Saturday, 6 August 2011

Alex Steinweiss

Alex Steinweiss
Alex Steinweiss also designed film title sequences and the poster for the original Casino Royale movie. 
Alex Steinweiss, who has died aged 94, pioneered the concept of record album covers, when music was still released on 78rpm shellac, and was the inventor of the LP record sleeve. In 1939, while designing ads for Columbia Records, Steinweiss suggested adding art to the company's 78 releases, which were then generally sold in heavy paper and, for multiple-record sets, packaged in plain, book-like binding. His first cover featured the title of a collection of Rodgers and Hart show tunes up in lights on a theatre marquee. A Bruno Walter recording of Beethoven's Eroica showed a huge increase in sales with its new sleeve, and Steinweiss became Columbia's art director.
The advent of the long-playing 33⅓ record brought Steinweiss's vision to the fore. The heavy paper used for 78s damaged the narrower and more delicate grooves on the LP record, so Steinweiss designed the folded-over board format sleeve which quickly became the standard packaging for LPs. Although it was patented in his name, its rights were retained by Columbia.

Album cover designed by Alex Steinweiss  
Steinweiss's first cover was for a collection of Rodgers and Hart show tunes. 
  The cover's format was like a small canvas which lent itself to artistic experimentation, and Steinweiss's work was highly symbolic, incorporating elements of abstraction, and even cubism. His cover for George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue showed a piano standing under a streetlight on an otherwise blue background; for Paul Robeson's Songs of Free Men, he showed a slave's chained hand holding a knife. The distinctive "Steinweiss scrawl" of his signature typeface became instantly recognisable, and soon many artists, including the conductor Leopold Stokowski, were demanding that only Steinweiss should design their covers.
His passion for music came from his father, a shoe designer who had emigrated from Poland to the US and met his wife, a seamstress from Latvia, in New York, on the Lower East Side. They moved to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where Steinweiss was born. At Abraham Lincoln high school, a collection of marionettes he made for an art project attracted the attention of the teacher Leon Friend, author of the influential book Graphic Design (1936). Steinweiss was one of a group of four schoolmates whom Friend dubbed "the art squad".
After a profile of him appeared in Robert Leslie's design magazine PM, Steinweiss received a scholarship to Parsons School of Design (now Parsons the New School for Design), in New York. Looking to turn professional, he approached the illustrator Boris Artzybasheff, who convinced him to finish his degree instead. After graduating in 1937, he showed up at the studio of the renowned German poster designer Lucian Bernhard, who was so impressed with Steinweiss's portfolio that he found him a job in his friend Joseph Binder's studio.
Shortly after starting his own studio, Steinweiss was hired by Columbia, on Leslie's recommendation. During the second world war, he joined the US navy, where he designed posters while continuing to design for Columbia at night. After the war, he stayed with Columbia as a freelancer, opening the way for a legendary line of art directors including Neil Fujita and Bob Cato. This fertile period produced the cover for which he might be best known, the original 1949 Broadway cast album of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, which remains in use today.
In the 1950s, he branched out with the major labels Decca and London and smaller ones such as Remington and Everest. He designed film title sequences, the poster for the original Casino Royale (1967) and labelling for a number of distillers. He continued designing record covers until the early 1970s, by which time he began to feel out of touch with the trends in contemporary music.
He moved to Sarasota, Florida, in 1974, to concentrate on ceramics and painting, under the pseudonym Piedra Blanca. His series of paintings Homage to Music is based on works by the great composers. In the past decade he had designed CD sleeves for small classical labels including Koch and Bridge. In 2000 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Art Directors Hall of Fame. He has been the subject of two books, For the Record (2000) and Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover (2009).
Steinweiss's wife, Blanche, died last year. He is survived by a son, Leslie, and a daughter, Hazel.

• Alex Steinweiss, graphic designer, born 24 March 1917; died 17 July 2011

Friday, 5 August 2011

Iain Crawford

Iain Crawford
Iain Crawford was a Fleet Street columnist
Iain Crawford, who has died aged 89 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was the first publicity director of the Edinburgh festival. He was a festival fixture in his own right, from the first gathering in 1947, when he was a reporter on the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch as well as a stand-in Banquo in a fringe production of Macbeth, through to last year's opening concert in the Usher Hall, which he attended in a wheelchair.
Crawford was a vigorous and charismatic figure: tall, often kilted, handsome, usually bearded, with a permanent twinkle playing around his blue eyes. He wrote two dozen books, was a versatile Fleet Street columnist and indulged his sporting enthusiasm on the rugby field with Bordeaux – he was making radio programmes in France just after the second world war – and over many rounds of golf with his friend Sean Connery. He lost out in an audition to be the BBC's Scottish voice of rugby to Bill McLaren.
But Crawford was best known as the imposing publicity director of the Edinburgh international festival, appointed in 1973 when the festival society ended its practical relationship with the Scottish Tourist Board. For nine years, he worked alongside the festival's long-serving artistic director Peter Diamand and his ebullient successor, John Drummond.
Crawford persuaded Princess Grace of Monaco to meet the press when she came to Edinburgh in 1976 to give a rare public performance – an evening of prose and poetry readings. He fixed the festival's first major sponsorship deal (with BP) in 1977 for Carmen, conducted by Claudio Abbado and starring Teresa Berganza (singing her first Carmen) and Plácido Domingo. This "hot ticket" event demonstrated how Crawford operated best: as heavily involved behind the scenes – as support system, intermediary and translator, thanks to his full command of Italian and French – as he was up front with the media.
He had told the critic Andrew Porter, then writing for the New Yorker, that the production would be something special, but Porter had delayed his response. The minute Carmen opened, and word was out, Porter was on the line asking for a ticket. Crawford found a single spare return, from Abbado's wife, bought it for £20 (a huge price in those days) and Porter flew across. Crawford was rewarded with a four-page rave review for Carmen in the New Yorker, but he never got his money back.
This and other stories are recounted in Crawford's wonderful scrapbook history of the festival, Banquo On Thursdays, published in 1997. Drummond was a noisier director than Diamand, and Crawford did not get on with him terribly well, but his profile of him in the book, like those of every festival director from Rudolf Bing to Brian McMaster, is absolutely priceless.
The Scotsman's music critic Conrad Wilson was a cantankerous monitor of Drummond's music programme, and took to "dressing down" for concerts, often sporting a brightly coloured ballpoint pen on a chain. Crawford reported how the acerbic Drummond was asked at a concert interval: "What on earth is Conrad wearing around his neck?" "His deaf aid, I should imagine," came the reply.
Crawford was born in Inverness, raised in Glasgow and educated there at Jordanhill college school. Too young to join the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the second world war, he signed up with the merchant navy. His ship was torpedoed while on the way from Sierra Leone to the US in 1942, and he spent 10 days in a boat with a few survivors, rowing 560 miles to reach Trinidad.
He took part in the allied invasions of Sicily, Italy and Yugoslavia and entered Venice on the last day of the war in Europe, remaining to help clear mines in the lagoons and acting as a liaison officer for the French and the Italians. Crawford was twice mentioned in dispatches for his bravery during the war. His journalism took him to London, as travel editor of the Sunday Express and leader writer for the Evening Standard. He wrote widely on many subjects, and in 1964 stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate for Stroud in Gloucestershire.
He was married to Maya Querini, the actor Norah Laidlaw and, finally, the publisher and choral singer Kathy Hay, who survives him, along with four children, three stepchildren and 13 grandchildren.

• Iain Padruig Crawford, arts publicist and writer, born 21 January 1922, died 12 July 2011

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Herbert Whone

Herbert Whone
Herbert Whone was deputy leader of the Scottish National Orchestral from 1955
The violinist Herbert Whone, who has died aged 85, was an artist in the broadest of senses. His work encompassed painting in oils, photography, the writing of several books, and the playing and teaching of the violin. Probably for reasons of financial security, he never relied on art alone, although his paintings are covetable; indeed, he probably found it difficult to choose between art and music. He needed them both, and excelled in both.
Whone was born in Bingley, West Yorkshire, where his parents were both employed in the cloth mills. He was encouraged by his mother to "improve" himself culturally, and from an early age took photographs and practised the violin. After education at the Royal Manchester College of Music (now the Royal Northern College of Music) and Manchester University, he secured positions in the Royal Opera House orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, before moving to Glasgow in 1955, where he took up the position of deputy leader of the Scottish National Orchestra.
He was inspired by Glasgow's changing fortunes and painted a series of notable canvases featuring the beauty of a city in transition. His painting of trams and shipbuilding, to pick two of his fondest subjects, were presented with warmth and beauty, almost impressionistic in their depiction of glowing sunsets and use of rich colour.

Herbert Whone  
Whone's Yorkshire paintings included Haworth Graveyard 
  In 1964, Whone took up a teaching post at Huddersfield Polytechnic. Time and money were not constraints for him, and he gave his students much more than the hour of violin lesson that they were due. In many cases he remained friends with them for life. Here was philosophy, a fascination with different religions, professionalism in art, and a tremendous skill playing the violin and teaching it to generations. He was unworldly. Indeed, one of his pupils recalled that if he turned up for a lesson evidently not in the mood, they'd go out for a cup of tea. Whone would probably pay for the tea.
He gave regular BBC recitals with Keith Swallow, but never made commercial recordings, his thoughts distilled into The Simplicity of Playing the Violin (1972), with a foreword by his friend Colin Davis and illustrated with his own drawings. Two further volumes, The Hidden Face of Music (1974) and The Integrated Violinist (1976), followed.
Whone moved to Harrogate in 1972, remaining there for the rest of his life. His photographic output included the books The Essential West Riding (1975) and Fountains Abbey (1987). Whone was a National Trust guide at Fountains Abbey for many years, and developed a Pied Piper following, rather in line with his teaching, as he conveyed his enthusiasm for this place. He held two one-man shows at Fountains Hall, in 1989 and 1995.
His diverse legacy also includes Nursery Rhymes for Adult Children (1985). He created in his photographs, his cartoons and his paintings another life professionally executed, and far beyond any amateur dabblings that a musician might deliver as an adjunct to his day job. A selection of musical cartoons, drawn during his time with the Royal Opera House orchestra, have yet to see the light of day.
Herbert Whone married Margery Reed, whom he met at university. She predeceased him. He is survived by five children, the eldest of whom, Adam, played the violin and is now a notable maker and restorer.

