Herbert Blau,
87, a theater director, author and scholar, professor emeritus at the University of Washington and a major force in the development of modern American drama, died of cancer May 3 at his home in Seattle.

Steven Cunetta, 55, an advertising businessman and lifelong baseball fan who came up with one of the most memorable Mariners ad slogans of the 2000s — “SoDo Mojo” — and collaborated on many of the team’s other ad campaigns, and who also coached hundreds of kids in Seattle PONY Baseball, died Monday of angiosarcoma.

Ken Higgins, 71, a Boeing test pilot who rose to head its commercial airplane test organization and led an effort to improve Boeing’s flight-test safety practices, improvements later adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration, died of an aortic aneurysm April 22.

Jeanne Cooper, 84, the longest-serving cast member on “The Young and the Restless,” having played the forthright Katherine Chancellor from 1973 until her death, died in her sleep Wednesday in Los Angeles.

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Ray Harryhausen, 92, the stop-motion animation legend whose work on “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and other science-fiction and fantasy film classics made him a cult figure and an inspiration to filmmakers and special-effects artists, died Tuesday in London, where he had lived for decades.

Christian de Duve, 95, a Belgian biochemist whose discoveries about the internal workings of cells shed light on genetic disorders like Tay-Sachs disease and helped give birth to the field of modern cell biology, earning him a Nobel Prize, died May 4 in Nethen, Belgium.

Eleanor R. Adair, 86, a scientist who spent decades exposing monkeys and eventually people (including herself) to microwave radiation to determine whether it posed serious health risks — she concluded, emphatically and somewhat controversially, that it did not — died April 20 in Hamden, Conn., of complications of a stroke.

Ottavio Missoni, 92, the patriarch of the iconic fashion brand of zigzag-patterned knitwear that helped launch Italian ready-to-wear and turn Milan into a fashion mecca, died Thursday in Sumirago, north of Milan.

Fredrick McKissack, 73, who quit a career in construction to join his wife in writing more than 100 children’s books about African-American history, died of congestive heart failure April 28 in Chesterfield, Mo.

Dean Jeffries, 80, one of the first hot rodders to chop, channel and soup-up automobiles, who made the “Monkeemobile” and attracted many admirers to his shop, including James Dean, Steve McQueen and A.J. Foyt, died in his sleep May 4 in Hollywood. He had been in declining health.

Al Fritz, 88, the Schwinn executive who became known as an industry visionary for transforming a Southern California street fad into the Sting-Ray — a national phenomenon of the 1960s and ’70s — died Tuesday in Barrington, Ill., of stroke complications.

Malcolm Shabazz, 28, the grandson of political activist Malcolm X who in 1997 set fire to his grandmother’s home, killing her, died Thursday after what a friend said was a beating in a Mexico City bar.