Georgine Darcy


Georgine Darcy, who played the voluptuous "Miss Torso" who captivated James Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 thriller "Rear Window," died July 18 at her home in Malibu, Calif. No cause of death was reported. Her age was reported to be 68, though some sources say she was 71.

"Miss Torso" was one of the names Stewart's character, a news photographer, gave his neighbors as he spied on their lives with a telephoto lens while housebound with a broken leg.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Ms. Darcy was urged by her mother to become a stripper but instead chose ballet. She had a sporadic film career, appearing in "Don't Knock the Twist" (1962) and "Women and Bloody Terror" (1969).

Ms. Darcy had no idea who Hitchcock was when she met him, and though the legendary director suggested she get an agent, she didn't and was paid only $350 for the role.

James Williams

Jazz Pianist

James Williams, 53, a jazz pianist and professor of music who recorded with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and in his own ensembles, died of liver cancer July 20 in New York.

Mr. Williams began playing piano at 13 in his home town of Memphis, concentrating first on gospel and soul. From 1977 to 1981, he was a member of Blakey's band, playing with such artists as Wynton Marsalis and Bobby Watson and appearing on 10 albums. He also recorded a number of albums as frontman, including "Alter Ego" (1984) and "Awesome!" (2000), with the Magical Trio.

He moved to New York in 1984 and formed the Contemporary Piano Ensemble, which included three other pianists. In 1999, he became director of jazz studies at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. He taught there until he was hospitalized in April.

Sacha Distel

French Singer

Sacha Distel, 71, a French pop singer, composer and jazz guitarist of the 1960s and 1970s whose hits included "Scoubidou" and "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," died July 22 at the home of relatives in the south of France. No cause of death was reported, but he had bouts with cancer over the years.

Mr. Distel, a nephew of bandleader Ray Ventura, was born in Paris and began studying piano at age 5. He took up guitar 10 years later with talent that led him to eventually play with some of the world's jazz greats, including Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton.

After his first hit, "Scoubidou" in 1958, Mr. Distel recorded more than 200 tunes, which enjoyed enormous popularity in France and abroad in the 1960s and 1970s. He also was known for a romantic liaison with actress Brigitte Bardot and marriage to the former ski champion Francine Breaud.

Actress Georgine Darcy in 1959. She played "Miss Torso" in the Hitchcock thriller "Rear Window," for which she was paid just $350.