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Obituaries in the News

October 19, 2000

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) _ Hall of Fame golfer Harry Cooper, who won the first Vardon Trophy for the lowest average score, died Tuesday. He was 96.

Cooper, who turned pro in 1923, was the longest-serving member of the PGA of America. He had 32 victories on the PGA Tour was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1959.

Cooper got his first victory in the inaugural Los Angeles Open at age 22. Thirty years later, he finished sixth in the tournament.

He was born in Leatherhead, England, in 1904, the son of Syd Cooper,a leading professional golfer of his era.

Sidney Dworkin

HUDSON, Ohio (AP) _ Sidney Dworkin, former chairman of Revco D.S. Inc., died Tuesday of complications from cancer. He was 79.

Under Dworkin’s leadership, Revco developed into one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains. It was purchased by CVS Corp. of Woonsocket, R.I., in 1997.

Dworkin began his career with the drugstore around 1950 as an accountant in his native Detroit. The business was incorporated in 1956 as Regal Drugs and renamed Revco D.S. five years later.

Dworkin was comptroller until he became executive vice president in 1964. He served as president from 1966 until 1983, when he was appointed chairman.

Perry Gilbert

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) _ Perry Gilbert, an internationally known shark expert who helped make Mote Marine Laboratory a leading research center, died Sunday from heart failure. He was 87.

Gilbert became the director of Sarasota’s Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in 1967 after establishing his reputation at Cornell University. Cape Haze became the Mote Marine Laboratory and Gilbert helped attract other prominent marine researchers to the facility.

In 1991, Congress dedicated Mote as the National Center for Shark Research.

Gilbert and other scientists spent years working with the U.S. Navy to develop a shark repellant. While they didn’t find one that would work on all species, their understanding of sharks expanded scientific knowledge of the beast.

Gilbert wrote two books on sharks and published more than 150 papers.

Wawona Hartwig

CLOVIS, Calif. (AP) _ Wawona Hartwig, a movie extra, socialite, and secretary to the stars who got her name from the Yosemite hotel where she was born, died Oct. 7 of a heart attack. She was 86.

Hartwig worked as secretary and aide to such celebrities as Danny Thomas, Groucho Marx, Fred Astaire and Vincent Price.

Her father and uncle, the Washburn brothers, established Wawona Hotel in the Yosemite National Park area, one of the state’s oldest, in 1876. The name came from the Wawona Redwood, a giant sequoia tunneled in 1881 for a road.

Wawona became an accomplished horsewoman and worked as a stunt double for Lupe Velez in the film ``Tiger Rose,″ starring Rin Tin Tin. She later appeared in bit parts supporting such stars as Victor Jory, Eddie Cantor and Bing Crosby.

She married actor Hale Hartwig in 1936.

Julie London

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Julie London, the smoky-voiced ``Cry Me A River″ nightclub singer who played TV nurse Dixie McCall on the old ``Emergency!″ series, died Wednesday at 74. She suffered a stroke five years ago.

London, born Julie Peck, had roles in movies including ``Jungle Woman″ (1944), ``The Red House″ (1947) with Edward G. Robinson, ``Task Force″ (1949) with Gary Cooper, ``The Fat Man″ (1950) with Rock Hudson, and ``A Question of Adultery″ (1958).

London was married to ``Dragnet″ star Jack Webb for five years. Her second husband, Bobby Troup, the composer and actor who penned the classic song ``Route 66,″ booked London for a nightclub engagement that was followed by her hit ``Cry Me A River″ in 1955.

She had 32 albums, and was top Billboard vocalist in the mid-1950s. Among her songs: ``Around Midnight,″ ``In the Middle of A Kiss,″ ``In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning″ and ``My Heart Belongs to Daddy.″

She later played the role of the head nurse on the 1970s TV drama ``Emergency!″, with her husband, Troup, playing Dr. Joe Early.

Leo Nomellini

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) _ Leo Nomellini, a two-way Hall of Fame player who starred for the San Francisco 49ers from 1950-1963, died Tuesday from complications from a stroke. He was 76.

