Frederic Franklin, 98, an exuberant, British-born ballet dancer who was an early inspiration for the choreographers George Balanchine and Agnes de Mille, died Saturday at a New York hospital.

He had complications from pneumonia, said his partner, William Ausman.

Long after most dance careers end, he continued to be an important force in the ballet community, serving as its living library and oral historian.

Mr. Franklin's impeccable attention to detail, uncanny memory, and extensive experience with key choreographers and dancers made him uniquely suited to serve as a coach for a new generation of artists.

- Washington Post