• Herbert Whone, violinist and artist, born 14 June 1925; died 16 May 2011

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lord Marsh

Lord Marsh
Marsh at a British Rail Board press conference, 1976.
It used to be said of Harold Wilson, during his difficult early years in office as prime minister, that he looked in his mirror every morning and saw Dick Marsh. A charismatic young Labour MP who had already made his name in parliament, Marsh, who has died aged 83, was widely regarded as a possible future leader of the Labour party.
He had impeccable qualifications for the post: a working-class background, further education at Ruskin College, Oxford, and a former career as a trade union official. He had been an office boy in the gloomy basement of Transport House, the Labour party headquarters, and had made influential political contacts through the Labour club at Oxford.
He was a brilliant speaker, an impressive broadcaster long before the days of media training and a charming, humorous, likeable character. He joined the first Wilson government when it was formed in 1964, and within four years was a member of the cabinet as minister of transport. But his political career was swiftly over, and his anticipated potential in politics never fulfilled, probably largely because of a profoundly pragmatic streak in his make-up which led him to speak his mind and to promote his personal interests above those of his original political party.
In 1971, he left the House of Commons to become chairman of British Rail at the invitation of the Conservative transport secretary, Peter Walker, abandoned his membership of Labour, pursued a successful career as an industrialist and in the financial services industry, and from 1981 sat in the House of Lords - to which he was appointed by Margaret Thatcher - as a crossbench peer.
As for many young men, Marsh's first political sympathies were to the left of the mainstream within the Labour party, and at a party summer school the journalist Paul Foot recalled that his exposition of his political views was a "terrific encouragement to all young Trots". Born in Belvedere in Kent, the son of a foundry worker, he grew up partly with his grandmother in Swindon, where he went to Jennings school until the age of 15. He had attended weekly engineering classes at Woolwich Polytechnic, but his developing political interests led him to apply to work at the Labour party, and from there he won a scholarship to Ruskin.
It was a natural career move for him to become a trade union official. In 1951 he joined what was then the National Union of Public Employees as its health services officer, and learned invaluable negotiating skills as a member of the Whitley council for the National Health Service. He fought the safe Conservative seat of Hereford in the 1951 election, and secured his selection as the Labour candidate at Greenwich wearing a prominent CND badge, although this was quietly discarded when he arrived at Westminster in 1959 and became a protege of Hugh Gaitskell.
His maiden speech came on his second day as an MP, in the debate on the address – intervening, he suggested improbably, with feelings of diffidence: "I am convinced that the key to all our hopes and aspirations in the field of economic activity lies in the maintenance and improvement of industrial relationships," he said. "The time has come to remove the aspidistras and the odour of mothballs from the negotiating chambers."
He also had the considerable good fortune of coming top in the ballot to promote a private member's bill from the backbenches and, through a judicious choice of subject and with the assistance of the Conservative government, introduced what became the 1960 Offices Act. The legislation introduced basic standards of health and safety in office premises, and he pointed out in his speech introducing the bill that the greatest aspiration for children from families such as his was to secure an office job. The legislation was later further improved by the government and became the famed Office, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963, copies of which were displayed on office walls throughout the land.
His early posts in government after the 1964 election were as a junior minister at the Ministry of Labour for one year and then at Technology for another. He then became minister of power for two years, closing 100 pits during that time, until in 1968 Wilson promoted him to succeed Barbara Castle as the minister of transport, with a seat in the cabinet. He celebrated his new job, he admitted privately, by driving at 90mph on the M4.
His appointment was not a success, not least with Castle, who regarded him as a dilettante, not really interested in pursuing his policies and proposed legislation. She pleaded with Wilson to sack him on one occasion, claiming that he was "cynical, superficial and lazy", and the prime minister did indeed subsequently sack him after just a year in the post. It caused considerable surprise at the time, and Wilson wrote later that he did not intend to exclude Marsh for long from office, but that Marsh enjoyed leaking stories to the newspapers about his own heroics in cabinet to the disadvantage of his colleagues round the table. His political impetus was probably best described by Castle: "He just can't help going where his reasoning leads him, even if his reasoning doesn't fit into any consistent ideological pattern."
Marsh's main mistake in dealing with a prime minister who was paranoid about leaks was to make some disobliging comments about his fellow ministers to Joe Haines, unaware of the fact that the previous day Haines had left his job as a journalist to become the No 10 press spokesman. Haines regarded Marsh as a poor decision-maker who expected the prime minister to solve his department's problems.
By 1971, Marsh was becoming more interested in the bottom line than the party line, and he enjoyed considerable publicity, if not popularity, during the five years he spent at British Rail, at the end of which he was knighted. Then came 14 years (1976-90) as the head of the Newspaper Publishers' Association, during which time there was considerable controversy about the growing issue of press intrusion. However, little was done about it. Bernard Donoughue records in his memoirs that Marsh was regarded as "hopeless and idle" in the post.
He was an active member until 2005 of the House of Lords, where he delighted in parking the Rolls-Royce with which he was provided by the NPA. He told the Lords in his maiden speech in 1981 that he had changed his view of politics. He joked that he lay awake at night worrying about the leftwing tendencies of Margaret Thatcher's famously rightwing economics adviser, Professor Milton Friedman, and underlined the difference from his first parliamentary speech by speaking of "the danger of underestimating the irreconcilable and fundamental conflict between politics and industrial management".
In his final career in management, he was deputy chairman (1980-83) and chairman (1983-84) of TV-am. To his involvement with a series of financial services companies, consultancy work with Nissan and business interests in China he brought a wealth of experience as a member of the National Economic Development Council and the council of the Confederation of British Industry. In later years he chaired Business for Sterling, an organisation opposed to the euro.
He took a close interest in defending the role of the crossbenches in the House of Lords, but did once campaign for the Conservative candidate in the Greenwich byelection in 1987, thus assisting the SDP's Rosie Barnes in winning the formerly Labour seat. His autobiography, Off the Rails, was published in 1978.
Marsh was married three times. He was married to Evelyn Mary Andrews, known as "Andy", from 1950 to 1973, and they had two sons. Following their divorce, in 1973 he married Caroline Dutton, who died two years later in a car crash with Julia Jacobs, wife of the broadcaster David Jacobs, as the two couples drove together on their way to a holiday in Spain. In 1979 he married Felicity, the daughter of the businessman and economist Lord McFadzean of Kelvinside.

• Richard William Marsh, Baron Marsh, politician and businessman, born 14 March 14 1928; died 29 July 2011

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Bernardine Freud

Bernadine and Lucian Freud
Bernardine and Lucian Freud
Bernardine Freud, who has died aged 68, had many talents. She was an exceptional gardener, a job she did professionally; taught writing – both creative and literacy; published poems, articles and books under her maiden name, Coverley; and was an expert at tango.
She loved to travel, spent several years in Morocco, went to Cuba and Russia as soon as it opened its borders, and in order to venture through South America, taught herself Spanish. On her 60th birthday, she announced she wanted to spend more time in Mexico, and not long after set off there to work in an orchid nursery in the mountains. On returning, she wrote a book about her experiences, Garden of the Jaguar: Travel, Plants and People in Chiapas, Mexico, which she published herself in 2010.
Bernardine was born in London to Irish Catholic parents who ran a pub in Brixton. Evacuated during the second world war, and sent away to a convent boarding school from the age of four, she developed a fiercely independent spirit, and when the family moved to Ireland when she was 15, she did everything possible to get back to London. It was the late 1950s and she had already discovered Soho and the nightclubs of Notting Hill, and caught a glimpse of Lucian Freud, who was to become the father of her daughters.
She was an extraordinarily practical and resourceful person, feeding her family from her own garden, teaching herself the Irish drum, taking an Open University degree in English literature and never letting anything stand in the way of her dreams. She took huge pleasure in nature, and the last 16 years of her life were spent in the Suffolk countryside, where she made many friends and led an extremely full and varied life, teaching, writing, gardening, dancing and always making time for her children and grandchildren.
Although she parted from Lucian when her daughters were young, they remained on friendly terms, last visiting him just a few weeks ago, bounding up the stairs to where he lay in bed, never imagining that she would only outlive him by four days. She died two weeks after walking into Ipswich hospital, where she was diagnosed with cancer.
The day before, although not feeling her usual vibrant self, she had been at Rumburgh drum camp, in Suffolk, attending an Egyptian dance workshop and playing the bodhran.
She is survived by Esther, Bella, by her son, Noah, and by four grandchildren.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Gen Abdel Fatah Younis

