DIED. STANLEY KRAMER, 87, celebrated Hollywood film director and producer whose credits included the classics High Noon and The Wild One; in Los Angeles. One of the first producers to work outside the studio system, Kramer burst onto the scene in the early 1950s with a series of spectacularly successful low-budget movies. A liberal in the politically cautious Hollywood of the 1950s and '60s, he often tackled then-controversial subjects such as racism and the nuclear arms race. His 35 films were nominated for a total of 85 Oscars, winning 15.
DIED. BALTHUS, 92, reclusive French-born artist, considered one of the finest realist painters of the 20th century; in Rossiniere, Switzerland. Born Balthazar Klossowski de Rola to a Polish family living in Paris, Balthus was best known for his provocative portrayals of adolescent girls. He was one of the few artists to exhibit his work at the Louvre while still alive.
DIED. JOHN MACKAY,62, tough-talking senior Conservative in Britain's House of Lords and former cabinet minister whose dry wit made him popular even with his opponents, of a heart attack; in London. First elected an M.P. in 1979, Mackay served as Social Security Minister under John Major from 1994-97, and become Lord Mackay when he was elevated to the House of Lords in 1991 where until recently he was deputy Conservative leader.
DIED. CHARLES TRENET, 87, flamboyant French singer whose poetical lyrics and jazz-influenced tunes defined French popular music for a generation; near Paris. He started singing in music halls in the 1930s, then went on to write almost 1,000 songs over a six-decade career. His best-known hit was the haunting La Mer, recorded in nearly 4,000 different versions. Although he announced his retirement in 1975, he released a last CD in 1995 and gave three sell-out concerts in 1999.
DIED. TIN OO, 67, Burmese army chief of staff who was the fourth most powerful member of the country's ruling junta, in a helicopter crash; near Pha-an, southeast Burma. A serving lieutenant general, Tin Oo was second secretary in the State Peace and Development Council, the 21-member group of army officers that took power in Burma in 1988 after crushing a pro-democracy uprising.
DIED. IRINA BUGRIMOVA, 91, feted Russian circus artist who was the country's first woman lion tamer; in Moscow. Joining the circus as a teenager, she tried motorcycling and acrobatics before turning to the big cats. When she retired at age 67, she had performed with some 70 lions and been decorated as a "Hero of Socialist Labor."