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Autopsy Performed on Body of Slain Producer Barry Crane

July 8, 1985

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Medical examiners conducted an autopsy Sunday on the body of producer and bridge expert Barry Crane as detectives searched for a motive in the bludgeon slaying.

Results of the autopsy were not immediately available, however, said Los Angeles County coroner’s investigator David Campbell.

The body of the 57-year-old producer-director, who was also a world-class bridge player, was found Friday in the underground garage of his Studio City townhouse by Crane’s maid.

Police had no suspect or motive, said Lt. Ron LaRue of the North Hollywood division.

There were no signs of forced entry into the condominium and several valuable objects were left untouched, LaRue said.

A late-model white Cadillac belonging to Crane was missing, said LaRue, adding that he didn’t know if the car was stolen or was being serviced.

Crane’s death coincidentally occurred in the same complex where Vicki Morgan, ex-model and mistress of Alfred Bloomingdale, was beaten to death with a baseball bat in July 1983. Her roommate, Marvin Pancoast, was convicted of her murder and is in prison.

Crane, the producer of such television series as ″Mission: Impossible″ and ″Police Story,″ was a masterful bridge player who was competing in the American Contract Bridge League Championship in Pasadena the day before his death.

″To the bridge world he was a superstar,″ said tournament manager Mel Morris.

″It’s like losing Babe Ruth or football losing Red Grange,″ added Bob Bratcher, tournament director.

In his 25-year career as an amateur bridge player, the Detroit native accumulated 35,000 ″master points,″ earned numerous national and international titles and was a six-time winner of the game’s highest honor, the McKenny Trophy.

Friends and neighbors said he balanced his entertainment career obligations with his passion for bridge.

″He kept his life in two separate compartments,″ said Alan Truscott, bridge editor for The New York Times. ″Sometimes he’d fit the two together and work Monday through Friday, fly to a tournament, play Saturday and Sunday and then be back to work on Monday.″

That work included producing or directing episodes of ″The Six Million Dollar Man,″ ″Police Woman″ ″Hawaii Five-O″ and ″Dallas.″

″When you gave him a script you felt good about it because he was a very conscientious man,″ said David Gerber, a producer who worked with Crane. ″He’d work on each script and make it very much better.

″He was a gentle man. It’s a funny thing that he did those (police- detective ) shows so well,″ Gerber said.

Crane, who was divorced, is survived by two grown children.

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