JERUSALEM (AP) _ Sasha Argov, a recipient of the Israel Prize who helped create modern Israeli music by borrowing from Russian folk, died Wednesday. He was 81.
Born Alexander Abramovich in Poland, Argov composed his first song at the age of four and went on to write over 1,200 songs.
At age 20, he immigrated to what is now Israel, where he worked as a bank clerk. Only in middle age was he able to support himself through music.
In 1988, he won the Israel Prize, the country’s top honor in literature and the arts.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ Eigil Axgil, whose lifelong crusade for gay rights made Denmark the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriages, died Friday. He was 71.
The cause of death was not available.
On Oct. 1, 1989, the same day that Denmark allowed homosexuals to register marriages, he and Axel Axgil became the first gay men to legally take marriage vows.
In 1948, the men _ at the time using their original names Eigil Eskildsen and Axel Lundahl-Madsen _ founded the National Homosexual Association, one of the oldest gay rights groups in Europe.
In the late 1950s, both were sentenced on pornography charges to short prison terms for running an international gay modeling agency.
After their arrest, they melded their first names into a new surname, Axgil, and used it in a public show of defiance.
MIAMI SHORES, Fla. (AP) _ Thomas Beck, a screen star in the 1930s, died Saturday after battling Alzheimer’s disease and heart problems. He was 86.
Beck played the juvenile lead in several Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto films, was the village priest opposite Shirley Temple in the 1937 film ``Heidi,″ and was a soldier who died in Ronald Colman’s arms in ``Under Two Flags.″
Beck worked to promote the Screen Actor’s Guild to improve work conditions for actors. He left movie work in 1939 after the studio tried to reduce his wages.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Harry Goldman, a retired state judge who appointed a panel to protect inmates after the bloody Attica prison riot, died of cancer Sept. 21. He was 92.
Goldman’s 22-year career in the state court system included five years as presiding justice of the Appellate Division’s Fourth Department, which covers western New York.
After 29 inmates and 10 guards died when troopers retook Attica state prison in September 1971, then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller asked Goldman to appoint a panel of monitors who visited the prison to protect inmates fearing reprisals from corrections officers.
NEW YORK (AP) _ Alison Steele, one of the country’s first female disk jockeys, died of cancer Wednesday. She was 58.
Known to late-night radio listeners as ``the Nightbird,″ Steele worked for K-ROCK, a classic rock-and-roll station, from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays. Prior to that, she worked for WNEW, both AM and FM, for 14 years.
A member of the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Steele became the first woman to receive Billboard Magazine’s ``FM Personality of the Year″ award in 1976.
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Sam Winston, a multi-millionaire pitchman with a down-home flair who turned a family business into a top independent tire and auto service company, died Tuesday in a Utah car accident. He was 54.
Winston was thrown from a 1995 Jeep Wrangler driven by his wife, Demetra, Utah Highway Patrol officials said Wednesday. The car rolled over on Interstate 80 about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City.
Mrs. Winston was treated for injuries but not hospitalized.
Winston Tire began as partnership in 1962 between Winston and his stepfather. Winston, whose face and unpretentious ways became a familiar image on television commercials, served as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer from 1975 until 1994 when he became chairman of the board.
Burbank, Calif.-based Winston Tire began with one retail store in Glendale, Calif. in 1964. The Winston tire was introduced in 1971, and Winston began adding services such as brake and wheel alignment repairs five years later.