Günter Wilhelm Grass was a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist and sculptor.
Grass is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), a key text in European magic realism. It was the first book of his Danzig Trilogy, the other two being Cat and Mouse and Dog Years. His works are frequently considered to have a left-wing political dimension, and Grass was an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The Tin Drum was adapted as a film of the same name, which won both the 1979 Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 1999, the Swedish Academy awarded him the Nobel Prize in Literature, praising him as a writer "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history".
Grass died of a lung infection on April 13, 2015, in a Lübeck hospital at the age of 87. He was buried in a private family observance April 25 in Behlendorf, 15 miles south of Lübeck, where he had lived since 1995.
Boris Yefimovich Nemtsov was a Russian physicist, statesman and liberal politician. Nemtsov was one of the most important figures in the introduction of capitalism into the Russian post-Soviet economy.
Just before midnight on 27 February 2015, Nemtsov was shot several times in the back as he was crossing the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow, close to the Kremlin walls and the Red Square. He died at the scene.
Nemtsov was murdered less than two days before he was due to take part in a peace rally against Russian involvement in the war in Ukraine and the financial crisis in Russia. The BBC reported: "In his last tweet, Mr Nemtsov sent out an appeal for Russia's divided opposition to unite at an anti-war march he was planning for Sunday". The BBC also quoted him as saying, "If you support stopping Russia's war with Ukraine, if you support stopping Putin's aggression, come to the Spring March in Maryino on 1 March." The night after Nemtsov's murder, his papers, writings and computer hard drives were confiscated in a police search of his apartment on Malaya Ordynka street.
Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy renaissance. After rising to fame as Mork in the sitcom Mork & Mindy (1978–82), he went on to establish a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. He was known for his improvisational skills.
Williams committed suicide on August 11, 2014 at his home in unincorporated Paradise Cay, California at the age of 63. In the initial report released on August 12, the Marin County Sheriff's Office deputy coroner stated Williams had hanged himself with a belt and died from asphyxiation. It was revealed following his death that Williams had been suffering from severe depression, and had been sleeping in a different room from his wife due to restlessness and anxiety caused by his Parkinson's.