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HOSPITALIZED. DIEGO MARADONA, 39, supremely talented bad-boy of world soccer, after collapsing with heart problems; in the Uruguayan beach resort of Punta del Este. Recently voted Argentina's sportsman of the 20th century, Maradona has twice been banned from the game, after testing positive in 1991 and 1994 for cocaine and ephedrine, respectively. The latter finding caused him to be sent home during the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. A Uruguayan police chief said the football star's blood and urine samples tested positive for cocaine. DIED. BERNHARD WICKI, 80, acclaimed maker of German-language films who co-directed the Hollywood epic The Longest Day; in Munich. The Austrian-born Swiss citizen was most admired for directing Die Brucke (The Bridge), a prizewinning 1959 anti-war film about a group of conscripted schoolboys and their futile deaths at the close of World War II. Wicki's Spider's Web, a 1990 film about the prelude to Nazism in Germany, was nominated for an Oscar. DIED. MARIA DE LAS MERCEDES DE BORBON Y ORLEANS, 89, beloved Countess of Barcelona; in Lanzarote, Spain. The widow of Don Juan de Borbon y Battenberg, one-time heir to the Spanish throne, Maria de las Mercedes had four children, one of whom, Juan Carlos, took the throne in 1975 and masterminded Spain's shift to democracy after years of Franco's authoritarian rule. Despite suffering from a crippling bone disease in later years that confined her to a wheelchair, she was a popular but discreet figure at bullfights, charity events and football matches. DIED. NAT ADDERLEY, 68, dynamic composer, bluesy jazz cornetist and younger brother of the celebrated bebop saxophonist Julian Cannonball Adderley; in Lakeland, Florida. The brothers formed the Cannonball Adderley Quintet in the late 1950s, which lasted until the elder Adderley's death in 1975. Three of the group's most covered tunes--The Work Song, Jive Samba and Hummin--were written by Nat, who formed his own band and performed for another 20 years until losing a leg from diabetes in 1997. DIED. PATRICK O'BRIAN, 85, prolific writer best known for his series of seafaring novels set in the Napoleonic era; in Dublin (see Eulogy). Born and raised in London, O'Brian worked as a British secret agent during World War II before finding success as a writer. His celebrated 20-book series traces the lives of two characters--Jack Aubrey, a naval captain, and Stephen Maturin, a ship surgeon who doubles as a spy. The New York Times once described the books as the best historical novels ever written. DIED. ELMO ZUMWALT JR., 79, innovative United States admiral who championed equality in the American military for women and minorities; in Durham, North Carolina. Admiral Zumwalt fought in the Korean War, commanded naval forces in Vietnam and served as chief of U.S. naval operations from 1970-74. His controversial legacy included ordering use of the defoliant Agent Orange in the Mekong Delta in an effort to reduce American casualties. In 1998 U.S. President Bill Clinton awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. Of the Vietnam War, Zumwalt once said: I thought it was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. EulogyBy William F. Buckley Jr.Twice, PATRICK O'BRIAN, consented to come to the United States to promote his books, queasy engagements because he was shy and reclusive and edgy about any attempt at curiosity about him and his life and his (obfuscated) personal history. A BBC reporter a year ago asked idly when the grapes in the region of France where he lived ripened. Reply: That is a rather personal question. I was among those asked to introduce him at one of his three New York appearances, in which he read from his works (he would not consent to give a speech). He was courtly and dutiful but his mind was beating loudly elsewhere, maybe thinking up the narrative of the 21st of his great novels on the sea in the Napoleonic period. It was dumbfounding merely to weigh his knowledge, as a naturalist, linguist, translator, biographer, the most evocative writer on the sea since Homer--and, through his story of Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin, a portraitist unrivaled about life and times at sea, at war, at home and in the shadows of the warmakers of Britain, France and Spain. He was only a few chapters into the 21st of the series when he died suddenly in Dublin, consigning his remains to Collioure near the Spanish border where he lived almost 50 years and, by his industry and talent, gladdened the reading of his and successor generations.