Mario Cecchi GoriItalian film producerROME -- Mario Cecchi...

DEATHS ELSEWHERE

November 06, 1993

ROME — Mario Cecchi Gori

Italian film producer

ROME -- Mario Cecchi Gori, a leading Italian film producer whose credits included the Oscar-winning "Mediterraneo," died yesterday of an apparent heart attack.

Mr. Cecchi Gori, 73, was the second figure from the Italian cinema to die this week. Film director Federico Fellini died Sunday.

He produced more than 40 films over more than three decades, ranging from grade B fare to such successes as "The Easy Life," a 1962 tragicomedy.

"Mediterraneo," a film about Italian soldiers stranded on a Greek island during World War II, won the 1992 Oscar as best foreign film.

He also invested in pay television and a movie house chain. But he was equally well-known in Italy for his passion for soccer.

He realized a long-held dream by buying the Florence team Fiorentina, but was severely criticized for his management when the team was demoted to the minor leagues this year. LOS ANGELES -- William Lanteau, a character actor on Broadway and in television and movies, died of complications after heart surgery Wednesday at age 70.

He portrayed the old caretaker in the 1981 movie "On Golden Pond," starring Katharine Hepburn and Jane and Henry Fonda.

TV audiences knew Mr. Lanteau as Chester for eight seasons on "The Bob Newhart Show." He also made appearances on "The Wonder Years," "Cheers," "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" and "Cagney and Lacey." He had parts in the movie and Broadway productions of "Li'l Abner."

* Bernard M. Decker, the former U.S. district judge who in 1978 ruled that a group of neo-Nazis had the right to march through Skokie, Ill., a community with a large number of Jews, died Tuesday at 89. He served on the Illinois and federal bench for 36 years, retiring in 1987. One of his most controversial decisions came when he ruled that a band of self-styled Nazis could march on Adolf Hitler's birthday in Skokie. Judge Decker declared that three ordinances designed to prevent the march interfered with the Nazis' rights of free speech and assembly. In 1981, Judge Decker ruled in favor of a Morton Grove ordinance banning the sale and possession of handguns, ending a challenge by the National Rifle Association.

* David A. Hungerford, 66, co-discoverer of the first genetic defect linked to cancer, died Wednesday of multiple sclerosis in Philadelphia.

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