Other notable deaths

The Baltimore Sun

PAT KIRKWOOD, 86 Musical theater star

Pat Kirkwood, once a star of British musical theater, died Tuesday at Kitwood House nursing home in Ilkley, northern England. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease and a chest infection, said author and royal biographer Michael Thornton, a family friend.

Ms. Kirkwood's career included leading roles in musicals written by Noel Coward, Cole Porter and Leonard Bernstein. But Ms. Kirkwood, who was married four times, was dogged much of her life by rumors of a romantic liaison with Prince Philip -- which she always denied -- after the two were seen dancing at a London nightclub.

Born Feb. 24, 1921, to a Scottish shipping clerk, she was first spotted at a talent contest on the Isle of Man and began her professional career as a 14-year-old singer in the British Broadcasting Corp. radio's The Children's Hour.

She made her London stage debut as Dandini in Cinderella at what is now the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1937, and rose to national prominence after her appearance in Black Velvet in 1939, where she wowed critics with her renditions of Mr. Porter's "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" and "Most Gentlemen Don't Like Love."

Ms. Kirkwood made a bid for Hollywood stardom, appearing in Van Johnson's No Leave, No Love in 1946. But the musical was a flop, and Ms. Kirkwood suffered a nervous breakdown, spending eight months in a New York sanatorium.

She led a sparkling postwar career. Mr. Bernstein offered her the lead role in his 1955 London production of Wonderful Town. She continued to work on stage throughout the 1960s, appearing in Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife and Mr. Coward's Hay Fever. She made her farewell bow in 1973, at the age of 52, as Principal Boy in the title role of Aladdin at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle.

JOE DOLAN, 68 Irish pop music star

Joe Dolan, one of Ireland's first pop music stars who entertained audiences for decades with Vegas-style showmanship, died Wednesday of a brain hemorrhage. He collapsed at his family home in suburban south Dublin on Christmas night and died after falling into a coma at a hospital, his family said.

Mr. Dolan was the most celebrated -- and fondly caricatured -- survivor of Ireland's bygone "show band" era of the 1960s and 1970s, when homegrown rock 'n' roll acts toured the country playing cover versions of international hits.

His biggest hit, "Make Me an Island" in 1969, reached No. 3 in Britain and No. 1 in 14 other countries. Other hits that climbed the European charts included "You're Such a Good-Looking Woman" in 1970, "Lady in Blue" in 1975 and "I Need You" in 1977.

His last Irish No. 1 came in 1997, when he re-recorded "Good-Looking Woman" with a popular fictional TV comedian, a puppet named Dustin the Turkey.

"He was a fantastic showman, had great stage presence, had a distinctive singing voice and never forgot his roots," said Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.

Mr. Dolan, with a bushy brow and beaming smile, was known for the power and quality of a voice that fell somewhere between Tom Jones and Tony Bennett. Unlike other show band stars, he found success overseas with original material.

He had an irreverent sense of humor, most recently demonstrated when he underwent a hip replacement operation in 2005 -- and had his original hip bone sold for charity on eBay.

In recent years, Mr. Dolan kept touring and recording regularly, and was in the middle of a concert series in Dublin in November when he left the stage after just four songs, suffering from exhaustion. He canceled a planned Christmas tour.

G.P. SIPPY, 93 Indian filmmaker

G.P. Sippy, an Indian filmmaker and director whose 1975 blockbuster Sholay (Embers) remains the most famous Hindi-language movie and the biggest commercial success for Bollywood, died Tuesday in Mumbai. The cause was liver and other age-related ailments, family sources said.

Sholay, directed by Mr. Sippy's son Ramesh, revolutionized Hindi filmmaking and brought true professionalism to Indian script writing. Written by Mr. Sippy's favorite scriptwriting team, Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar, Sholay was loosely styled on The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven, and has been called India's first "curry western."

On its release, the film ran for a record 286 straight weeks at the Minerva Theater in Mumbai, then called Bombay. It also broke all previous earning records for commercial cinema in India. In 1999, BBC India declared it "the film of the millennium."

Mr. Sippy produced his first hit film, Marine Drive, in 1955. A series of successful romantic, social and musical films such as Shrimati 420, Mr. India, 12 O'Clock and Andaz followed, all produced and directed by Mr. Sippy.

He later asked his son to quit his studies at the London School of Economics and help him produce films. The father-and-son duo, working in tandem as producer and director, made some of the most memorable Hindi films, beginning with the enormously successful Seeta aur Geeta in 1972, followed by Sholay.

