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America through the eyes of two American-Americans

Frank Garland, 60

Frank C. Garland, the UC San Diego epidemiologist who, with his brother Cedric, was the first to demonstrate that vitamin D in sunlight plays a role in preventing cancer and other diseases, died Aug. 17 at UCSD Thornton Hospital. He was 60 and had been suffering for nearly a year from cancer.

"His favorite expression was, 'I like observation and inference.' "

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Filed under: Obituaries

Frank Ryan, 50

Dr. Frank Ryan, plastic surgeon to Heidi Montag and other celebrities, was sending a Twitter message about his border collie just before his fatal car accident.

"He lived up in Malibu on a tiny street and he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff," Charmaine Blake says.

Blake, a celebrity publicist, says Ryan's family was told by investigators that the Tweeting caused the wreck on Monday.

The dog, whose name is Jill – Blake's middle name – was in the car at the time of the crash and survived injuries to the head, eye and paw.

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Filed under: Obituaries

Lorene Yarnell, 66

Half of the Shields and Yarnell comedy mime team that came to fame in the 1970s and briefly starred in their own TV variety series, has died. She was 66.

Yarnell, who turned up in Mel Brooks' 1987 comedy "Spaceballs" — she was the robot Dot Matrix, whose voice was supplied by Joan Rivers — owned a dance studio in Sandefjord, Norway, where she taught jazz, tap and ballet.

"She could tap dance like nobody's business."

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Filed under: Obituaries

John Callahan, 59

Callahan died Saturday at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Ore., after undergoing surgery and treatment for a chronic bed sore, said Kevin Mullane, a longtime friend.

He was drinking heavily when he moved to the Los Angeles area in 1972. That July, after a day of drinking, he and a man he met at a party went bar-hopping. With his new drinking buddy behind the wheel of Callahan's Volkswagen Beetle, it crashed into a utility pole while traveling at 90 mph.

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Filed under: Obituaries

Marc Abrams, 58

Marc Abrams, a physician whose epic (and shirtless) daily walks through Silver Lake inspired documentaries, murals and magazine profiles, died Wednesday. He was 58.

His wife, Cindy, found him dead in their backyard hot tub. Police initially determined that it was a suicide, although the official cause of death is pending.

Abrams traversed 20 to 30 miles of pavement each day and wore out four pairs of shoes each year. He walked swiftly — often hunched over a newspaper — slowing only to shout hellos to friends or give medical advice to those who asked for it.

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Filed under: Obituaries

Hank Cochran, 74

Garland Perry Cochran was born August 2, 1935 in Isola, Mississippi. After his parents divorced, when he was 9, his father placed him at St. Peter's Orphans Home in Memphis. At age 12 he hitchhiked with an uncle to Hobbs, New Mexico and spent 2 years laboring in the oil fields there.

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Nicolas Hayek, 82

Inventor of the Swatch Watch.

The self-styled Mr. Swatch became a national figure, respected as one of the economic leaders of Switzerland. Back in America, Seth popularized putting the Swatch Watch on his pants next to his zipper.

Not related to Salma.

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Filed under: Obituaries

Jimmy Dean, 81

The country music star and sausage king died at his home while eating in front of the television. Dean was born Aug. 10, 1928, in Olton, Texas, and grew up in Plainview. He and his brother Don were raised on a farm by their mother after their father left when Dean was still a child. They were so poor, he once said, he wore shirts that his mother made out of sugar sacks.

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Chris Haney, 59

The dropout was co-creator of Trivial Pursuit. In 1980, with an infant son to support and a second child on the way, Haney quit his job at the Gazette to work full time on the game. His personal finances became so shaky, however, that he was redeeming empty beer bottles for cash. He suffered a nervous breakdown.

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Art Linkletter, 97

His youngest child, Diane, leaped to her death from her Hollywood apartment in 1969 at age 20, a suicide the family blamed on LSD use. He and his daughter won a Grammy for their spoken-word recording "We Love You, Call Collect," an emotional father-daughter conversation recorded not long before her death.

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Jack Herer, 70

Author and activist Jack Herer died Thursday in Eugene, Ore. The 70-year-old activist was in ill health following a heart attack he experienced after leaving the Hempstalk festival stage in Portland last fall.

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Filed under: Obituaries
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