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DEATHS

EZRA STONE, 76, who played the comically trouble-prone teenager Henry Aldrich on radio, died Thursday in an automobile accident near Perth Amboy, N.J. A child star in vaudeville and theater, his most memorable acting job was as the adolescent Henry Aldrich in George Abbott's 1938 play What A Life. The play was the basis for a 13-year radio show, with Mr. Stone creating Aldrich's trademark saying, "Coming, Mother!" He later was a successful theater and TV director, working in TV on such popular early series as I Love Lucy, Lost In Space, Laredo, Lassie and The Munsters. During World War II, he served as a producer, director and actor with the Army's Special Services, staging many productions, most notably the Irving Berlin show This Is the Army.

GUELFO ZAMBONI, 97, a former Italian diplomat who saved 280 Jews from deportation to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz during World War II, died Saturday in Rome. While working as Italian consul in German-occupied Salonika in 1943, he supplied the Jews with documents allowing them to escape the Nazis by traveling to Athens, which the Italians controlled. In 1992, he was honored with a medal from the Yad Vashem holocaust museum in Jerusalem. His actions recall those of Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who shielded 1,200 Jewish factory workers from death at the hands of the Nazis. That story forms the plot for the Steven Spielberg film Schindler's List.

WALTER KENT, 82, a songwriter best remembered for the World War II anthem Blue Birds Over the White Cliffs of Dover, died March 1 in Los Angeles. Recorded by Vera Lynn in 1941, Blue Birds quickly became a symbol of Allied resistance and hope in the early days of the war. Although the song describes the famous chalk cliffs of Dover, Mr. Kent never saw them until a visit to England in 1989. Mr. Kent also wrote or co-wrote such songs as I'll Be Home for Christmas and the music for the Broadway show Seventeen.

CORNELIUS COFFEY, 91, who trained many of the Tuskegee Airmen after a commercial flying school refused to accept him because he was black, died Wednesday in Chicago. The first black man to hold both a pilot's and a mechanic's license, he established the Coffey School of Aeronautics and trained more than 1,000 pilots from 1938 to 1945, including many of the Tuskegee Airmen, the black pilots who flew combat missions in World War II. After the war, he taught at the Lewis School of Aeronautics and at Dunbar Vocational High School, where he trained some of the first black people to be hired as mechanics by commercial airlines.

ABDULLAH al-SALLAL, 74, the first president of former North Yemen, died Saturday in San"a, Yemen, of a heart attack, San"a radio reported. In 1962, he led a revolution against the rule of the imams and proclaimed a republic in North Yemen. In 1990, North Yemen united with former Marxist South Yemen in an uneasy merger. Following his death, Yemen's presidential council ordered a three-day official mourning period. Mr. Sallal held power until 1967 with the backing of Egyptian troops that rushed to Yemen to defend the new republic against royalist forces backed by Saudi Arabia.

MAX SCHUBERT, 79, creator of Grange Hermitage, the most prized Australian red wine, died Saturday in Adelaide after a long illness. Mr. Schubert first produced Grange Hermitage for the Penfolds winery in the early 1950s in an effort to make an Australian wine that would age over many years, like the great vintages of France. Initially derided by critics as undrinkable, the wine now is regarded as a classic.

LARRY EYLER, 41, sentenced to death for the killing of a 15-year-old male prostitute and possibly the killer of more than 20 people, died Sunday in Pontiac, Ill., of AIDS complications. He died in the medical facility at Pontiac Correctional Center, where he had been on death row.

SARAH PATTON BOYLE, 87, an author who was active in civil rights matters, died Feb. 20 in Arlington, Va., of complications from Alzheimer's disease. Mrs. Boyle described her experiences as a white Southern woman coming to understand the problems of many black Americans in her book The Desegregated Heart (1962). Her last book, The Desert Blooms (1985), described her personal experiences with aging.

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