Jenny Tomasin, a British actress forever known to hundreds of millions of television viewers as the clumsy, disheveled Valentino-obsessed kitchen maid Ruby Finch in "Upstairs, Downstairs," has died at her home in London.
She died Jan. 3 of heart disease. Her age was variously listed as 73 and 75.
"Upstairs, Downstairs," one of the most beloved and literate TV dramas of all time, chronicled the decline of a British aristocratic family and the fate of their servants from the Edwardian era through World War I, the Jazz Age and the stock market crash of 1929.
Ruby - gray-faced, thatchy-haired and hopeless in the kitchen - was distinctly at the bottom of the social ladder. Few who saw the series will fail to remember Mrs. Bridges taking pity on the "poor girl" but also erupting in her trademark bellow, "Roo-BEEE!"
The program was produced between 1970 and 1975, and she joined it in 1972.
Dr. Richard K. Olney, a leading physician and pioneer in clinical research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, died of the disease on Feb. 3 at his home in Corte Madera, Calif. He was 64.
Olney had been the director of the ALS Treatment and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco before learning that he himself had the disease.
Many ALS patients die within two years, but Olney survived more than eight after his diagnosis.
His son Nicholas T. Olney said that his father maintained a disciplined and upbeat outlook throughout the course of his illness.
In 2005, Olney noticed that his right arm was growing stiff and slow. He gave himself a common test for ALS: counting the number of times he could tap his fingers in 10 seconds. He knew that he could normally tap 65 times; he had slowed to 55. "I knew I had ALS then," he said.