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Shirley Eder, 85; Detroit Columnist Covered Hollywood for 40 Years

June 03, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Shirley Eder, 85, an entertainment columnist who covered Hollywood from Detroit for more than 40 years, died Saturday in her hometown of New York from complications of Alzheimer's disease, her family announced.

Eder was unabashedly positive about movie stars and scored coveted interviews with Brigitte Bardot, Bob Dylan and, as a favor to her friend Joan Crawford, a 22-year-old director named Steven Spielberg.

From the 1960s until 1993, she wrote a syndicated column for the Detroit Free Press. Quotes from her columns were often featured in ads for movies that critics panned.

"Every time they put my name in an ad, the movie fails," Eder said with a chuckle to The Times in a 1987 story on press junkets.

The only child of a New York Supreme Court justice, Eder attended New York University and began her career reading news bulletins during World War II. She soon segued to entertainment reporting. In her 1973 book "Not This Time, Cary Grant," she recounted her experiences with celebrities, including seeing Vietnam with Bob Hope and the pyramids with Frank Sinatra.

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