Script Doctor

Warren Skaaren, 44, who gained a reputation as one of the country's top script doctors -- a screenwriter who rewrites "troubled" scripts -- for his work on such blockbusters as "Batman" and "Top Gun," died of cancer Dec. 28 at his home in Austin, Tex.

The last screenplay he had completed was "Beetlejuice 2." The four films he was best known for rewriting -- "Batman," "Top Gun," "Beverly Hills Cop 2" and "Beetlejuice" -- together grossed more than $1 billion.

In the mid-1970s, Mr. Skaaren helped form FPS Inc., a television and film productions services company in Dallas, which handled location shooting for the television series "Dallas," and worked on the film "Tender Mercies," which was shot in Waxahachie, Tex.


California Painter

Sylvia Lark, 43, an art professor at the University of California at Berkeley whose paintings hang in such prestigious institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, died of cancer Dec. 27 at her home in Berkeley, Calif.

Her paintings have been exhibited in more than 125 national and international group shows. Her abstracts are in the permanent collections in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Oakland Museum and the University Art Museum in Berkeley.

She served on the National Advisory Board of the Women's Caucus for the Arts from 1978 to 1984. She was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching of Studio Art Award from the College Art Association.