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Obituaries

Harmer E. Davis; Pioneered Highway Engineer Training

January 02, 1999

Harmer E. Davis, 93, founder of what is now the UC Institute of Transportation Studies. In 1947, Davis began the nation's first program combining research and teaching to help train highway engineers. His students upgraded California's roads and airports in the years after World War II. Davis' model was later copied by several states. On Dec. 24 in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Jean-Claude Forest; Comic Strip Artist Created Barbarella

Jean-Claude Forest, 68, who created the sultry science fiction comic strip character Barbarella. Forest also designed sets for the 1960s cult movie "Barbarella," starring Jane Fonda as his 41st century adventuress. The space heroine inspired fashion designers, the 1980s pop group Duran Duran, which chose its name from a character in the film, and other comic strip characters, including current cyber-heroine Lara Croft. The French-born Forest sketched his first comic strip, "The Black Arrow," while he was in art school. He went on to publish "The Haunted Ship" and illustrate for such publications as "Voila," "Fiction" and "Les Nouvelles Litteraires." Forest had considerable success with a youthful adventure comic strip, "Bicot," and in 1962 created his best-known strip, "Barbarella," to, as he put it, "amuse myself." The character first appeared that year in V Magazine as a futuristic barbarian, seducing androids on the planet Lythion. Published in many languages, the series was initially censored in France. The movie, produced by Dino de Laurentiis and directed by Fonda's then-husband, Roger Vadim, gave Forest and his comic heroine international fame. Forest received the Grand Prize of Angouleme, France, site of an annual comic book festival, in 1984, and received a similar prize in 1986 at a comic strip festival in Sierre, Switzerland, for his life work. On Wednesday in Paris of a respiratory illness.

Johnny Moore; Longtime Member of the Drifters

Johnny Moore, 64, singer with the American soul group the Drifters on such hits as "Under the Boardwalk." Moore also sang on other Drifters hit records, including "Saturday Night at the Movies." The group was formed by George Treadwell in Cleveland in 1953 and over more than four decades has had 75 members drifting in and out. It has been known for its mixture of Latin rhythms, pop, soul, blues, rock and gospel. Moore's tenor led the Drifters in the mid-1950s and throughout the 1960s. In 1971, when the official group disbanded, he reconstituted a Drifters in England and had a successful career there, with hits such as "Kissin' in the Back Row of the Movies" and "You're More Than a Number in My Little Red Book." Moore left the Drifters in 1982 but continued to entertain. Among the longest-tenured of the group, he was one of only four inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 under the Drifters name. Describing "magic moments" in his life, Moore once cited his invitation to join the Drifters in 1955 and playing snooker with President Clinton in the White House after the Drifters entertained there. On Wednesday in London of respiratory problems.

Dorothy Nyembe; South African Activist

Dorothy Nyembe, 67, a black activist who led rural women into the struggle against white rule in South Africa. Nyembe, a member of parliament in the post-apartheid government, was imprisoned for 18 years by the apartheid government. She was a key organizer of the 1956 women's campaign against apartheid-era pass laws, which forced nonwhites to carry identity documents at all times and strictly limited their movements within the country. After Nelson Mandela's African National Congress party was banned in 1960, Nyembe joined the underground military wing, Spear of the Nation. She served two prison terms--one for three years, another for 15--for her political activity. Nyembe was elected a member of parliament in the 1994 elections that ended apartheid. Buried Sunday near Durban, South Africa.

Harold Walter Steiner; Veteran Orange County Judge

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