* Samuel Bronston, 85, a film producer whose works...


January 15, 1994

* Samuel Bronston, 85, a film producer whose works included "El Cid," "55 Days at Peking" and "Fall of the Roman Empire," died Wednesday in Sacramento, Calif. In the 1960s, he produced "El Cid," starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren; "The Fall of the Roman Empire," with Ms. Loren; "55 Days at Peking," with Mr. Heston, David Niven and Ava Gardner; and "Circus World" with John Wayne and Rita Hayworth. Earlier films included "Jack London" in 1943, "And Then There Were None" and "Walk In the Sun," in 1945. In the late 1940s, he became the Vatican's official photographer.

* Billie Holder, 77, a former publisher of the Alamogordo Daily News, died Wednesday in Alamogordo, N.M. He purchased the newspaper Jan. 1, 1954. He made the biweekly a daily publication by autumn of that year. After selling the paper July 1, 1983, he co-founded an investment firm.

* David Philip Wilson, 84, who painted the portraits of politicians and astronauts, died Tuesday in Naples, Fla., of an apparent heart attack. He painted portraits of President Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and Gordon Cooper.

* Allen Lesser, 86, a writer, editor and former executive assistant to Sen. Jacob K. Javits, R-N.Y., died Thursday en route to Curacao with his wife, Frances. As Mr. Javits' executive assistant from 1960 to 1965, he played a major role in drafting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and legislation that established Medicare and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. He later served in the Office of Civil Rights and the Office of Education in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was one of the first federal officials charged with supervising the desegregation of universities and public schools the South. In 1957, he was co-founder and first editor of the Near East Report, a weekly newsletter that is still published. He was also the managing editor of the Contemporary Jewish Record, a forerunner of Commentary.

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