- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Raul Alfonsin

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Former Argentine leader Raul Alfonsin, whose presidency has come to symbolize the return of democracy across Latin America from an era of military dictatorships, died Tuesday. He was 82.

Alfonsin’s personal doctor, Alberto Sadler, said he died of lung cancer.

The presidential inauguration of Alfonsin on Dec. 10, 1083, ended more than seven years of a repressive military regime that left at least 12,000 missing

He was elected after the nation’s defeat in the 1982 war with Britain over the Falkland Islands.

Alfonsin’s presidency was marked by two milestones: his daring decision to try the leaders of the dictatorship for the human rights violations and an economic collapse that made him hand power to his successor six month before his term was to end.

The trials, unprecedented in Latin America, were conducted by a civilian court and ended in December 1985 with the conviction and imprisonment of five former military rulers, including two ex-presidents. Four others were acquitted.


Steven Bach

ARLINGTON, Vt. (AP) _ Steven Bach, a former United Artists movie executive who oversaw the 1980 debacle “Heaven’s Gate” and later wrote a memoir about it, died March 25. He was 70.

Bach, who spent the last decade teaching literature at Bennington College, died of lung cancer at his home in Arlington, agent Robert Lescher said.

In the 1970s, Bach was a partner in Pantheon Pictures and helped produce the thrillers “The Parallax View,” which starred Warren Beatty as a reporter investigating a senator’s assassination, and “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,” featuring Walter Matthau as a New York detective trying to save a hijacked subway car, before he moved to United Artists.

“Heaven’s Gate,” a western about land barons in 19th-century Wyoming, was supposed to be a $7.5 million feature by director Michael Cimino, but it evolved into a $36 million boondoggle. The box office bomb starred Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken and John Hurt.

United Artists fired Bach after it, and in 1985 he told his side of the story in a memoir entitled “Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of ‘Heaven’s Gate.’”

Among Bach’s other books were “Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend” and “Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl.”


Gus Cifelli

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) _ Gus Cifelli, a star tackle who helped lead Notre Dame to three national championships and the Detroit Lions to the 1952 NFL title, died Thursday. He was 84.

Terry Desmond, owner of A.J. Desmond & Sons funeral home, said Cifelli died of natural causes at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

Cifelli was born in Philadelphia in 1925 and served in the Marines during World War II. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1950.

Cifelli was drafted in 1950 by the Detroit Lions. He also played for Green Bay, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

He was elected in 1973 as a judge to the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills. He retired from the bench in 2000.


Andy Hallett

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Andy Hallett, an actor who made his mark playing green-skinned, good-guy demon Lorne on the TV series “Angel,” died Sunday. Hallett was 33.

Hallett was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after having problems breathing and died following a five-year battle with congestive heart disease, his agent Pat Brady said.

Born and raised in Osterville, Mass., Hallett moved to Los Angeles when he was 23 and worked as a messenger at a talent agency, Brady said.

He went on to become an assistant to Joss Whedon’s wife, Brady said. It was when Whedon saw the lanky Hallett perform karaoke that he had him audition for “Angel,” a spinoff of Whedon’s hit series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Hallett snagged the part of Lorne.

Hallett proved himself a fan favorite on “Angel” as the show-tune loving, red-horned demon seer who runs the karaoke club Caritas and can read a person’s aura when they sing, revealing their problems and futures.

The series, starring David Boreanaz as the brooding vampire Angel, ran for five seasons on the WB network before it was canceled, ending in 2004.


Bishop Loras Joseph Watters

WINONA, Minn. (AP) _ Bishop Loras Joseph Watters, who led the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona from 1969-1987, died Monday. He was 93.

The diocese announced Watters’ death but provided no details.

Watters was ordained in 1941. He became auxiliary bishop of Dubuque, Iowa, in 1965. Four years later, he was named by Pope Paul VI as the fifth bishop of Winona. Bishop John Vlazny replaced Watters when Watters retired in 1987.

The Diocese of Winona covers the bottom tiers of 20 counties across southern Minnesota.

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