Other Notable Deaths


October 24, 2005

Gordon Lee, 71, the chubby child actor who played Spanky McFarland's little brother "Porky" in Little Rascals comedies, died Oct. 16 in Minneapolis after battling lung and brain cancer.

Mr. Lee played one of the younger members in the Our Gang shorts in the 1930s, appearing in more than 40 of them from 1935 to 1939. The comedies, produced by Hal Roach, became known as The Little Rascals when shown on TV in the 1950s. Among the films Mr. Lee appeared in were Bored of Education, which won the Oscar for best one-reel short subject in 1937. The Porky character is credited with originating the catchphrase "otay."

Mr. Lee was a schoolteacher, living in Colorado for a time. He retired to Minnesota.

Leo Bogart, 84, a sociologist, author and marketing specialist who was known for studying the role of the mass media in culture, died Oct. 15 at a hospital in New York City. The cause of death was babesiosis, a parasitic disease that is transmitted by ticks.

Mr. Bogart, who wrote nearly a dozen books, argued that market forces should not be the sole determinant of media content. He decried the increasing presence of violence and sex in film and television, asserting in his most recent book, Over the Edge, that advertisers degrade content through their desire to capture the youth market.

He served for many years as the executive vice president and general manager of the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, the sales and marketing organization of the newspaper industry. He taught marketing at New York University, Columbia University and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Edward R. Telling, 86, who as chairman and chief executive of Sears, Roebuck and Co. led the retailer's expansion into financial services in the early 1980s, died of cancer Wednesday in North Palm Beach, Fla.

He was chairman and CEO of Sears from 1978 until his retirement in 1985. Under his direction, the company moved into financial services, acquiring the Coldwell Banker real estate firm and Dean Witter Reynolds in one week in 1981. Sears also launched the Discover Card in 1985 during Telling's tenure.

Robert E. Badham, 76, a conservative lawmaker and close friend of President Ronald Reagan who was ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, died Friday of a heart attack in Newport Beach, Calif.

On the Armed Services Committee, he focused on the development of new weapons systems, and was criticized for accepting trips from defense contractors.

Jerome Roth, 87, an oboist in the New York Philharmonic for 31 years and a member of the pioneering New York Woodwind Quintet in the 1950s, died of Alzheimer's disease Oct. 12 in Ridgefield, Conn.

He belonged to a generation of great American oboists who emerged after World War II. He attended the Juilliard School on the G.I. Bill of Rights.

From 1961 until his retirement in 1992, Mr. Roth was the stalwart second oboist in the Philharmonic, a master at blending with his double-reed colleagues. He spent a decade in the New York Woodwind Quintet, which was a leading example of the combination of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn.

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