Other Notable Deaths

OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS

September 08, 2007

EFFI BARRY, 63 Former first lady of D.C.

Effi Barry, the District of Columbia's stoic former first lady who endured her husband's drug abuse and unfaithfulness during his years as the city's mayor, died Thursday.

Ms. Barry died of leukemia at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, said Justin Paquette, a spokesman for the hospital.

Ms. Barry separated from Marion Barry in 1990, shortly after he was caught on videotape at a downtown hotel smoking crack cocaine with a former model and asking her to have sex with him.

Throughout her husband's three-month trial -- during which federal prosecutors played the grainy 83-minute tape of the FBI sting -- Ms. Barry sat in the front row of the courtroom with a hook and yarn.

Marion Barry was sentenced to six months in prison.

Shortly after the trial, she moved to Virginia to teach health and sex education at Hampton University, her alma mater.

The Barrys divorced in 1993, but she returned to Washington and supported him in his successful bid for a City Council seat in 2004.

A native of Toledo, Ohio, she met Marion Barry in 1976 when he was married to his second wife and married him two years later, a few months before he was elected to his first term as mayor. She was divorced from jazz pianist Stanley Cowell.

A former model and schoolteacher, she actively supported various causes and was arrested during an anti-apartheid protest outside the South African Embassy in 1985.

MIYOSHI UMEKI, 78

Oscar-winning actress

Actress Miyoshi Umeki, who won an Oscar for her performance as the doomed wife of an American serviceman in Sayonara and later starred in the Broadway musical Flower Drum Song, has died of cancer.

The Japanese-born actress, the first Asian performer to win an Oscar, died Aug. 28 at a Missouri nursing home, said Michael Hood, her son.

In Sayonara, the 1957 film version of James A. Michener's best-selling novel, she teamed with Red Buttons in a tragic subplot about a U.S. serviceman and local woman who fall in love in post-World War II Japan. They commit suicide rather than part when he is supposed to return to America.

Both won Oscars for their supporting roles, surprising fans to whom Umeki was unknown and Buttons was a television comedian.

She later played Mei Li, a timid mail-order bride brought to San Francisco from China, in Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1958 show Flower Drum Song. She was nominated for a Tony for best actress in a musical and repeated her role in the 1961 film version.

Ms. Umeki also portrayed Mrs. Livingston, the housekeeper, in the ABC series The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1969-1972), which starred Bill Bixby and Brandon Cruz.

Among her other movies were Cry for Happy (1961), The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962) and A Girl Named Tamiko (1962).

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