MILAN -- John Carradine, 82, the gaunt actor with a rumbling voice who spent much of his career playing villains and was patriarch to three actor sons, died Nov. 27 in a hospital here. He had heart, lung and kidney ailments.

He was in Milan as the guest of honor at the showing in a Milan cinema of the classic 1939 western "Stagecoach," starring John Wayne, in which Mr. Carradine appeared.

Mr. Carradine, famous for character roles in classic western movies, went from theater to make more than 475 movies, playing mostly villains and mad scientists.

He appeared in some of the memorable and entertaining movies of his time. He is remembered for his strong and stylish acting in supporting roles in films including "Captains Courageous," "Jesse James," "Drums Along the Mohawk," "Stagecoach," "The Three Musketeers," "The Egyptian," "Cheyenne Autumn," "The Kentuckian," "The Hound of the Baskervilles," "Around the World in 80 Days," "The Last Hurrah," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex," "The Long Riders," "The Shootist" and "Zorro, the Gay Blade."

He also starred in a host of horror films, many of them well-received, though most less than classic examples of the genre. His name also appeared in the credits of some films that sank without a trace, including "House of Dracula," "House of Frankenstein," "Vampire Hookers," "Satan's Cheerleaders" and "Sex Kittens Go to College."

The 6-foot-1 actor spent his early days stalking Hollywood Boulevard, wearing an Edwardian cape and spouting Shakespeare.

He was walking the famous street one day reciting lines from "Hamlet" when director Cecil B. De Mille heard his rich, deep voice and grabbed him for a role in "The Sign of the Cross."

That break into the movies started him on an acting career of murder and mayhem, usually in the guise of a deranged and zealous doctor with a sense of outrage. He kept active in his later years with featured roles in movies, television and theater.

Richmond Reed Carradine was born in New York's Greenwich Village and had an early ambition to become chief justice of the United States. He gave that up when he discovered he had talent as a quick sketch artist.

He worked as an artist for five years, sometimes in theaters where he came in contact with acting, and finally decided that was what he wanted to do. His success in a play set him off for Hollywood where he found the business tough to enter. He spent most of his time with various theater groups, playing Shakespeare.

Sometimes at midnight he would invade the Hollywood Bowl where the surrounding hills shut him off from people. He would stand alone in the dark and act out roles from the bard's plays.

After De Mille hired him, he became a "ghost voice," his rumbling tones dubbed into the mouths of other actors. His goal of acting in the movies was fulfilled in 1936 when he was cast by John Ford as a villainous prison guard in "The Prisoner of Shark Island."

Critics immediately hailed him as a find and his career took off.

Mr. Carradine married four times and was divorced twice.

He married Ardenelle Cosner in 1935 and they had one son, David. They also adopted a child, Bruce. They divorced in 1944. His next marriage, later in 1944, was to Sonia Sorel. They had three sons, Christopher, Keith and Robert, before divorcing in 1957.

A few months after his second divorce, Carradine married Doris Rich, who died in 1973 when their home in Oxnard, Calif., burned. His fourth marriage, in 1975, was to Emily Cisneros.

His sons, David, Keith and Robert Carradine became actors.

In 1960, the actor found himself in financial trouble and filed a petition for voluntary bankruptcy. Despite his problems, Mr. Carradine always retained an intense interest in acting. In 1961 he deplored what he regarded as a lack of knowledgeable actors in television.

"TV's ranks today are filled with talented people but they'll never become first class because there are no stock companies where they can learn their trade," he said. "Oh, some of them will become stars, but they won't know their business."



Artemis Anne (Ari) Marselas-Landman, 13, an eighth grade student at Stephen Decatur middle school in Prince George's County who had cerebral palsy since birth, died Nov. 19 at Southern Maryland Hospital. She had a duodenal ulcer.

Miss Marselas-Landman, who lived in Fort Washington, was born in Washington. Though she had impaired speech and was legally blind, she graduated from James Ryder Randall Elementary School in Prince George's before entering Stephen Decatur.

She rode horses in the Progressive Equestrian Therapy Service 4-H program, attended summer camp and had appeared on several cerebral palsy telethons. She also had worked on her own at soliciting contributions for cerebral palsy research. Among those she had approached were grocery store cashiers, her school bus drivers and her brothers, Alex and Adrian.

In addition to her brothers, of Fort Washington, survivors include her parents, Dr. Sharon Marselas-Landman and Dr. Ronald B. Landman, both of Fort Washington; her paternal grandparents, Dr. Manuel and Dr. Gerda Landman of Bethesda, and her maternal grandmother, Rose L. Marselas of Friendship, Md.


News Reporter

Lee Belser, 73, a retired reporter who had worked for Hearst Newspapers and Hearst's International News Service, died of cancer Nov. 26 at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda.

Mrs. Belser was born in Martinsburg, W.Va., and graduated from the University of South Carolina. She had worked for newspapers in South Carolina, Miami and Los Angeles, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s was on the staff of the old Washington Times-Herald.

In the 1950s and 1960s she was a Hollywood columnist covering the motion picture community. She had also worked overseas as a special correspondent for Hearst Headline Service.

Mrs. Belser retired in 1979 as a political correspondent for the Baltimore News American. She lived in Martinsburg until April 1986 when she moved to Alexandria to live with her son, William Gordon Belser.

Her marriages to William Gordon Belser Jr. and George O'Hara Waters ended in divorce.

In addition to her son, survivors include a sister, Virginia W. Ewing of Arlington.