Other notable deaths


July 03, 2006

George Page, 71, creator and host of the long-running PBS series Nature, died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Equinunk, Pa., according to a memorial posted on the WNET-TV Web site.

He was a journalist and broadcaster for more than 50 years and best known as the voice of the PBS wildlife series.

Nature made its debut in 1982 and has consistently been one of public television's highest-rated shows. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series, produced for public broadcasting by Thirteen/WNET in New York, will begin its 25th season this fall.

Mr. Page narrated every episode of Nature, nearly 300 overall, until retiring from television because of illness in 1998. He went on to write the book Inside the Animal Mind, which was made into a three-part series by the same name and broadcast on Nature in January 2000.

He worked for an NBC affiliate in Atlanta before joining NBC News, where he became a foreign correspondent and covered the Vietnam War. He joined PBS in Washington in 1972 and was the director of science and natural history programming.

Jaap Penraat, 88, an architect and industrial designer who helped 406 Jews sneak out of the Nazi-occupied Netherlands and withstood torture to protect fellow members of the Resistance, died of esophageal cancer June 25 at his home in Catskill, N.Y., said his daughter, Noelle Penraat.

Born in Amsterdam, Mr. Penraat was in his 20s when he began forging identity cards for Jews. After being discovered, he was imprisoned for several months and tortured but refused to tell his captors anything.

After his release, Mr. Penraat and other Resistance members began disguising Jews as construction workers hired to work on a wall Hitler was building along France's Atlantic Coast. He made 20 trips, accompanying about 20 Jews each time to Lille. There they were met by the French underground and transported to neutral Spain.

Of 140,000 Jews who lived in the Netherlands before the Nazis invaded, about 30,000 survived. Poland was the only nation to lose a larger percentage of its Jewish population.

After the war, Mr. Penraat became a noted designer in Amsterdam and moved to the United States in 1958.

Lennie Weinrib, 71, a character actor, writer, director and voice-over artist who brought the character H.R. Pufnstuf to life, died Wednesday at a hospital in Santiago, Chile, after suffering a stroke, his daughter Linda Weinrib said. He had retired from show business in the early 1990s and moved to Chile, the native country of his second wife, Sonia.

Mr. Weinrib had a varied career that included working as a standup comic, appearing in the Billy Barnes Revue on Broadway in 1959 and co-writing the 1963 joke classic The Elephant Book.

As a character actor, he appeared on such TV shows as My Favorite Martian, 77 Sunset Strip, The Twilight Zone, The Munsters and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Mr. Weinrib also directed low-budget teen movies in the mid-1960s. Yet he garnered the most acclaim as a voice-over artist. By the mid-1960s, he was supplying voices for companies and products that included Ford, Avis, Pepsodent toothpaste and Hunt's tomato sauce.

He also provided voices for numerous TV cartoons, including The Addams Family, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, The New Tom & Jerry Show and Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo.

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