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Passings

November 08, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Manuel Solis Palma

Ex-president of Panama

Manuel Solis Palma, 91, who served as president of Panama during Manuel Noriega's military regime, died of respiratory failure Friday at his home in Panama City, said Mitchell Doens, the secretary general of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, to which Solis belonged.

Solis Palma served as education minister during the military regime dominated by Noriega, then was named acting president in February 1988, after President Eric Arturo Delvalle was fired.

Solis Palma ruled until Sept. 1, 1989.

Doens said Solis fought for Panama's sovereignty and led the movement in the 1940s against U.S. military presence in the Central American country, where the U.S. built and ran the Panama Canal for generations.

His brief term as president ended with the U.S. invasion that ousted Noriega.

Solis went on to serve as education minister from 2004 until this year in Martin Torrijos' administration.

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Bill Shepard, a longtime casting director for Walt Disney Studios and director Mel Brooks whose credits include "Splash," "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier," "Spaceballs" and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," died Sept. 20 at Sherman Oaks Hospital and Health Center after a heart attack, Disney officials announced this week.

He was 79.

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Jeanne M. Brodeur, vice president of development for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, died of cancer Oct. 19, aquarium officials said.

Diagnosed with the disease in 2004, she established the Woman to Woman Campaign at the Pacific Shores Hematology-Oncology Foundation to help women pay the costs of cancer treatments and transportation to and from their medical appointments.

She was 58.

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news.obits@latimes.com

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