Mohammed Ali Fahmy, 77, Egypt's former army chief of staff...

Deaths Elsewhere

September 13, 1999

Mohammed Ali Fahmy, 77, Egypt's former army chief of staff and commander of air defense forces during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, died of kidney failure yesterday at a London hospital.

Dubbed the "father of the Egyptian air defenses," Field Marshal Fahmy was a graduate of Soviet military academies and served as a close adviser to former Egyptian Presidents Gamal Abdel-Nasser and Anwar Sadat.

His command of the air defense forces during the 1973 Middle East war brought him fame and a close friendship with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, also a former air force commander.

During the 1973 war, Egypt regained some of the territory it lost to Israel in 1967. When Mr. Mubarak took office in 1981, he made Marshal Fahmy army chief of staff and later his military adviser.

Beau Jocque, 45, an accordion player who helped revitalize Louisiana's zydeco music, died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Kinder, La. Mr. Jocque, whose given name was Andrus Espre, performed Thursday in New Orleans, then drove 177 miles home to Kinder. Shelly Espre, his wife, found him collapsed Friday morning.

Mr. Jocque worked as a welder before picking up his father's piano-key accordion. In his version of zydeco, he combined rhythm-and-blues, hip-hop beats, funk and Texas blues-rock.

He was credited with bringing zydeco, a mix of old-time Cajun music and rhythm-and-blues, to contemporary audiences, filling halls in Lafayette, Lawtell, New Orleans and other cities where he often played with his band, the Zydeco Hi-Rollers. He also played overseas, and on the "David Letterman" and "Conan O'Brien" shows.

When Mr. Jocque played one of his big hits, "Give Him Corn Bread," audiences would pelt him with pieces of corn bread.

Otto A. Silha, 80, a former publisher and president of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune and a champion of media ethics, died of a heart attack Saturday in Minneapolis.

Alfredo "El Guero" Gil, 84, the last surviving member of the original romantic trio Los Panchos, died of pulmonary emphysema Friday in Mexico City. Mr. Gil was born in the central state of Puebla and became a professional musician at age 15. In 1944, he was in New York when he joined with two other musicians -- Chucho Navarro and Hernando Aviles of Puerto Rico -- to form Los Panchos, in which Mr. Gil played a small guitar called the "requinto."

The trio was known for its soft harmonics, particularly in the romantic bolero. Its emotional interpretations of "Besame Mucho" [Kiss Me], "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas" [Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps] and "Sin Ti" [Without You] propelled them to international fame.

John Molloy,, 70, an Irish actor and novelist, died Sept. 2 in Oakland, Calif. after a long illness.

Born in Dublin, Mr. Molloy ran away from home at 14 to join a troupe of actors that roamed the country performing in small towns, and later worked with Marcel Marceau in Paris and with the Gate and Abbey theaters in Dublin. At the Abbey, he specialized in the works of Samuel Beckett.

Mr. Molloy appeared in some 60 movies and played Broadway in his own two-man show, "Double Dublin," in 1963-64. He also wrote a best-selling novel, "Alive, Alive-O."

Ruth Roman, 75, who starred opposite Gary Cooper and Errol Flynn and survived the Andrea Doria wreck at sea, died in her sleep Thursday in Laguna Beach, Calif. Ms. Roman appeared in some minor films before her big break in Stanley Kramer's 1949 "Champion," which featured Kirk Douglas as an unscrupulous boxer. After the release the film, Warner Bros. offered Ms. Roman a contract and she starred in nine films opposite Mr. Cooper, Mr. Flynn and James Stewart.

Eugene "Frenchy" Schwartz,, 97, fixture at racetracks as a clocker of thoroughbreds for nearly 50 years died in New Orleans Wednesday after a long illness. Mr. Schwartz began his career at Omaha in 1933 and went on to time horses during workouts at tracks in New Orleans, Ohio and at Hollywood Park in California before working at New York tracks in 1949. He retired his clocker's watch in 1982, but remained a familiar sight at racetracks.

Pub Date: 9/13/99

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