Penelope Gilliatt, 61, novelist, playwright and former film critic for the New Yorker Magazine, died Sunday in London after a long illness. Her screenplay of "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" was nominated for an Academy Award in 1971, and won awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics and the British Society of Film Critics.
* Dame Freya Stark, a British-born author who wrote more than 24 books based on her travels in the Middle East before World War II, died Sunday at the age of 100 at her home near Venice, Italy. "She regarded death as her last great journey which she'd been looking forward to for some years," said London publisher John Murray. "She simply died of old age." She began her travels in the 1930s while on government service in the Middle East. She was a solitary traveler in an age when women rarely went abroad alone. She ventured through Arab countries by camel, pony and mule -- sometimes in areas no European women and few European men had ever seen. She shrugged off attacks of dysentery, malaria, influenza and heart trouble to write "Beyond Euphrates," "Traveler's Prelude" and "A Winter in Arabia." She had interrupted her university studies to work as a nurse on the Italian front in World War I and later studied Arabic with a monk in Italy and at the London School of Oriental Studies.
* Ralph L. Belcher, 72, a West Virginia native who worked on the Manhattan Project, the government program that developed the world's first atom bomb, and later directed a nuclear reactor program at the University of Maryland, died April 30 in Silver Spring. He spent 21 years with the Central Intelligence Agency. He was a graduate of Marshall University and received graduate degrees from the universities of Kentucky and Maryland. He also was a former consultant for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
* Noel J. Quinn, 77, an artist whose paintings hang in the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress and the Pentagon and have been exhibited in New York's Metropolitan Museum and in galleries in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, died Wednesday in a Los Angeles nursing home after a series of strokes. The native of Pawtucket, R.I., studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design and on a fellowship in Paris.