Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Activist Dana Reeves, Photographer and Director Gordon Parks Die

In Memory

Word came yesterday of two important deaths. Dana Reeve, widow of the late actor Christopher Reeve and respected activist for a number of health causes, passed away as a result of the lung cancer she had been fitting for more then 17 months. Dana an actress herself who seemed to work mostly in television, married Superman Star Christopher Reeve in 1992. When her husband was paralyzed in a horse riding accident in May of 1995 Mrs. Reeve did not cut-and-run but stayed doggedly devoted to the severly injured Christopher. In the years that followed Dana Reeve would win world wide admiration as dedicated and loving care giver, working with her husband both in his rehabilitation efforts and on his crusade to find a cure and walk again. The couple became well known celebrity spokes persons for stem cell research and stumped for its advocate John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, Dana would even continue to do so after Christopher died from a heart attack brought on from an infection in October of that year. Shortly after her husbands passing Dana Reeve was herself diagnosed with lung cancer, a non-smoker she became a powerful advocate for the millions who suffer and die from this dieses. Dana Reeve is survived by her only child 13 year old Will Reeve.

Pioneering black photographer and film director Gordon Parks passed away March 8th at the age of 93. Parks photographic work focused on his fellow African-Americans and he was a long time contributor to Life Magazine. Transistioning into film direction his still best known feature is the 1971 action film Shaft, a movie that helped inaugurate the new 'blacksplotation' genera of the 1970's. Considering that the title song from Shaft was a major break from tradition when it won a best song Oscar, it is only fitting that Mr. Parks lived to see the surprise victory of the song 'Its Hard Out Here For A Pimp' from the film Hustle & Flow at Sunday nights Academy Awards.


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