Sekka, Arnold, Rudley

Sekka, Arnold, Rudley

Johnny Sekka, a Senegalese actor who broke theatrical racial barriers in Britain during the 1960s, died Sept. 14 in Agua Dulce, Calif., of lung cancer. He was 72.

Sekka was born in Dakar, Senegal, making his way to Europe as a stowaway and becoming a stagehand in London's Royal Court Theatre. There, he eventually was cast as the lead in such productions as the musical "Mr. Johnson" and "Flame in the Street," a love story between a black man and a white woman. In 1968, he appeared onstage in London in "Bakke's Night of Fame," a role originally written for a white man, the first time in English theater that a black actor had been given a role not specifically written for a black man.

He filmed "The Last Safari" in Kenya with Stuart Granger and in 1976 moved to Hollywood, where he performed supporting roles in plays, musicals, films, television and commercials.

Malcolm Arnold, the first British composer to win an Academy Award, died Sept. 23 in Great Britain after suffering from a chest infection. He was 84.

Arnold, who won the Oscar for the music to "The Bridge on the River Kwai" in 1958, composed more than 130 film scores, including "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness," for which he received one of Britain's prestigious Ivor Novello Awards in 1958, "Hobson's Choice" and "Whistle Down the Wind."

Arnold also composed nine symphonies, seven ballets, two operas, a musical and more than 20 concertos.

Herbert Rudley, a Broadway, film and television actor who enjoyed a career that spanned more than 50 years, died Sept. 9 in Los Angeles. He was 96.

He debuted on Broadway in 1931 with a role in "Did I Say No?" Parts followed in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois," "The Threepenny Opera" and "Macbeth," opposite Maurice Evans and Judith Anderson.

In 1940, he re-created his Broadway role in the film version of "Abe Lincoln in Illinois," beginning a prolific movie career that included "Brewster's Millions," "Rhapsody in Blue" (as Ira Gershwin), "A Walk in the Sun," "The Young Lions," "Beloved Infidel" and many others.

Joe Glazer, a singer-songwriter who rallied union loyalists and sympathizers, died Sept. 19 at his home in Chevy Chase, Md., from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 88.

Glazer, often called Labor's Troubadour, sang songs of solidarity on picket lines and union halls in almost every state. He also performed for many liberal politicians; in 1980, President Jimmy Carter invited him to play at the White House.

He recorded more than 30 albums, wrote a book about labor music, recorded the songs of others and helped recruit a new generation of protest singers.

Joseph Hayes, a novelist, playwright and producer who turned his thriller "The Desperate Hours" into a Tony-winning play and movie, died Sept. 11 at a nursing home in St. Augustine, Fla., of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 88.

Published in 1954, "Desperate Hours" tells the story of a suburban Indianapolis family taken hostage by three escaped convicts. Collaborating with producer Howard Erskine, Hayes took the theatrical version to Broadway with a cast that included Paul Newman and Karl Malden. It won the 1955 Tony for best play. It was made into a 1955 movie by William Wyler with Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March and remade in 1990 by Michael Cimino with Anthony Hopkins and Mickey Rourke.
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