Robert Bresson

French Filmmaker

Robert Bresson, 98, who helped redefine French cinema by focusing on images rather than dialogue, died Dec. 18, the Associated Press reported in Paris. No cause of death was given.

Mr. Bresson was best known for his austere approach and helping pave the way for the New Wave movement. He believed that the most poignant stories defied words and were best told with images. Often he used untrained actors and coached them to speak in flat monotones.

In the 1959 film "Pickpocket," widely regarded as his best film, Mr. Bresson pared down the compulsive art of lifting wallets to its barest psychological elements. His other films included "The Trial of Joan of Arc" (1962) and "A Man Escaped," which won Mr. Bresson the best director award at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. His final work was "L'Argent" (Money), based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy.

Gordon Teter

Wendy's President

Gordon Teter, 56, president and chief executive officer of Wendy's International Inc., died Dec. 18, it was reported in Columbus, Ohio. The cause of death was unknown pending an autopsy.

The fast-food chain's founder and spokesman, Dave Thomas, would return to the top post to supervise the company, Wendy's said. Mr. Teter joined the company in 1987, after 22 years in the franchise-food industry. He was named chief executive officer and president in 1994, the year he helped seal an agreement for Wendy's to team up with Tim Hortons, a chain of doughnut shops based in Canada.

Marion Worth

'Grand Ole Opry' Singer

"Lady" Marion Worth, 64, a sultry ballad singer on the Grand Ole Opry for 17 years, died Dec. 19 in a Nashville hospital of complications from emphysema.

The Birmingham native was one of the first country music performers to appear at Carnegie Hall. During the 1950s, she was one of several female singers, including Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells, who broke down the tradition of using women only as background singers in country music.

The petite singer performed on the Opry from 1963 until her retirement in 1980. Her recordings for Columbia and Decca Records included her top hit "Shake Me, I Rattle," which crossed over into pop and became a Christmas song, "Crazy Arms," "Are You Willing, Willie," "A Woman Needs Love" and "Mama Says."

Emory Day Stanley Jr.

Rear Admiral

Emory Day Stanley Jr., 86, a rear admiral who retired in 1965 as auditor general of the Navy, died of pneumonia Dec. 7 at a hospital in Seattle. After he retired, he was president of Stanley Associates, a government information technology firm.