Other Notable Deaths


February 03, 2007

LEE BERGERE, 88 Veteran character actor

Lee Bergere, a veteran character actor who appeared in more than 200 television shows, including an original Star Trek episode in which he played Abraham Lincoln, died Wednesday at a nursing facility in Fremont, N.H.

During his 60-year career, Mr. Bergere also was known as Joseph, the head of the household on Dynasty. He had roles in North and South, Falcon Crest, Hot L Baltimore and Incident at Vichy. On the 1966 Star Trek episode, "The Savage Curtain," he received a fan following from Trekkies. In that episode, Captain Kirk meets his childhood hero, Lincoln, and they go to a planet to fight off Genghis Khan. Mr. Bergere also had a rich stage career, appearing in Man of La Mancha as the villain, the Duke, for its premiere in Los Angeles in 1967. That's where he met Richard Kiley, who played Don Quixote and originated the role on Broadway.

Mr. Bergere also played Quixote and other characters in the show in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York through the years.

PETER TOMPKINS, 87 Journalist, spy and author

Peter Tompkins, a former journalist, World War II spy and best-selling author, died Jan. 24 at his home in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

He served as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune and NBC before he joined the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA, in 1941.

Because he grew up in Italy, Mr. Tompkins was sent to Rome before the invasion of Italy in 1944.

He wrote about his experiences in the 1962 book A Spy in Rome -- one of more than a dozen he wrote or co-wrote, including The Secret Life of Plants and Secrets of the Great Pyramid.

He also wrote for magazines including The New Yorker, Esquire, Look, Life and The New Republic.

ISMAIL CEM, 67 Turkish foreign minister

Ismail Cem, a former Turkish foreign minister who together with his Greek counterpart was the driving force behind the thawing relations between the two archrivals, died of lung cancer Jan. 24, according to an Istanbul hospital and his family.

Mr. Cem served as foreign minister under three successive governments between 1997 and 2003, becoming one of the longest-serving Turkish foreign ministers in recent years. His greatest achievement was forging close ties with Greece, largely due to his friendship with Greece's former Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

The thaw had followed a mutual outpouring of aid and sympathy in the wake of deadly earthquakes that struck both countries in 1999.

Born Ismail Cem Ipekci, he dropped his last name in the 1970s to distance himself from his relative, Abdi Ipekci, who was editor of the newspaper Milliyet, and avoid accusations of favoritism. Ipekci was shot and killed in 1979 by Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II.

Mr. Cem began his career as a journalist, quickly earning a column in Milliyet and catching the eye of then-Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who appointed him director of state-run radio and television in 1972. At 34, he was the youngest person ever to hold the post. His brief spell as culture minister in 1995 ended before he could achieve his dream of organizing a mass pop concert to benefit survivors of the Bosnian conflict.

JEAN-FRANCOIS DENIAU, 78 French diplomat, novelist

Jean-Francois Deniau, a former French government minister, diplomat, sailor and novelist, died Jan. 24 at his Paris home, fellow writer Jean d'Ormesson said.

As an envoy, Mr. Deniau specialized in dangerous missions. An avid sailor, he crossed the Atlantic in a catamaran in 1995 -- just eight weeks after undergoing triple heart bypass surgery.

He titled his autobiography Memoirs of Seven Lives, a reference to his many careers.

Deniau was a member of the Academie Francaise, the gathering of France's literary heavyweights. His novel Un Hero Tres Discret (A Very Discreet Hero) told of a man who reinvented himself as a hero of the World War II Resistance. The book was adapted into a movie by director Jacques Audiard and given the English-language title A Self-Made Hero.

Born in 1928 in Paris, Mr. Deniau grew up with dreams of being an explorer. He was a graduate of the prestigious Ecole Nationale d'Administration, took an active role in European affairs and helped write the European Union's founding Treaty of Rome of 1957. He went on to be an ambassador, notably in Spain soon after the 1975 death of the dictator Gen. Francisco Franco.

As a politician with the centrist UDF party, he served in six ministerial posts, from agriculture to foreign minister.


ADOLF FROHNER, 72 Austrian abstract painter

Adolf Frohner, a leading Austrian abstract painter and graphic artist who helped found Vienna's Actionism movement in the 1960s and gained an international following, died Jan. 24, public broadcaster ORF said.

His death came five days after he ceremoniously broke ground on the Frohner Forum, a museum being built in his name in the Danube River town of Krems, 40 miles west of Vienna, ORF said.

Mr. Frohner moved to Vienna in 1952 and two years later was analyzing contemporary works at the Academy of Fine Art.

In the early 1960s, he turned to Actionism, a movement best known for his friend and colleague, Hermann Nitsch, who gained attention by painting with animal blood and entrails.

JOHN LAVELLE, 57 New York assemblyman

John Lavelle, a New York state assemblyman who worked to secure funding for schools and take illegal handguns off the streets, died Jan. 24 at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island, less than a week after suffering a stroke, state officials said.

Mr. Lavelle was the borough Democratic Party chairman for Staten Island, and had served in the Assembly since 2001. He worked on legislation to combat illegal handguns after two detectives were killed in his district. He also worked to secure an additional $600 million for the New York City school district, the largest in the country.

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