Abdel Fattah Younes
Younis addressing a rally in Benghazi in July as rebel commander-in-chief
General Abdel Fatah Younis, who has died aged 67, was a key figure in Muammar Gaddafi's 1969 coup d'état against King Idris of Libya. Younis remained within Gaddafi's inner circle and, until recently, served as his interior minister and commander of special forces. However, on 22 February this year, Younis unexpectedly defected to the Libyan rebels based in Benghazi, in the province of Cyrenaica, who made him commander-in-chief, with Omar al-Hariri as head of military affairs and Khalifa Haftar, with whom Younis came into conflict, as commander of ground forces.
A good-looking man with a shock of white hair, Younis was a charismatic figure and his defection raised the morale of many rebels, who had idealism but lacked military training. When asked what kind of democracy he wanted, he said he envisioned "a genuine democracy in which we Libyans can lead a five-star life. Libya earns $150m with its oil in a single day." Some rebels, not least the Islamists, nursed fierce grievances over Younis's harsh record as Gaddafi's effective number two. Younis defended his legitimacy as a rebel, arguing that he had only accepted the post of interior minister for the past three and a half years on the condition that he would never have to fire on his own people. He told a journalist that he had written to Gaddafi in January warning him of unrest and of anger over rising food prices. Gaddafi had sent the letter back with the text crossed out in red pen, as a warning.
Many commentators expressed scepticism at Younis's defection. The BBC's John Simpson has suggested that Gaddafi may have sent Younis to Benghazi to arrange a Tiananmen Square-style massacre of demonstrators but that the rebels captured him; Younis then promptly announced that he had planned to join them and the rebels found it convenient to go along with this possible fiction. The New Yorker's Jon Lee Anderson has written that it was possible that Younis had genuinely decided to do the right thing by defecting, but concluded: "At worst, he was a rank opportunist with the moral scruples of an octopus. That, to me, seemed more likely."
Given his valuable military expertise, Younis was soon criticised for failing to deliver victory for the rebels against Gaddafi's regime in Tripoli. Some complained that although he made sporadic visits to the frontline at Brega in the Gulf of Sirte, he left untrained youngsters hopelessly manning the front while he remained safely at his Benghazi base. Rebels in Misrata, east of Tripoli, were said to have refused to take orders from Benghazi. Gaddafi's approach on Benghazi in March was only aborted by the intervention of the French airforce.
Younis was born in the Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) area, east of Benghazi. He went to the Libyan military academy in Benghazi with Gaddafi. When Gaddafi carried out the coup against King Idris on 1 September 1969, Younis took control of the Benghazi radio station. He rose quickly to the rank of general and for 41 years headed Libya's special forces. In 1992, he attended a key meeting with the British ambassador to Egypt where he apologised for Libya's involvement in the killing of the British police officer Yvonne Fletcher and offered to extradite her killers. He also admitted Libyan support for the IRA and offered compensation for their victims.
Confusion has surrounded Younis's death. On 24 July, he was reported to have been killed under "mysterious circumstances" in the Fourth Battle of Brega. Younis himself revealed this to be untrue in a radio interview the next day. He was then shot, along with two colonels, on 28 July, the day he had been recalled by the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) to answer questions about the war to a panel of judges. The NTC's oil minister told the press that the gunmen who shot him were members of the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade, an Islamist militia group loosely attached to the rebels. The Gaddafi government's spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, suggested the killing had been carried out by al-Qaida. The motive for his killing may have been the suspicion that his family, who are from the Obeidi tribe in eastern Libya, had maintained links with Gaddafi. In April, Gaddafi's daughter Aisha refused to reject the suggestion that Younis remained in contact with her father after his defection. Younis's death came shortly after 32 nations, including the US and the UK, formally recognised the NTC as Libya's legitimate government.
At Younis's funeral, his son Ashraf called for Gaddafi's return to bring stability back to Libya. "We want the green flag back," he shouted to the crowd, referring to Gaddafi's national banner. It was a risky display of emotion in a region so supportive of the rebels.
Younis is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Abdel Fatah Younis, military leader, born 1944; died 28 July 201

Saturday, 30 July 2011

George Kimball

George Kimball
George Kimball was as well known for his disdain of authority as he was for his ability to meet deadlines
George Kimball, who has died aged 67, deserves a place with the great sportswriters. As a columnist for the Boston Phoenix and Boston Herald, he covered all sports, displaying an uncanny ability to cut through the persiflage and get to the core of a story or a personality.
He was a rare raconteur who could write with the same fluency with which he spun stories, conveying through the grace of his prose the intimacy of an audience gathered in a smoky bar. A robust figure, with ginger beard and pot belly, chain-smoking Lucky Strikes, Kimball was as well known for his disdain of authority as he was for his ability to meet deadlines, no matter how hard the previous night's session had been.
When he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the oesophagus in 2005, he was given six months to live. He ignored the doctors, continued smoking, and began working to leave behind something less ephemeral than his thousands of columns. One result was Four Kings (2008), a tale of the great middleweights Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran, who dominated boxing in the 1980s, its last era of greatness. Any fight that drew George to Britain, or even better Ireland, became a holiday in itself. The British boxing press recognised one of their own, and to be caught at a bar between George and Hugh McIlvanney, Colin Hart or Ian Wooldridge was,  infinitely preferable to negotiations with promoters or indeed my bosses in New York.
Although George fits in seamlessly with the Runyonesque traditions of great boxing writers, his route to the daily papers was unusual. He came to this hardboiled field as a literary hippie. Born in Grass Valley, California, he was the son of an army colonel, grew up on bases around the world and entered the University of Kansas, in the city of Lawrence, on a US navy officer training scholarship.
He was soon drawn to campus protest against the Vietnam war. In 1965 he was expelled for picketing the local draft board, having been arrested for lewd conduct over an offensive placard. It was the first of half a dozen arrests. According to Kimball, his father claimed he would have retired as a general had his son's anti-war profile not been so high.
Having worked on a poetry magazine, Grist, he headed for New York's East Village poetry scene, and got a job at the Scott Meredith literary agency, assessing the work of would-be writers and ghostwriting. His poetry was published in the Paris Review, and in 1967 the Olympia Press brought out his sole novel, Only Skin Deep.
He sold pieces to the Village Voice, Rolling Stone and Playboy, but in 1970 returned to Kansas to run for sheriff against the Republican incumbent who had arrested him in 1965. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary as the self-proclaimed leader of the "Lawrence Liberation Front" (a hippy group), and used the unwinnable election to indulge in political theatre which included an appearance by the radical activist Abbie Hoffman.
After the election, he moved to Boston and its excellent weekly "alternative" paper, the Phoenix. His column, the Sporting Eye, was an immediate hit, drawing the counterculture community into the world of sport. Its title referred to his own glass eye, which he claimed replaced one lost in a youthful bar-room brawl.
Kimball finally quit the Phoenix in 1979 after one too many confrontations with his editors. He moved to the Boston Herald in 1980, where his columns ran until his retirement in 2005. In 1997 he began a column, America at Large, for the Irish Times. His contributions were collected in a book of the same name, published in 2008. He also co-wrote Chairman of the Boards: Master of the Mile (2008), the runner Eamonn Coghlan's autobiography. After Four Kings, Kimball edited two collections of boxing writing with John Schulian and published a collection of his own boxing writing, Manly Art, earlier this year.
Kimball is survived by his fourth wife, Marge, whom he married in 2004 in a ceremony conducted by George Foreman, and by a son and daughter.

• George Edward Kimball, sportswriter, born 20 December 1943; died 6 July 2011

Friday, 29 July 2011

Kenny Baker

Bill Monroe and Kenny Baker
Kenny Baker, right, with Bill Monroe backstage at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, in May 1975. 
When the time came for Bill Monroe to introduce his Blue Grass Boys to the audience, he habitually described Kenny Baker as "the greatest fiddler in bluegrass". Perhaps a bandleader could do no less, but Baker, who has died aged 85, was held in equally high regard by bluegrass fans and, in particular, by other musicians.
"I have seen and heard fiddlers from New England to Florida, and from the Virginia coast to Missouri and the Ozarks playing Kenny's tunes," wrote David Freeman, the owner of County Records. County released a dozen of Baker's albums, recordings that became primers of bluegrass fiddling for the novice and repositories of new tunes and arrangements for the more experienced. Many instrumental tunes on Monroe's albums, too, were admired for Baker's intricate and hard-driving playing. It is doubtful if any other fiddler in this genre has wielded such influence.
The son and grandson of old-time fiddlers, Baker grew up in the coalmining region of Wise County, Virginia, and adjoining Letcher County, Kentucky. After serving in the US navy in the second world war, he returned to live in Jenkins, Kentucky, and took a mining job himself, playing only at local functions, where he was spotted and hired in 1953 by the popular country singer Don Gibson.
During his first spell with Monroe, from 1956 to 1958, he recorded two notable instrumentals, Panhandle Country and Scotland, twin-fiddling with Bobby Hicks. He returned to mining, rejoining Monroe from 1961 to 1963, but by 1968, with his children grown up, he felt free to re-enlist with Monroe for a third time. He remained a fixture, the one rock in the fast-moving stream of Monroe's hirings and firings, for 16 years.
During this period he made his remarkable albums for County, sometimes paired with other fiddlers such as Joe Greene, Hicks or Howdy Forrester, but usually, and most characteristically, playing solo with a small group, often derived from the current lineup of the Blue Grass Boys, and on one occasion including the leader himself, for the 1976 album Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe. This and the 1972 Monroe album Uncle Pen were important recordings for both men, for over the years Monroe had devoted himself to passing on to Baker old tunes he had learned from his uncle Pen Vandiver. "He told me," said Baker, "he was saving them for the right fiddler, the man he thought could do them right."
What other fiddlers valued in Baker, however, was more than just his ability to give life to Monroe's memories of all-but-lost tunes. He had absorbed as a young man the jazz fiddling of Stéphane Grappelli and the jazz-influenced western swing sounds emanating from Texas, and his mature fiddling in the bluegrass idiom – which, he liked to say, "is nothing but a hillbilly version of jazz" – reflected these models in its drive, precision, inventiveness and grace.
Though the fiddle, which he took up at the age of eight, had been his first instrument, during much of Baker's youth he preferred the guitar, learning from his older brother Carl. A sometimes reticent and private man, Baker did not exploit this other talent, and many were unaware of it, but fortunately it was preserved on a couple of delightful albums made in the early 1970s with the steel guitar player Josh Graves.
In October 1984, Baker left the Blue Grass Boys for the last time. At a show in Alabama, asked by Monroe to play Jerusalem Ridge, a favourite of many fans, Baker refused and walked off stage. No doubt there was more to it than boredom. Possibly Baker had become terminally dissatisfied with the low wages Monroe offered even valued sidemen. It would be a decade before the two men publicly made their peace. Meanwhile, Baker joined Graves, the mandolinist Jesse McReynolds and the banjoist Eddie Adcock in a band defiantly named the Masters.
In 1993 he received a National Heritage fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1999 he was elected to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor.
He is survived by his wife, Audrey, his sons, Kenneth Jr and Johnnie, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and Joan Shagan, his companion of many years.

