* Danitra Vance, 35, an actress and performance artist who appeared in "The Colored Museum" and "Spunk" at the New York Shakespeare Festival, died Sunday of breast cancer at the home of her grandfather in Markham, Ill. The Chicago native appeared in feature films and in 1985 became the first black woman to join the regular cast of "Saturday Night Live." But it was through her association with George C. Wolfe, the playwright and director who is now the producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival, that she was best known to theatergoers. In "Spunk," Mr. Wolfe's 1990 adaptation of stories by Zora Neale Hurston, she demonstrated "exceptional range in playing a trio of women who are in turn worn to the bone, full of sass, and aglow with innocence," wrote Frank Rich in the New York Times.
* Odessa Lee Grady Clay, 77, the mother of former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, died of a stroke Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
* Luigi Chinetti Sr., 93, a race driver who played a key role in the early success of Ferrari automobiles, died Wednesday in Greenwich, Conn. He established a friendship with Enzo Ferrari when the two drove for the Alfa Romeo racing team and in 1948 urged him to build sports cars instead of machine tools. He used his racing skills to drive a Ferrari to victory in a 12-hour French race and establish the fledging car builder's reputation. Even more significant was his 1949 victory at Le Mans, France, in a 166MM model Ferrari -- driving all but 30 minutes for Ferrari's first win of the 24-hour classic.