Meir Ariel, 57, a songwriter and singer whose works became...

Deaths Elsewhere

July 19, 1999

Meir Ariel, 57, a songwriter and singer whose works became classics of modern Israeli music, died yesterday of an infection in Jerusalem. He wrote the words to hundreds of songs, many of which entered the canon of pop and rock music in Hebrew, said Israeli Composers' Union chairman Yori ben-David.

"He was one of the greatest songwriters in this generation," Mr. ben-David said.

Mr. Ariel's songs were sung by Israeli greats such as David Broza, Shalom Hanoch and Yehuda Poliker. About 10 years ago, he began writing music and performing his works.

Mr. Ariel arrived at Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital Friday in serious condition from an infection, spokeswoman Aviva Shemer said. The cause of the infection is unknown, she said.

Donal McCann, 56, an Irish actor who starred in "The Dead," director John Huston's last movie, has died, the director of Dublin's Gate Theater said yesterday.

He died in Dublin after a long, undisclosed illness, Michael Colgan said.

"For me, Donal McCann was the best stage actor that this country has ever produced," said Mr. Colgan. "What he did was always just right; it was inspired."

"The Dead," made in 1987, was based on a short story of the same name that appears in James Joyce's collection "Dubliners," and tells the tale of two Irish spinsters throwing a dinner for their relatives and friends. It won an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay.

McCann and Mr. Huston's daughter, Anjelica, played Gabriel and Gretta, a glamorous couple with a melancholy secret.

McCann's other film credits include "Out of Africa" with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in 1985 and "High Spirits" with Peter O'Toole and Steve Guttenberg in 1988.

Pub Date: 7/19/99

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