NEW YORK – One of the nation’s top modern art collectors has died.

Roy Neuberger was 107.

Neuberger Berman investment firm spokesman Rich Chimberg says Neuberger died Friday at his home in New York City’s Pierre Hotel.

Neuberger survived Wall Street’s three major crises with enough money to build one of the nation’s largest collections of major contemporary art, including hundreds of works by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper.

They’re now scattered at 70 institutions in 24 states – many at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, north of New York City.

Neuberger once said that collectors should acquire contemporary art and keep it, while giving the public access. He said he collected art because he loved it.

In 2007, Neuberger received the National Medal of Arts.

Queen champions sports’ role in British society

LONDON – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II championed the role of sports in building communities Saturday in her annual Christmas message to the nation, crediting athletics with teaching valuable social skills and providing a different perspective on life.

The queen’s remarks come at a controversial moment in British sporting history. The government recently was criticized for plans to cut funding to a school sports program.

It partly rescinded the decision after an outcry from athletes and educators. Britain is also preparing to host the 2012 Olympics in London.

“In the parks of towns and cities, and on village greens up and down the country, countless thousands of people every week give up their time to participate in sport and exercise of all sorts, or simply encourage others to do so,” the 84-year-old monarch said in the prerecorded address.

The queen, who has made a Christmas broadcast on radio since 1952 and on television since 1957, made no mention of the upcoming wedding of her grandson William, whose military obligations kept him away from the family’s Christmas celebration.

She writes the speeches herself, and the broadcasts mark the rare occasion on which the queen voices her own opinion without government consultation.

Spider-Man actor hopes to work again

NEW YORK – The stunt actor who fell 30 feet while playing Spider-Man on Broadway is walking again, and his father said Saturday that he can’t wait to return to the role despite injuries that have him confined to the intensive care unit.

Christopher Tierney walked Friday for the first time since his fall during Monday’s performance of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” and is spending Christmas with his mother and brother in the hospital while recovering from back surgery, Tim Tierney told The Associated Press.

Julie Taymor, the director and co-writer of the $65 million production, visited the injured actor in the hospital on Christmas Eve, Tierney said. The show has been plagued by technical glitches, money woes and three other injuries, including a concussion and two broken wrists.