October 15, 1995
As associate producer of "The David Susskind Show" for the last seven of its 28 years on the air, I was alternately amused and appalled by the revisionist history of Robert Strauss' "Why Is Everybody Talking?" (Oct. 1). It is no diminution of Phil Donahue's talent to point out that it was not he but Susskind who created the "serious" talk show. "The David Susskind Show" started as "Open End" in 1958 and aired until eight months before David's death in 1987. During that time, David hosted the likes of Harry Truman, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Parker, Bertrand Russell and Abba Eban, introduced Turman Capote and many others to TV audiences, provided the stage for the opening salvo in the Gore Vidal-William F. Buckley media feud, prompted public outrage and sponsor cancellations by interviewing Nikita Khrushchev, and broke new ground by talking, seriously, with people never seen on national TV before: welfare mothers, feminists, cabdrivers, Mafia hit men, homosexuals coming out and (yes)
September 5, 2008 |
As a movie producer, Laura Ziskin has wrestled with studio executives, stars and lawyers. As a late-stage breast cancer patient, the "Spider-Man" maker has faced a far more perilous foe, and now Ziskin intends to do to malignant cells what she has done to box-office records: smash them. Ziskin, who also has produced two Academy Award broadcasts, is the driving creative force behind "Stand Up to Cancer," a star-filled one-hour benefit that will be broadcast commercial-free on ABC, CBS and NBC tonight at 8. Like any smart producer with some very big names in her Outlook contacts, Ziskin reached out to many people she had worked with in Hollywood.
October 31, 1994
Leigh Vance, 72, a writer and film producer who was a founding officer of the British Writers' Guild and former president of the International Writers' Guild. His 20 motion pictures included "The Black Windmill," "The Frightened City," "Women on the Stair" and "The Shakedown." He moved to Hollywood and wrote for and produced several TV series, including "Baretta," "Cannon" and "Hart to Hart." In Los Angeles on Oct. 15 of what was described as a brief illness.
March 28, 1992
Howard Christie, a film producer whose more than 40 movies featured actors as disparate as Bud Abbott and Rock Hudson, has died at his Ventura County home. His son, John, said Thursday that his father was 79 when he died Wednesday night in Oakview of what he described as a long illness. Christie was born in San Francisco and started out as an actor after attending UC Berkeley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2001 |
Gerald Mayer, a scion of the MGM magnate Louis B. Mayer family and himself a successful film and television producer and director, has died. He was 82. Mayer died Friday of complications of pneumonia at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. The Montreal-born Mayer, who grew up in Los Angeles, was the nephew of the MGM founder and the son of MGM studio manager Jerry G. Mayer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2009 |
Daniel Melnick, a producer and former head of production at MGM and Columbia studios who was known for making bold, literate and carefully crafted films that included "Network," "All That Jazz" and "Roxanne," has died. He was 77. Melnick, who had recently undergone surgery for lung cancer, died Tuesday of multiple ailments at his home in Los Angeles, said his son, Peter. "He was an extraordinary producer and an extraordinary executive," Sherry Lansing, a former studio executive whom Melnick mentored, told The Times on Wednesday.