Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

October 18, 2002

Derek Bell, 66, a member of the six-time Grammy-winning Irish band the Chieftains, died this week while traveling through Phoenix, on his way back to Ireland, said band spokesman Chris Roslan, who did not know the exact day or cause of death. He said Mr. Bell had recently been considered in good health.

The Belfast native joined the Chieftains full-time in 1974. In addition to the harp, he played oboe, horn, cor anglais, hammered dulcimer and keyboards for the group.

Mr. Bell recorded on 37 of the Chieftains' 40 albums. He also recorded six solo albums.

Sidney Pink, 86, a producer who was considered the father of the feature-length 3-D movie, died Saturday at his home in Pompano Beach, Fla., after a long illness. He produced more than 50 films, including the groundbreaking 1952 three-dimensional feature Bwana Devil.

Bwana Devil, on which Pink served as associate producer with the movie's producer-writer-director Arch Oboler, was a surprise hit.

In 1959, Pink co-wrote and produced The Angry Red Planet, the tale of the first expedition to Mars. The sci-fi movie was filmed in what was advertised as a "revolutionary" process called "Cinemagic," a printing-process technique that gave the Mars scenes a pink glow.

Beecher Ray Kirby, 90, an innovator of the dobro guitar and country comedian on the Grand Ole Opry who performed as Bashful Brother Oswald, died yesterday in Nashville.

He was a member of the Smoky Mountain Boys - the backing group for Country Music Hall of Fame member Roy Acuff - from 1939 until Mr. Acuff's death in 1992. He became a regular cast member of the Grand Ole Opry as a solo act in 1995.

He released some solo albums in the 1960s and was a guest on the landmark 1972 album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

Russell A. "Russ" Izor, 79, developer of braided space-age fiber fishing line he dubbed "Izorline," colorful sport fishing boat captain and conservationist, died of pancreatic cancer Saturday in Long Beach, Calif.

The veteran angler caught fish heavier than he was as a 10-year-old boy on the Hermosa Beach Pier and, in some 45 years on the water, estimated he caught more than 2 tons of game fish. By the 1970s he was experienced enough to develop his own line of fishing tackle, including Izorline, and founded Izorline International Inc. He sold the company in 1993 but remained a consultant.

His lightweight braided fishing line was the first to employ Spectra, a trade name of Allied Chemical for its gel-spun polyethylene fiber that is also used to make bulletproof vests. The line became known for its strength, durability and lack of stretch and proved useful in catching big game fish such as tuna and yellowtail.

Paul Crump, 72, a former death row inmate whose novel, Burn, Killer, Burn, described a murderer who commits suicide to avoid being executed, died of pneumonia and lung cancer Oct. 11 at an Illinois mental health center.

Mr. Crump served 39 years in prison for fatally shooting a security guard during the robbery of a Chicago meatpacking plant in 1953. His four accomplices received prison sentences, but Mr. Crump was sentenced to die in the electric chair and escaped 15 dates with the executioner.

The sentence was later changed to 119 years by Gov. Otto Kerner, and Mr. Crump was paroled in 1993.

While in prison, Mr. Crump was inspired by a visit from writer Nelson Algren and began reading classic literature. His novel was published in 1962.

He had been confined at the Chester Mental Health Center since 2000 after being convicted of harassing a family member and violating a protective order.

Keene Curtis, 79, who played Daddy Warbucks in Annie on Broadway and was the upstairs restaurant owner on the TV show Cheers, died Sunday of complications from Alzheimer's disease at a retirement center in Bountiful, Utah.

He won the Tony Award in 1971 as best featured actor in a musical for playing four diverse characters, each with a different accent, in The Rothschilds. He also won a Drama-Logue Award for his role in Annie, which he played on Broadway, in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He also co-starred in the national company of La Cage aux Folles for two years.

On television, he played the snippy restaurant owner John Allen Hill on Cheers. His movie appearances included Heaven Can Wait, American Hot Wax and Richie Rich's Christmas Wish.

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