Lord Haslam


Lord Haslam, 79, a former mineworker who rose to become chairman of industry giants British Steel and then British Coal, died of cancer at his home at Virginia Water, south of London, on Nov. 2.

A mining engineer by training, Robert Haslam held senior positions in leading British companies including ICI and Tate & Lyle before succeeding Iain MacGregor as chairman of British Steel in 1983. Three years later, he followed MacGregor into the top job at British Coal.

At the chemical giant ICI, he became an expert in explosives and was as a consultant on the 1957 Oscar-winning film "The Bridge on the River Kwai." Born in Bolton, northwest England, Lord Haslam studied mining engineering at Birmingham University and joined Manchester Collieries as a pit boy in 1944.

Brian Behan


Brian Behan, 75, the colorful, contentious Irish writer and younger brother of the noted dramatist Brendan Behan, died of a heart attack Nov. 2 in the southern English city of Brighton, where he had lived for many years.

An eccentric figure, Mr. Behan swam naked every day off the Brighton coast. His biggest literary success came in Peter Sheridan's 1984 adaptation of his novel "Mother of All Behans," about his mother, Kathleen, a flamboyant figure who acted as a courier for the rebels James Connolly and Padraig Pearse during the ill-fated 1916 Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland.

His first play, "Boots for the Footless," attracted pickets outside a London theater. Members of Irish groups protested its stereotypical portrayal of drunken, violent Irishmen and contradictory, conniving Irish women. Other plays included "The Begrudgers," which explored the literary rivalry between Brendan Behan and fellow writers Brian O'Nolan (who used the pen name Flann O'Brien) and Patrick Kavanagh; and "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" (1995), about a British prime minister having a homosexual relationship with one of his ministers, caused further public controversy.