Hurdler Glenn "Jeep" Davis, who won gold medals at the 1956 and 1960 Summer Olympics, received the Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete in 1958.
(Ohio State University)

Glenn ‘Jeep’ Davis

Hurdler was gold medalist

Glenn “Jeep” Davis, 74, a three-time Olympic gold-medal hurdler, died Wednesday at a hospice in Barberton, Ohio, after a long illness.

Davis was gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and in the 400-meter hurdles and 1,600-meter relay at the 1960 Rome Games.

In 1958, Davis set world records in the 440-yard run and in the 400-meter low hurdles. He holds the Ohio State University record for the outdoor 50-yard hurdles (6.1 seconds) and was an eight-time Big Ten champion while competing for the Buckeyes from 1956 to 1959.

Davis won the Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete in 1958.

After the Olympics he had a brief NFL career, playing wide receiver for the Detroit Lions in 1960 and ’61.

He coached track and field at Cornell University from 1963 to 1967, then returned to Ohio. In a 33-year career at Barberton High School, he taught mechanical drawing and driver’s education and was the head track coach and an assistant football coach.

Born Sept. 12, 1934, in Wellsburg, W. Va., Davis got his nickname from a character in a comic strip. When he was 15, his mother and father died within 12 hours of each other, and Davis moved to Ohio to live with an older brother.

The rugged all-around athlete also played basketball and football in high school.

John Martyn

Respected British singer-songwriter

John Martyn, 60, a British singer-songwriter whose soulful songs were covered by Eric Clapton and others, died Thursday, according to a statement on Martyn’s official website. It did not give a cause of death for the musician, who lived in Ireland.

A skilled guitarist and earthy vocalist influenced by folk, blues and jazz, Martyn performed with -- and was admired by -- musicians including Clapton, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, and Phil Collins.

Martyn was born Iain David McGeachy near London in 1948 and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland.

He took up the guitar in his teens, moved to London and released a series of enduring albums, including “The Road to Ruin” and “Solid Air,” regarded by some critics as one of the best British albums of the 1970s.

Martyn never became a household name, but his songs were praised by critics and highly regarded by other musicians. One of the best known, “May You Never,” was recorded by Clapton, for his “Slowhand” album, and other artists.

Martyn, who acknowledged that alcohol and drugs had sometimes gotten him into trouble, had health problems in recent years. In 2003, one of his legs was amputated below the knee because of a burst cyst.

Robert C. Broughton

Camera effects artist for Disney

Robert C. Broughton, 91, a pioneering camera effects artist for Walt Disney productions who worked on nearly every Disney motion picture from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937 to “The Black Hole” in 1979, died Jan. 19 at a nursing facility in Rochester, Minn., according to his son Dan.

Broughton’s job was to create spectacular effects in a subtle way, according to a profile on the Disney legends website. By using color traveling matte composite cinematography, Broughton helped Dick Van Dyke dance with animated penguins in the movie “Mary Poppins.” He also created the visual effect that made Hayley Mills appear as twins in “The Parent Trap,” his son said. And he worked on the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds,” providing the visual effects of the fluttering, menacing birds when Hitchcock contracted out the special effects work to Disney.

Born in Berkeley on Sept. 17, 1917, Broughton attended UCLA before starting in the Disney mail room in 1937. He eventually moved into the camera department and quickly graduated to the advanced multiplane camera, which gave depth to animated scenes in such features as “Pinocchio.”

During World War II, Broughton was a cameraman in the field photographic branch of the Office of Strategic Services. The unit was headed by director John Ford, and Broughton photographed a film by Ford that documented the Battle of Midway.

After the war, Broughton returned to Disney, where he worked until his retirement in 1982.

-- times staff and wire reports