PASSINGS: Stan Jones, Michael Kuchwara
Stan Jones, NFL Hall of Famer, dies at 78; Michael Kuchwara, longtime AP drama critic, dies at 63
Stan Jones joined the Chicago Bears in 1954 and played in seven Pro Bowls from 1955 to 1961. He later coached for more than two decades. (Chicago Tribune)
Pro football Hall of Famer
Stan Jones, 78, a pro football Hall of Famer and standout for the Chicago Bears in the 1950s and '60s who was an innovator of weight training in the NFL, died Friday at his daughter's home in Broomfield, Colo., from complications of heart disease. Sherrill Jones said he also had skin cancer.
Jones, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991, also spent more than two decades coaching in the NFL, including 18 seasons with the Denver Broncos.
Born in Altoona, Pa., on Nov. 24, 1931, Jones lifted weights to transform himself from a skinny 140-pound boy into an elite offensive lineman who packed 265 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame.
After starring at the University of Maryland, where he was a two-way tackle and won a national title in 1953, Jones joined the Chicago Bears in 1954. One of the first pro players to lift weights, Jones played in seven straight Pro Bowls from 1955-61. In 1960, he played both offense and defense, one of the last 60-minute men in the NFL. Jones switched to defensive tackle permanently in 1963.
He was traded to the Washington Redskins in 1966 for his final season. After that, he joined Lou Saban's staff with the Broncos, where he served as strength coach and defensive line coach. He followed Saban to the Buffalo Bills in 1972 and returned to the Broncos in 1976, where he helped build the famed "Orange Crush" defenses.
In 1989, Jones returned to the weight room as strength and conditioning coach with the Cleveland Browns, and in 1991 he joined the staff of the New England Patriots. He retired after the 1992 season.
Longtime drama critic for Associated Press
Michael Kuchwara, 63, the Associated Press' longtime drama critic whose thoughtful, fair-minded reviews made him beloved and respected in the theater world and influential beyond, died Saturday at a New York hospital from complications of lung disease.
Kuchwara, who had held his position since 1984 and recently celebrated his 40th anniversary with the AP, reviewed plays by Edward Albee and August Wilson, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Miller, his work appearing in The Times and thousands of other papers and on websites around the world.
"As theater reviewers have been dropped, newspapers increasingly pick up the Associated Press reviews, making Michael Kuchwara arguably the most influential legit critic in America," Variety writer Robert Hofler wrote last year.
Kuchwara, commenting in a 2006 video that appeared on the American Theatre Wing's website, had a plainer take on his role as someone whose reviews often appeared hundreds or thousands of miles from Broadway: "I'm writing for an audience that may never see the shows that I'm writing about."
Born in Scranton, Pa., in 1947, Kuchwara was a graduate of Syracuse University and had a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri.
-- Times staff and wire reports