Hamesha, a 1997 chart-buster starring the young heartthrobs Saif Ali Khan and Kajol Mukherjee, was his last movie.

HUGH MASSINGBERD, 60 Obituaries editor

Hugh Massingberd, who developed the obituary into entertaining and irreverent brilliance at The Daily Telegraph, died Tuesday, the London newspaper reported. He had been diagnosed with cancer in 2004.

His term as obituaries editor, from 1986 to 1994, was "just a lucky time ... a time when so many legends of the century were dying," Mr. Massingberd said in a 1996 interview.

The Daily Telegraph said Mr. Massingberd found his inspiration at a theatrical rendering of Brief Lives by the waspish 17th-century writer John Aubrey, who said of a barrister: "He got more by his prick than his practice."

That line inspired Mr. Massingberd, as he later wrote, to chronicle "what people were really like through informal anecdote, description and character sketch."

A parade of remarkable characters took their last bows in the Telegraph during Mr. Massingberd's term.

There was Maj. Donald Neville-Willing, who found his dentures a liability in romance; John Allegro, "the Liberace of biblical scholarship," whose promising career as a scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls degenerated into a series of books claiming that Christianity was a hallucinogenic mushroom cult; and Nerea de Clifford, author of What British Cats Think About Television, who had concluded: "Most cats show an interest of some kind, though it is often of hostility."

Mr. Massingberd's creed was that an obituary should give pleasure to relatives and friends, as well as the general reader.

THOMAS MORGAN III, 56 Journalist

Thomas Morgan III, the first openly gay president of the National Association of Black Journalists and a longtime newsman at The New York Times, died Monday, possibly of a heart attack, in Southampton, Mass., said his partner, Thomas Ciano.

Mr. Morgan, who lived in Brooklyn, was the NABJ's president from 1989 to 1991. Even though he won the election handily, it was somewhat heated, according to a 2004 profile of Mr. Morgan on the NABJ's Web site.

"It was painful," Mr. Morgan recalled. "I struggled with how to represent NABJ without embarrassing the organization but while also being true to myself. I was elected as a black journalist, not a gay one."

After graduating from the University of Missouri and completing his service with the U.S. Air Force in 1975, Mr. Morgan worked at The Miami Herald and The Washington Post.

He then joined the Times, where he rose to assistant metro editor and also received a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1989.

He retired from the newspaper in 1994, "largely to concentrate on his personal fight against AIDS," according to the profile.

OPENDRA 'BILL' NARAYAN, 71 AIDS researcher

Opendra "Bill" Narayan, an AIDS researcher who was developing a vaccine aimed at helping poor people around the world fight the virus, died Monday of a heart attack.

Mr. Narayan, a senior faculty member of the University of Kansas Medical Center, gained prominence more than a decade ago after developing a form of HIV that caused a disease in monkeys that was similar to AIDS in humans. He used his new animal model to test vaccines and received nearly $50 million in grants, including more than $16 million from the National Institutes of Health, for research at the University of Kansas medical center.

He helped found Lenexa-based ImmunoGenetix to bring his AIDS vaccine to market. President James Laufenberg said the company was working on an application to the Food and Drug Administration for permission to test Mr. Narayan's vaccine on a small number of people, and hoped to begin clinical trials within two years.

Mr. Narayan's vaccines were not intended to prevent people from becoming infected, but he had demonstrated that vaccinated monkeys did not become ill after being infected with the simian version of HIV.

He was looking for an easy-to-administer vaccine that could help people in less-developed countries who could not afford expensive drugs.

HANS OTTE, 81 Composer

German avant-garde composer and pianist Hans Otte died Tuesday after a long illness, according to a statement on the Web site of Radio Bremen, whose music department he led from 1959 to 1984. The cause of death was not given.

Mr. Otte, born Dec. 3, 1926, in the eastern German town of Plauen, began playing the piano at age 5.

He was trained in Germany, in Italy and at Yale University, where he studied composition under Paul Hindemith during a one-year scholarship in 1950. He was also a student of pianist Walter Gieseking and organist Fernando Germani.

Radio Bremen, which described Mr. Otte as an "outstanding innovative spirit," said he brought avant-garde composers John Cage and David Tudor to Germany in the 1970s. Mr. Otte initiated and organized the Pro Musica Nova festival in the northern city of Bremen beginning in 1961, making a name for himself as a promoter of modern music.

Mr. Otte's own output ranged from musical theater to video productions and included his minimalist piano work Buch der Klaenge (Book of Sounds), first performed in 1982.

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