Deaths Elsewhere

September 04, 2004


Robert Lewin,

84, a screenwriter who received an Academy Award nomination for the 1956 war movie The Bold and the Brave, died Aug. 28 of lung cancer at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.

Born in New York, the Yale graduate was a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution and Life magazine and a partner in a public relations firm before beginning his screenwriting career.

The Bold and the Brave, based on his experiences fighting in Italy in World War II, was his first screenplay. The movie starred Mickey Rooney. He also wrote or produced many episodes for television shows, including Mission: Impossible, Gunsmoke, The Fugitive and others.

He produced television's The Paper Chase, which was nominated for an Emmy for best drama in 1978, and Baretta, which received a nomination in the same category in 1976. He also was a producer for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Larry Desmedt,

55, a New York-based custom motorcycle builder and biker better known nationally as Indian Larry, died Monday in Charlotte, N.C., of injuries he suffered doing a stunt Aug. 28 at an appearance there.

Mr. Desmedt, who had his workshop in Brooklyn, N.Y., was a legend among biking enthusiasts and other custom builders. He regarded his craft as a form of art and, friends said, got his nickname from the classic brand of motorcycle he rode years ago.

He had gone to Charlotte for the shooting of an episode of Biker Build-Off, in which he had successfully competed with other riders of custom-made motorcycles. The accident happened afterward in a parking lot, with a crowd of thousands watching.

Wearing a protective suit and no helmet, he was standing on his bike as he went down the parking lot in a crowd-pleasing routine and might have been blinded by the sun; he fell and hit his head. It was not a particularly dangerous maneuver, said his wife, Bambi Desmedt, a performer billed as Bambi the Mermaid of Coney Island. "It was showing off, his way of blowing off steam after the bigger stunts," she said.

Alva Temple,

86, one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen who became the nation's first black military pilots, died Aug. 28 at his home in Columbus, Miss. A cause of death was not released.

He was in the Air Force for 20 years and completed 120 missions during World War II, said Lucille Temple, his wife of nearly 60 years. He later owned a gas station.

He trained at Tuskegee, Ala., as part of a program set up by the Pentagon during the war. The training was rigorous, with only 992 men graduating as Tuskegee Airmen. The black pilots - known as "Red Tails" for the color of the rear of their planes - were credited with shooting down more than 100 enemy aircraft and never losing an American bomber to enemy fighters.

David A. Woodward,

61, a British-born geographer, editor and historian of mapmaking who helped create an encyclopedic series of books re-examining the place of mapmaking in world history, died Aug. 25 of cancer of the bile duct at his home in Madison, Wis., where he taught at the University of Wisconsin for two decades.

At his death, he was editing the multivolume History of Cartography Project.

Laura Cantu,

78, a pioneer of Tejano music, died Aug. 29 of natural causes in Alice, Texas.

She and her sister Carmen gained stardom during the 1940s as Carmen y Laura. Tejano music combines influences from country music, rhythm and blues, and popular Latin styles.

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