"How are we to help those who die and those who have died?" --
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"By writing or reading obituaries,
we can discover ways to make our time on earth more worthwhile, more productive, more meaningful to others." -- Alana Baranick, "Life on the Death Beat"

"'I always read the obituaries in The Times,' I explained to her. 'They make me bloody glad to be alive.'" -- John Mortimer, "Rumpole's Return"

Tony Scott

Film director and producer -- via TMZ. Among his best films: "The Hunger," "Top Gun," "True Romance," "Crimson Tide," and "Man on Fire." My personal favorite -- the bizarre and wildly entertaining "True Romance."

William Windom

Actor -- via tvmediainsights.com. Although his obits will draw in opening adjectives such as "character" and "journeyman," he simply was a very good performer. He racked up hundreds of credits, primarily on TV -- he starred in the 1963-1966 sitcom "The Farmer's Daughter," the Thurberesque "My World and Welcome to It," and was a regular on "Murder, She Wrote," as Dr. Hazlitt, but played good guys and bad guys, creeps and authority figures, on dozens of series. He was at the center of one of Rod Serling's greatest scripts, "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar," on "Night Gallery"; he memorably played the tragic Commodore Dekker on the Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine."

In film, he notably played the prosecutor in "To Kill a Mockingbird," and the killer in "The Dectective." On stage, he took his affection for and effectiveness with the delicate whimsies of James Thurber and did extensive touring with a one-man show of the author's work. He was a craftsperson as well as an artist, willing to do his best with just about any role, big or small. A real inspiration!