Cachao, Cuban musician
Cuban bassist and composer Israel “Cachao” Lopez, who is credited with pioneering the mambo style of music, died Saturday. He was 89.
Known simply as Cachao, the Grammy-winning musician had fallen ill in the past week and died surrounded by family members at Coral Gables Hospital.
Cachao left communist Cuba and came to the United States in the early 1960s. He continued to perform into his late 80s, including a performance after the death of trombonist Generoso Jimenez in September 2007.
Cuban-American actor Andy Garcia, who made a 1993 documentary about the bassist’s career, credited Cachao with being a major influence in Cuban musical history and said his passing marked the end of an era.
“Cachao is our musical father. He is revered by all who have come in contact with him and his music,” Garcia said in a statement Saturday.
Abigail Taylor, pool victim
A 6-year-old girl whose intestines were partially sucked out by a swimming pool drain, leading to tougher safety legislation, has died.
Abigail Taylor’s parents were with her when she died Thursday at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where she had surgery in December to receive a new small bowel, liver and pancreas several months after she was injured.
She suffered setbacks, including a cancerous condition sometimes triggered by organ transplants, family attorney Bob Bennett said.
Abigail, of Edina, Minn., was injured June 29 when she sat on a wading pool drain at the Minneapolis Golf Club in the suburb of St. Louis Park; its powerful suction ripped out part of her intestinal tract.
Her parents, Scott and Katey Taylor, lobbied for tougher regulations to help prevent similar injuries, and in December, President Bush signed a law that bans the manufacture, sale or distribution of drain covers that don’t meet anti-entrapment safety standards.
Ivan Dixon, actor, director
Actor Ivan Dixon, who brought the problems and promise of contemporary blacks to life in the film “Nothing But a Man” and portrayed the levelheaded POW Kinchloe in TV’s “Hogan’s Heroes,” has died. He was 76.
Dixon died March 16 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte after a hemorrhage. He had suffered complications from kidney failure.
Dixon, who also directed scores of television shows, began his acting career in the late 1950s. He appeared on Broadway in William Saroyan’s 1957 “The Cave Dwellers” and in playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking 1959 drama of black life, “A Raisin in the Sun.”
While not a hit, the 1964 “Nothing But a Man,” in which Dixon co-starred with Abbey Lincoln, also drew praise as a rare, early effort to bring the lives of black Americans to the big screen. Other film credits included “Something of Value,” “A Patch of Blue” and the cult favorite “Car Wash.”
“As an actor, you had to be careful,” said Sidney Poitier, star of “Patch of Blue” and a longtime friend. “He was quite likely to walk off with the scene.”
He was probably best known for the role of Staff Sgt. James Kinchloe on “Hogan’s Heroes,” the hit 1960s sitcom set in a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. The technically adept Kinchloe was in charge of electronic communications and could mimic German officers on the radio or phone.
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