Keiiti Aki, 75, who founded the Southern California Earthquake Center and was considered one of the world's leading seismologists, died May 17.
The University of Southern California professor emeritus died on the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean after a fall, USC announced Wednesday.
During a 50-year career, Dr. Aki researched seismic waves, earthquake prediction and volcanic activity. He published more than 200 papers and co-authored his field's primary textbook, Quantitative Seismology.
In 1991 he founded the federally funded center to study local earthquakes and coordinate seismic research. More than 50 institutions from around the world are partners.
Born in 1930, Dr. Aki grew up in Japan, where he earned his doctorate in geophysics. In the 1950s and 1960s he was a postdoctoral fellow with Frank Press of the California Institute of Technology, who later became president of the National Academy of Sciences and science adviser to President Jimmy Carter.
Dr. Aki taught for 18 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to USC in 1984. He was the W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geological Sciences until his retirement in 2000, but he had lived on La Reunion since 1995.
At the time of his death, he was writing his autobiography and working on a book on earthquake prediction.
G. Thomas VanBebber, 73, a federal judge who sentenced Michael Fortier in the Oklahoma City bombing case, died Thursday at his Overland Park home in Kansas City, Kan., his office said.
Judge VanBebber initially sentenced Fortier to 12 years in prison and a $200,000 fine for his knowledge of plans to bomb the Oklahoma City federal building. Fortier was later resentenced by a federal appeals court to 12 years in prison and fined $75,000.
Judge VanBebber was appointed a federal magistrate in 1982, serving seven years in that position before being named a District Court judge in 1989 by the first President Bush.
He was chief judge from 1995 until 2000 and took senior status at the end of that year, but remained active on the bench.
Judge VanBebber was born in Troy, Kan. He had polio as a child and used crutches and occasionally a wheelchair to get around, said John Lungstrum, who succeeded him as chief judge.
Stephen Elliott, 86, a character actor who had recurring roles on the Dallas and Dynasty television series and played a villain in the movie Arthur, died May 21 in Los Angeles. He was 86.
Mr. Elliott died of congestive heart failure at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, his family said.
Mr. Elliott appeared in dozens of television shows and motion pictures and had his greatest success after he reached 50. He generally portrayed judges, doctors and other authority figures. He was Judge Harold Aldrich on several episodes of Chicago Hope, Manny Schecter on St. Elsewhere, Scotty Demarest on Dallas and Douglas Channing on Falcon Crest.
In 1981's Arthur and its sequel, 1988's Arthur 2: On the Rocks, he played Burt Johnson, the rich, scheming father of Dudley Moore's jilted fiancee.
Born Elliott Pershing Stitzel in 1918 in New York, Mr. Elliott studied acting at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse before serving as a merchant crewman in World War II.
After returning, he made his Broadway debut in 1945 in The Tempest.
Mr. Elliott's work in a 1967 Broadway revival of Marat/Sade earned him a Tony Award nomination.
Elsa Hilger, 101, who never missed a performance in 35 years as a cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra except the day her son was born, died May 17.
Ms. Hilger died at Wake Robin Retirement Community in Shelburne, Vt.
Born in Trautenau, Austria, Ms. Hilger began cello lessons at age 9 when her sister's violin instructor noted her attentiveness and the reach of her long fingers.
She studied at the prestigious Vienna Conservatory, became the youngest member of the Conservatory Orchestra and, at 12, performed with the Vienna Philharmonic.
She and her sisters played as a trio across America after World War I ended. She was invited to audition by Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Leopold Stokowski's first wife, pianist Olga Samaroff, in 1934.