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Erik Bye of Norway, writer, performer

OSLO -- Erik Bye -- one of Norway's most beloved entertainers and known for his poetry, stories, sailor songs, and appearances on radio and television -- died Wednesday. He was 78.

Mr. Bye died after a long illness, the nature of which wasn't disclosed. There was no information on survivors; funeral plans were pending.

Mr. Bye became a household name in Norway through his appearances on the state radio and television network NRK, often performing traditional sailor songs.

He was born in New York City on March 1, 1926, to Norwegian opera singer Erik Ole Bye and Rooennaug Dahl, but moved back to the Nordic country in 1932. While a teenager during World War II, he was part of the Norwegian resistance against the Nazis. .

After the war, he returned to the United States to study, receiving a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1953.

He returned to Norway and worked as a journalist, including a stint as news editor for the AP bureau in Oslo from 1953-1955 and as a reporter for the British Broadcasting Corp. until 1958. He joined state broadcaster NRK and worked there until he retired in 1996.

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