ART STEVENS, 92 Disney animator
Longtime Disney animator Art Stevens, who began his studio career working on Fantasia and went on to co-direct The Fox and the Hound and The Rescuers, died May 22 at his home in Studio City, Calif., after a heart attack, Disney spokesman Howard Green said.
Mr. Stevens applied for a job at Disney in 1939 after he learned that Walt Disney planned an animated feature based on one of his favorite stories, Alice in Wonderland, which came out in 1951.
In his early years at Disney, Mr. Stevens was an "in-betweener," creating the drawings that made the characters move on the screen after the main animator had outlined the scene. He worked on Fantasia, Bambi and other 1940s features before becoming a full-fledged animator with the 1953 film Peter Pan.
Among Mr. Stevens' other credits as an animator were 101 Dalmatians, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, Robin Hood, Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. He co-directed the 1977 film The Rescuers and co-produced and co-directed The Fox and the Hound, which became Disney's highest-grossing film when it was released in 1981.
JOHN HANSL, 82 Nazi camp guard
John Hansl, whose U.S. citizenship was revoked because he was a Nazi concentration camp guard during World War II, died Friday of congestive heart failure at a nursing home, his daughter said.
Mr. Hansl was born in the former Yugoslavia in 1925 and was recruited by the Waffen SS when he was 17 years old. He maintained that he committed no atrocities during his service as a guard at concentration camps at Sachsenhausen near Berlin in 1943 and Natzweiler in France in 1944. He immigrated to the United States in 1955 and was granted citizenship in 1960.
The U.S. Justice Department filed a complaint in 2003 seeking to revoke Mr. Hansl's citizenship, claiming he did not qualify for a visa to enter the country.
Mr. Hansl claimed he never hid his military past when he applied for a visa to come to the U.S. The government said Mr. Hansl did not reveal he was a concentration camp guard.
A federal judge revoked Mr. Hansl's citizenship in April 2005, ruling his conduct as a guard proved he advocated or assisted in persecution. A U.S. appeals court in St. Louis upheld the ruling in March 2006, and in October the Supreme Court declined to hear the case. That meant the government could begin proceedings to deport Mr. Hansl.
EDWARD YANG, 59 Film director
Edward Yang, who won Best Director in 2000 at the Cannes Film Festival and was known for his realistic portrayals of modern Taiwan, died Friday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., according to Norman Wang, a film industry consultant.
Mr. Yang had colon cancer, Mr. Wang said.
Mr. Yang took a convoluted path to filmmaking. He was born in Shanghai in 1947, and his family moved from mainland China to Taiwan amid civil war. Pursuing what was considered a prestigious career in Taiwan, he studied engineering on the island, received a master's degree at the University of Florida and worked as a computer engineer before becoming a filmmaker.
Among his works are A Brighter Summer Day, a 1991 film set in 1950s Taipei about Elvis-worshiping teenage boys who get involved with gangsters. Mr. Yang won Best Director at Cannes in 2000 for Yi Yi, about members of a Taiwanese family coping with the serious illness of their elderly mother.
ABRAHAM KLAUSNER, 91 Holocaust scholar
Abraham Klausner, a leading advocate for Holocaust survivors, died Thursday in Santa Fe, N.M., said his wife, Judith. He suffered from Parkinson's disease.
He was the first Jewish chaplain in the U.S. Army to enter the Dachau concentration camp after it was liberated in 1945, his wife said. He collected and published lists of Holocaust survivors in volumes called Sharit ha-Platah, (Surviving Remnant). He filled the top floor of a Berlin museum with his work trying to reconnect children of the Holocaust to their families, she said.
Rabbi Klausner wrote a book on the survivors of the Holocaust, including those from the camp at Dachau. He also was featured in an Academy Award-winning documentary, The Long Way Home.
He was the leader of Temple Emanu-El in Yonkers, N.Y., for about 25 years.