Kenny Baker, bluegrass musician, born 26 June 1926; died 8 July 2011

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Robin Nash

Robin Nash
Robin Nash in 1975. He was a stickler for the rules, briefly preventing an appearance by Sparks. 
Top of the Pops was a "must-watch" television programme for Britain's youth at its height in the 1970s, when Robin Nash, who has died aged 84, was its producer. The Thursday-evening programme, a showcase for chart singles acts, featured performers in the studio – miming to their own tracks, specially recorded the previous day – plus videos and the dance groups Pan's People and Legs & Co, with Radio 1 DJs as the hosts. The rules changed later, but in 2006, following a long decline in viewers, the show was finally axed.
During the Nash era (he was producer from 1973 to 1978 and executive producer from 1978 to 1981), sticking to the rules paid dividends. In 1979, Top of the Pops achieved a record audience of almost 20 million as the Police topped the charts with Message in a Bottle.
Nash – who had been with the BBC since 1952 – was a stickler for clinging to corporation diktat, and even briefly prevented at least one act from appearing. When, in 1974, This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us charted, the group Sparks were booked to appear. "They pulled us off because they'd assumed we were British and we weren't part of the Musicians' Union here," recalled Russell Mael, the group's lead singer. They were replaced by the Rubettes, who sang Sugar Baby Love. Sparks were eventually given union membership and allowed to appear on the show, but their song reached only No 2 – behind the Rubettes.
Nash was born Robert Drane in Norwich. As well as taking the name Robin, he later adopted his mother's maiden name, Nash. His uncle, Percy Nash, was a director of silent films and his mother was involved in amateur productions at the Pier Theatre, Cromer, Norfolk – the town where he grew up – while his father worked for the Norwich Union insurance company. His sister, Anne, was a dancer who performed in the chorus of West End musicals.
After leaving the Paston school, North Walsham, Nash joined the Theatre Royal, Norwich, as an assistant stage manager, then worked on troop shows in India during the second world war. On returning to Britain, he was an actor and stage director for West End shows such as Oklahoma! and Wild Violets.
He then joined the BBC and, by 1960, was directing Golden Girl, an adventure serial starring Katie Boyle. Four years later, he directed the second series of The Marriage Lines, a sitcom with Richard Briers and Prunella Scales as two newlyweds, before producing the final three runs (1965-66).
As a producer, he worked on the clerical sitcom All Gas and Gaiters (1971), as well as entertainment programmes starring Beryl Reid and Dora Bryan (both 1968), The Basil Brush Show (1972-75) and Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game (1976).
In 1978 Nash became the BBC's head of variety and, three years later, its head of comedy. Nevertheless, he found time to continue as a hands-on producer and director, first with No Place Like Home (1983-87), a sitcom about a middle-aged couple's dashed hopes of a new life alone, with their four children having grown up.
Then came Nash's biggest sitcom success, Bread (1986-91), Carla Lane's tales of a working-class, Liverpool Catholic family exploiting the social-security system in Thatcher's Britain. He even carried on with the programme after his 1987 retirement from the BBC. Later, as a freelance, he directed the sitcoms Searching (1995) and Goodnight Sweetheart (1993-99), as well as the sketch series Harry Hill (1997-2000).
Nash is survived by his civil partner, Andrea Corti.

• Robin Nash (Robert Henry Douglas Drane), television producer and director, born 10 March 1927; died 18 June 2011

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Linda Christian

Linda Christian
Linda Christian’s first ambition was to become a doctor, but her outstanding beauty led her into the movies. 
The phrase "famous for being famous" could have been invented for Linda Christian, who has died aged 87. Her celebrity came from her marriages to the handsome film stars Tyrone Power and Edmund Purdom, and her liaisons with various wealthy playboys and bullfighters, rather than her somewhat limited acting ability.
Christian's extravagant, cosmopolitan lifestyle derived from her stunning beauty – she was dubbed "The Anatomic Bomb" by Life magazine – and her ability to speak fluent French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and English. She was born Blanca Rosa Welter in Tampico, Mexico, the daughter of a Dutch executive at Shell, and his Mexican-born wife of Spanish, German and French descent. As the family moved around a great deal, living in South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, she gained a taste for globetrotting.
Christian's early ambition was to become a doctor, but after winning a beauty contest and meeting Errol Flynn in Acapulco, she was persuaded to try her luck in films in the US. She was soon cast as a Goldwyn Girl in the actor Danny Kaye's first feature film, Up in Arms (1944), and as a cigarette girl in Club Havana (1945), directed by Edgar G Ulmer. Then, with her name changed to Linda Christian, she signed a contract with MGM, which gave her a small decorative role in the musical Holiday in Mexico (1946), shot in Hollywood, and an exotic one in Green Dolphin Street (1947), as Lana Turner's Maori maid.
At the time, Turner was having an affair with Power. Rumour has it that Christian overheard Turner say when Power was going to be in Rome. Christian decided to fly to Rome, stay at the same hotel and wangle a meeting with the dashing star. A romance led to Christian and Power getting married in January 1949 at a church in Rome while an estimated 8,000 screaming fans lined the street outside.
Prior to the marriage, the only substantial role MGM had given Christian was as an island girl rescued by Tarzan from the clutches of an evil high priest in Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948), the 12th and final time Johnny Weissmuller played the Ape Man. Christian, wearing a skimpy two-piece costume, is referred to as a mermaid because she swims a lot.
After marrying Power, Christian started to get a few leading roles in B-pictures such as Slaves of Babylon (1953), co-starring Richard Conte. More gratifying was her sitting for a portrait by the great Mexican artist Diego Rivera. The painting, reproduced on the cover of her autobiography, Linda (1962), and for which she was once offered $2m, is now in a private collection.
In 1954, Christian played Valerie Mathis, James Bond's former lover now working for the French secret service, in a CBS television version of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale, therefore allowing her to lay claim to being the first Bond girl. At this time, the movie fan magazines were full of photos of Power and Christian as a blissfully married couple with two daughters, while the gossip columns intimated that both husband and wife had strayed. In 1954, Christian played Purdom's snooty fiancee in the MGM musical Athena. Christian had been at the same school as Purdom's wife, the former ballerina Anita Phillips, and the Powers and the Purdoms became good friends, even going on holidays together. But soon sexual jealousy broke up the once cosy foursome. In 1956, Christian divorced Power, charging mental cruelty.
After the divorce, there was no shortage of millionaires to help keep Christian in the manner to which she was accustomed. Once she was called to testify at a Los Angeles court because she refused to return jewels given to her by the socialite Robert H Schlesinger, whose cheque for $100,000, as partial payment for the jewels, had bounced. Christian was also involved with the racing driver Alfonso de Portago, with whom she was photographed a short while before he died in a crash at the 1957 Mille Miglia car race, in which several spectators were also killed. That year, she and the Brazilian mining millionaire Francisco "Baby" Pignatari went on an around-the-world tour together. In 1962 she married Purdom. They divorced the following year.
Christian continued to appear in routine films such as The Devil's Hand (1962), as a seductive high priestess of voodoo, opposite her real-life sister Ariadna Welter. In Francesco Rosi's semi-documentary The Moment of Truth (1965), she played herself as an American in Barcelona who attracts a matador (the bullfighter Miguel Mateo Miguelín). During the filming, she fell for the bullfighter Luis Dominguín, the former lover of Ava Gardner.
In 1968, Christian retired to Rome. She returned to cinema almost 20 years later, at the age of 64, in a couple of dreadful Italian thrillers.
She is survived by her daughters, Taryn and Romina Power.

