Walker Hancock, 97, a sculptor who spent his long career...

DEATHS ELSEWHERE

January 02, 1999

Walker Hancock, 97, a sculptor who spent his long career "ennobling the human figure," died Wednesday in his Gloucester, Mass., home.

Mr. Hancock's work included statues of Douglas MacArthur at the Military Academy at West Point, John Paul Jones in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, and James Madison in the Library of Congress in Washington.

George Lynn Cross, 93, who guided the University of Oklahoma as its president from 1944 to 1968, died Thursday. Mr. Cross, the university's longest-serving president, initiated a construction project during his tenure in which 37 buildings were constructed or expanded.

One of his greatest challenges came when a black woman, Ada Lois Sipuel, applied to the university's law school in 1946. State officials ordered Mr. Cross to refuse to admit blacks, and he complied, but he said Miss Sipuel was qualified to enter the school.

Miss Sipuel, represented by attorney Thurgood Marshall, battled with the Oklahoma Attorney General's office for three years, during which time a black man, G. W. McLaurin, was admitted to OU's graduate program in education.

Peter Alenov Jr., 45, who sold guitars to Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and other rock stars, died Wednesday in a car accident.

Mr. Alenov, owner of Pete's Guitar in St. Paul, Minn., started a guitar-repair store in 1969 but later changed his store to a by-appointment-only dealership. He catered to a virtual Who's Who of rock -- the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Kiss, the Scorpions and AC/DC.

Prices for his guitars generally ranged from $500 to $5,000. Paul McCartney once paid $10,000 for a left-handed 1959 Les Paul guitar.

Jean-Claude Forest, 68, who created the sultry sci-fi comic strip character Barbarella and designed sets for the 1960s cult movie that starred Jane Fonda, died Wednesday in Paris of a respiratory illness.

"Barbarella" inspired fashion designers, a string of comic strip heroines and the '80s pop group Duran Duran, who chose their name from a character in the film.

Mr. Forest created the seductive 41st-century adventuress in April 1962, and the character first appeared that year in "V Magazine." The series, published in other languages, was censored in France and was barred from sale to minors until the early 1970s.

Mr. Forest was honored in 1984 with the Grand Prize of Angouleme, site of an annual comic strip festival. Hubert Deschamps,75, a popular French actor known for supporting roles in dozens of films, died Wednesday in Paris. Mr. Deschamps came to film after studying fine arts and performing in cabaret. His movies included "Zazie in the Metro" and "Tender Chicken."

Viola Farber, 67, a choreographer and founding member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, died Dec. 24 of a cerebral hemorrhage. Ms. Farber was the director of the dance program at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

Pub Date: 1/02/99

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