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Mike Grauer Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons

  Vin Baker was an Olympic basketball player and four-time NBA All Star. The journey from University of Hartford to professional basketball got him rich quick, but it was a lifestyle he couldn't keep up with.

Baker's struggle with alcoholism is well-documented, as is the fact he blew through $100 million. He lost his home and restaurant.

The White House / flickr

While basketball didn't take up residence in the White House in January 2009, the game nonetheless played an outsized role in forming the man who did, according to Sports Illustrated's Alexander Wolff, author of The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama.

Riccardo Ghilardi / Creative Commons

In 2008, the late Carrie Fisher spent a few weeks in Hartford, performing in her one-woman show "Wishful Drinking" at Hartford Stage. 

Updated at 1:39 p.m. Thursday

Carrie Fisher, the actress who became a pop culture icon for her performance as Princess Leia in Star Wars, has died at age 60.

Fisher had suffered a massive heart attack last week on a flight from London to Los Angeles. On Sunday, her family said she was in stable condition.

A representative of Fisher's daughter, Bille Lourd, confirmed that Fisher died on Tuesday morning.

Fisher shot to fame at the age of 19, when she took on her instantly iconic role in Star Wars.

PBS

For nearly four and a half decades, Sonia Manzano was Maria -- a recurring female lead on the PBS television series "Sesame Street."

Last year, Manzano retired from the show and published a memoir. It’s called Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

Updated 5 p.m. ET

The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn't stop his pioneering ways.

Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space.

Glenn was 95 when he died; he had been hospitalized in an Ohio State University medical center in Columbus since last week.

PBS

For nearly four and a half decades, Sonia Manzano was Maria -- a recurring female lead on the PBS television series "Sesame Street."

Last year, Manzano retired from the show and published a memoir. It’s called Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

Updated at 4:59 p.m. ET

Soul singer Sharon Jones, lead singer of the group The Dap-Kings, has died, her publicist announced late Friday. She was 60.

She'd been fighting pancreatic cancer since 2013, when she took a break from touring to undergo extensive surgery and chemotherapy, Fresh Air wrote earlier this year. The cancer went into remission, but returned this year.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

See, we were supposed to send a whole team of people to the first presidential debate on Long Island. We were supposed to do an episode of The Colin McEnroe Show from Hofstra.

Xavier Badosa / Creative Commons

Bob Dylan's own reaction to winning the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature isn't known yet. In his first public appearance following the news, a couple of days after the announcement, he took the stage for a concert Las Vegas. He said nothing about the award.

T. Charles Erickson

We've never sent a Nose panel to a play before. So this week, we figured we'd try it out. So we've all gone to see Steve Martin's world premiere at the Long Wharf in New Haven: Meteor Shower.

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

Home Box Office, Inc.

The Red Sox and their fans will celebrate the legacy of David Ortiz during the team’s final regular season series, which begins Friday night at Fenway Park.

The day the baseball player known as Big Papi became a Boston legend is easy to pinpoint: Oct. 18, 2004.

[Youtube]

Just after midnight, Ortiz hit a walk-off home run to prevent the Sox from being swept by the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

Open Road Films, LLC

The biggest surprise about Oliver Stone's Snowden is probably how controversial it isn't. Which isn't to say that it isn't somewhat controversial -- anything about Edward Snowden is bound to be somewhat controversial. But for an Oliver Stone conspiracy thriller, The Nose finds Snowden to be pretty tame.

wikimedia Commons

Gene Wilder, the iconic actor who starred in "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein," and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut on Sunday. He was 83.

Wilder's nephew said he passed away from complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Editor's note: Gene Wilder died Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. In 2014, WNPR's Jeff Cohen reported on a screening of "Blazing Saddles" with Wilder in attendance, followed by a Q&A with the actor. This was first published on October 30, 2014.

It's been 40 years since the release of the Mel Brooks' movie Blazing Saddles. I recently went to an anniversary screening and in the audience was one of the movie's stars: Gene Wilder.

ABC Television / Wikimedia Commons

Clive James considered Dick Cavett one of the great intellectuals who shaped the 20th century. He did it primarily as the host of The Dick Cavett Show, combining playfulness and serious discussion for ninety-minutes each night with a roster of cultural icons that spanned the worlds of art, culture, literature, music, and politics.

Diane Sobolewski

Petula Clark has been singing since 1942, when as a nine-year-old child, she answered a request from a BBC producer to sing to a British theater audience unnerved by an air raid that delayed the BBC broadcast they came to hear.

Joss Whedon: His Work, His Life, He's Here!

Aug 2, 2016
Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Originally, we planned on doing a show about Joss Whedon -- without Joss Whedon. We invited a scholar of his work to talk about his television and film resume, and a close friend, professor and mentor to speak on his directorial style. However, Joss was interested enough in what we're planning to join the show! So now, it's a show about Joss Whedon -- with Joss Whedon. 

Michael Jordan is condemning violence against both African-Americans and police. His forceful and emotional statement, released by ESPN's The Undefeated, is a marked change for the NBA legend.

Jordan has been famously apolitical during his career — first as a Hall of Fame basketball player for the Chicago Bulls and more recently as an owner of the Charlotte Hornets — avoiding public statements on politics and civil rights, when other athletes have spoken out.

Tim Duncan, the long-time star of the San Antonio Spurs, announced today that he is retiring. He helped the team win five NBA titles since he joined the franchise in 1997.

Duncan's reserved personality kept him largely out of the spotlight, despite his consistently stellar performances with the Spurs, who made the playoffs every year that Duncan played for the team. Duncan was voted most valuable player five times, two of them regular-season M.V.P. awards and three others for his performances in NBA finals.

A court in Spain has sentenced Lionel Messi, widely hailed as one of the best soccer players alive, to 21 months in jail for tax fraud. Messi 's father, Jorge Horacio Messi, received the same sentence, over not paying some 4 million euros in taxes.

Carlos Duplessis / flickr creative commons

New York magazine's Will Leitch has called ESPN's new documentary "O.J.: Made in America" a masterpiece, and he thinks it'll be "the only thing this country's going to be talking about" as it airs next week. The Nose has already seen it, and it's all we're going to be talking about this week.

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