DIED. JANET LEIGH, 77, coolly seductive Hollywood star, who earned immortality as the cinema's prime slasher victim in Hitch-cock's Psycho; in Beverly Hills. She could have settled for being Tony Curtis' wife (for 11 years) and Jamie Lee's mother. But Leigh had a gaze as alert and sexy as any in movies. It bored into Frank Sinatra's frazzled psyche in The Manchurian Candidate; mixed fear and fire as a captive in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil. Even after she'd been killed in the Psycho shower (where a model doubled her in some shots), Leigh's unblinking eye held the viewer's. Decades later, it still does.
PLEADED GUILTY. DENNIS CHRISTIAN, 49, and dave brown, 49; to sexual assault charges; on Pitcairn Island, an isolated British territory in the South Pacific. Christian, who admitted assaulting a 12-year-old, and Brown, who admitted to indecently touching underage girls, are among seven men on trial for alleged sexual abuses stretching back 40 years. The defendants claim that underage sex has been a tradition on the island since the arrival of their ancestors, the 18th century mutineers of the H.M.S. Bounty.
IMPRISONED. MARTHA STEWART, 63, domestic advice guru; sentenced to five months in prison for lying to federal investigators about her sale of ImClone stock; in Alderson, West Virginia. Stewart is appealing the verdict, but last month asked to begin serving her sentence immediately.
DIED. PETE McCARTHY, 52, English-Irish travel writer and broadcaster; of cancer. He was best known for his keen observations and deadpan humor in McCarthy's Bar, a meander through Ireland in which he "never pass[ed] a bar that has your name on it." He followed that book's success with The Road to McCarthy, in which he pursued the Irish diaspora around the world. McCarthy wrote in 2001 of his "childlike pleasure" in seeing his books on shop shelves with those of writers he admired and of the "thrill" of "moving McCarthy's Bar in front of Bill Bryson before anyone catches you."
DIED. JACQUES DERRIDA, 74, French philosopher and intellectual demigod; in Paris. Born into a Jewish family in Algeria, he earned his reputation in the 1960s and '70s with a series of philosophical works that combined daunting academic virtuosity with an enlightened playfulness. A man of immense charm, he was the godfather of deconstruction, a critical approach that emphasizes ambiguity; self-reference and multiple, shifting meanings; and unravels texts by teasing out the latent
contradictions in them. Although his writings are notoriously elusive, their influence on literary criticism, and the culture at large, was immeasurable.
DIED. GORDON COOPER, 77, one of NASA's original seven astronauts; in Ventura, California. Famously casual in his approach to pilot training and famously brilliant at it nonetheless Cooper flew twice into orbit, as the sole pilot of the last Mercury mission in 1963 and as commander of Gemini 5 in 1965. For a time, Cooper held the world record for time logged in space, 222 hours. In the lunar program, NASA preferred more by-the-book pilots, and Cooper never got a trip to the moon a loss more to NASA, many space historians believe, than to Cooper.
DIED. MAURICE WILKINS, 88, British Nobel laureate who helped discover the double helix structure of DNA; in London. After a stint on the Manhattan Project during World War II, he turned his attention from physics to biology. With his colleague Rosalind Franklin at King's College in London, he came up with a clear X-ray image of DNA. Within weeks of receiving the photograph, James Watson and Francis Crick built a model of the giant molecule's double spiral structure. Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine with Watson and Crick in 1962.
DIED. YANG HUANYI, late 90s, believed to be the last writer and speaker of a rare language used exclusively by women; in Jiangyong, China. Nushu, Mandarin for "women's script," was used to share emotions, particularly laments in marriage. In 2002, TIME counted Nushu among the 50% of the world's 6,000 languages facing extinction.
DIED. RODNEY DANGERFIELD, 82, stand-up comic whose old-fashioned style of one-liners thrived in an era of hip young satirists; in Los Angeles. After struggling as a comic, using the stage name Jack Roy, he left the business for 12 years and sold aluminum siding. But he made a comeback in his 40s, with a new name and a new catchphrase: "I don't get no respect." An energetic joke writer he would sometimes jot them down on cardboard from his laundered shirts he got his first big break with a spot on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967. To avoid going on the road and leaving his children, he borrowed money and opened Dangerfield's club in New York City. His tie-tugging tics and depressive one-liners became a staple on TV in the 1970s and '80s; and, as a late-blooming movie star in films like Caddyshack and Back to School, he made his old-school comedy seem eternally young.