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Tony Wilson, a music impresario credited with guiding a crop of bands from industrial England to the international stage, died Aug. 10 from complications of kidney cancer at Christie Hospital in Manchester. He was 57.
An English major at Cambridge, Wilson promoted a host of influential musicians from his native Manchester, including Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays.
Wilson’s influence on the city, and on British music, is documented in the 2002 movie “24 Hour Party People,” which charts the rise and eventual fall of Wilson’s empire, which included Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub.
Wilson’s record label and nightclub were credited with making the city Britain’s most vibrant music center through the 1980s and ’90s, spawning bands including the Smiths, the Stone Roses and Oasis.
Sal Mosca, a jazz pianist who began his career playing with such giants as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan before abandoning public performance and devoting himself to teaching, playing and practicing, died July 28 of complications from emphysema in White Plains, N.Y. He was 80.
A pupil of Chicago avant-garde pianist Lennie Tristano, Mosca grew up emulating the stride of Fats Waller, the swing of Teddy Wilson and the technical and improvisatory mastery of Art Tatum.
In the 1950s, he played on several watershed early cool-jazz recordings, including “Ezz-thetic,” with Davis, and “Subconscious-Lee,” with saxophonist Lee Konitz.
Mosca played on the bill with Lenny Bruce at the Den in Manhattan in the 1950s and led a quartet along with the saxophonist Warne Marsh at the Village Vanguard in 1981.
Ernesto Ramirez Alonso, known as “Mr. Telenovela” for directing and producing scores of Mexican soap operas, died Aug. 7 in Mexico City. He was 90.
As an actor, Alonso rose to the top in Mexico’s film industry, starring alongside such greats as Maria Felix and Jorge Negrete. He worked with Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel, playing the title role in “The Criminal Life of Archibaldo De La Cruz” and narrating Bunuel’s 1950 classic “Los Olvidados” (The Forgotten).
In 1959, Alonso turned to television and played a pivotal role in helping build Mexico’s soap opera industry.
Stanley Myron Handelman, a comedian who became well known in the late 1960s and early ’70s, died Aug. 5 of a heart attack in Northridge, Calif. He was 78.
Handelman appeared regularly on “The Dean Martin Show” and guested on such programs as “The Tonight Show,” “The Flip Wilson Show,” “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Merv Griffin Show.” He headlined at Caesars Palace and was a regular opening act for Frank Sinatra in the late ’60s. Later in his career, Handelman was a comedy teacher in Los Angeles.
His career began in the late 1950s, when he became a regular in the New York comedy scene. His cerebral style and subtle delivery set him apart from the more bombastic acts he often followed.
Jean Hogan Hickey, who danced in more than 200 stage productions, died Aug. 9 of colon cancer at her estate in Millerton, N.Y. She was 84.
Hickey was a champion ballroom dancer who won several trophies from Arthur Murray Studios in the 1940s. She also performed in former “Tarzan” actor Johnny Weissmuller’s Water Show.
A former dancer at New York’s Copacabana, her stage credits include Broadway’s 1970 production of “Conduct Unbecoming” and an off-Broadway production of James Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.”
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