From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

Juliet Prowse, 59, died of pancreatic
cancer on September 14. An accomplished
classical ballet dancer in Europe, her
first movie in the U.S., Can Can, (1960) with
Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine, thrust
her into stardom. Over the years, Prowse
appeared in many films, TV shows, and
musicals. Her last stage appearance was in a
west coast theatrical production of the musical
comedy Mame, costarring Gretchen Wyler.
Prowse shared her Los Angeles
home with three dogs and two cats, all
foundlings. During a recent nightclub appearance
as the star of Sugar Baby, she insisted
that special housing be constructed around a
window for the live doves used in the show,
so they might receive light and fresh air.
Outspoken about the treatment of
captive wildlife and the Atlantic Canada seal
hunt, Prowse was for the past two years a
celebrity presenter at the Ark Trust’s Genesis
Awards ceremony. The Genesis Awards
honor individuals in the major media who have
raised public consciousness on animal issues.

Rita Kelly, of Chicago, died
September 8. “It was in her honor,” wrote
Chicago Animal Rights Coalition founder
Steve Hindi, “that we dedicated our efforts to
save the geese at the Woodstock Hunt Club on
the weekend of September 14-15. Rita was a
fine person and a strong, outspoken animal
rights activist, and a successful commercial
illustrator and artist. She and her sister
Roberta Updyke faithfully attended many,
many protests since the inception of CHARC
six years ago.”

Gladys Sargent, 96, died October
2 from complications of hip surgery at the
John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek,
California. The San Francisco Examiner
memorialized her as, “The most influential
animal rights lobbyist in California history,
still actively campaigning at her death.” Born
in San Francisco, Sargent survived the 1906
earthquake and fire. Her public record began
when she formed the animal protection group
Pets & Pals in 1947, and included receipt of
the Phoebe Hearst Award as one of the 10
most distinguished women in the San
Francisco Bay Area in 1972, as she led a drive
to ban the leghold trap that expanded into the
antifur movement. Despite Sargent’s half century
of work on behalf of animals, however,
she was far better known as the limited owner
of the Oakland Raiders professional football
team––for which her late husband Douglas
Sargent was an accountant––who refused to
sell her shares when the team moved to Los
Angeles in 1982.

Thomas E. Van Metre Jr., M.D.,
73, died October 8 at home in Ruxton,
Maryland. Van Metre’s medical investigation
of allergies to cat dander, begun circa 1984,
has helped keep millions of cats in homes.
Van Metre turned to dander research after 30
years as an allergist at Johns Hopkins Hospital
in Baltimore, heading the allergy clinic 1966-
1984. In 1994, well past the usual age of
retirement, he was promoted to full professor
at the Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine. “Before his work,” former Johns
Hopkins division of clinical immunology head
Philip S. Norman M.D. told Karen Freeman of
The New York Times, “it was considered not
very useful to give allergy shots for cat allergy.
He showed that immunotherapy does work.
It’s good for casual contact.”

Ken Hotz, 69, died of a stroke on
August 14. “Ken and his wife Pat were among
Orange County People for Animals’ first
members. You didn’t always see Ken at
OCPA events,” an OCPA memorial remembered.
“because he and Pat were usually too
busy saving animals. Ken and Pat have been
known for their special compassion for cats,
having rescued, humanely trapped,
spayed/neutered, and placed untold numbers
of these lucky creatures over the years. The
couple has organized regular feedings of feral
colonies, a huge job that can only be truly
appreciated if you’ve been involved in this difficult
and demanding work.”

James E. Gorzkiewicz, 44, of
Navarre, Florida, died October 15 in
Pensacola, three days after he cut himself on a
rock while trying to save a pygmy sperm
whale who became stranded after giving birth.
The cut became infected by the vibrio vulnifi –
cus bacteria, a deadly shellfish toxin. Chronic
liver disease made Gorzkiewicz particularly
vulnerable. The whale died on October 18.
Her calf was never found.

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