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Eyvind Earle, 84, who painted the backgrounds...


Eyvind Earle, 84, who painted the backgrounds for the classic Disney films "Sleeping Beauty" and "Lady and the Tramp," died Thursday of esophageal cancer in California. Mr. Earle came to Walt Disney's attention in the early 1950s, when he created the look for the animated short, "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom," which won both an Oscar and a Cannes Film Festival award.

Mr. Earle was a well-established artist when Disney discovered him, having had his first exhibition in France when he was 13. At 23, he sold his first watercolor to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alexander Dallin, 76, a leading scholar of Soviet and East European studies and a professor emeritus at Stanford University, died Saturday in California, one day after suffering a stroke. Mr. Dallin, the son of the famous Menshevik activist and scholar David Dallin, was born in Berlin in 1924.

He began teaching at Stanford in 1971.

Mr. Dallin served as the director of the Russian Institute at Columbia University and the Center for Russian and East European Studies at Stanford. He also was the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

Hananiah Harari, 87, an American painter who championed international modernism and abstraction during the 1930s, died July 19. Mr. Harari studied with Fernand Leger in Paris from 1932 to 1934. Harari was one of a group of painters who promoted abstraction in the United States in the 1930s, when the country was in an isolationist mode politically.

His own semi-abstract painting always retained a firm connection to realism; he sometimes painted a chosen subject in both modes.

Olcott Damon Smith, 93, the former chairman of Aetna Life & Casualty Co. who helped the insurer gain an international foothold, died Monday in Connecticut.

Mr. Smith served as Aetna's chairman from 1963 to 1972. He joined Aetna Life Affiliated Companies as vice chairman in 1962 before becoming chief executive officer and chairman a year later.

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