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William Allen Latham, 77; Film Publicist

August 29, 1996|BRETT ANTHONY COLLINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

WOODLAND HILLS — William Allen Latham, a veteran publicist whose career spanned more than four decades and several movie studios, has died. He was 77.

Latham died Tuesday at the Motion Picture & Television Fund Hospital after a lengthy illness, according to a statement issued by the home.

A native of Duenweg, Mo., Latham worked for Paramount, Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Studios, where he began his career as a multi-plane camera operator in the early 1940s. The complex camera setup was once used to give the illusion of depth to moving shots in animation.

After working on several training films during World War II, Latham began his publicity career. His clients included Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Angie Dickinson and John Wayne. His film projects included "Giant," "My Fair Lady" and "Portnoy's Complaint."

Latham is survived by his wife, Barbara, and five children.

A memorial service will be held today at 2 p.m. at St. Francis de Sales Church, 13370 Valleyheart Drive, Sherman Oaks.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles or the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

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