Hank Werba, 79, Variety’s Rome bureau chief for 25 years and most recently bureau chief for Moving Picture Intl., died Jan. 29 in Rome of a heart attack.
During his tenure at Variety, the paper expanded its international coverage greatly, and Werba’s energy and curiosity helped develop Italy into the important territory it remains for trade reporting.
He pioneered a number of new territories for Variety, pushing the envelope of international reporting to cover lands around the Mediterranean, from Yugoslavia and Turkey to Egypt and Morocco.
He was born Herman Werblowski in Brooklyn in 1913. Early in his career he worked as press chief for Samuel Bronston, and was unit publicist on “Roman Holiday” in 1953. He started working full-time for Variety in the 1960s as head of the just-opened Madrid office.
He moved to Rome in 1966 to head the paper’s Rome bureau. He retired in 1990 at the age of 77. For the last two years, he has been the Rome bureau chief of Moving Pictures Intl.
He is survived by his wife, Nadia; daughters Amy and Alicia, son Marco; and three grandchildren.
Writer Oliver Hailey died Jan. 23 of liver cancer at his home in Studio City. Hailey, 60, had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for 10 years.
He was best known for plays “Who’s Happy Now,””Father’s Day,””For the Use of the Hall,””The Father” and “Where She Goes Nobody Knows.”
His 1981 made-for-TV movie “Sidney Shorr: A Girl’s Best Friend,” on which the series “Love, Sidney” was based, brought Hailey an Emmy nomination and a Writers Guild award.
Born in Texas and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Hailey was among a handful of regional playwrights who achieved acclaim in L.A. and other major U.S. cities while finding doom on Broadway: Three of his plays closed in N.Y. after a single night.
A reading of his last play, “The World and His Wife,” was held at the Tamarind Theater in Hollywood a day after his death.
He is survived by his wife, novelist Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey; daughters Kendall and Brooke; brother Thomas and mother HallieMae.
A memorial service is scheduled for Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. at the Met Theater in Los Angeles.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests contributions to the USC Dept. of Neurology, Parkinson’s Research Fund, 1510 San Pablo Street Suite 615, Los Angeles 90033.
Memorial service for Dr. Paul Rothman, longtime companion of agent Bob Hohman , will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Writers Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests donations to the Search Alliance.