Robin Harris, 36, a comedian and actor who appeared in the movies "Do the Right Thing," "Harlem Nights," "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" and "House Party," was pronounced dead March 18 in Chicago.

He was found in his room in the Four Seasons Hotel by his mother, who accompanied him to Chicago, and was declared dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Mr. Harris had given a comedy show Saturday night at the New Regal Theater on Chicago's South Side before a sold-out crowd of 2,400.

A Chicago native, he moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was eight. He performed at black nightclubs in the Los Angeles area after graduating from Ottawa University in Kansas.

"He's always been a comedian," his brother, Mike Harris, said. "Robin's always had his own brand of humor. He made fun of you, and you came back and asked for more. That was what Robin was all about, making people laugh."

He played the role of Sweet Dick Willie, a middle-aged black man who hung out on a street corner, in Spike Lee's 1989 hit film, "Do the Right Thing."

"I couldn't write that character as funny as Robin could," Lee said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last summer. "He has a sophisticated country wit. He was born in Chicago and raised in L.A., but he reaches way back to Mississippi."

His act included put-downs of the audience. Commenting on a patron's outfit, he once said, "Like that suit, brother. It might come back in style." He also told crowds of his conversation with a white police officer after being stopped one night. After the officer asked, "You got a gun in the car?" Mr. Harris replied, "No, it's home with the dope."

After learning of his death, filmmaker Reginald Hudlin, who directed Mr. Harris in "House Party," said, "He was really just a fountain of comic invention. Literally every take of a scene, he could come up with a different joke, and each joke would be funnier than the last one."

Mr. Harris had recorded a comedy album and had recently filmed an HBO comedy special at Chicago's Vic Theater and also appears in Lee's upcoming film, "Love Supreme."

In addition to his mother and brother, his survivors include his wife, Exetta; a son; his father; and a sister.


VA Registered Nurse

Mary Cutsail Holloway, 64, who had been a registered nurse with Washington hospitals since 1947, died March 17 at Alexandria Hospital after a heart attack.

She began her nursing career at the old Garfield Hospital, then worked at Washington Hospital Center until transferring to the Veterans Administration Hospital. She had worked there for the past 17 years.

Mrs. Holloway, who lived in Alexandria, was a native of Washington. A graduate of Central High School, she received her nurse's training at the Garfield Hospital nursing school.

She was a member of Del Ray United Methodist Church in Alexandria.

Her husband, John Melvin Holloway, died in 1981. Her survivors include a son, John M., of Earlysville, Va.; two daughters, Elizabeth Major of Chantilly, and Maggie Odom of Alexandria; her mother, Frankie R. Cutsail of Alexandria; a sister, Jane C. Frere of Fairfax; and five granddaughters.