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Obituaries in the News

February 5, 1999

LONDON (AP) _ Robert Barr, a former radio correspondent for the British Broadcasting Co. who shadowed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower from D-Day through the end of World War II, died Jan. 30. He was 89.

Barr was the last survivor among the four reporters chosen before D-Day to accompany Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander.

Barr joined Eisenhower during the planning of the invasion and was with him at Juno Beach. He remained with Eisenhower until the defeat of the Nazis in France in 1945.

In 1948, Barr produced the first full-length documentary for BBC television, ``Report on Germany.″ He wrote and produced a number of other documentaries and series for the network and also wrote two novels.

He is survived by a daughter.

Joann Grillo

NEW YORK (AP) _ Joann Grillo, a mezzo-soprano who sang nearly 200 times with New York’s Metropolitan Opera and co-founded a traveling theatrical company, died Monday of a heart attack. She was 59.

Ms. Grillo first gained attention in the early 1960s with the Brooklyn Opera Company. She debuted at the Met in 1963 as Rosette in Massenet’s ``Manon.″

With her husband, dramatic tenor Richard Kness, Ms. Grillo founded the Ambassadors of Opera and Concert Worldwide in 1981.

Ashok Jain

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Ashok Jain, owner of the Times of India, one of India’s leading newspapers, died Thursday of complications from a recent heart transplant. He was 65.

The Times is the flagship of a group that includes other newspapers, magazines, a radio station and a recording company. Jain also supported scholarship, literature and historic preservation projects.

He was the managing trustee of the Bharatiya Jnanpith, an organization that promoted creative writing in Indian languages. The Jnanpith award is India’s most prestigious literary award.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Herbert Klynn

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Herbert Klynn, an award-winning graphic designer and artist who helped create cartoon shorts featuring Mr. Magoo and Madeline and animated TV shows including ``The Lone Ranger,″ died Wednesday. He was 81.

Klynn’s 50-year career included the creation of the innovative graphic titles for the ``I Spy″ 1960s TV series starring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, and ``The Duck Factory,″ a 1984 sitcom about an animation studio that featured Jim Carrey.

Klynn collaborated on other projects with such prominent authors as Ted Geisel of ``Dr. Seuss″ fame and science fiction novelist Ray Bradbury.

He was honored by the International Animated Film Society with an ``Annie Award″ for his contributions to the art of animation.

John Service

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ John Service, a China expert who was ousted from the State Department during the McCarthy era for views seen as pro-Communist, died Wednesday. He was 89.

He was appointed a political officer in 1941 and became part of a mission led by Gen. Joseph Stilwell to expand the Chinese war effort against Japan.

In July 1944, after getting to the Communist headquarters of Mao Tse-tung, Service wrote a memo praising the leader. The memo, reportedly leaked to the Nationalist government, angered the powerful China lobby in the United States. Service and Stilwell were called back to Washington.

Later, Service was accused of treason for sharing top-secret documents with a left-wing publication, Amerasia. A grand jury voted against indicting Service.

In February 1950, Joseph McCarthy named Service as one of 14 Communist Party members with close ties to the State Department.

Service was cleared by a Senate committee, but in December 1951, amid questions of his loyalty, Secretary of State Dean Acheson fired him.

Service challenged the dismissal, and in 1956 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in his favor. He rejoined the State Department, taking an obscure post in the Liverpool consulate before retiring in 1962.

Lili St. Cyr

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Lili St. Cyr, a striptease performer of the 1940s and 1950s whose act included onstage bubble baths, died Friday. She was 80.

Born Willis Marie Van Schaack, St. Cyr studied ballet and worked as a chorus girl before making her breakthrough in vaudeville as a striptease artist.

St. Cyr also worked briefly in films, appearing in such B movies as ``The Naked and the Dead,″ in 1958, based on the Norman Mailer novel. Other films included ``The Miami Story″ in 1954 with Barry Sullivan, and ``Son of Sinbad″ in 1955 with Dale Robertson and Vincent Price.

J.C. Viviers

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ J.C. ``Koos″ Viviers, a journalist who helped direct a probe that led to the downfall of an apartheid prime minister, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 61.

Viviers advised and encouraged a team of reporters who uncovered a secret multimillion-dollar fund used to purchase newspapers at home and abroad, said Mervyn Rees, one of the reporters. The project was aimed at changing public opinion in favor of white rule.

Viviers was deputy editor of the Sunday Express, which uncovered the scandal with reporters from a sister newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail. The probe led to the resignation of Prime Minister John Vorster in 1978.

The newspapers’ investigation was conducted for two years and involved hundreds of leads in the United States, Britain and other countries, Rees said.

In 1981, Viviers became editor of the Eastern Province Herald in Port Elizabeth. He later became editor of the Cape Times in Cape Town. He was also a board member of Independent Newspapers, a publishing chain.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen.

Julius Wechter

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Julius Wechter, a marimba player with Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass who composed ``Spanish Flea,″ died Monday of lung cancer. He was 63.

``Spanish Flea″ was recorded by Alpert and more than 60 others. It was used as the theme for television’s ``The Dating Game″ and has been heard on everything from commercials to the soundtrack of ``Beverly Hills Cop II″ to a recent episode of the TV series ``The Simpsons.″

Wechter’s musical career began at age 5 when he started playing piano. He played with small bands during college, he went on to play marimba for Martin Denny in Hawaii for four years.

Wechter returned to Los Angeles to do studio work with such performers as the Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher and the Righteous Brothers. That work led to a spot in Alpert’s band.

At Alpert’s urging, Wechter formed the Baja Marimba Band, whose trademark song was ``Comin’ in the Back Door.″ The nine-person group recorded 18 albums in five years.

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