This week: a star of the Wizard of Oz, a director of Thunderbirds and a great of French football

THE actress Dorothy Barrett, who has died aged 101, was one of the last surviving stars of two of the great MGM movies of the 1930s: The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind.

In Gone with the Wind, Barrett was a snooty Southern belle, while in Oz she played one of the staff of the Emerald City who attend to Dorothy, the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man when they arrive there.

By the time Barrett appeared in the films, she had been a contract star with MGM for two years, picking up small parts in films such as Mildred Pierce, the cult film noir starring Joan Crawford. She also appeared in a number of films with Fred Astaire during the 1940s.

By the late 1950s, her film career was winding down and Barrett founded a performing arts school in Studio City, California, where she taught acting and dance. She continued to teach into her late 90s.

THE film editor and director Desmond Saunders, who has died aged 91, was best known for his long association with Gerry Anderson, the creator and driving force of the so-called Supermarionation productions featuring puppets, such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet.

Saunders, who was born in Hertfordshire, had started his career in the industry as a runner at Alexander Korda's Denham Film Studios before becoming a film editor. As an editor, he worked on Laurence Olivier's celebrated 1955 film version of Richard III.

He joined Gerry Anderson's team as a director for one of his earliest puppet shows Supercar, which ran on ITV from 1961 to 1962 before working with him on some of his biggest successes. From 1964 to 65, Saunders was a director on Stingray, about a super-submarine, followed by Anderson's biggest and most famous show Thunderbirds, about a team of brothers who avert disaster around the world, aided by British aristocrat Lady Penelope. By the time of Captain Scarlet in the late 1960s, Saunders was a supervising director.

Anderson and Saunders worked together for the last time on Terrahawks, one of Anderson's later shows which was shown in the mid-1980s and featured sophisticated hand puppets rather than marionettes.

THE footballer Roger Piantoni, who has died aged 86, was one of France's most prolific strikers and a central player in the French team that took third place in the World Cup of 1958.

The son of an amateur footballer, Piantoni proved his talent for scoring goals when he was still a youth player, once scoring 18 times in one game. As a player with Reims, he helped them win the league in 1958, 60 and 62 and the French Cup in 1958.

He left Reims in 1962 to join Nice before retiring from the game in 1966. He then worked as a coach and was a member of the federal council of the French Football Federation.