GOP philanthropist, donor, investor Friess dies at 81

CHEYENNE, Wyo. | Republican political donor, investor and philanthropist Foster Friess died Thursday. He was 81.

A multimillionaire who lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Friess was a GOP kingmaker who donated lavishly to candidates and charitable causes over four decades.

Friess directly gave almost $7 million to hundreds of candidates since the early 1980s, federal campaign finance records show, and was perhaps best known for supporting former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s presidential run in 2012.

Friess is survived by his wife, Lynnette, four children and 15 grandchildren. Services are planned in Scottsdale, Jackson and Rice Lake.

Italy’s Carla Fracci, La Scala prima ballerina, dies at 84

MILAN | Carla Fracci, an Italian cultural icon and former La Scala prima ballerina renowned for romantic roles alongside such greats as Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov, died Thursday at her home in Milan. She was 84.

Milan’s Teatro alla Scala announced her death without giving a cause. Italian news reports said she had been fighting cancer.

The Milan theater recalled the “fairytale rise” of the daughter of a tram driver who through “talent, obstinance and work became the most famous ballerina in the world” and inspired generations of young people.

Schlueter, longtime Danish prime minister, dies at 92

COPENHAGEN, Denmark | Poul Schlueter, Denmark’s prime minister for over a decade who negotiated exemptions for his country to a key European Union treaty after Danes rejected the initial text in a referendum, has died. He was 92.

Schlueter, who was prime minister from 1982-1993, died Thursday surrounded by his family, the leader of the party that he once headed said Friday in a statement.

“The family has lost a dear member, and our country has lost one of the most important people of our time,” Soeren Pape Poulsen, who heads the opposition Conservatives, said in a statement.

Voice of Disney’s ‘Sebastian the

Crab’ dies at age 72

COLUMBIA, S.C. | Samuel E. Wright, the South Carolina native who famously voiced “Sebastian the Crab” in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and had an acting career spanning five decades, died this week. He was 72.

Wright died Monday in New York after a three-year bout with prostate cancer, according to his family’s obituary.

“My beautiful, strong, loving daddy is off to his next adventure,” one of Wright’s daughters, Dee Kelly, wrote Tuesday on Facebook. “My heart has so much to say but I’m still processing the fact that the light that was and is my daddy will not be able to physically be here with me.”

John Davis, real singer behind Milli Vanilli, dies at 66

COLUMBIA, S.C. | John Davis, one of the real singers behind the lip-synching pop duo Milli Vanilli, died of the coronavirus this week, according to his family. He was 66.

Davis died on Monday in Nuremberg, Germany, where he had lived and performed for a long time, his daughter Jasmin Davis said in a Facebook post.

“We are so incredibly sad and heartbroken,” Davis told The Associated Press in a Facebook message.

Davis’ family set up a GoFundMe to help pay for a service, which they called “one last performance, with people he loved and got loved from.”

MacLeod, ‘Love Boat’ captain, dies at 90

LOS ANGELES | Gavin MacLeod, the veteran supporting actor who achieved fame as sardonic TV news writer Murray Slaughter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and stardom playing cheerful Capt. Stubing on “The Love Boat,” has died. He was 90.

MacLeod died early Saturday at his home in Palm Desert, California, said Stephanie Steele Zalin, his stepdaughter. She attributed his death to his age, saying he had been well until very recently.

Besides his wife, MacLeod’s survivors include his children, three stepchildren, 10 grandchildren and his first great-grandchild, who arrived in December, Steele Zalin said.

Mark Eaton, shot-blocking king and Jazz great, dies at 64

Mark Eaton, the 7-foot-4 shot-blocking king who twice was the NBA’s defensive player of the year during a career spent entirely with the Utah Jazz, has died. He was 64.

The team announced his death Saturday.

Eaton left his home for a bike ride Friday night in Summit County, Utah, and shortly thereafter someone called 911 to report after seeing him lying on a roadway and unconscious. Eaton was taken to a hospital where he later died.

Utah coach Quin Snyder said Saturday night before Game 3 in Memphis that the team’s thoughts and prayers go out to Eaton’s wife.

‘Hooked on a

Feeling’ singer B.J. Thomas dies at 78

B.J. Thomas, the Grammy-winning singer who enjoyed success on the pop, country and gospel charts with such hits as “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” has died. He was 78.

Thomas, who announced in March that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, died from complications of the disease Saturday at his home in Arlington, Texas, his publicist Jeremy Westby said in a statement.

Dionne Warwick, who duetted with Thomas, sent out a tweet Saturday with her condolences.

“My sincere condolences to the family of one of my favorite duet partners, BJ Thomas. I will miss him as I know so many others will as well. Rest In Peace my friend,” she said.

Swiss motorcyclist Dupasquier dies following Moto3 crash

FLORENCE, Italy | Swiss motorcycle rider Jason Dupasquier has died following a crash during Moto3 qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, the Careggi Hospital in Florence announced Sunday. He was 19.

“Despite the best efforts of circuit medical staff and all those subsequently attending to the Swiss rider, the hospital has announced that Dupasquier has sadly succumbed to his injuries,” MotoGP said in a statement.

—From AP reports

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