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Obituaries in the News

October 8, 2003

Wally George

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (AP) _ Conservative talk show host Wally George, who sparred with liberal guests for two decades on ``Hot Seat,″ died Sunday of pneumonia. He was 71.

George, the father of actress Rebecca De Mornay, had been at the hospital for three months due to complications from cancer.

George’s combative television show, broadcast on KDOC-TV in Anaheim, rose to popularity in the 1980s. He called his approach ``combat TV″ and was known for interrupting guests by shouting insults at them.

Born George Walter Pearch in Oakland to a former vaudeville actress and the owner of a shipping company, George moved to Hollywood with his mother and at age 14 became a disc jockey with KIEV-AM in Glendale.

He hosted ``The Wally George Show″ and was a producer and co-host of ``The Sam Yorty Show″ before ``Hot Seat″ premiered in 1983.

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Eleanor Lambert

NEW YORK (AP) _ Eleanor Lambert, the publicist who put American designers alongside their Paris counterparts on the fashion map, died Tuesday at age 100.

She died at her Manhattan home after a brief illness, according to assistant Stephen Nix.

During her decades-long career, Lambert presided over the International Best-Dressed List and helped create many of America’s most important fashion institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The Indiana-born daughter of a circus advance man, Lambert was a tireless arbiter of style, phoning from an elegant desk in her midtown Manhattan office to make genteel pitches about the industry’s next big thing. Even after she closed her office in her late 90s, she continued to spread the word of American designers from her Fifth Avenue apartment.

In 1943, she organized fashion shows so the press could preview designer collections in one venue, the precursor to today’s New York Fashion Week.

She was born in 1903 and arrived in Manhattan in her 20s with a few dollars and the encouragement of her mother.

Lambert was married to Seymour Berkson, head of International News Service and publisher of the New York Journal-American, who died in 1959.

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Elisabeta Rizea

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ Elisabeta Rizea, an anti-communist resistance fighter whose defiance of the regime made her a symbol of Romania’s fight against tyranny, died Monday. She was 91.

Rizea died in the southern city of Pitesti, said Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu, another well-known anti-communist.

After the communists came to power in 1945, she joined an anti-communist resistance group in the Fagaras mountains, providing them with food and money.

Seized by Romanian militia in the summer of 1949, she was sentenced to seven years in prison for ``aiding criminals.″

After the 1961 arrest of the famous anti-communist leader Gheorghe Arsenescu, she was sentenced to an additional 25 years but was pardoned three years later under terms of a general amnesty.

After communism’s fall in 1989, details of her story emerged in Romanian newspapers and films about the communist era. She related how she was hung by her hair from a hook in an attempt to make her betray her comrades.

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Charles Seabrook

WOODSTOWN, N.J. (AP) _ Charles Courtney Seabrook, who with his family developed a technique for freezing produce that revolutionized the food industry, died Saturday. He was 94.

Seabrook’s family ran Seabrook Farms, a 55,000-acre property in what was once the largest irrigated vegetable farm in the world.

In 1930, Seabrook, along with his father, Charles F. Seabrook, and his two brothers, experimented with freezing vegetables by packing them in wooden boxes with dry ice. The concept worked and led to a partnership with Clarence Birdseye in marketing a line of frozen vegetables.

After graduating from Lehigh University with a degree in civil engineering, Seabrook worked for a nursery in Deerfield, then for his family’s Seabrook Engineering Co.

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