Nomellini was a two-time All-American at Minnesota and became the 49ers’ first NFL draft choice, picked No. 11 in the first round in 1950.

Nomellini, a tackle, was chosen All-NFL six times, four on defense and twice on offense. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969 with former 49ers fullback Joe Perry.

He performed as a professional wrestler during the off-season.

Sam O’Steen

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ Sam O’Steen, a veteran film editor and director who was nominated for three Academy Awards and an Emmy award, died Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 76.

O’Steen began his career in 1957 by working on ``The Wrong Man,″ a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. O’Steen later worked with Roman Polanski on ``Rosemary’s Baby,″ and also worked with directors Alan J. Pakula and Mike Nichols.

O’Steen received his first Oscar nomination for his work on Polanski’s ``Chinatown,″ and was nominated for editing two films by Nichols: ``Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?″ and ``Silkwood.″

He made his directorial debut in 1976 with ``Sparkle,″ and received an Emmy nomination for directing the television movie ``Queen of the Stardust Ballroom.″

Dutch Shisler

SEATTLE (AP) _ Dutch Shisler, who embraced the down-and-out alcoholics of Seattle’s alleyways and staffed King County’s first detoxification van, died Monday from liver failure. He was 69.

For 30 years, Shisler offered compassion, encouragement and a detox van pickup service to street alcoholics reviled by others. Some called him the ``Saint of First Avenue,″ others the ``Duke of Detox.″

Before his years of activism, Shisler had spent time on the streets.

He began drinking at age 8 and ran away to the Army at 13, serving 88 days before his mother retrieved him.

In 1997, he realized his dream in the Dutch Shisler Sobering Support Center in downtown Seattle.

Gordon T. Stulberg

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Gordon T. Stulberg, the studio executive who green-lighted the George Lucas ``Star Wars″ space epic, died Oct. 12 from diabetes complications. He was 76.

Stulberg, former head of CBS’ Cinema Center Films, 20th Century Fox, Polygram Pictures and Philips Interactive Media, once said his most rewarding films were ``Sounder,″ ``Paper Chase″ and ``Harry and Tonto.″ He also produced ``Little Big Man,″ ``Endless Love″ and ``An American Werewolf in London.″

The Toronto-born son of a labor organizer, earned a law degree at Cornell, moved to Los Angeles and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951.

He worked with a Los Angeles law firm and became a negotiator for the Writers Guild of America.

It was Stulberg who called the first WGA strike in 1954, establishing for all future collective-bargaining agreements the concept of ``separation of rights and residuals.″ Under that plan, writers would be assured payment for their work regardless of the format in which it was used _ such as plays, radio, television, film or sales promotion.

Gwen Verdon

NEW YORK (AP) _ Gwen Verdon, Broadway’s premier female dancer who was the seductive Lola in ``Damn Yankees″ and the saucy, love-struck Charity in ``Sweet Charity,″ died Wednesday in her sleep. She was 75.

The lithe redhead did her best work with director and choreographer Bob Fosse, whom she married in 1960. The dancer worked with Fosse not only in ``Damn Yankees″ (1955) and ``Sweet Charity″ (1966), but in ``New Girl in Town″ (1957), ``Redhead″ (1960) and ``Chicago″ (1975).

As a child, Verdon was forced to wear corrective boots because of badly bent legs and she took dance lessons to strengthen them.

She won four Tony Awards, beginning with ``Can-Can,″ the 1953 Cole Porter musical.

Two years later, she was elevated to stardom in ``Damn Yankees,″ a musical about a baseball fan who sells his soul so he can play for his favorite team. The show ran for more 1,000 performances.

Fosse created the dances for ``Damn Yankees″ as well as for Verdon’s four other Broadway musicals.

Verdon also starred in the 1958 film version of ``Damn Yankees″ and appeared in ``The Cotton Club″ (1984), ``Cocoon″ (1985) and ``Marvin’s Room″ (1996).

Verdon helped oversee the current Broadway production of ``Fosse,″ which won the 1999 Tony for best musical.

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