Jack BittnerActor and singerMANHATTAN -- Jack Bittner, 76...


July 14, 1993

MANHATTAN — Jack Bittner

Actor and singer

MANHATTAN -- Jack Bittner, 76, an actor and singer in theater, television and the opera for half a century, died June 26 at his home here of a heart attack.

Mr. Bittner was known best as a Shakespearean actor. He appeared in more than 40 productions and was runner-up for a Clarence Derwent Award in 1954 for best supporting performances in "Richard III" and "Coriolanus."

Brooks Atkinson, who reviewed the Antioch Shakespeare Festival production of "Coriolanus" in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1953, praised Mr. Bittner's portrayal of Aufidius as "forceful and illuminating."

In 1958, he won critical approval for his performances in "Hamlet," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Winter's Tale" at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Conn.

He made his Broadway debut in 1942, as a monk in "Nathan the Wise" at the Belasco Theater. His other Broadway roles included Frey in "All the King's Men," in 1948; Senator Blake in a revival of "Room Service" in 1953; the foreman of the jury in "Witness for the Prosecution," in 1954; and Topman, the lusty young sailor in "Tiger at the Gates," in 1955.

The baritone made his singing debut in the New York City Opera's production of Shostakovich's "Katerina Ismailova" in 1965. His other roles with the company included Assan in "The Consul" in 1966 and the Sacristan in "Tosca" in 1968.

He also made some 300 appearances on television programs, among them the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" on NBC and "The Defenders" on CBS. He also played the leading role in a surrealist film, "Dreams that Money Can Buy," in 1948.

Howard Jones

'Happy the Clown'


PHILADELPHIA -- Howard Jones, who as "Happy the Clown" entertained a generation of Philadelphia children, died Sunday at age 83.

Mr. Jones earned the devotion of tens of thousands of children who watched his television show between 1956 and 1968 on WFIL-TV, now WPVI-TV. He became the studio clown after several years of playing Santa Claus.

He later sold real estate in King of Prussia and Avalon, N.J. NEW YORK CITY -- John M. Falabella, 40, a designer for theater and television, died July 6 of AIDS.

He designed 14 Broadway shows, including Harvey Fierstein's "Safe Sex," Edward Albee's "Lady From Dubuque" and "Harry Connick Jr. on Broadway."

He also worked off-Broadway and at regional theaters around the country, among them the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia and the Kennedy Center in Washington. His television credits include "Broadway Sings: The Music of Jule Styne" and five Tony Awards shows for CBS.

He also designed many AIDS benefits, including "The Best of the Best: A Show of Concern" at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1985.

* John J. Codella, 64, the New York public-relations man who brought American Mensa to the country's attention and watched it grow, died Thursday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia after a long illness. Mensa is a fellowship organization with members whose scores in standard intelligent tests place them higher than 98 percent of

the population as a whole. Mr. Cordella became intrigued by it on a 1961 visit to England, where the society was founded.

* Hans Hopf, 76, a German tenor who specialized in Wagnerian roles during a long career at the Munich Opera, died of a heart attack June 25 near his home in Germany. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1952 as Walther in "Die Meistersinger." A review in the New York Times said that he had a "fine voice of marked sonority, more inherently dramatic than lyric." A decade later, reviewing Mr. Hopf's performance as Siegfried in "Goetterdaemmerung" at the Met, Harold C. Schonberg wrote that he was "strong-voiced, well-routined, and as good as anybody around."

* Elinor Merrell, 98, a decorator and dealer in antique textiles, died Saturday of complications from a stroke at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home in Manhattan. For nearly 65 years, Miss Merrell operated her business, Elinor Merrell Antiques, in several different shops on the East Side of Manhattan and since 1981, from her apartment on East 78th Street. Amassing a major collection of museum-caliber textiles, she would sell swatches to fabric houses to copy.

* David E. Kirschenbaum, 30, a leader against violence directed at gay people because of their sexual orientation, died Sunday at home in Manhattan of was complications from AIDS. Mr. Kirschenbaum was a board member and former deputy executive director of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Antiviolence Project. He organized its system, which was copied elsewhere, for recording cases and statistics on violent attacks. The figures are used to lobby legislators for stronger laws and to pressure law-enforcement agencies to take the violence more seriously.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.