Ron Silver, March 15, age 62: The gifted actor and political activist had battled esophageal cancer for two years. He was known for his roles onstage ("Speed-the-Plow"), TV ("Law & Order") and film ("Silkwood" and "Reversal of Fortune"). He also was known for his politics; originally a Democrat, he became an Independent and supporter of President Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Asked about actors being involved in politics, he once said, "I think there's almost an obligation. Many of us are very well compensated for work which a lot of people would love to do. And we also have a lot of leisure time in between jobs."