• Linda Christian (Blanca Rosa Welter), actor, born 13 November 1923; died 22 July 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse sang as if her heart were damaged beyond repair.
Leading a rock'n'roll life has proved fatal to many artists, but few could be considered as much of a loss to music as Amy Winehouse, who has been found dead at the age of 27, the cause not immediately clear. One of the outstanding singers of her generation, she had suffered from drug addiction, and the destruction it causes. Her husky, soul-steeped voice belied both her youth and her London origins – singing from the gut is not the exclusive preserve of older black American performers.
Winehouse's music spoke to people so persuasively that her second album, Back to Black, became Britain's bestselling record of 2007 and reached No 2 in the US, making her one of only a few British female soloists to achieve that level of transatlantic recognition. Its success spurred sales of her initially overlooked first album, Frank (2003), so titled because of the diary-style lyrics that produced songs such as Stronger Than Me, which railed against a "ladyboy" ex-boyfriend. The two sold a total of more than 12m copies worldwide.
Born to a Jewish family in North Finchley, north London, Winehouse grew up listening to the jazz albums of her taxi-driver father, Mitch. He and her pharmacist mother, Janis, later divorced.
Amy caught the performing bug so early that by the age of eight she was attending stage school. She spent time at three of them, including the Sylvia Young theatre school in central London, from which she was expelled for "not applying herself", and the Brit school in Croydon, south London. Rebellious instincts surfaced in her mid-teens: by 16, she had acquired her first tattoo and was smoking cannabis. "My parents pretty much realised that I would do whatever I wanted, and that was it, really," she said later.
Her boyfriend of the time passed a cassette of her singing to a record company, which was impressed. "It was unlike anything that had ever come through my radar," said songwriter Felix Howard, who went on to collaborate with Winehouse on Frank. She signed a deal with the world's largest label, Universal, and was taken on by the management company run by Simon Fuller, the force behind Pop Idol and its television spin-offs. However, being in the bosom of the pop establishment turned Winehouse surly and defensive. When she was accused early on by the press of being one of Fuller's pop puppets, she retorted: "He's clever enough to know he can't fuck with me."
If Winehouse was not entirely singular – Dusty Springfield and Maggie Bell preceded her as white British pop singers whose complicated personal lives yielded unguarded, richly soulful music – she certainly stood out from almost every other artist under 40. When Frank was released, just after her 20th birthday, the prevailing female pop sound was the manicured slickness epitomised by Girls Aloud. Winehouse's disconcerting sultriness meant she was initially classified as a jazz vocalist. Despite being tipped by critics as a "buzz" act – borne out by two Brits nominations in 2004 – she did not catch the public's fancy, and Frank peaked at No 13 in the charts.
It was when she finished promoting the album and set about writing the follow-up that a remarkable transformation took place. During this time she met her future husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, who worked on the periphery of the music business as an assistant on video shoots. The attraction was apparently instant, at least on Winehouse's part, and when Fielder-Civil ended the relationship after a few months, she poured her depression into songs that would become Back to Black.
Of the months following their split, she said: "I had never felt the way I feel about him about anyone in my life. I thought we'd never see each other again. I wanted to die."
The album was released in late 2006, and when Winehouse began a round of concerts and TV appearances that autumn, it was obvious she had spent the recent past walking on the wild side. She had lost several stone and acquired armfuls of tattoos, a mountainous beehive hairdo and, it was rumoured, drug and alcohol problems.
Typically forthright, she drew attention to the latter in Back to Black's first single, Rehab, which became her signature song: "I don't never want to drink again, I just need a friend ... They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no." Despite its subject, the song was infectiously upbeat, and became her first top 10 hit, remaining in the charts for a near-record-breaking 57 weeks.
The whole album was also an instant, and huge, success. The jazz-lite that characterised Frank had been supplanted by sparky R&B, immediately hummable songs and, crucially, the performance of a lifetime from Winehouse, who sang as if her heart were damaged beyond repair. Critical acclaim was heaped on it – "One of the great breakthrough CDs of our time … when this lady sings about love, she means every word," said the US magazine Entertainment Weekly – and it appeared on numerous best-of-the-year lists. Its appeal transcended language barriers, sending it to No 1 in 18 countries, including the UK.
A great imponderable was whether Back to Black would have connected so strongly with listeners if Winehouse had not simultaneously been playing out her emotional dramas in public. Still wracked by the failure of her relationship with Fielder-Civil, her behaviour was erratic: her weight dropped further and the monstrous beehive got even taller. She seemed to lack the inhibitions that stop most people from "acting out" in public, which made her a tabloid dream. Drawn by the scent of disturbed celebrity, paparazzi were soon following her around the streets of north London.
Perversely, as her life became more complex, her success increased. She won the 2007 Brit award for best female artist, and Ivor Novello awards for Rehab and Love Is a Losing Game. In addition, she picked up Q magazine's best album trophy, and was nominated for that year's Mercury prize.
She unexpectedly reunited with Fielder-Civil in early 2007, and in May they married on impulse in Miami. If Winehouse had been fragile before, the marriage seemed to bring out the worst in her. She and her new husband became heavy drug users, and she was soon said to be injecting heroin. The couple were frequently photographed looking much the worse for wear, and Winehouse's arms bore the marks of self-inflicted cuts. She collapsed from an overdose in the summer, and paid the first of several unsuccessful visits to rehab.
Fielder-Civil was arrested in November 2007, and subsequently pleaded guilty to attacking a pub landlord and attempting to pervert the course of justice by offering him £200,000 to keep quiet about it. While he was on remand, Winehouse lurched on as best she could. She cancelled concerts, struck up a friendship with fellow junkie Pete Doherty and tried rehab again. In the midst of it all, her talent still unquenched, she won five Grammy awards in February 2008.
The couple's relationship ended when Fielder-Civil received a jail sentence of 27 months the following July. Despite initially saying she would wait for him, they divorced in 2009 and she moved temporarily to the Caribbean island of St Lucia, where she hoped to escape the pernicious influence of the drug crowd in Camden, north London. Her flat in Camden was conveniently close to her favourite pub, the Hawley Arms. While she claimed to have kicked drugs in St Lucia, she admitted that she was drinking to compensate – though not to excess, she insisted.
Several other relationships followed, the longest-lasting with Reg Traviss, director of the films Screwed and Psychosis. Winehouse also began to record the follow-up to Back to Black; the head of Universal, Lucian Grainge, pronounced the demos "fantastic". She also launched her own label, Lioness, whose first signing was her then 13-year-old goddaughter, Dionne Bromfield.
Nonetheless, Winehouse was constantly in one sort of trouble or another. She was arrested several times for public order offences, and hospitalised for emphysema and the pain caused by breast implants. There were always signs that she had not conquered the demons she battled throughout her career: last year the tabloid papers ran a photo of her unconscious on a bench outside a pub, and last month she behaved so erratically on stage in the Serbian capital of Belgrade that the rest of her summer tour was cancelled.
Her final public appearance came three days before her death, at a gig by Bromfield at the Roundhouse, Camden. Winehouse danced in dreamy circles, then disappeared without singing a note.
Last March she made her final recording, the pop standard Body and Soul with Tony Bennett, to be released on his album Duets II in September. Bennett remembered her as "an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist". During the chaotic last years of her life, she was frequently compared to other singers with tempestuous existences, such as Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf.
She is survived by her parents and her brother, Alex.

Amy Jade Winehouse, pop singer-songwriter, born 14 September 1983; died 23 July 2011

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Jan Kułakowski

Jan Kułakowski
Jan Kułakowski, left, was an effective advocate for the union Solidarity in the west
Jan Kułakowski, who has died aged 80, was responsible for launching the negotiations that led to Poland's accession to the European Union in 2004. In his role as Poland's chief negotiator, he managed to close 17 out of 30 negotiation chapters, including those concerning social affairs and employment, energy, the EU's external relations and economic and monetary union. A reputable negotiator, he surrounded himself in office with a team of young people, for whom he was a mentor and a guide through EU politics. Later, many of them were to become Poland's first generation of eurocrats in Brussels.
His involvement in Poland's integration with the EU dated back to 1989, when he became the country's ambassador to the European Communities. During his term, Poland signed an association agreement with the EC, in 1991, and applied for membership of the EU three years later.
In the summer of 2004, when Poland and the other nine new member states participated in the European elections for the first time, Kułakowski secured a seat in the European parliament. He and three other Polish MEPs were elected on the ticket of the centre-right Unia Wolnosci (Union of Liberty) party and joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group.
Kułakowski was one of the most active MEPs from Poland, serving as vice-chair of the delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly in 2007-08. He was active on employment and social affairs, and promoted the opening of western labour markets to new member states.
He was born in Myszków, southern Poland, to a Polish father and a Belgian mother. The family later settled in Warsaw. In 1944 he participated in the Warsaw uprising, against German occupation, serving as a courier for the resistance. His father and sister were killed during the war, and in 1946 he and his mother emigrated to Belgium.
Kułakowski graduated from the Catholic University of Leuven with a degree in law in 1953. He became involved with the International Federation of Christian Trade Unions (IFCTU) and was appointed a member of its general secretariat in 1954. He later became secretary, and then secretary general, of the European organisation of the IFCTU. He served as secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation in the mid-1970s. From 1976 to 1989, he was secretary general of the World Confederation of Labour (WCL), as the IFCTU was renamed in 1968.
During his term at the helm of the WCL, Kułakowski approached the leaders of communist Poland's independent trade union Solidarity, who welcomed him as a spokesman for their cause. He negotiated with Latin American and African dictatorships to advocate Solidarity in the west. His flat in Brussels was dubbed the "little embassy" by Polish opposition members, as Kułakowski was effective in lobbying in favour of those seeking to make their voice heard in the west. One of these activists, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, became Poland's first democratic prime minister in 1989, after the Communist party and Solidarity launched talks.
When Mazowiecki asked him to become Poland's ambassador to the EC, Kułakowski agreed and renounced his Belgian citizenship. He headed the Polish representation in Brussels from 1990 to 1996. His profound knowledge of the EU was useful in 1998, when he was appointed secretary of state and chief negotiator with the EU by the prime minister, Jerzy Buzek. He served at this post until 2001, when the government lost the elections. The negotiations between Poland and the EU were concluded by the succeeding government, which built on Kułakowski's work.
Kułakowski did not seek re-election as an MEP in 2009, as his health was deteriorating rapidly. He is survived by his wife, Zofia, and his daughters, Elzbieta, Krystyna and Barbara.

• Jan Jerzy Kułakowski, politician and diplomat, born 25 August 1930; died 25 June 2011

Saturday, 23 July 2011

John Waite

john waite
John Waite, centre, playing for South Africa against Nottinghamshire in 1955.

