Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

April 26, 2004

Frances Rafferty, 81, a pouty glamour girl in B movies of the 1940s and television shows of the 1950s who is best remembered as Spring Byington's daughter in the long-running sitcom December Bride, died April 18 in Paso Robles, Calif.

The actress largely retired from the large and small screens in 1961 after the brief run of a December Bride spinoff, Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan. She continued to play occasional roles on such series as The Streets of San Francisco into the 1970s, but devoted much of her later years to raising quarter horses.

Among her best-known films was the 1943 Girl Crazy, in which Mickey Rooney escorted her to a college dance to the consternation of Judy Garland. Her best acting performance probably was in the 1944 film version of author Pearl Buck's Dragon Seed, in which she played a hapless girl who is raped and murdered.

John Maynard Smith, 84, one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the latter part of the 20th century, died April 19 at his home in southeast England. He had lung cancer.

Famed principally for applying a mathematical approach known as game theory to the study of evolution and his work on the evolution of sex, he is credited with influencing evolutionary thought on broad areas in the life sciences.

In his principal scientific contribution, he showed that game theory, a branch of mathematics that had previously been applied to economics, could be used to explain many aspects of animal behavior. It could predict when a creature should fight and when it should back down, or when a male bird should stick around and help care for his young and when it would be better off abandoning the nest for a new mate, and myriad other behavioral choices.

Species, he argued, evolved what he termed "evolutionarily stable strategies" - rules for responding to circumstances that remained stable in a population, because creatures that deviated from the rules were at a disadvantage.

Thomas Corbally, 83, a businessman and New York socialite with ties to the rich and famous, died April 15 in New York City of complications from heart disease.

He had long been associated with Kroll Associates, a security consulting firm. He counted as friends a number of Hollywood stars, business leaders and such international luminaries as Mother Teresa and King Hussein of Jordan.

During World War II, he served as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services. He also carried out several U.S. espionage assignments after the war, his wife and friends said.

Cecil Waldo Parrott, 83, a survivor of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines who unsuccessfully sought reparations from Japanese corporations for forced labor as a World War II prisoner, died April 15 in Seattle.

Mr. Parrott enlisted in 1940 and was a corporal in the Army Signal Corps when the Bataan Peninsula fell April 9, 1942. Of the 70,000 soldiers who surrendered to the Japanese, more than 10,000 died of exhaustion, thirst, disease and maltreatment in the ensuing 70-mile Death March.

He endured 1,228 days in Japanese captivity. Dysentery, beriberi and starvation had reduced him from 165 pounds to 96 pounds by the time Mr. Parrott was liberated from a Japanese work camp Aug. 19, 1945.

In 1999, he joined an eventually unsuccessful class action lawsuit against Mitsui and Mitsubishi over unpaid prisoners of war forced to perform for mining subsidiaries of the two Japanese corporations.

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