Obituaries, 16th-22nd of November 2012

Bryce Courtenay, Deborah Raffin, Sir Philip Ledger, Leo Blair & Frederick Schmidt have passed away. May their souls rest in peace.

Bryce Courtenay: August 14th 1933 – November 22nd 2012
Revered award-winning author Bryce Courtenay passed away this week from stomach cancer aged 79. Though an Australian citizen, Courtenay was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and went on to study journalism in London. He spent over three decades working in the advertising industry and his first book, "The Power of One" became one of Australia's biggest ever selling novels and was also turned into a movie. Though he penned other works, to date this is the only book of his that was marketed in the US. In 2010 Courtenay's face was chosen to adorn an Australian postage stamp. He is survived by his second wife, two sons and three grandsons.

Deborah Raffin: March 13th 1953 – November 21st 2012
TV and movie actress, Deborah Raffin has passed away this week. She was 59. The Los Angeles born actress' movies included "Noble House" and cult hit "Scanners II: The New Order" as well as television roles such as "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Her role in the film "Nightmare in Badham County" saw Raffin become a star in China which led to her becoming a go-between for the industry in Hollywood for the Asian market. She was once nominated for a Golden Globe, and later for a less prestigious Razzie Award.

Sir Philip Ledger: December 12th 1937 – November 18th 2012
Classical musician, composer and academic Sir Philip Ledger has passed away aged 74. Born in Bexhill-on-Sea in the United Kingdom, he went on to study at Cambridge University and later became the dean of the Fine Arts and Music School. We would later become director of music at the college at which he studied and also of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Ledger recorded with a host of acclaimed musicians such as Paul Torelier and Robert tear and in 1985 was honored with a CBE. 14 years later he received a knighthood. Ledger is survived by his wife, two children and a granddaughter.

Leo Charles Lynton Blair: August 4th 1923 – November 16th 2012
Leo Charles Lynton Blair, author, lawyer, lecturer of law and the father of the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has passed away. He was 89. Born illegitimately in the UK's Yorkshire, he was fostered and then adopted at a young age, growing up in Scotland's capital city, Glasgow where he went on to work at the Communist Party Newspaper and later for the Scottish Communist League before becoming a barrister. He later lectured law in England and despite his early left-wing leanings became a member of the Conservative Party and then followed his son Tony, into the Labour Party. Blair also published a book entitled "The Commonwealth Public Service." He is survived by his three children and grandchildren.

Frederick Schmidt: February 9th 1916 – November 17th 2012
Former Major League Baseball player, Frederick Schmidt has passed away at the age of 96. The fourth oldest living ballplayer, he began his career with the Cardinals of Saint Louis in 1944, with whom he won the National League, but his career was cut short when he went to fight in the Second World War. Upon returning to the US, he played for two more clubs, the Cubs and the Phillies, but with less success and retired in 1947. At the time of his death, Schmidt was the oldest living Major League Championship-winning player. He is survived by his wife, two step-children and step-grandchildren.

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