Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

March 14, 2003

Lynne Thigpen,54, who co-starred in the CBS drama The District and won a Tony Award in 1997 for her portrayal of a black Jewish feminist in An American Daughter, died Wednesday night at her Los Angeles home.

Ms. Thigpen had been in good health and the cause of death was not immediately known, network spokeswoman Beth Haiken said yesterday.

Production was shut down on The District, which stars Craig T. Nelson as Washington, D.C., police Chief Jack Mannion. Ms. Thigpen played Mannion's secretary, Ella Farmer.

"I'm in shock. She was a wonderful actress and a friend," Mr. Nelson said in a statement.

"The beauty, compassion and talent that you saw on the screen was not just superb acting, it was the very essence of this wonderful woman," said John Wirth, the drama's executive producer. "We will miss her terribly."

Ms. Haiken said the 20th episode was in production this week; two more episodes were planned for the season. She said no decision had been made about how Ms. Thigpen's death would be dealt with on the show.

Ms. Thigpen, who was born and raised in Joliet, Ill., and made her home in New York, had a distinguished stage career and also worked steadily in films and television.

In 1997, she received the Tony Award for best supporting actress for her role as a black Jewish feminist in Wendy Wasserstein's play An American Daughter.

Ms. Thigpen re-created the role in the 2000 TV movie version of the play.

She also was nominated for a Tony for her role in Tintypes, and won Obie Awards for Jar the Floor and Boesman and Lena.

On TV, she portrayed the chief in the PBS series Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? and Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego? She also appeared in the series thirtysomething and L.A. Law and the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations of Night Ride Home and The Boys Next Door.

Her film credits include The Insider, Shaft, Random Hearts, Lean on Me, Tootsie and the soon-to-be-released Anger Management.

Claus Helberg, 84, a Norwegian resistance fighter and member of a commando team that destroyed Germany's atomic weapons program in a daring World War II raid, died of a heart attack March 6 in Oslo.

The 1943 raid, known as Operation Gunnerside, destroyed the Nazi's heavy water plant near Rjukan, 90 miles east of the capital, Oslo. Germany occupied Norway from 1940 to 1945.

The plant could have provided Nazi scientists with the chemical reaction necessary to build an atomic bomb.

After the raid, the nine commandos fled to Sweden and Britain.

The raid was depicted in a 1965 movie, The Heroes of Telemark.

Zivorad Igic, 60, a top ally of Slobodan Milosevic who stood by the former Yugoslav president even after his ouster and extradition to the United Nations war crimes tribunal, died yesterday in Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro.

Mr. Igic, a ranking official of Milosevic's Socialist Party, died at his home of natural causes, his family said.

In the late 1980s as a member of the former Yugoslavia's Communist Party in charge of Kosovo, Mr. Igic became a staunch Milosevic follower.

Mr. Igic remained loyal to Milosevic even after the former leader's ouster in October 2000 and his subsequent extradition to the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Milosevic is on trial there on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for atrocities his forces committed in the 1990s in Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia.

Mr. Igic was the Socialist Party's deputy to the parliament of Serbia and Montenegro, a loose union that last month replaced Yugoslavia.

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