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DIED. L. PATRICK GRAY, 88, onetime Nixon loyalist and acting director of the FBI during Watergate, who expressed "total shock" at the disclosure that his former deputy W. Mark Felt was the secret journalistic source Deep Throat; of pancreatic cancer; in Atlantic Beach, Fla. Tapped by Nixon in May 1972, after the death of J. Edgar Hoover, he testified during his 1973 Senate confirmation hearings that he had been turning over FBI files on the Watergate probe to the White House. That prompted Nixon adviser John Ehrlichman to suggest famously that Gray be left to "twist slowly, slowly in the wind." In April 1973, after conceding he had destroyed papers unrelated to the scandal but belonging to Watergate operative E. Howard Hunt, he was forced to resign.
DIED. GAYLORD NELSON, 89, three-term Democratic Senator from Wisconsin who in 1970 founded the still annual April 22 celebration of Earth Day, which sparked a decade of environmental legislation; in Kensington, Md.
DIED. ERNEST LEHMAN, 89, protean Hollywood screenwriter; in Los Angeles. Though in the 1960s he specialized in adapting stage works such as West Side Story, The Sound of Music and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, he achieved his greatest glory the previous decade, when he used his background in publicity to craft two glorious Broadway vipers, J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) and Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), for the film Sweet Smell of Success, and wrote Alfred Hitchcock's smartest, snazziest caper, North by Northwest. In 2001 he became the first screenwriter to be awarded an honorary Oscar.
DIED. CLAUDE SIMON, 91, leading figure in France's "nouveau roman," or new novel, literary movement; author of such acclaimed, stylistically challenging novels as La Route Des Flandres (The Flanders Road) in 1960; and winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize for literature; in Paris.
DIED. CHRISTOPHER FRY, 97, wry British playwright of the 1940s and '50s who, along with T.S. Eliot, was responsible for a brief, midcentury revival of verse drama; in Chichester, England. While celebrated for plays like The Lady's Not for Burning, he reached his biggest audience when he was hired by director William Wyler as a script doctor and did a rewrite for the epic 1959 film Ben-Hur.