John Waite, who has died aged 81, was a key figure in South African cricket during the 1950s and early 1960s. In an era when wicketkeepers were not necessarily required to be major runmakers, Waite, a fine keeper, was also good enough to have been chosen for his batting alone. He developed into a pivotal asset for the Springboks, and eventually became the first from his country to play in 50 Test matches.
Although over 6ft in height, he was slimly built and agile behind the stumps. He finished his career with 124 catches and 17 stumpings, which stood as South African records in 1970, when his country entered a period of Test match isolation because of its apartheid government. Waite's 23 dismissals (16 caught, seven stumped) in the 1953‑54 home series against New Zealand constituted a world Test record, which he raised to 26 (23, 3) in 1961-62, against the same opposition, again on his home turf.
As a batsman, Waite carved out four Test centuries, the first at Old Trafford in the pulsating 1955 series, batting at number seven against a strong England attack. Although South Africa lost the Oval decider, Waite saved them from ignominy with 60 out of their final total of 151. Elevated in the batting order, he scored 115 against Australia in Johannesburg in 1957, and 134 at Durban two Tests later, confirming his immense value to the side.
But in England in 1960, South Africa were overwhelmed in a series remembered chiefly for the painful distraction of the no-balling of one of their fast men, Geoff Griffin, because of his illegal bowling action. Waite was persuaded to write a book in the wake of this sensation. Perchance to Bowl (1961), co-written with the highly imaginative Australian RS Whitington, contained a touching recollection of the view down on to the old Wanderers ground in Johannesburg from his uncle's flat when Waite was a child. From that vantage point, he nurtured a hero-worship of the South African batsman Bruce Mitchell, and was inspired to become a wicketkeeper-batsman after watching England's Les Ames. Waite's father was an Englishman, and during one of several visits as a boy, Waite drew further inspiration from seeing Don Bradman's 202 against Somerset in 1938.
Waite was born in Johannesburg and began his education at Pridwin prep school, where he won plaudits for academic and sporting achievement before being enrolled at Hilton college in Natal. While at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, a career as a stockbroker beckoning (he also later ran a sports shop), Waite was called in to make his first-class debut for Eastern Province against the 1948-49 English touring team, and scored an impressive 80.
A year later he found himself playing against the visiting Australians (and having to cope with his fiery veteran team-mate Eric Rowan, who hurled Waite's cricket bag out of the window after he had innocently taken his space in the dressing room). In the 1950-51 season, still at university, Waite scored well for Eastern Province in the Currie Cup competition, clinching his selection for South Africa's 1951 tour of England.
Waite opened the batting in his maiden Test at Trent Bridge. With the volatile Rowan as fellow opener, he made a 76 (he was run out, although a modern-day referral would probably have spared him). The match was won, but the series was eventually lost, Waite having been dropped for the final Test.
Yet his qualities had been clearly displayed back in May with his 31 in the South Africans' innings of only 76 against Yorkshire at Bradford. He joined Rowan in a protest sit-down in the Lancashire match after some of the crowd of 15,000 objected to the tempo of their stand of 164 in three and a half hours. It was thought in some quarters that his closeness to Rowan cost Waite his chance of captaincy.
On the first of Waite's two tours of Australia (the 1952-53 venture, which had almost been aborted, as the Springboks were considered weak), he contributed two 60s as an opener and performed capably behind the stumps. It was one of the most absorbing of series, drawn 2-2 against the odds. A year later, South Africa played host to New Zealand in a series in which Waite did little of note.
After the absorbing 1955 series in England, the return rubber of 1956-57 proved just as exciting, South Africa levelling in the final Test. Waite batted lower in the order, but the quality of his wicketkeeping was sustained. A year later, as Australia came and conquered 3-0, Waite, at his peak, recorded those two centuries early in the series.
The 1960 tour of England was a hard one on the field, and the early displays of anti-apartheid feeling brought discomfort to sensitive members of the side. Waite, however, stumped Geoff Pullar at the Oval to complete the 1,000 runs/100 dismissals Test match double. Next he was playing at home to New Zealand and raising his own world Test record for wicketkeeping dismissals in a series. This was achieved in the second of the Tests that summer at the new Wanderers ground in Johannesburg. In the earlier one, he had stroked his fourth and final Test century.
Waite's second Australasian tour in 1963-64 was his last, and a year later, his long and distinguished Test career ended, when he was recalled for the last two Tests against England. In later years Waite served the game's administration in Transvaal (now Gauteng).
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and a son and a daughter.

• John Henry Bickford Waite, cricketer, born 19 January 1930; died 22 June 2011

Friday, 22 July 2011

Dick Douglas-Boyd

Dick Douglas-Boyd
Dick Douglas-Boyd worked with authors including HE Bates, Dick Francis and Arthur Hailey
Dick Douglas-Boyd, who has died aged 88, began to work in publishing after the second world war. It was a world he loved and in which he flourished. He joined Hodder and Stoughton in 1949 as a sales representative, then moved in 1962 to Michael Joseph, where he was in charge of UK and European sales.
Dick had an innate sense of what would and would not sell. He worked for Penguin and was later appointed sales director of Pelham Books. On his retirement, he was employed by Transworld as a consultant and was responsible for establishing Partridge Press. He formed D-B Books, reprinting titles including The Forgotten Fleet by John Winton. Over his career, he worked with authors including HE Bates, Dick Francis, Sophia Loren, Stan Barstow, Arthur Hailey and Spike Milligan (whom he allowed to call him "Doug Dickless-Boyd").
Born in London and raised in Houghton on the Hill, in Leicestershire, Dick joined the Royal Navy in 1942 and started his training as a pilot in Elmdon, Birmingham, going solo in a Tiger Moth after 11 hours of tuition. His training continued in Kingston, in Ontario, Canada, and he learned to fly Harvards, Swordfish, Proctors, Lysanders and Barracudas. In 1944 he joined 820 Naval Air Squadron on the aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable.
He took part in the attack on the German battleship the Tirpitz. Later, as part of the British Pacific Fleet, and flying an Avenger, he dropped his four 500lb bombs on an oil refinery at Palembang, Sumatra, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Given his love of music, it is unsurprising that during his time with 820 Squadron, he was instrumental in co-writing the Fleet Air Arm Songbook.
In retirement, Dick lost none of his zest, humour, intellect and enthusiasm. When he moved from East Sussex to Moretonhampstead in Devon, he embraced his fresh surroundings and forged new and close friendships. He read voraciously, loved sport and occasionally sang with a jazz band who called him the "Vocal Local".
Dick is survived by June, his wife of 60 years, and by his daughters, Sally and Judy.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Terry Monaghan

lindy hoppers View larger picture
Terry Monaghan, below, and the Jiving Lindy Hoppers. He insisted on the troupe’s multicultural nature. 
Terry Monaghan, who has died aged 67 from a brain tumour, was the co-founder of the award-winning dance company the Jiving Lindy Hoppers. He was widely regarded as the world's foremost authority on the history of jazz dance, in particular the lindy hop and its New York home, the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem.

Terry Monaghan
Terry was born in London during the second world war, the son of Frank, who had been a sheet-metal worker before enlisting, and Peggy, a nurse. After the war, both retrained as teachers. Terry's lifelong interest in social dancing began at the regular Sunday evening open house held by his parents, with everyone present expected to "sing, dance or show their navel". He learned to jive with his cousin Toni, and bunked off school to see Buddy Holly. Although classically trained in the piano, he loved playing boogie-woogie, and set up a band with his schoolmates at Marylebone grammar.
Terry did not complete his first degree in philosophy, politics and economics at Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster). He was busy recruiting members for the Young Socialists (both his parents were Communist party members), and also worked on building sites and as a postman. While recruiting in west London, he developed a lasting interest in the history of the Caribbean islands and reggae music.
In the mid-1970s Terry trained as a teacher, and in 1979 became an audio-visual technician at the City of London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University). He stayed there for more than 15 years, combining this day job with setting up and organising the Jiving Lindy Hoppers. Later, while pursuing doctoral studies at Goldsmiths College, London University, he taught a course on music and the body, from 2007.
In the early 1980s Terry attended a dance workshop run by the dancer and teacher Warren Heyes. Terry showed Warren the lindy hop sequence in the Marx brothers' film A Day at the Races (1937), and they began a collaboration which resulted in the creation of the Jiving Lindy Hoppers, who first performed at the Notting Hill Carnival in 1984. Although Terry originally danced with the company, he focused on the history and development of the dance form, and similar practices now known collectively as "swing dance".
The company developed from amateur to professional status. Terry and Warren recruited and trained several generations of dancers, creating a dedicated and skilled team who have undertaken international tours and television appearances and been engaged in thousands of performances and workshops. The company was offered support by an arts funding body but only if it would agree to be labelled "black dance". The offer was rejected, as the multicultural nature of the company was seen by Terry as integral to the authentic jazz dance tradition itself.
For a number of years, Terry was a board member of the Society of Dance History Scholars. He received a Carter Berger award from the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, New Jersey, where he spent many hours reorganising the Marshall Stearns jazz dance and music archives. From 1986, he acted as a consultant in jazz dance styles for television and film. He organised regular swing dance festivals and worked in schools, establishing after-school clubs such as the Chestnut Grove Lindy Hoppers in south London. In 1991, he directed Jazz Dance, a film on the history of African-American social dances for the Arts Council. I worked on this film as a researcher, and we subsequently collaborated on many projects and academic papers together.
Terry had seemingly limitless energy. In 1997 he was artistic director of Flying Home – the Celtic Jazz Connection, with the Jiving Lindy Hoppers and the Irish band Sin é, and featuring swing, Irish and African dance, which eventually transferred to Lincoln Centre, New York. At the South Bank Centre, he staged a number of jazz-tap shows from 2002 onwards. In 2006 Terry co-organised the 80th birthday celebrations of the Savoy Ballroom, held in Harlem at the Alhambra Ballroom.
Between 1985 and 2009, he travelled to the US to carry out oral history interviews with the original practitioners of the Lindy Hop from the 1930s and 1940s, as well as younger dancers and musicians, often developing lasting friendships. He delayed the completion of his doctoral monograph so that he could carry on recording as many of these histories as possible. This research has now accumulated into perhaps the world's largest and most important private archive of this type of material.
Terry was a keen learner of other dance forms, including the Caribbean quadrille and the tango. With his second wife, Eileen, he enjoyed the weekly Irish set-dancing class at Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance Society in Regent's Park, north London. Together they performed at the Dance Around the World festival in 2009.
Terry is survived by Eileen; his mother, Peggy; his children, Jenny, Leah and Harry; and five grandchildren.

