Edmund Purdom

Star of 'The Egyptian'

Edmund Purdom, 84, the British actor who came to Hollywood in the 1950s and starred in the "The Egyptian" and "The Prodigal," died Jan. 1 in Rome, according to his family, who did not announce the cause of death.

The son of a drama critic, Purdom was born Dec. 19, 1924, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England. He attended St. Ignatius College before started his acting career in 1945. According to an obituary in the Guardian newspaper, he appeared on Broadway six years later in alternating performances of "Caesar and Cleopatra" and "Antony and Cleopatra."

One of his first film roles was in "Julius Caesar" in 1953, playing Strato, the servant of Brutus, who was played by James Mason. Still little known a year later, he was selected to replace the fired Mario Lanza in "The Student Prince." The overweight Lanza had recorded the songs for the production before filming began so his voice was dubbed in for Purdom's in the film.

Purdom later was cast in a starring role in "The Egyptian," after Marlon Brando turned down the part for another film.

Purdom's relationship with actress Linda Christian, the former wife of Tyrone Power whom Purdom had starred with in the film "Athena", made headlines when they were wed in 1962. The union ended in divorce after little more than a year.

As work in Hollywood dried up, Purdom moved to Rome and appeared in a number of Italian costume dramas and, later in life, did voice-over work.

William R. Glendon

Post's lawyer on Pentagon Papers

William R. Glendon, 89, who successfully defended the Washington Post before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Pentagon Papers case, died of multiple organ failure Dec. 25 at a hospital in White Plains, N.Y.

On June 26, 1971, Glendon, representing the Washington Post, and Alexander Bickel, representing the New York Times, argued before the high court against an effort by the Nixon White House to prevent publication of a secret multi-volume history of America's involvement in Vietnam.

The newspapers' victory was regarded as a landmark assertion of the public's right to a free press and to be informed about the actions of government.

What the government sought was "prior restraint," the suppression of news or information before it was published, as opposed to legal action taken after publication. It was rare in American history. -- times staff and wire reports