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  Obituaries in the News

The Associated Press
Wednesday, Sept. 22, 1999; 6:16 a.m. EDT

CAIRO, Egypt –– Actress Tahiya Karioka, the Arab world's most famous belly dancer, died of a heart attack Monday. She was 78.

Karioka, born as Badawiya Mohammed Karim, had been in al-Safa Hospital for two weeks, where she was suffering from heart, digestive and breathing problems, according to hospital officials.

Karioka, dubbed the "Queen of Oriental Dancing," studied dancing as a young girl at Ivanova Belly Dancing School before moving to Mohammed Ali Street, Cairo's 1930s and '40s equivalent of Broadway.

Karioka's first film was "Doctor Farahat" in 1935, directed by Togo Mizrahi. Altogether, she performed in some 300 films, plays and television soap operas.

Considered the Arab world's Marilyn Monroe, Karioka attracted the attention of key figures in Egypt and won the admiration of the late King Farouq.

The outspoken Karioka – who criticized the military rule of Egypt after the 1952 army coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser – temporarily stopped performing when the new regime accused her of conspiracy.

Before her death, Palestinian-born writer Edward Said wrote that Karioka was not only a belly dancer but an artist who played a role in shaping Egypt's modern culture.

One of her most popular movies was "Youth of a Woman," in which she played a landlady who seduces a young, naive peasant student. The film was shown at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival and won the international directing prize in 1958.

Karioka married 14 times. Among her former husbands were an American army officer whom she married during World War II, the late actor Rushdi Abaza and famous playwright Fayez Halawa.

Andre Kostolany

MUNICH, Germany (AP) – Andre Kostolany, Europe's best-known stock market expert, died Tuesday in Paris. He was 93.

Kostolany gained most of his market knowledge while working in the United States from 1941-50 as general director of the G. Ballai and Cie financing company.

A naturalized American citizen, Kostolany returned to Europe in 1950, splitting his time between Paris, Munich and the French Riviera.

He began his second career as an author, journalist and columnist late in life, and became well-known in Germany in the 1960s. He gained fame both as an author and on television talk shows.

For 35 years, he wrote a financial column for the German economics magazine "Capital." Among his best-known works were "That's the Stock Market" and "Kostolany's Stock Seminar."

As early as 1975, Kostolany predicted the fall of communism, saying that the socialist system was broke.

John W. Vanderhoff

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) – John W. Vanderhoff, the former chief scientist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration project that developed what was believed to be the first product made in space, died Thursday. He was 74.

Vanderhoff worked at Lehigh University from 1970-97. While there, he helped develop a chemical process that made tiny plastic spheres, each measuring about 2,500th of an inch. Nearly a billion of the mini spheres were produced aboard the Challenger space shuttle in 1985.

The spheres were then sold to eight companies, one university and the Food and Drug Administration to be used as microscopic yardsticks. The spheres are no longer in production, however, because of the high cost of production.

Bertha Woodard

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Bertha Woodard, dubbed the matriarch of the local chapter of the NAACP, died Thursday. She was 83.

Woodard worked as a nurse but dedicated her life to organizing sit-ins and leading pickets to protest racism. She petitioned the Reno City Council in 1959 to lift a ban on minorities in casinos and helped lead an effort to remove signs from Reno stores that read, "No Indians, Negroes or Dogs."

In 1961, she attended Gov. Grant Sawyer's signing of Nevada's first civil rights bill.

Woodard organized picket lines in front of the Overland Hotel and Harold's Club in Reno, pushing for equal access for blacks who were not permitted as customers at most downtown establishments.

© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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