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PASSINGS: Audrey Young, Mary Perry

Audrey Young, who donated funds for Billy Wilder Theater, dies at 89; Mary Perry, Olympic basketball player, dies at 69

June 09, 2012
  • Audrey Young, shown in 1981, was a contract player at Paramount when she met her future husband, Billy Wilder, in 1944 on the set of his film “The Lost Weekend.”
Audrey Young, shown in 1981, was a contract player at Paramount when she… (Los Angeles Times )

Audrey Young, 89, who was a singer-actress in the 1940s and donated $5 million to the UCLA Hammer Museum in Westwood to create the Billy Wilder Theater in memory of her late husband, died June 1 in Los Angeles. A cause was not given. Her death was announced by the UCLA Film & Television Archives, which calls the theater home.

The Billy Wilder Theater was "the right place, the proper place" for a permanent tribute to her husband because of his longtime love of film and art, Young told The Times in 2003. The couple had long lived in Westwood.

Born Oct. 30, 1922, in Los Angeles, she was a contract player at Paramount appearing in mostly uncredited roles when she met Wilder in 1944 on the set of his film "The Lost Weekend," which starred Ray Milland.

She had just wrapped up a singing engagement with the Tommy Dorsey band when she married Wilder in 1949. Young had roles in more than 20 movies, and sometimes appeared singing solo or in a group, including in such 1940s films as "Out of This World," "Easy Living" and the Bing Crosby vehicle "Blue Skies."

After her marriage, she was in one final movie, "Love Me or Leave Me" (1955) with Doris Day and James Cagney. Young later served as a costume consultant on the Wilder films "Some Like It Hot" (1959) and "The Apartment" (1960).

After her husband died at 95 in 2002, Young returned the legendary filmmaker's six Oscar statuettes to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She wanted to ensure that his Oscars would remain together, according to the academy.

Mary Perry

Olympic volleyball player

Mary Perry, 69, a volleyball player from Burbank who played on the 1964 and '68 U.S. Olympic teams and helped the U.S. national team win a gold medal at the 1967 Pan-Am Games, died Sunday in Medford, Ore., her family said. A member of the Cal State Northridge athletic hall of fame, Perry had been suffering from a neurodegenerative disease.

—Times staff and wire reports

news.obits@latimes.com

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