Dick Enberg was a Hall of Fame sportscaster who punctuated his descriptions of many of the world’s leading sporting events with his signature call of “Oh, my!” He died Dec. 21 at his home in the San Diego enclave of La Jolla. He was 82. Enberg was one of the most versatile broadcasters in sports. He covered 28 Wimbledon tennis tournaments, 10 Super Bowls, 14 NCAA Final Fours, the Summer and Winter Olympics, baseball’s World Series and leading golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open and Masters. Most recently, he served as the primary play-by-play television voice of the San Diego Padres, retiring in 2016.
Clifford Irving was an author who perpetrated one of the biggest literary hoaxes of the 20th century in the early 1970s when he concocted a supposedly authorized autobiography of billionaire Howard Hughes based on meetings and interviews that never took place. He died Dec. 19 at a hospice facility near his home in Sarasota, Fla. He was 87. Irving was a novelist of little note in 1971 when he conned McGraw-Hill publishers into paying him a $765,000 advance for a book about the reclusive Hughes. Irving served 17 months in federal prison for fraud after Hughes emerged to condemn the work as a fabrication.
Cardinal Bernard Law was a disgraced former archbishop of Boston whose failures to stop child molesters in the priesthood sparked what would become the worst crisis in American Catholicism. He died Dec. 20, the Vatican said. He had been sick and was recently hospitalized in Rome. He was 86. Law was once one of the most important leaders in the U.S. church. But in January 2002, The Boston Globe began a series of reports that used church records to reveal that he had transferred abusive clergy among parish assignments for years without alerting parents or police. He stepped down as head of the Boston archdiocese in December of that year.
Keely Smith was a pop and jazz singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards as well as her musical partnership with Louis Prima. She died of apparent heart failure Dec. 16 in Palm Springs, Calif. She was 89. Smith got her first paying job singing with the Earl Bennett band when she was just 15. She later auditioned to sing with Louis Prima’s band, and began touring with them in 1948. She and Prima married in 1953, and together they won a Grammy for their hit, “That Old Black Magic” in 1959. She divorced Prima in 1961. During her seven-decade career she received several awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Bruce McCandless was a NASA astronaut who became the first person to fly freely and untethered in space. He died Dec. 21 in California, NASA’s Johnson Space Center announced Friday. He was 80. McCandless was famously photographed in 1984 flying with a hefty spacewalker’s jetpack, alone in the cosmic blackness above a blue Earth. He traveled more than 300 feet away from the space shuttle Challenger during the spacewalk. He also served as the Mission Control capsule communicator in Houston as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in 1969 and was part of the 1990 shuttle crew that delivered the Hubble Space Telescope to orbit.
Mamie “Peanut” Johnson was one of three women to play baseball in the Negro Leagues. She died Dec. 18 at a Washington hospital. The cause was a heart ailment, a stepdaughter said. She was 82. Johnson, who was rejected at age 17 from trying out for the all-white All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, was recruited in 1953 by the Indianapolis Clowns, the team that featured Hank Aaron before he went on to Major League Baseball. In three seasons as a pitcher with the Clowns, Johnson posted a 33-8 record and a .270 batting average. She received a nursing degree from North Carolina A&T State University and worked in nursing for 30 years.
Heather North was an actress who supplied the voice for the character of Daphne in the “Scooby-Doo” cartoon series. She died Nov. 30 at her California home after a long illness, The Hollywood Reporter reported this week. She was 71. North voiced Daphne Blake beginning in 1970 with the second season of “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” and portrayed the character on and off over the next 30-plus years. Her other credits included starring opposite Kurt Russell in the 1971 Disney film “The Barefoot Executive,” as well as guest appearances on such TV shows as “Days of Our Lives,” “Green Acres,” “The Fugitive,” “My Three Sons” and “Adam-12.”
LeRoy Jolley was a Hall of Fame trainer who twice won the Kentucky Derby. He died Dec. 18 at a hospital in Albany, N.Y. He was 79. Jolley won the 1975 Kentucky Derby with Foolish Pleasure and the 1980 Derby with Genuine Risk, only the second filly to win the race. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1987.
Martin Ransohoff was a producer who brought lightweight shows like “The Beverly Hillbillies” to television and sophisticated films like “The Americanization of Emily” to cinemas. He died Dec. 20 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 90. Ransohoff became president of the production house Filmways in 1958. The company also produced such TV shows as “Mister Ed,” “Petticoat Junction,” “Green Acres,” “Mister Ed” and “The Addams Family” and the movies “The Sandpiper,” “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Ice Station Zebra” and “Catch-22.”
Compiled from news service reports by Chris Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org.