Russell Markert, who founded Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes and choreographed their high-kicking routines for 39 years, died Saturday at Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut at the age of 91. He retired in 1971. He himself was a dancer in Broadway shows in the 1920s. He was performing in "No, No, Nanette" in 1925 when he went to St. Louis to realize his dream of producing a chorus line of tall female dancers. The group he formed, "The 16 Missouri Rockets," began performing in St. Louis and later toured as "The American Rockets." They attracted the attention of the noted New York showman Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel, who hired them as "Russell Markert's 32 Roxyettes." When the Radio City Music Hall opened in New York's Rockefeller Center in 1932, the chorus line's name was changed to the "Rockettes."
Pierre Dux, actor and former head of the prestigious Comedie Francaise, died Saturday in Paris at age 82. He took first prize at the nation's top acting school, the Conservatory, in 1929 and entered the Comedie, home to France's best stage actors. He played lead roles in "The Misanthrope," "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "The Night of the Kings." In 1945, he became the
Comedie's general administrator. He left a few years later to serve as co-director of the Theater of Paris and to teach at the Conservatory, but became the Comedie's chief for a second time in 1970, serving until 1979. He acted in the films "Monsieur Vincent," "Is Paris Burning?" and "Z" and appeared frequently on television. He also directed stage and television productions and wrote several books.
Tamara De Treaux, 31, a 31-inch-tall actress who played the lovable alien in the Oscar-winning "E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial," died in Los Angeles Wednesday of respiratory and heart problems. Her theater career began in San Francisco, and she joined a singing group called The Medflies in 1980. Director Steven Spielberg spotted her during a Medflies performance at the Roxy club in Los Angeles. He hired her to take on the role of E.T. after the original actor was injured. Miss De Treaux played E.T. in scenes that required movement, while a robot was used in close-ups.
David A. Morse, a former acting U.S. labor secretary who later, as director general of the International Labor Organization, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for that U.N. affiliate, died Saturday at New York Hospital. He was 83 and lived in Manhattan.
Ruth Brummel Washington, publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel, the city's leading black newspaper, died of cancer Friday. She was 76. Mrs. Washington was named publisher of the Sentinel after her husband died in 1974. Under her direction, the Sentinel, whose current circulation is about 25,000, emphasized coverage of urban community issues and civil rights.
Vijay Lakshmi Pandit, an Indian independence fighter, diplomat and politician, and the first woman to serve as president of the U.N. General Assembly, died Saturday in the northern Indian town of Dehra Dun. She was 90. Mrs. Pandit, sister of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was for long the virtual chief of one of Asia's most important political dynasties, which included Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, who was prime minister for 13 years. Mrs. Pandit, whose husband died in the 1940s, took part in the Indian freedom movement and was arrested several times by the British colonial authorities.