Other notable deaths

June 27, 2006

Arthur Malvin, 83, a composer and lyricist who won two Emmy Awards for his work with Carol Burnett and Frank Sinatra, died June 16 at his home in Century City, Calif., after a long illness.

Mr. Malvin won an Emmy in 1968 for writing music for a Frank Sinatra television special, A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim, which featured Ella Fitzgerald and Brazilian bossa nova singer Antonio Carlos Jobim.

In 1978, Mr. Malvin and Stan Freeman shared an Emmy for "Hi-Hat," a Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers parody they wrote for The Carol Burnett Show. He worked on the CBS variety program for 11 years.

He was nominated for a Tony award in 1980 for material he wrote for Sugar Babies, a burlesque-themed play starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller.

He also sang on children's records and recorded advertising jingles for products including Sominex, Blue Bonnet margarine and Tang drink mix, said daughter Janet Malvin.

The Rev. Melvin H. Watson, 98, who influenced the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped train other civil rights leaders, died Monday at an Atlanta hospital.

As senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Atlanta and a religion professor at Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Religion and the Interdenominational Theological Center, Mr. Watson exerted a quiet influence for more than half a century. Many of his students became civil rights leaders.

Former students include the Rev. Robert Michael Franklin Jr., presidential distinguished professor at Emory University's Candler School of Theology; the Rev. Otis Moss Jr., pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland; and the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City.

When Mr. King was studying at Boston University and pastoring at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., he turned to Mr. Watson for advice, said Walter Earl Fluker, executive director of the Leadership Center at Morehouse College and Mr. Watson's son-in-law.

In a series of letters, Mr. Watson critiqued Mr. King's views of socialism and philosophy and recommended books to read, Mr. Fluker said.

Sir Peter Smithers, 92, who saw his work as a lawyer, politician, diplomat, scholar, photographer and spy as distractions from his passion for growing glorious gardens, died June 8 in Vico Morcote, Switzerland.

Sir Peter's death was announced by the Council of Europe, for which he once served as secretary-general, and the American Clivia Society, which noted that he had developed two varieties of lily.

As a spy in World War II, he worked for Ian Fleming, who went on to create the fictional spy James Bond. A chap named Smithers appeared as one of Q's assistants in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy; another was a villain in Goldfinger.

The Royal Horticulture Society gave Sir Peter one of its highest awards, the gold Veitch Memorial Medal. His garden in Switzerland - with 10,000 plants, none a duplicate - won a prize for being the best in that country in 2001. The Financial Times said it was named one of the 500 greatest gardens since Roman times.

His lush photographic images of flowers have been called "floral pornography," an idea he fleshed out in a 1987 interview with The New York Times.

"This is Playboy in flowers," he said. "What are flowers but sex in action? The bee performs the wedding. I take the pictures on the wedding day. Two days later, the flowers are exhausted."

Years ago, Sir Peter began giving away his plants. He said he believed that the pleasure of owning a fine plant was not complete until it had been given to a friend.

Lyle Stuart, 83, a renegade journalist and publisher of books including Naked Came the Stranger and The Anarchist Cookbook, died of a heart attack Saturday at a hospital in Englewood, N.J.

In his first career as a journalist in the 1940s and '50s, Mr. Stuart clashed with the powerful columnist Walter Winchell and supported Fidel Castro. In his second, as a publisher, he was notorious for The Anarchist Cookbook. Written by William Powell, the book, which included instructions on making bombs and homemade silencers for pistols, was first released in 1970 at the height of anti-war and anti-establishment protests. Web sites inspired by the book still proliferate.

Mr. Stuart published the book against his the wishes of his staff. "I liked it, but nobody else did - and of course no other publisher would touch it," he told an interviewer in 1978. In 2000, the author, Mr. Powell, told The Observer of London that he disavowed the book, written when he was 19; later, in an open letter on Amazon.com, he called it "a misguided product of my adolescent anger at the prospect of being drafted." But Mr. Stuart, who held the copyright, continued to publish it.

Mr. Stuart was also famous for knowingly publishing in 1969 the sensational literary hoax, Naked Came the Stranger, a sex novel written by "a demure Long Island housewife," the dust jacket said. It was actually written by 25 reporters from Newsday, intent on proving that the public would buy anything, in a kind of relay race of bad prose. The book became an immediate best-seller before the hoax was revealed and stayed on the list long after.

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