Steve Reeves, 74, star of European-made action films of...

Deaths Elsewhere

May 04, 2000

Steve Reeves, 74, star of European-made action films of the 1950s and 1960s whose Mr. Universe physique won him a signature role as the mythical strongman Hercules, died Monday at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Calif., of complications from lymphoma.

A lifelong bodybuilder, he won the Mr. America title in 1947, which he followed with Mr. World and Mr. Universe titles in 1948 and another Mr. Universe win in 1950.

His imposing 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame attracted the attention of filmmakers, who cast him in 18 films before he retired from acting in 1969.

In 1959, Mr. Reeves became one of the world's biggest box-office draws based on the success of "Hercules," his third movie. "Hercules" was filmed in Italy with a European cast, and distributed in the United States with an English soundtrack. It was followed by films such as "Goliath and the Barbarians," "Hercules Unchained," "Last Days of Pompeii" and "Thief of Baghdad."

Charles N. Elliott, 93, outdoors columnist and one of the models for the comic strip character Mark Trail, died Monday in Covington, Ga., of complications from cancer and heart problems.

The former forest ranger and state parks and wildlife official was an editor for Outdoor Life magazine from 1956 to 1974. During the same period, he worked as an outdoor columnist for the Atlanta Constitution. He wrote columns for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1985 to 1987.

His life was one of the inspirations for Atlanta cartoonist Ed Dodd's "Mark Trail."

Penelope Fitzgerald, 83, a prize-winning author who wrote a series of understated novels after embarking on a literary career late in life, died Friday in London after suffering a stroke. Among her most heralded works was her latest, "The Blue Flower," a novel set in 18th-century Germany that tells the story of a young artist, later to become the poet-writer-philosopher Novalis, and his romance with a 12-year-old girl.

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