive and ongoing project in Brazil to preserve the Amazon rainforest, died Dec. 25 at his home in McLean, Virginia. The cause was neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas, said his daughter Elizabeth Lovejoy.

Lovejoy field research at Amazon was the centerpiece of an extensive ecological career. He invented “debt for nature” exchanges, which allow countries to exchange the forgiveness of a portion of their external debt for their investments in conservation. He published an early projection of the extinction rate, was the creator of the public television series “Nature” and popularized the term “biological diversity”, which was later abbreviated to biodiversity.

Jonathan D. Spence, 85, a prominent scholar of China and its vast history, who in books such as “The Chinese Son of God: Hong Xiuquan’s Taiping Celestial Kingdom” (1996) and “The Search for Modern China” (1990) dug into the past. that place and illuminated its present, died Dec. 25 in West Haven, Connecticut. His wife, Annping Chin, said the cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Spence, who taught for more than 40 years at Yale University, where his lecture hours were always in demand, found the big picture of Chinese history in small detail. His books, deeply researched, investigated individual lives and strange moments representing the greatest cultural forces, wrapping them all together with vivid stories.

Grace Mirabella, 92, who as editor-in-chief transformed Vogue magazine from a glittering and colorful paean in the spirit of the 1960s to a more sensitive adviser to women who entered the workforce in the 1970s and 1980s, died Dec. 23 at home in Manhattan. Mirabella went on to found Mirabella, a magazine for women interested in culture and travel, as well as clothing and interior design.

David Wagoner, 96, a leading figure in poetry circles, particularly in the Northwest Pacific, who paid attention to nature, his childhood, and many other topics in more than 20 volumes published over half a century, died December 18 in a nursing home in Edmonds. , Washington.

Wagoner, who taught for decades at the University of Washington, also wrote novels, one of which, “The Escape Artist” (1965), about a teenage wizard, turned into a 1982 film with Griffin O’Neal. But he was best known for poetry. In 1991 he won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, one of the most prestigious in the field.

Wagoner was a conservative and an enthusiastic climber, finding fear in the landscapes of the northwest, but also sometimes lamenting the chivalrous treatment of humanity towards nature, which he described in his poetry. Wagoner novels, many of them youth adventure threads, sometimes drew comparisons with Mark Twain for their colorful dialogue and humor.

Robert Farris Thompson, 88, a professor who roams the continents and disciplines – from the Ituri Forest of Congo to Haiti voodoo temples and from art history to ethnomusicology – in a life of study that helped redefine the study of black culture, died Nov. 29 in a Retirement Home in New Haven, Connecticut. His death was announced by Yale University, where Thompson had taught art history and African-American studies for more than half a century. The cause was complications from Parkinson’s disease and COVID-19.