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Obituaries in the News

May 31, 2006

Ted Berkman

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) _ Screenwriter and author Ted Berkman, whose film credits include ``Bedtime for Bonzo″ and ``Fear Strikes Out,″ has died. He was 92.

Berkman died May 12 of cancer in Santa Barbara, said his nephew, Joel Blau.

Berkman worked as a photo assignment editor at the New York Mirror, Middle East chief of the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service and as an ABC radio correspondent in the Middle East.

In 1962, he wrote ``Cast a Giant Shadow: The Story of Mickey Marcus, Who Died to Save Jerusalem,″ a best-selling biography of the West Point graduate who was a military adviser to Israel during the 1948 War of Independence. Kirk Douglas starred in a 1966 film based on the book.

His 1969 book, ``Sabra,″ focused on a dozen Israeli fighters in the 1967 Six Day War.

Berkman’s screen credits included co-writing the story for the 1951 comedy ``Bedtime for Bonzo,″ starring Ronald Reagan. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the 1957 film ``Fear Strikes Out,″ which starred Anthony Perkins and was based on professional baseball player Jimmy Piersall’s book about his mental illness.

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Peter C. Borsari

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Photographer Peter C. Borsari, whose celebrity snapshots over three decades included candid moments of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Jack Nicholson, has died. He was 67.

Borsari died Monday of complications from elective knee surgery, longtime friend Laura Luongo said.

A native of Zurich, Switzerland, Borsari moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s and quickly joined an elite cadre of successful celebrity photographers. His photos of Taylor and Richard Burton in Mexico launched his career.

Hollywood studios often hired Borsari to take photos at parties and weddings, including the nuptials of Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner and the wedding of Harry Hamlin and Nicollette Sheridan.

Borsari provided photos for magazines, newspapers and industry publications worldwide. His clients included top studios, including Columbia, Tri-Star, Warner Bros. and Universal.

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George William Dunne

CHICAGO (AP) _ George William Dunne, a political war horse who was at Mayor Richard J. Daley’s side during the chaotic 1968 Democratic convention, has died. He was 93.

He died Sunday at his farm in Hebron, said his wife of 16 years, Claudia Dunne. He had had heart trouble.

Dunne, nicknamed ``Gentleman George,″ was among a handful of power brokers who reigned over the Chicago Democratic machine for much of the past century.

``George Dunne was a friend and a respected, charismatic leader who spent a lifetime in public service,″ Mayor Richard M. Daley, son of the legendary former mayor, said Monday. ``Our heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to his family.″

Dunne, the son of Irish immigrants, was involved in some of biggest political developments of his time.

He was present the night the Illinois delegation nominated Harry Truman for the presidency at the 1948 Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Two decades later, Dunne was at Richard J. Daley’s side at the Democratic convention in Chicago as delegates nominated Hubert Humphrey for president while police and anti-war demonstrators clashed on city streets.

Dunne first took public office in 1955 when he became a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. In 1962, he joined the Cook County Board of Commissioners. He served as president of that board from 1969 until his retirement in 1990.

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Shohei Imamura

TOKYO (AP) _ Award-winning Japanese director Shohei Imamura died Tuesday at a Tokyo hospital. He was 79.

Imamura died of liver cancer, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

The director was undergoing treatment after he was found to have cancer last year, NHK said. An official of the Directors Guild of Japan confirmed Imamura died, but had no further details.

Born in Tokyo in 1926, Imamura won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival for ``The Ballad of Narayama″ and another for ``The Eel″ in 1997.

He was the fourth director, after Francis Coppola, Bille August, and Emir Kusturica, to win two Palme d’Ors.

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Steve Mizerak

MIAMI (AP) _ Steve Mizerak, a winner of pool championships who became one of the game’s most recognizable figures, has died, his wife said Tuesday. He was 61.

Mizerak died Monday of complications from gall bladder surgery, Karen Mizerak told The Associated Press.

Known as ``The Miz,″ Mizerak won four U.S. Open Championships and dozens of other billiards tournaments in his professional career, which began when he was 13. He was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s hall of fame in 1980.

He used his talent and name recognition to make training books and videos, bringing basics such as breaks and bank shots, as well as more advanced techniques for trick shots, to the masses.

Mizerak also made a difficult trick shot in a now-famous commercial for Miller Lite, when the beer maker was using sports celebrities to sell its product in the 1970s and 1980s.

Mizerak appeared in the 1986 film ``The Color of Money,″ playing an opponent of Paul Newman’s character.

He also branched out in the billiards merchandise business, serving as president and designer of a company he formed to make pool cues.

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Hugh Patterson

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Hugh B. Patterson Jr., whose 38 years as publisher of the Arkansas Gazette included coverage of the Central High School desegregation crisis, has died. He was 91.

Patterson’s death Monday was reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He was publisher of the Gazette from 1948 to 1986, when the newspaper was sold to Gannett Co.

The Gazette won two Pulitzer Prizes in 1958, one for its news coverage of Central High and the other for editorials.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter E. Hussman Jr. said Patterson’s greatest achievement was the Gazette’s coverage of the Central High desegregation.

``It was a difficult time, and he certainly responded,″ Hussman said.

The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated schools were unconstitutional.

During Patterson’s time leading the Gazette, the paper added more news sections, began running stock tables and began running color comics on Sundays.

Gannett Co. bought the Gazette in 1986, then closed it in 1991 and sold the name and its assets to Little Rock Newspapers Inc., now called Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Inc.

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