Bernard Buffet, one of France's most prolific...


Bernard Buffet, one of France's most prolific and successful postwar artists, committed suicide yesterday in Paris. He was 71 and had been suffering from Parkinson's disease.

News reports said Mr. Buffet had been driven to despair by Parkinson's, a debilitating neurological disorder that had prevented him from painting.

Tributes flowed in as news of his death spread.

French President Jacques Chirac called him "a great painter of our times," while Prime Minister Lionel Jospin praised Mr. Buffet as a man who had portrayed the sufferings of France as it emerged from the dark years of World War II.

Mr. Buffet produced more paintings and made more money from them than any French painter during the past five decades. But early acclaim gave way in later years to accusations that he was more interested in commercialism than artistic commitment.

Walter Bergman, 100, a civil rights activist and a founder of the Michigan chapter of the ACLU and the Michigan Federation of Teachers, died Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

A member of the Freedom Riders, he was among those attacked on Mother's Day, 1961, by Ku Klux Klan members and other vigilantes in Anniston, Ala. Doctors believe a stroke he suffered months later stemmed from the beating he received. He was 61 at the time and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Weldon W. Case, 78, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Alltel Corp., died Thursday in Boca Raton, Fla.

Morris Pashman, 87, a former New Jersey Supreme Court justice, died of leukemia Sunday in New York.

Pub Date: 10/05/99

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