BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Enduring images
By Bob Chaundy
BBC News Profiles Unit

Our regular column covering the passing of significant - but lesser-reported - characters of the past month.

WWII photographer Joe Rosenthal
Rosenthal won a Pulitzer Prize

  • Joe Rosenthal, who has died at 94, was the photographer who took the immortal picture of six GIs raising the American flag over the Japanese island of Iwo Jima during World War II. His photo became the model for the Iwo Jima Memorial near Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, and became the subject of posters, war bond drives and a postage stamp. In February 1945, 30,000 Marines landed on the strategically vital island and took four days to scale its heights. Nearly 7,000 were killed. Rosenthal once said: "I take some gratification in being a little part of what the US stands for."

    The painter of Chinese Girl
    The painter of Chinese Girl

  • An iconic image, of a rather different nature, was created by Russian-born painter Vladimir Tretchikoff, who has died aged 93. He was responsible for Chinese Girl, known also as The Green Lady, which adorned seemingly every suburban wall and department store in the 1960s and 70s. Ordinary people loved it for its beguiling mystery while the critics dubbed Tretchikoff "the king of kitsch". But the painter reportedly sold more reproductions than any other artist in history. His model was a half-Dutch, half-Malay woman he met in Indonesia during World War II.

    Kim McLagan
    Kim McLagan: Traffic accident

  • Another model famous in the 1960s was Kim McLagan who has died in a road crash in Texas aged 57. She married Keith Moon, tempestuous drummer with The Who, at the age of 17 and endured an abusive relationship with him. On one infamous occasion, he threw a champagne bottle at her which became embedded in the wall. In 1973, Kim McLagan finally left him and took up with the Small Faces keyboard player, Ian McLagan with whom she spent many happy years. The couple married in 1978, the year Moon died of a drug overdose.

  • It was abuse of a racial nature that spurred Robert McCullough to lead a landmark civil rights protest in South Carolina in 1961. He and eight other black students demanded service at a whites-only lunch counter in Rock Hill, and were charged with trespassing and breach of the peace. Instead of paying the $100 fine, the activists broke with the norm by opting for a 30-day jail sentence which meant enduring an ordeal on the chain gang. McCullough justified the action by saying, "It was for all of humanity." He has died aged 64.

    Susan Butcher
    Susan Butcher in Alaska

  • Hard labour would have seemed like a breeze to Susan Butcher. Driven by a ferociously competitive nature and a team of huskies, she was a four-time winner of Alaska's gruelling Iditarod. This involved blasting across the Alaskan interior, over ice-covered rivers, mountain ranges and valleys, from Anchorage to Nome. Over the years, Susan Butcher finished in the top 10 in all but two of 17 Iditarod races. She once said, "I do not know the word 'quit'. Either I never did, or I have abolished it." She has died in Seattle of leukaemia, aged 51.

  • Ken Richmond was an athlete too. He was a British bronze medallist for heavyweight freestyle wrestling at the 1952 Olympics. Later, he became a sometime actor. Most notably, he played the wrestler Nikolai in Jules Dassin's Night and the City. But Ken Richmond will be remembered by cinemagoers throughout the UK and the world as the man who banged the gong before the opening credits to Rank Organisation movies. In fact, the gong was actually made of papier mache and the sound was dubbed on. Nevertheless, Ken Richmond will be gong but not forgotten. He was 80.

    Among others who have died in August are actor Glenn Ford (see full obituary); rock musicians Arthur Lee (see full obituary), Jesse Pintado, Bruce Gary and Joseph Hill; jazz musicians Maynard Ferguson (see full obituary) and Rufus Harley; cricketers Sir Clyde Walcott (see full obituary), Vijay Mehra and Wasim Raja (see full obituary); the writer Naguib Mahfouz (see full obituary); opera singer Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (see full obituary); racehorse trainer David Nicholson (see full obituary); dancer Joyce Blair (see full obituary); Paraguay dictator Alfredo Stroessner (see full obituary); Archbishop Willebrands of Utrecht; and TV anchor Jay Young.


    Has China's housing bubble burst?
    How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
    Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific