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Deaths Elsewhere

Franco Modigliani, 85, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on how people save money for their old age, died Thursday in his sleep at his home in Cambridge, Mass.

Mr. Modigliani, who was born in Italy and immigrated to the United States days before the outbreak of World War II, won the Nobel Prize in 1985 for theories on how people save and for his work on how to determine the market value of businesses.

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He said that his theories were colored by experiences he had while working at a savings bank as a young man. His theory on personal savings - that people at all levels of society tend to save money during good times as they look toward retirement - went against conventional wisdom.

Until then, "the generally accepted view was that saving was something done by rich people," he once said. "I thought the main reason people saved had to do with consumption wishes; they saved whenever they had more money than usual and they didn't save when they had less."

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Luis Botifoll, 95, who turned Republic National Bank into the nation's largest Hispanic-owned bank while helping fellow Cubans start over in Florida, died of heart failure Wednesday night at his Miami home, only hours after representing the Cuban American National Foundation at a gathering with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. Mr. Botifoll helped start the foundation in 1981.

The son of Spanish immigrants, Mr. Botifoll was born in Havana and earned a law degree from Tulane University. He fled Cuba with his family a year after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. In 1970, he went to work at Republic as vice president and chairman of the loan committee. He lent money to Cuban exiles, many of whom had no assets and were being turned down for loans by other banks in Miami.

Within eight years of joining the bank, he was chairman of the board. In two decades, he built the once-tiny bank into a major enterprise with 18 branches and $1.2 billion in assets. The bank was sold to Union Planters Bank in 1999.

Stanley Fafara, 54, the actor who played Beaver's buddy Whitey on Leave It to Beaver and later struggled with drugs and alcohol, died Sept. 20 in Portland, Ore., after complications from hernia surgery last month.

Years earlier, Mr. Fafara had contracted hepatitis C while using drugs. Surgery strained his liver and kidneys, all of which shut down during the past several weeks.

Leave it to Beaver aired from 1957 to 1963 and made Mr. Fafara a celebrity. In the early 1980s, he started breaking into California pharmacies for drugs before he was arrested and sent to jail. When he got out, he worked as a roofer, waiter and janitor, but eventually began dealing drugs. In the summer of 1995, he checked into a detox center, stayed for two weeks and graduated to a clean-and-sober house for addicts, where he lived for two years.

Gordon Mitchell, 80, a bodybuilder who joined entertainer Mae West's buffed all-male chorus line in the mid-1950s and went on to make about 200 B-movies, excelling in the "sword-and-sandal" genre, died Sept. 20 at his Marina del Rey, Calif., home of an apparent heart attack.

Of all the European spaghetti westerns, science fiction flicks and sparsely scripted fantasy adventures of ancient heroes saving fair damsels and suffering hordes, Mr. Mitchell's most noted film probably was Federico Fellini's 1970 Fellini Satyricon. Mr. Mitchell played a robber in the colorful portrait of ancient Roman debauchery, which is still an art-house favorite.

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Mr. Mitchell, who lived and filmed in Italy from 1961 to 1989, was featured in the Swords & Sandals Festival presented in June by the University of California, Los Angeles Film and Television Archive. His showcased film was the 1961 The Giant of Metropolis, in which he portrayed the title's prehistoric, loincloth-clad muscleman, who endures torture in a weird futuristic world.

Aubrey Gorbman, 88, a pioneering zoologist and endocrinologist who was honored with a presidential award for mentoring women scientists, died Sept. 21 in Seattle of Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Gorbman specialized in studies of the endocrine system and sex differentiation in hagfish and other lower vertebrates. He wrote a comparative endocrinology textbook and founded the Journal of Comparative Endocrinology, serving as editor for 32 years. Comparative endocrinology is the study of how similar hormones act in different animals and species, and environmental influences on animal hormones.

After fellowships at Yale University and faculty positions at Barnard College and Columbia University in New York, he moved to Seattle in 1963 to become chairman of the Washington zoology department, a position he held until he retired to emeritus status in 1985. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 1998.

Yi Sung-chun, 67, one of the most outstanding musicians of contemporary Korean classics, died of cancer Friday in Seoul, South Korea, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Born in what is now North Korea, Mr. Yi moved south during the 1950-1953 Korean War and became a pioneer of Korean classics, called Gukak, or national music.

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He entered a medical college but switched to study Korean classics two years later at the Seoul National University. He earned his doctorate and served his alma mater as a professor for 30 years. He produced about 300 pieces of music, and helped reshape the gayageum, a traditional Korean instrument with nine strings, into the one with 21 strings to broaden its tones.


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