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Obituaries in the News

January 19, 1999

LONDON (AP) _ Betty Evelyn Box, one of the most successful producers of British films in the post-World War II era, died Friday. She was 78.

Ms. Box produced such hits as ``Doctor in the House,″ ``Miranda,″ ``Conspiracy of Hearts,″ and the Huggett family films. Most of her films were directed by Ralph Thomas, with whom she had a successful partnership for 24 years.

Ms. Box was part of a film dynasty. Her older brother Sydney Box and his wife, Muriel, were a noted screenwriter-director-producer team. In 1949, Betty Box married one of her brother’s writers, Peter Rogers, who went on to be a producer in his own right.

She started her career in 1942 by joining the company formed by her brother to produce training and propaganda films for the British government during World War II.

Robert E. Hagan

MADISON, Ohio (AP) _ Robert E. Hagan, a vice presidential campaign speechwriter and former state representative, died Saturday of liver cancer. He was 77.

Hagan was elected to the Ohio House in 1981 and served until 1988. In an Ohio first, Hagan got to serve in the legislature with his son, Robert F. Hagan, who was elected in 1986 from a district in Youngstown.

Hagan had a varied career: steelwork designer, television show host, county commissioner and speechwriter for Sargent Shriver, who was the running mate for 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern.

Before going into politics, Hagan was the host of his own TV variety show in Youngstown, appeared five times on the Mike Douglas show and wrote comedy material for entertainer Danny Thomas and other comics.

Francis J. Hicks

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Francis J. Hicks, a retired teletype operator for The Associated Press, died Saturday. He was 88.

Hicks spent 47 years with the news organization and also was a retired public relations employee of Churchill Downs.

Survivors include three daughters, a son, a sister and five grandchildren.

Mary McAndrew

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) _ Mary McAndrew, a former Associated Press newswoman who later spent 18 years at NBC News, died Sunday of cancer. She was 53.

McAndrew worked for The Associated Press’ New York bureau for three years before joining NBC in 1969. While on loan from the AP to NBC News during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, she broke her leg when police told her to jump over a wall in Grant Park. Hours later, she was back at work on crutches.

Ms. McAndrew, the daughter of former NBC News President William R. McAndrew, joined NBC in 1969 and worked as chief of the network’s Newark, N.J., and Connecticut bureaus. She also worked as a reporter for WNBC-TV and WNBC radio in New York and later was assignment editor for NBC Radio News.

Ms. McAndrew left NBC in 1987 to become New York correspondent for the Mutual Broadcasting System. She moved to Chicago in 1988 and worked as a reporter for WBBM-FM and WGCI-FM and was a producer for the Chicago bureau of the now-defunct USA Today on Television.

She moved into public relations in 1993 and worked for the American Red Cross and the American Medical Association.

Survivors include a daughter, a grandson and a brother and sister.

Harvey Miller

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Television comedy writer Harvey Miller, who won an Oscar nomination for the screenplay ``Private Benjamin,″ died Jan. 8 of heart failure. He was 63.

Miller’s film, television and stage career started in the 1960s. On the side, he started writing and selling material to standup comics, and to his own astonishment, sold material to comedian Dick Gregory, Shecky Greene, Alan King, Sandy Baron and others.

Baron brought Miller with him to Hollywood in 1967 to work on the television series ``Hey Landlord!″ Through that show, Miller met the writer-producer team of Jerry Belson and Garry Marshall, building a relationship that would last through several television shows over many years.

Miller wrote, produced and directed ``The Odd Couple″ in 1973, for which he was nominated for two Emmy Awards. He was also nominated for an Emmy for work on ``Love, American Style.″ Other television credits include writing and directing ``Taxi″ and ``The Tracey Ullman Show.″

In 1980, the Writers Guild of America honored the hit movie ``Private Benjamin,″ which starred Goldie Hawn, as the year’s best screenplay. Miller co-wrote the screenplay, which was later was nominated for an Oscar.

In 1998, Miller opened a one-man show called ``A Cheap Date With Harvey Miller″ at the Court Theatre in Los Angeles. The show had been scheduled for an off-Broadway run in the spring.

Walter Page

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (AP) _ Walter Page, a former J.P. Morgan and Company chairman, died Jan. 8 of heart failure. He was 83.

Page joined J.P. Morgan as a trainee in 1937, when the company was still a privately held bank. He retired in 1979.

Page was instrumental in establishing the company’s international strategy, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1970s he helped shape the plan that led to the creation of the Saudi International Bank.

Page remained on the J.P. Morgan board. In 1985 he was named a member of a group advising top company managers.

Edgar Nollner Sr.

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) _ Edgar Nollner Sr., the last survivor of a desperate 1925 dog team relay that carried diphtheria serum to Nome, died of heart failure Monday in the Yukon River village of Galena. He was 94.

The story of the serum relay inspired the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, an annual 1,100-mile run from Anchorage to Nome that began in 1973.

Nollner was 20 when he hooked up his seven dogs, loaded the serum into his sled and mushed 24 miles in bitter cold from Whiskey Creek to Galena on the Yukon River.

He was one of 20 mushers who relayed the serum in a record 5 1/2 days. It usually took about 30 days for a single team to make the 674-mile journey from Nenana to Nome. Nollner was the 10th musher in the relay.

Nollner was born Nov. 11, 1904, at Old Louden, about 12 miles upriver from Galena on the Yukon. He was a trapper, fisherman, barge pilot and woodcutter. With two wives _ both of whom he outlived _ he had 23 children. Family members estimate he has about 200 grandchildren.

In a 1995 interview with The Associated Press, Nollner said he never dreamed his mushing exploits would make him famous.

``I just wanted to help, that’s all,″ he said.

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