Character actor worked with Tim Burton
Glenn Shadix, 58, a character actor best remembered for his portrayal of the portly, pretentious interior designer Otho in director Tim Burton's 1988 ghost comedy "Beetlejuice," died Tuesday at his home in Birmingham, Ala., according to his personal manager, Juliet Green. Shadix's sister, Susan Gagne, told the Birmingham News that he had been using a wheelchair for mobility and appeared to have fallen in his kitchen and struck his head.
Green said the prolific actor had one of his closest professional relationships with Burton, who also cast him in "The Nightmare Before Christmas" as the voice of the mayor of Halloweentown and in 2001's "Planet of the Apes" as Sen. Nado.
William Glenn Shadix was born April 15, 1952, in Bessemer, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham. As a youth he acted in local theater productions. He moved to Los Angeles in the '70s and appeared in film and on television and the stage, gaining critics' praise in 1986 for his role as Gertrude Stein in "Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights" at the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
Pastor's group defied trade embargo against Cuba
The Rev. Lucius Walker, 80, who led an annual pilgrimage of U.S. aid volunteers to Cuba in defiance of Washington's nearly half-century-old trade embargo, died Tuesday of a heart attack in New York.
Walker headed the nonprofit Pastors for Peace, which since 1992 has taken tons of supplies to Cuba via Mexico and Canada — walkers, wheelchairs, computer monitors, clothing and more.
Walker led 21 relief trips to Cuba, the last of which was in July. Pastors for Peace violates the embargo by refusing to apply for permission to export to Cuba, instead traveling through third countries to deliver supplies donated by people in the United States.
The organization is one of several that take goods to Cuba in open defiance of the embargo targeting Fidel Castro's communist dictatorship. Most are allowed to leave and return to the United States without incident, though some participants have received letters threatening fines and other sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department. The embargo's current form began in February 1962.
Walker was born Aug. 3, 1930, in Roselle, N.J. He graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., in 1954 and earned a master of divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School four years later.
LeRoy A. Beavers Jr.
Pioneering black insurance executive
LeRoy A. Beavers Jr., 87, a pioneering insurance executive from a prominent Los Angeles family, died Sept. 1 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after battling cancer, his family announced.
In 1925, his uncle George A. Beavers Jr. co-founded Golden State Mutual Life Insurance, a company dedicated to serving the African American community of Los Angeles. LeRoy began his career working in the family business and in 1963 became one of the first blacks hired by white-owned Equitable Insurance. He was promoted to agency manager, the first black to hold that position for Equitable Insurance, and ran the company's Century City office.
Beavers was born in Los Angeles on June 3, 1923, and attended UC Berkeley. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. He and his first wife, Jessie Mae Brown Beavers, who was an editor at the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper and a community activist, had three children. She died in 1989, and he later married Lilia Valderrama.
Cellist with Electric Light Orchestra