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PASSINGS: Bernd Eichinger, Bruce Gordon, Frank Lieberman, Stanley Frazen, Alan Sloane

Bernd Eichinger, producer, dies at 61; Bruce Gordon, character actor, dies at 94; Frank Lieberman, publicist, dies at 68; Stanley Frazen, screen editor, dies at 91; Alan Sloane, broadcaster, dies at 84

January 26, 2011
  • Bernd Eichinger produced such well-known films as The Neverending Story, The Name of the Rose, The House of the Spirits, Fantastic Four and the Resident Evil series.
Bernd Eichinger produced such well-known films as The Neverending Story,… (Jason Redmond / Reuters )

Bernd Eichinger

Film producer and screenwriter

Bernd Eichinger, 61, a successful German film producer and screenwriter whose credits include the Oscar-nominated "Downfall" and "The Baader Meinhof Complex," died Monday night in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack during a dinner with family and friends.

Eichinger was a major shareholder and a former top executive of the Constantin Film AG production company, which announced his death.

He produced and wrote the screenplay for "Downfall," the movie starring Bruno Ganz about the last days of Nazi Germany in Adolf Hitler's bunker. It was nominated for an Academy Award as best foreign film in 2005.

"The Baader Meinhof Complex," another historical thriller that Eichinger also produced and wrote, was nominated by the academy for best foreign film in 2009.

Eichinger produced such well-known films as "The Neverending Story," "The Name of the Rose," "The House of the Spirits," "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer," "Fantastic Four" and the "Resident Evil" series.

He was born April 11, 1949, in Bavaria and attended film school in Munich.

Bruce Gordon

Character actor was on 'Untouchables'

Bruce Gordon, 94, a character actor who portrayed gangster Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti on the television crime drama "The Untouchables," died Thursday after a long illness, the Rivera Family Mortuaries in Santa Fe, N.M., confirmed. No details were given.

"The Untouchables" ran on ABC from 1959 to '63, with Eliot Ness (played by Robert Stack) and his agents fighting crime in 1930s Chicago. Gordon's character was a top lieutenant of crime boss Al Capone, who had been sent to prison on a two-part Desilu Playhouse show in 1959 that preceded the series. Gordon also played Nitti in the 1960 TV movie "Alcatraz Express."

Gordon was a busy television actor for decades. Before "The Untouchables" he was Cmdr. Matson in the spy drama "Behind Closed Doors," which was on NBC in 1958-59. He also had a recurring role in "Peyton Place" in 1965-66, and he made appearances in a variety of shows including "Here's Lucy," "Bonanza" and "Perry Mason."

He was born Feb. 1, 1916, in Fitchburg, Mass. Gordon's first Broadway role was in the 1937 melodrama "The Fireman's Flame," and he was cast in an early 1940s production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" that starred Boris Karloff.

His film debut was in 1949's "Love Happy," which starred Marilyn Monroe and Groucho Marx. Other film roles included "Curse of the Undead" in 1959 and "Key Witness" in 1960.

Frank Lieberman

Hollywood publicist, entertainment writer

Frank Lieberman, 68, a longtime publicist and entertainment writer in Hollywood and Las Vegas who had a close relationship with Elvis Presley, died Saturday at Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas, his family announced. He had been in declining health.

During his public relations career, Lieberman represented such celebrities as Sammy Davis Jr., Phyllis Diller, Tony Danza, Tony Orlando, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Siegfried and Roy. He also was a publicist for the Academy Awards in the mid-1990s.

A New York native, Lieberman moved to Los Angeles with his family as a teenager. He began working as an entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in the 1960s.

When Presley staged his Las Vegas comeback at the old International Hotel starting in 1969, Lieberman wrote a favorable review of one of his shows. He later was invited backstage for a rare one-on-one interview with the singer that appeared in the Herald-Examiner in 1970, sparking a relationship that lasted until Presley's death in 1977. Lieberman cherished a necklace with a thunderbolt and TCB logo (Taking Care of Business) that was a gift from Presley.

Stanley Frazen

Film and television editor

Stanley Frazen, 91, a longtime film and television editor who was a member of the Army Air Forces' First Motion Picture Unit during World War II, died Sunday at his home in Studio City of complications from pneumonia, said his daughter, Nancy.

He was a supervising editor for such shows as "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" beginning in 1951, "I Married Joan" in 1952-53 and "The Bob Cummings Show" beginning in 1955. His other TV credits included "The Lone Ranger" in 1949, "The Beverly Hillbillies" in 1962-63, "My Favorite Martian" in 1963-65, "The Monkees" in 1966-67, "Get Smart" in 1968 and "Charlie's Angels" in 1979-80.

"I liked the anonymity of editing in a room and putting this huge puzzle together," he told Daily Variety in 2001.

Frazen was born Aug. 15, 1919, in Chicago. He moved with his mother to Los Angeles when he was 3, grew up in Boyle Heights and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles in 1937.

Frazen was 16 when he started working in the mailroom at Warner Brothers. He enlisted in the Army Air Forces and joined the First Motion Picture Unit, which produced training films at the Hal Roach Studios in Culver City. "Most of us realized how lucky we were to be in the unit," he told The Times in 2002.

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