• Terry Monaghan, dance historian and activist, born 13 August 1943; died 26 June 2011

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Zdenek Sykora

Zdenek Sykora
Zdenek Sykora in his studio in Louny, Czech Republic. 
The Czech painter Zdenek Sykora, who has died aged 91, gained an international reputation with his computer-generated compositions, produced in the relatively liberal environment of Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. He continued to work in both figurative and abstract styles after the Prague Spring of 1968, and in recent years his contribution has been acknowledged anew outside his own country, especially in Germany and France.
Sykora was born in Louny, a town in northern Bohemia, which played a dominant role in his life even while he was immersed in the cultural life of Prague. Although his education was interrupted by the German occupation and the onset of the second world war, in 1945 he became a student at the art education department of Charles University, Prague, where he was a first-class hockey player. He soon began a long teaching career.

Lines number 216  
Zdenek Sykora's Lines No 216, 2003 
Sykora's early work, up to the late 1950s, hurtled in no particular order through the history of modern art, from realism, impressionism and post-impressionism to expressionism, cubism and surrealism. Much of his painting was based on the varied, often mountainous landscape around Louny, especially the river Ohre and the valleys beyond the village of Cítoliby, which appeared in his first individual exhibition at the Ales Hall in Prague (1952). Seven years later his artistic development was accelerated by his encounter with Henri Matisse's pictures at the Hermitage in Leningrad, now St Petersburg. The resulting transition from naturalism to abstraction can be seen most clearly in the remarkable Gardens series, which culminated in the high stylisation of Garden/Composition (1961).
During this era of thriving avant-garde activity, Sykora was at the heart of Krizovatka (Crossroads), a disparate group of artists who gravitated around the poet and painter Jiri Kolar at the Slavia Cafe in Prague. Sykora's dazzling, grid-like compositions, consisting of black-and-white geometric forms, included his celebrated Structure paintings, as well as a fire-curtain in Louny theatre (1963) that only survives as a photograph hanging in the foyer.
A year later his collaboration with the mathematician Jaroslav Blazek led to his first computer-assisted works, which explored different combinations of abstract elements in accordance with predetermined rules. While they have a passing similarity to Op art in western Europe and America, their rigorous mathematical method was unique to Sykora. Such striking innovation attracted international attention, leading in 1965 to Sykora's participation in an exhibition in Genoa, followed by other group shows in Germany and Yugoslavia. This period of success, in which he was also appointed an associate professor at Charles University, culminated in some major decorative projects in Prague during the late 1960s. These included a ceramic wall, now incorporated into a cafe, on Jindrisska Street and, most spectacularly, the glass tile exteriors of the towering ventilation flues above the Letná road tunnel.
Political repression in Czechoslovakia during the 1970s did not hinder Sykora's experimentation, although he also returned to producing landscape pictures of his native region, as well as images of the Baltic island of Rügen in East Germany. More significantly, he developed an idiom characterised by dense clusters of interwoven, curving lines, in which every aspect of the composition, from the intense hues to the thickness, direction and length of each element, was determined by a computer. The procedure, which combined mathematical systems with a quality of randomness, reflected a quasi-scientific understanding of reality. As Sykora himself said: "The more I wish my paintings to be just what they are, the more they are everything."
The metaphysical dimension, reflected in such monumental pieces as Lines No 24, The Last Judgement (1983-84) as well as in collaborations with his wife Lenka, gave Sykora's work an enduring appeal. After the fall of the Communist regime, he received considerable exposure both at home and abroad, participating, for example, in the seminal exhibition Europa, Europa, celebrating a century of the avant garde in central and eastern Europe, held in Bonn in 1994, before becoming the subject of Jaroslav Brabec's hour-long documentary film for a Europeans series on Czech television (2001).
In this final period Sy´kora also produced some ambitious linear designs for architectural spaces, including the entrance hall of the new air traffic control centre in Jenec, outside Prague, in 2005. Yet more international accolades, including the acquisition of Lines No 24, The Last Judgement, by the Pompidou Centre in Paris (2007), completed a career of considerable rigour and integrity. He is survived by Lenka.

• Zdenek Sykora, artist, born 3 February 1920; died 12 July 2011

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

General Magnus Malan

General Magnus Malan
In 1987 General Magnus Malan admitted for the first time that South African troops were in Angola to support Unita.
General Magnus Malan, who has died aged 81, was one of the Afrikaner generals who guarded the apartheid state. "I must emphasise," he once said, "that the overriding consideration is survival. Survival concerns every citizen in South Africa, directly and indirectly." Yet he saw apartheid as the guarantor of values that transcended colour lines. This was the dilemma of other Afrikaner generals and political leaders. As their regime moved towards an end in the late 1980s, they swung uncertainly between fighting to the end and striking a deal with the millions demanding equality.
The historian Hermann Giliomee tells of a discussion in 1993, the year before the elections that brought the African National Congress (ANC) to power, between General George Meiring, chief of the defence force, and a former defence chief, General Constand Viljoen. When he held the post in the 1980s, Viljoen had said of the black South Africans in his army: "If they can fight for South Africa, then they can vote for South Africa." But in 1993, Viljoen wanted to disrupt the elections, remove President FW de Klerk and restart negotiations with the ANC.
Meiring had several meetings with Viljoen to dissuade him and at one Viljoen said: "You and I and our men can take this country in an afternoon." To which Meiring replied: "Yes, that is so, but what do we the morning after the coup"?
Malan was Viljoen's predecessor as chief of the defence force, a post he assumed in 1976. As a strategist, he believed that internal and external forces were mobilising for a "total onslaught" against South Africa, which required a counter-acting "total national strategy". Yet, like other colleagues, he believed the answer to South Africa's problems ultimately were political, not military. Later, after his appointment as defence minister in 1980, Malan used his troops to quell unrest in the black townships. In 1986, he contended that political rights were not a relevant concern among black people.
The following year, Malan admitted for the first time that South African troops were in Angola to support Unita (the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), as well as to counter Swapo (the South-West African People's Organisation) and the ANC.
In 1988, with the foreign minister Pik Botha, Malan took part in talks on South-West Africa and neighbouring Angola on the Cape Verde islands, and also in Brazzaville and Cairo, where they met Angolan representatives. These talks led to a settlement in both countries: in 1990, SWA became an independent Namibia under a Swapo government.
Malan spent 11 years as defence minister, starting under PW Botha; he was also a member of parliament, a member of the Transvaal provincial executive committee in 1981, then one of the National party's vice-chairmen in the Transvaal, and, in 1991, chairman of the ministers' council in the House of Assembly, the white element of the country's three-section parliament of 1984-94.
During 1990, Malan's position as minister of defence came under threat following public revelations about South African Defence Force paramilitary death squads operating against civilians in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal. The following year it emerged that the apartheid regime had financed the mainly Zulu Inkatha Freedom party, and Malan was shifted to the water affairs and forestry ministry, retiring from politics in February 1993.
He was born in Pretoria, the son of Avril Ire de Merindol, a professor of biochemistry, later an MP, and speaker of the House of Assembly and Elizabeth Frederika Malan. He went to the Afrikaans high school in Pretoria, and matriculated at Dr Danie Craven's Physical Education Brigade, Kimberley, in 1948. Malan took the opportunity of following the first military degree course for officers, completing his BSc Mil at Pretoria University in 1953. After a period in the navy as a marine, he returned to the army as a lieutenant. He later underwent training in the US, and in 1973 became chief of the South African army.
After the end of apartheid, with the ANC in government, Malan and 19 other top military brass were charged in 1995 with murder and for creating hit squads to destabilise the country, and specifically with the 1987 massacre of 13 people in KwaZulu's Kwamakutha township. Malan vehemently denied the charges, which were among the highest-profile attempts to prosecute apartheid-era atrocities. After a seven-month trial, all 20 were cleared of the charges in a verdict that found the apartheid government had paid Inkatha vigilantes for the killings, but ruled the prosecution had not proved the link to Malan.
He is survived by his wife, Magrietha, two sons and a daughter, and nine grandchildren.

• Magnus André de Merindol Malan, soldier and politician, born 30 January 1930; died 18 July 2011

