Violetta Boft, 68, ballet mistress of BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio, and a longtime Russian prima ballerina, died Saturday in Upper Arlington, Ohio. The American-born Boft moved to the Soviet Union in the 1930s to study with Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet. For 32 years, she was a prima ballerina of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich Dachenko Lyric Theatre in Moscow. She received the title of a People's Artist of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and several other Soviet artistic awards. She returned to the United States in 1986 to join her family in Columbus, and was hired at BalletMet. She is credited with developing its classical and neoclassical repertory.
Theodore Clevenger, 65, the first dean of Florida State University's college of communication, died in Tallahassee, Fla., Thursday. No cause of death was released, but he had resigned in 1992 after being diagnosed as HIV-positive as the result of a 1984 blood transfusion. He was nationally recognized in his field, having been president of the Speech Communications Association of America and National Association of Communication Administration.
The Duchess of Beaufort, 66, friend of Britain's royal family, died Saturday of cancer at Badminton House in southern England, site of the ancestral home of her husband, the 11th Duke of Beaufort. The former Lady Caroline Jane Thynne was the daughter of the sixth Marquess of Bath.