Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevicius, 79, who battled for...

Deaths Elsewhere

May 30, 2000

Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevicius, 79, who battled for church rights when heavily Roman Catholic Lithuania was under Soviet control, died Sunday in Kaunas, the Vatican said yesterday. Cardinal Sladkevicius died in the city where he was archbishop until his retirement four years ago. No cause of death was given.

Pope John Paul II said the man he named a cardinal in 1988 "never allowed himself to be intimidated." He was the first cardinal from Lithuania since it was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Lithuania regained independence in 1991.

Milo A. Speriglio, 62, a private detective who looked into the deaths of celebrities such as "Superman" star George Reeves and wrote three books claiming that Marilyn Monroe was murdered, died April 30 of lung cancer in Los Angeles. His career spanned 41 years, including three decades as chief of Nick Harris Detectives Inc., one of the nation's oldest private detective agencies.

Retired Col. Richard P. Keirn, 75, a former Air Force pilot who was held prisoner during World War II and the Vietnam War, died Thursday in Tampa, Fla.

During World War II, he was 20 when he was shot down over Germany in 1944. He spent nine months as a German prisoner of war. After the war, he became a member of the Ohio Air National Guard, and returned to full-time duty in 1956.

In 1965, he was sent to Vietnam, and was shot down over Hanoi while on his fifth mission. He was imprisoned by the North Vietnamese for more than seven years. He was thought to be dead in 1965, until newspaper editors identified him from a wire service photo.

Dr. Seymour S. Kety, 84, a biological psychiatrist whose studies of the human brain revolutionized the understanding of major mental illnesses, died Thursday in Westwood, Mass.

He emphasized the biological bases of mental illness at a time, during the 1950s, when psychoanalysis dominated most academic psychiatry departments.

Kiyoshi Kuromiya, 57, who was born in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans and spent much of his adult life battling for civil rights and relief for AIDS patients, died on May 10 in Philadelphia, where he lived. The cause was complications of AIDS.

His activism began during the civil rights movement, when he was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. He was beaten by sheriff's deputies during a voter registration march in Montgomery, Ala. In 1965, he marched in front of Independence Hall in an early rally for gay rights.

Al Simon, 88, who helped to create some of early television's most successful situation comedies and the technical expertise to save them on high-quality film for summer reruns and syndication, died Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif.

He joined the world of television in 1946, working on the production of live programs shot in Hollywood. His career accelerated when Ralph Edwards took his radio show "Truth or Consequences" to television and hired him as a writer.

As president of Filmways Productions, Mr. Simon played a central role in such popular 1960s shows as "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Petticoat Junction," "Green Acres" and "Mr. Ed."

Edward L. Bernds, 94, one of Hollywood's first sound-effects producers and a director of comedy shorts starring the Three Stooges, died May 20 at home in Van Nuys, Calif.

He began his career as a radio operator in Chicago. He went to Hollywood in 1928 as a sound mixer for some of the first talking pictures and worked with such directors as Frank Capra, Leo McCarey and Howard Hawks. By the late 1930s, he was at Columbia Pictures, writing scripts for the Three Stooges. He soon began directing as well as writing their films, working steadily with them from 1945 through the mid-60s on "Monkey Businessmen," "Fright Night," "Out West," "The Three Stooges in Orbit" and other films.

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