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PASSINGS / Godfrey Rampling

Runner won Olympic gold

July 04, 2009|Times Staff And Wire Reports

Godfrey Rampling, 100, who was believed to be Britain's oldest Olympian and who won gold in the 4x400-meter relay at the 1936 Berlin Games, died in his sleep June 20 at a nursing home in Bushey, England.

He was the father of actress Charlotte Rampling.

The Olympian ran the second leg of the 1936 relay with teammates Fred Wolff, Bill Roberts and Arthur Brown, beating the U.S. and German teams.

At the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Rampling had been on the British team that took the silver medal in the 4x400 relay.

The British runners' preparation was fairly lackadaisical.

"Training was a complete farce," Rampling told the Independent newspaper in 1996. ". . . When I felt like it, I ran round [a cricket ground] or sprinted up and down in short bursts. Then I would run for about 600 yards for so-called stamina training. The Americans were astounded at our lack of training."

Rampling was born in Blackheath, southeast of London, on May 14, 1909, and spent 29 years in the British army's Royal Artillery, retiring with the rank of colonel in 1958.

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Jan Rubes, a Czech character actor and opera singer who played the Amish grandfather in the 1985 film "Witness," died Monday at Toronto General Hospital after suffering a stroke. Rubes, who immigrated to Canada in 1948, was 89.

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news.obits@latimes.com

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