Meyer M. Cardin

Judge, Politician

Meyer M. Cardin, 97, a retired Circuit Court judge and the father of U.S. Rep. Benjamin Cardin, died July 12 at his home in Baltimore. He had cancer.

Mr. Cardin served as an associate judge in Baltimore from 1961 to 1977. He also served in the House of Delegates from 1935 and 1939 and was one of the oldest surviving members of the General Assembly.

He was a Baltimore native and 1929 graduate of the University of Maryland law school.

Lord King of Wartnaby

British Airways Executive

Lord King of Wartnaby, 87, who helped guide British Airways from a state-owned carrier to a privatized airline, died July 12 at his home in Leicestershire. The cause of death was not reported.

Born John Leonard King, he began his business career with a ball bearing company that expanded worldwide. The company was sold in 1968, and he became chairman of Babcock International in 1972.

Lord King joined British Airways in 1981 as chairman when then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher moved to privatize several state-owned industries, and the airline was privatized in 1987. He was made president in 1993 and became president emeritus in 1997, the airline said.

While he was chairman, thousands of employees were laid off, older aircraft were replaced and unprofitable routes were eliminated.

Gretchen Franklin

British Soap Actress

Gretchen Franklin, 94, an actress known to millions as the dotty, dog-loving Ethel Skinner in the long-running BBC-TV soap opera "EastEnders," died July 11 at her home in London. The cause of death was not reported.

Although her acting career spanned more than 50 years, it was her role in "EastEnders" that made Ms. Franklin a household name. Clutching her pug dog, Willy, Ethel was a fixture in the show's fictional Albert Square -- and its Queen Vic pub -- from 1985 to 2000.

She was written out in a controversial storyline in which Ethel, suffering from cancer, begged a friend to help her die.

Born in London, Franklin worked as a chorus girl in London's West End theater district in the 1930s, appearing in such shows as "Sweet and Low." Her first film appearance came in the 1954 British film "Before I Wake."

In the 1960s, she had a number of television roles, including parts in the popular police dramas "Dixon of Dock Green" and "Z Cars." She also played the wife of the irascible bigot Alf Garnett in the pilot episode of the comic sitcom "Till Death Us Do Part" in 1965.

Gustav Sobin

Poet, Novelist

Gustav Sobin, 69, an American-born poet and author of a critically acclaimed novel about the art of truffle hunting in the Provence region of southern France, died July 7 at a hospital in Cavaillon, near his home in the village of Goult. He had pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Sobin published more than a dozen books of poetry but is best known for his 2000 novel, "The Fly Truffler." The story of a professor who takes to eating truffles before bed to induce dreams of his deceased wife, "The Fly Truffler" is rife with references to the landscape, customs and culture of Provence.

Born in Boston, Mr. Sobin attended Brown University before moving to Paris in 1962.