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Last Word
Listen to the latest editionFriday   16:00-16:30
Sunday 20:30-21:00 (rpt)

Radio 4's weekly obituaries programme
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This week
Friday 23rd February 2007
(Rpt) Sunday 25 February
Jane Little
Jane Little tells the life stories of people who have died recently. This week: Maurice Papon, Peter Ellenshaw, Hugo Moser, Ray Evans and Gary Frisch.
Maurice Papon 
French bureaucrat and convicted war criminal who has died aged 96.

Maurice Papon was the only French bureacrat convicted for deporting Jews during the collaborationist Vichy regime. He was convicted in 1998 and sentenced to ten years for his role in the deportation of more than fifteen hundred Jews. Many went to Nazi concentration camps such as Auschwitz. Few survived. He was freed from jail on grounds of ill-health in 2002. And he died last week at the age of 96. Born in 1910, he was the son of a prosperous lawyer and went on to study law at the Sorbonne. As a civil servant he had a remarkable ability to adapt his politics to those he served. He was a socialist but by 1940 he was an enthusiastic supporter of Marshal Petain in Vichy France. After liberation he became a Gaullist and he continued to move up the civil service hierarchyAs Prefect of the Paris Police in 1961 he was accused of ordering the killings of dozens of Algerian demonstrators in Paris during the war for independence. He ended his career as a cabinet minister. Controversial in death as in life, Maurice Papon was buried on Thursday with his legion of honour medal.

Jane Little talks to Arneaux Klarsfeld who prosecuted Maurice Papon and to Stephanie Hare-Cuming who has interviewed him extensively as part of her research into his life.
 
Maurice Papon was born September 3rd 1910. He died February 17th 2007.
Peter Ellenshaw
Special effects artist who has died aged 93.

There's a magical moment in the film Mary Poppins when she, Bert and her young charges ascend a staircase and look out across the London skyline - its spires and domes lit by the setting sun and the twinkle of street lamps. It's a striking image from the pre-digital age and it was created by one of the most celebrated visual effects artists, Peter Ellenshaw. Born in Essex, he worked as a mechanic and painted as a hobby before going on to train as a matte artist - a special effects technique which involved painting on plates of glass that were then placed in front of the camera during filming to create dramatic panoramas. Peter got an oscar for his work on Mary Poppins and during a long career with Walt Disney he worked on dozens of films including Treasure Island, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Swiss Family Robinson.

Jane Little talks to film historian Brian Sibley.
 
Peter Ellenshaw was born May 24th 1913. He died February 12th 2007.
Hugo Moser
Child neurologist and scientist who has died aged 82.

Hugo Moser was a renowned neurologist who spent decades researching genetic disorders in children. Born in Switzerland to an art dealer and an actress, his family escaped Nazi Germany and made a circuitous route to New York. He trained as a doctor and was later to became Head of the Kennedy Krieger Institute where he dedicated many years to studying a particularly cruel disease called Adrenoleukodystrophy or ALD.

It’s a rare disease in boys who are unable to break down long chain fatty acids. And it leads to deafness, blindness and often death. Early detection, Hugo Moser discovered, can halt the disease’s progress.

Most people who have heard of him have done so only through the 1992 Hollywood film, ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’, which was hardly flattering. In that he was played by Peter Ustinov as a sceptical scientist unmoved by the emotional battle of Lorenzo’s parents to save their son. They developed a specially-prepared oil to limit the progress of the disease and it worked. Hugo Moser took up Lorenzo’s Oil and proved it had merit if used on boys who had not developed symptoms.

Jane Little talks to Sara Hunt has two boys with ALD, Lorenzo’s father Augusto Odone, Dr Gary Goldstein his successor at the Kennedy Krieger Institute
and to his wife and Colleague, Anne Moser.

Hugo Wolfgang Moser was born October 4th 1924. He died January 20th 2007.
Ray Evans
Lyricist who has died aged 92.

The Oscar-winning lyricist, Ray Evans, wrote dozens of hits over the years, most of them for films. Born the son of a scrap dealer in New York State, he went on to the University of Pennsylvania where he met Jay Livingston. The two began to perform together on cruise ships and went on to create one of the most enduring musical partnerships –their work spanned six decades and contributed to more than eighty films. Their ouput includes an old Christmas favourite, Silver Bells sung by Bob Hope, it was so successful that in later years Ray Evans said it still brought him an annual six hundred thousand dollars in royalties. There were also three oscar-winners: Buttons and Bows from the Comedy Western, Paleface, Mona Lisa which became one of Nat King Cole’s greatest hits and Que Sera Sera - performed by Doris Day in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 remake The Man who Knew Too Much.

Montage of music and archive of Ray Evans.
 
Ray Evans  was born February 4th 1915. He died February 15th 2007.
Gary Frisch,
Gaydar founder who has died aged 38.

The South African born Gary Frisch and his partner, Henry Badenhorst, moved to England together and in 1999 set up Gaydar – an online dating site. Henry was the businessman, Gary the software expert and they started their enterprise from the backroom of a terraced house in Twickenham. It now boasts a global membership of over three million, one million in the UK. Their website and radio station have been so successful that the Independent named them the third most powerful gay men in the country. Tragically, Gary Frisch was found dead beneath his riverside balcony in Battersea.

Jane Little talks to David Muniz and Andrew Withey who worked with Gary Frisch at Gaydar.

Gary Frisch was born January 22nd 1969. He died February 10th 2007.
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