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Associate producer of 'Easy Rider' kills self

March 21, 2008|From the Associated Press

"Easy Rider" associate producer Bill Hayward has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Thursday. He was 66.

Hayward fired a handgun into his heart in Castaic on March 9, authorities said. The suicide occurred in a trailer where Hayward was living. His body has already been cremated and a memorial service is planned in April.

Hayward was born March 27, 1941, the son of theatrical agent Leland Hayward and actress Margaret Sullavan.

Hayward and his sister Brooke, an actress, were sent to expensive boarding schools and equally pricey mental institutions in their teen years.

The family's troubles were chronicled in Brooke Hayward's best-selling 1977 memoir "Haywire," which became a 1980 TV movie that Bill Hayward produced.

After collaborating on "Easy Rider," the countercultural 1969 biker film, Hayward worked mostly as an entertainment lawyer, with only occasional producing credits.

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