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Obituaries

April 30, 1999

Ronald Alley; Tate Gallery Curator

Ronald Alley, 73, who built up the modern art collection at London's prestigious Tate Gallery. Educated at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Alley found that the Tate had hardly any modern art when he joined its staff in 1951. He attributed the lack of realist and surrealist works and abstracts to predecessors who disliked 20th century art. Alley was named Keeper of the Modern Collection in 1965 and gradually built up the Tate's modern holdings. He was married to sculptor Anthea Oswell. On Sunday in London.

Jane Crowley; Longtime NBC Censor

Jane Crowley, 73, longtime NBC-TV censor. Crowley stymied many a gag on "The Tonight Show," "Late Night with David Letterman" and other programs as manager of NBC's Standards and Practices department. She worked for the network for 40 years, retiring in 1987. During that period, she was assigned many popular shows, excising potentially offensive language and vetoing risque costumes from such programs as "Your Show of Shows," the 1950s classic that starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, soap operas such as "Another World," "The Cosby Show" and Hallmark Hall of Fame specials. She was credited as the model for a fictional censor named "Priscilla Goodbody" whom Johnny Carson often poked fun at in his "Tonight" monologues. On Wednesday in Manhattan of a heart attack.

Jill Dando; BBC's 'Crimewatch' Anchor

Jill Dando, 37, popular British Broadcasting Corp. anchor. Dando hosted a number of highly rated shows, including the travelogue "Holiday" and "Crimewatch U.K," which features reenactments of crimes and encourages viewers to call in tips. She was found outside her west London home Monday morning with severe head injuries, apparently the victim of a vicious attack, and died at Charing Cross Hospital. Witnesses reported seeing a man in his late 30s or early 40s running away from the scene. Last year Dando was stalked by a fan who harassed her with threatening letters and calls but reportedly was not alarmed by them. She said in a recent interview that the crimes depicted on "Crimewatch" affected her deeply. "It upsets me that there are such brutal people. There are some very sick people out there," she said, noting that she took many precautions to secure her home and herself when walking late at night. Her death shocked Britain, where violent crime is far more unusual than in the United States. A native of Somerset who began her career with the Weston and Somerset Mercury newspaper in 1980 and was hired to anchor the BBC's national news in 1988, Dando had recently announced her engagement to a London obstetrician. A BBC tribute to Dando on Monday drew 8.5 million viewers. A BBC spokesman said the network might feature a "Crimewatch" reconstruction of her death, depending on the progress of the police investigation.

Heinz L. Fraenkel-Conrat; Berkeley Biologist

Heinz L. Fraenkel-Conrat, 88, UC Berkeley expert on molecular and cell biology. A native of Breslau, Germany, Fraenkel-Conrat fled the country after Hitler came to power. He earned his doctorate in biochemistry in 1936 at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and immigrated to the United States the same year. Fraenkel-Conrat joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1952 and with colleagues was able to complete sequencing of the 158 amino acids of the tobacco mosaic virus protein. He later worked on the chemical structure of viral nucleic acid. Fraenkel-Conrat discovered that genetic information controlling viral reproduction is carried in the nucleic acid core of each virus particle. On April 10 in Berkeley of pulmonary failure.

Rick Rood; Wrestler Known as 'Rick Rude'

Rick Rood, 40, professional wrestler who billed himself as "Ravishing Rick Rude." In the ring, Rood played a womanizing, conceited bad guy who would often finish off opponents with the takedown he called the "Rude Awakening." Rood retired after he was injured in a 1994 match with the wrestler Sting in Japan. Since then, he worked as a manager and a commentator for Extreme Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation and recently Atlanta-based World Championship Wrestling. On April 20 after collapsing at home in Alpharetta, Ga., of causes unknown pending an autopsy.

Maria Stader; Mozart Arias Performer

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