Monday, 18 July 2011

Willie Robertson

Willie Robertson
Willie Robertson liked to do business over lunch.
Willie Robertson, who has died of cancer aged 67, virtually single-handedly created insurance cover for entertainers in the 1970s, when he introduced non-appearance and equipment cover for rock'n'roll bands. With his partner Robert Taylor, he went on to create an international company – Robertson Taylor – that insured almost every big concert (including Michael Jackson's last series in 2009 at the O2 arena).
Robertson was born in Dorking and grew up in Surrey. His father was an insurance broker at Lloyd's of London. Robertson went to Harrow school, where he excelled at sports, then followed his father into insurance at Burton, Rowe & Viner. His immediate group of Harrow friends included David Enthoven and John Gaydon, who started managing rock bands when they left school. The company they founded, EG management, was one of the most successful of the 1970s, with a roster that included King Crimson, T Rex, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Roxy Music and Toyah Willcox.
In 1969, when King Crimson were about to go on tour, Enthoven rang Robertson – by then working for the underwriters Eckersley Hicks – to get their equipment covered, an unusual move in those days. After some shopping around, Robertson succeeded, and as more entertainment work came his way, left Eckersley Hicks, along with Taylor, to set up their own specialist firm.
Many of their transactions are now the stuff of music business legend. Robertson – gregarious, outgoing, funny and a keen fan of doing business over lunch or dinner – was naturally suited to dealing with fragile egos and towering demands. Little fazed him. Early clients were the Who – acquired when their hellraising drummer Keith Moon challenged Robertson one night, in Tramp nightclub, to walk the length of diners' tables through their food. Robertson removed his shoes and socks, walked the walk, was banned from Tramp, but got the business.
Clients loved him because he was always there for them. When Rod Stewart dislocated a toe and cancelled a series of American dates, Robertson flew out on Concorde and persuaded the insurance company to pay up. When Pink Floyd floated a huge helium-filled pink pig over Battersea power station to shoot the cover of their 1977 album Animals, fortunately they had insured the session. The pig broke loose and was finally shot down by a farmer in Kent, but not before a pilot coming in to land had reported seeing a flying pig.
Robertson rarely got stressed by his work, although Taylor claims it turned his own hair white a long time ago. His usual battle cry was "you're covered" and Taylor recalls being phoned one night by Robertson announcing they were insuring Pope John Paul II's visit to Britain in 1982, even though the pontiff had recently survived an assassination attempt. Cover was duly found, as it was for the Three Tenors' 1998 Paris concert, which was insured for $18m. And when one rock-star manager quibbled over the sum required for the star's personal insurance, Robertson closed the deal when he replied: "If you bought a car, you'd buy a Rolls, not a Mini, wouldn't you?"
A gifted mimic, Robertson used his job to meet his lifelong hero, the comedian Tommy Cooper. When he arrived early one morning to arrange life insurance, Cooper already had a drink on the go and the thorny question of his daily intake arose. "Write down a bottle," Cooper suggested. Robertson queried over what period of time they should specify. "Before breakfast," replied Cooper. Robertson's impersonations of the comic, complete with fez, were brilliant.
Robertson lived his work; he was never off-duty, but was a loyal and close friend to his immediate circle, most of them dating back to schooldays. Like many busy people, he always took on more. In 1976 a chance meeting in a bar led to him becoming a founder member of the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity. For many years, committee meetings were held in the boardroom of Moët & Chandon, with the champagne engendering a great spirit of "can do", and he even named his eldest daughter Saran after a favourite Moët vintage. At the annual music business convention, Midem, held in Cannes, France, Robertson would hire a boat on the jetty and run an open bar throughout the festival.
Robertson is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children, Saran, Sami and Max.

• William Wardel Robertson, insurance executive, born 8 June 1944; died 9 July 2011

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Hanna Segal

Hanna Segal applied her professional insights to subjects as wide-ranging as global politics and artistic creativity.
Hanna Segal, who has died aged 93, was among a handful of psychoanalysts whose international pre-eminence was unquestioned. She made fundamental contributions to psychoanalytic theory and practice and, over a career of more than 60 years, was the leading exponent of the ideas of Melanie Klein.
Segal developed the theory of symbolism, the understanding of the nature of creativity, and the establishment of a psychoanalytic approach to severe disturbance, including psychosis. She was also known for her exploration of the functioning of phantasy (unconscious fantasy) and for her detailed elaboration of the inner struggle between forces that strive towards living and development, and those that pull towards destruction.
Segal, Herbert Rosenfeld, Wilfred Bion and Betty Joseph constituted a small group of major thinkers whose influence has remained central to the development of psychoanalysis; but Segal was unique among this group since, in the tradition laid down by Sigmund Freud, her work encompassed a very broad span. She was able to demonstrate the relevance of psychoanalytic thinking to human knowledge in general, and this made her work well known outside the field of psychoanalysis.
She was born Hanna Poznanska, into a highly cultured family in Łódz´, Poland. Her father, Czeslaw, was a barrister, an art critic and a newspaper editor. In the early days, Hanna's mother, Isabella, lived the life of a typical bourgeois lady but, when life took a downward turn, her strength and resourcefulness became manifest. The family moved to Geneva, although Hanna returned to Warsaw to complete her education.
By her late teens she had already read all the Freud that had been translated into Polish. Other early intellectual influences included Voltaire, Rousseau, Montaigne, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Proust and Pascal. Having witnessed both poverty and lack of political freedom, she joined the Polish socialist party and her commitment to the left continued throughout her life. Psychoanalysis was, as she put it, "a godsend", as in it she found a way of combining her deepest intellectual interests with her desire to help people.
The rise of fascism saw the expulsion of her father from Switzerland, and the family, now stateless and impoverished, took up residence in Paris, where Hanna joined them in 1939. In 1940 they again took flight, this time for the UK, where Hanna completed her medical studies in London and Edinburgh. In Edinburgh, she met the psychoanalyst WRD Fairbairn, which determined the further course of her life. After completing her medical education she moved to London, where she played a major part in the rehabilitation of mentally ill Polish soldiers. She was accepted for training at the British Psychoanalytic Society and entered into analysis with Klein, completing her training in 1945, at the young age of 27. The analysis with Klein was central to her development. The year 1946-47 was an extraordinary one as during it she married the mathematician Paul Segal, conceived her first child and presented her first paper, A Psychoanalytic Contribution to Aesthetics, to the British Psychoanalytical Society.
Soon after she qualified, she trained as a child analyst, being supervised by Paula Heimann, Esther Bick and Klein, and began teaching students at the Institute of Psychoanalysis. Her first book, Introduction to the Work of Melanie Klein (1964), in which Klein's ideas were illustrated through clinical material from Segal's own patients, became and remains a standard text. Her second book, Klein (1969), in the Fontana Modern Masters series, was also a homage to Freud and Klein. This series was meant for a popular audience and Segal put Klein's work in its context by reviewing Freud's contribution and showing how Klein built on this and extended it.
In 1952 she became a training analyst and built up an active private practice with a variety of patients, including candidates in training, psychotic patients and also some artists, who sought help because they were blocked in their work. This enabled her to make use of her interest in creativity, art and literature, and led to the publication of A Psychoanalytic Contribution to Aesthetics, her now famous paper, which remains perhaps the most original attempt at a psychoanalytical understanding of creativity.
In this paper Segal did not restrict herself to a study of the psychology of the artist. She showed how psychoanalysis can also contribute to the understanding of aesthetic questions. Segal puts the capacity to mourn at the centre of the artist's work and of the audience's aesthetic response. From this perspective, works of art derive their aesthetic depth from this inner struggle, the work itself giving it substance and constituting an act of reparation.
During this period Segal wrote her seminal paper on symbolism, Notes on Symbol Formation (International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1957), in which she distinguished between more primitive and developed forms of symbolic function, bringing a necessary clarification to the understanding of more disturbed states of mind. Many of the papers written in this highly productive period were reprinted in her third book, The Work of Hanna Segal (1981), while her fourth, Dream, Phantasy and Art (1991), explores afresh the interpretation of dreams and via this route proceeds to a deeper discussion of phantasy and symbolism.
Developments in psychoanalytic theory were combined with her interest in literature and politics in Psychoanalysis, Literature and War (1997). The paper The Clinical Usefulness of the Concept of the Death Instinct (1993, International Journal of Psychoanalysis), republished in this volume, outlines the way the balance between the life and death instincts determines the individual's attitude to reality, as exemplified by the two possible reactions to states of need. One, driven by the life instinct, is life-seeking and object-seeking, leading to an attempt to satisfy those needs in the real world, where necessary by aggressive striving. The other, under the influence of the death instinct, has as its aim to annihilate experience of need and the mental pain that goes with it. Here the self, or that part of the self capable of experiencing pain, is inhibited or destroyed and, instead of a reliance on reality, the patient turns to omnipotent phantasy as a solution and thus leads a highly restricted life.
In her sixth and final book, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (2010), Segal included a fascinating discussion of the Eden myth as presented by Milton in Paradise Lost. She argued that, for man, the expulsion from paradise is nothing more that a return to the reality of ordinary life. However, Milton's account captures a more disturbing human response to exclusion – Satan filled with envy dedicates himself to a spoiling of goodness and especially of creativity.
Segal believed that the psychoanalytic understanding of the pervasiveness of our destructiveness, and the human cost of its denial, can contribute in an important way to sociopolitical questions. Although she was criticised for her political involvement, some suggesting it went against the neutrality that characterises psychoanalysis, she believed this was based on a misunderstanding. Psychoanalytic neutrality, she asserted, is a clinical stance for the consulting room and needs to be distinguished from "allowing oneself to be neutered as a citizen". Here she was clearly in the tradition of Freud.
She was one of the prime movers behind the formation of a psychoanalytic movement against nuclear armaments. Her paper Silence is the Real Crime (International Review of Psychoanalysis, 1987) remains one of the most important psychoanalytic contributions to the nuclear debate. Following the end of the cold war, she expressed the fear that the west would be unable to manage without maintaining an enemy to fuel its paranoid system of thinking and she viewed the post 9/11 context and the Gulf wars from this perspective. In 2006 she wrote: "What does the future hold? It is pretty grim, because global oppression, which includes mass murder as well as total economic exploitation, leaves desperate terrorism as almost the only weapon for the oppressed ... This expanding global empire, like all such things, has to be sustained through control of the media – and this is of necessity based on a series of lies. From the humane (and psychoanalytic) point of view we are led as citizens to struggle with the unending task of exposing lies for the preservation of sane humane values – this is our only hope."
Segal served as president of the British Psychoanalytic Society from 1977 until 1980 and as vice-president of the International Psychoanalytical Association on two occasions. She was a visiting professor at University College London in 1987-88. In 1992, she received the Mary S Sigourney award for contributions to psychoanalysis.
Throughout her life Segal had a deep passion for literature, including detective stories, and she wrote papers on novels by Joseph Conrad, Patrick White and William Golding. She was proud of her family, and followed their considerable successes and shared their worries. Her husband, Paul, died in 1996; Segal is survived by three sons, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

• Hanna Maria Segal, psychoanalyst, born 20 August 1918; died 5 July 2011