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Julius Palffy-Alpar; Retired Fencing Coach

March 04, 2001

Julius Palffy-Alpar, 93, retired fencing coach at UC Berkeley who also trained entertainers. A native of Hungary, Palffy-Alpar learned to fence there and became a military champion in fencing and skiing. He taught at Berkeley from 1962 until his retirement in 1975. He earned a Distinguished Teaching Award in 1976, and trained several students who competed in the Amateur Fencers League of America. He also extended his technique to the performing stage, teaching a class that scripted combat for such productions as "Hamlet" and "Don Juan," and tutoring such stars as French mime artist Marcel Marceau and singer Robert Goulet. Palffy-Alpar devised methods of teaching fencing to the blind. Still in top physical form, he demonstrated fencing techniques only three weeks before his death. On Feb. 14 in Berkeley.

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