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Michael Cesar, the self-proclaimed “Pope of Pot,” died Tuesday of liver

February 3, 1995

NEW YORK (AP) _ Michael Cesar, the self-proclaimed ``Pope of Pot,″ died Tuesday of liver cancer. He was 52.

Cesar once operated a marijuana-delivery service from a site near the Manhattan Criminal Court building, using 10 phone salespeople and a dozen bicycle messengers.

Police estimated that Cesar’s business grossed about $10 million a year.

Cesar was arrested in 1990 and convicted on charges of conspiracy to sell marijuana and criminal possession of marijuana after announcing his toll-free number _ 1-800-WANT-POT _ on the Howard Stern radio show.

He told police he was the spiritual leader of an organization called ``The Church of Realized Fantasies,″ and was only dispensing its ``sacrament.″ His business reportedly delivered free marijuana to AIDS patients.

William E. Edwards

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) _ William E. Edwards, a retired Navy commander who rescued Lt. George Bush when the future president’s plane was shot down during World War II, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 73.

Edwards’ submarine, the USS Finback, rescued Bush when his plane was shot down in the Pacific, with Edwards himself pulling Bush from the downed plane.

He later commanded the VA196 Fighter Squadron, was operations officer on the aircraft carrier USS Hancock and was commandant of the U.S. Navy Marine Training Facility in New Orleans.

After retiring from a 26-year career in the Navy, he spent 25 years with New York Life Insurance Co.

Preston Fleet

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Preston Fleet, who pioneered Fotomat and helped develop a the Omnimax film projection system, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 60.

Fleet opened his first Fotomat in San Diego 27 years ago. Eighteen months later, the trademark kiosks were in 1,800 locations. The company was later sold to Konica Quality Photo.

In 1972, Fleet had the idea of putting motion pictures on a giant, tilted dome screen, the beginnings of a system now known as Omnimax. The Canadian company, Imax, which makes the projectors, has installed Omnimax theaters around the world.

Fleet helped found the San Diego theater and museum in 1973 and equipped it with the first Omnimax projection system.

Fleet helped make ``Chronos,″ a film made with time-lapse photography that won the critic’s Grand Prix de Jury award in 1987 at the first international festival for large-format films.

Alison Frantz

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) _ Alison Frantz, who was famous for her archaeological photographs, died from injuries suffered when she was struck by a tractor-trailer while crossing the street. She was 91.

Frantz was an expert on ancient Greek artifacts, spending much of her life on digs where she photographed and cataloged unearthed objects.

She was considered a major figure in the field and an article on her life and work recently appeared in the journal ``Archaeology.″

Bill Heeps

LONDON (AP) _ Bill Heeps, former chairman of Thomson Regional Newspapers and president of the Newspaper Society, died Wednesday after heart surgery. He was 65.

Heeps was a reporter for Scottish newspapers before joining Thomson’s Evening Despatch in 1955. He served as chairman of Thomson from 1984 to 1992.

Thomson, Britain’s largest publisher of local and regional newspapers, has 30 newspapers in the country. It is owned by Thomson Corp. of Canada.

Heeps also held management positions at the Teeside Gazette in Middlesbrough, northern England, the Evening Post in Luton and the Evening Echo in Watford in southern England.

He was president of the Newspaper Society from 1988-89 and was made a commander of the Order of British Empire in 1990 for services to the newspaper industry.

Heeps is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters.

Homer Kripke

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ Homer Kripke, who helped develop the Uniform Commercial Code, died Sunday of kidney failure. He was 83.

Kripke was assistant solicitor of the Securities and Exchange Commission during the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt.

He helped organize the effort to draw together regulations on commercial transactions, known as the Uniform Commercial Code.

He wrote books about the SEC and accounting, as well as one of the first legal guides for poor people.

Kripke joined the University of San Diego as a law professor in 1980, and was appointed professor emeritus of the law school last year. He also taught at New York University and Yale University Law School.

Fred Perry

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Tennis great Fred Perry, a three-time Wimbledon winner, died Thursday. He was 85.

Perry was the first player to win all four major singles, although not concurrently. And he was the last British man to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon.

Before turning professional in 1936, Perry won eight Grand Slam singles titles; three at Wimbledon in 1934-36, three U.S. titles at Forest Hills in 1933-34 and 1936, and the 1935 French and 1934 Australian championships.

He led Britain to Davis Cup titles with victories over France in 1933, the United States in 1934-35 and Australia in 1936. He won 45 out of 52 Davis Cup matches for Britain and 34 out of 38 singles between 1931-36.

He also was co-founder of Fred Perry Sportswear, one of Britain’s best-known designer labels and was a regular member of BBC Radio’s commentary team at Wimbledon and other major championships.

Perry is survived by his fourth wife Barbara, a daughter Penny and an adopted son.

Donald Pleasence

LONDON (AP) _ Donald Pleasence, who played a variety of odd, sinister characters that included the malodorous tramp in Harold Pinter’s ``The Caretaker,″ died Thursday. He was 75.

In 1960, he was awarded the London Critics’ Award for his performance as the wheedling tramp Davies in ``The Caretaker.″

Pleasence had roles in the stage performances of ``The Brothers Karamazov,″ ``Antony and Cleopatra,″ ``The Merchant of Venice,″ ``The Taming of the Shrew″ and ``The Man in the Glass Booth.″

His movie roles included the doctor in ``Halloween″ and the villain Blofeld in the 1967 James Bond film, ``You Only Live Twice.″

Other films included ``A Tale of Two Cities,″ ``Look Back in Anger,″ ``Soldier Blue,″ ``Escape from New York,″ and ``Dien Bien Phu.″

On television, he appeared in ``The Barchester Chronicles,″ ``The Millionairess,″ and ``Call Me Daddy,″ for which he won an Emmy Award.

In 1960, he produced his own series of suspenseful tales for television, ``Armchair Mystery Theater.″

Ferruccio Tagliavini

REGGIO EMILIA, Italy (AP) _ Ferruccio Tagliavini, who became a leading lyric tenor after reluctantly abandoning an engineering career, died Saturday He was 81.

He resisted his father’s efforts to push him toward a singing career, and diligently studied engineering. At age 24, he bowed to his father’s wishes and entered a conservatory in Parma.

In 1938 he debuted with an acclaimed Rodolfo in ``La Boheme″ at Florence’s Teatro Comunale.

He gained a following among American soldiers during Italy’s wartime liberation, and their letters home heralded the tenor’s U.S. arrival after the war. He starred at the Met from 1947 to 1954.

Tagliavini excelled in ``Werther,″ ``Manon,″ ``Sonnambula″ and ``L’Elisir d’Amore,″ in which Nemorino became one of his best-known roles. He also made nearly a dozen films.

The tenor retired from the opera stage in 1970 but made annual recital appearances in New York’s Carnegie Hall through the decade. His last public appearance was in 1981 at Carnegie Hall.

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