Harold E. Wertz Jr.
Harold Eugene Wertz Jr., 72, one in a line of boys who played Bouncy, the "little fat kid" in Hal Roach's legendary Our Gang comedies, died Nov. 21 in San Diego after a stroke.
He appeared in only three of the 221 films spanning silents and talkies from 1922 to 1944 and later telecast to new generations as "The Little Rascals." But he occupied a standard position in the lineup as the fat kid, following the role's originator, Joe Cobb, and then Norman "Chubby" Chaney as each outgrew the part.
Mr. Wertz himself was later replaced by George Robert Phillips "Spanky" McFarland. Spanky joined up at age 3 as the toddler, with Mr. Wertz playing Bouncy, and later grew into the fat kid role.
Russell Byers, 59, a government affairs columnist with the Philadelphia Daily News, was stabbed to death Dec. 4 outside a Philadelphia convenience store,
Police said Mr. Byers and his wife had just bought a pint of ice cream at the store near his home when the suspect yelled, "Give it up," referring to their wallets. Mr. Byers was stabbed after pushing the robber away from his wife, and the suspect fled empty-handed, police said.
Police said Mr. Byers, who had worked for the Philadelphia Daily News for 10 years, managed to stagger inside the store, where he collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Enrique Cadicamo, 99, an Argentine tango composer who became widely known after his song "Bubbles of Soap" was popularized with a classic recording by tango great Carlos Gardel, died Dec. 3 in Buenos Aires. He had a heart ailment.
While many of Mr. Cadicamo's songs took on tango's characteristically melancholy tone, he also showed a sense of humor and a lyrical playfulness that were reflected in such songs as "The Little House of My Parents," "Ruby" and "Injured Soul."
He also ventured into the theater and screenwriting, In 1949, he wrote the screenplay for "The History of Tango."
Robert F. Shugrue
Robert F. Shugrue, 62, a veteran editor of made-for-television films who had received a 1983 Emmy for his work on the series "A Woman Called Golda," died Nov. 27 at his home in Los Angeles. He had a heart ailment.
He had edited about four dozen films, primarily for television. They included three films, in addition to "Golda," for which he received Emmy nominations--"The Neon Ceiling" in 1971, "The Thorn Birds Part 1" in 1984 and Stephen King's "It" in 1991.
Mr. Shugrue began his career in 1956 at Universal Television's Revue Studios and later worked on such motion pictures as "Death of a Gunfighter," "Two Mules for Sister Sara," "Raise the Titanic" and "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock."
Rokunuzzaman Khan, 77, an author popularly known as Dadabhai, or Big Brother, whose books of folk tales and depictions of village life delighted generations of children in Bangladesh, died Dec. 3 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, after a heart attack.
He founded a cultural organization more than 40 years ago known as "Kachi Kachar Mela" (Gathering of Little Children) to nurture children's talent. He helped children learn to sing, dance, paint and act--often supervising the programs on the weekends.