Al "Lash" LaRue,78, a bullwhip-cracking star of low-budget 1940s Westerns whose movie career quickly faded with the onset of the television age, died May 21 in Burbank, Calif. Moviegoers in the years after World War II knew him for his handiwork with a whip and trademark black outfits, but he never achieved the enduring fame of such movie cowboys as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. His films included "Song of Old Wyoming" in 1945, "The Caravan Trail" in 1945, "Law of the Lash" in 1947
and "Son of Billy the Kid" in 1949.
Tamara Toumanova,77, a child prodigy ballerina of the 1930s who became familiar to U.S. audiences as one of the most glamorous stars of 20th century dance, died Wednesday at Santa Monica Hospital in California after a brief illness. Adoring fans called Miss Toumanova "the black pearl of the Russian ballet." Kathrine Sorley Walker, a British dance historian, said of her in "De Basil's Ballets Russes" (1983) that with her "large dark eyes, raven wings of hair and magnolia skin, she combined lyricism and virtuosity to a remarkable degree." Miss Toumanova acted and danced in several movies, making her screen debut in "Days of Glory" in 1944. The same year, she married the film's producer and screen writer, Casey Robinson; the marriage ended in divorce. She had a starring role in "Invitation to the Dance," a ballet film directed by Gene Kelly in 1955. Miss Toumanova, who was born in a boxcar in Siberia, became an American citizen in 1944 and lived quietly in later years at her home in Beverly Hills.