Ann Ronell, well-known songwriter, died Dec. 25 in New York. She was 85.She was best known for such standards as “Willow Weep for Me,””Rain on the Roof,””Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” and “Baby’s Birthday Party.” Artists that recorded her music included Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Stan Kenton, Cleo Laine, Lou Rawls and Chad & Jeremy. She was the first woman to score a film and her credits include “The Story of G.I. Joe,” a collaboration with composer Louis Applebaum which was nominated for a best film score Oscar. Her “Linda, My Love,” written for the film, was nominated for best song. Other films she worked on included “Love Happy,””One Touch of Venus” and “Main Street to Broadway.” She was music director for a number of films, including “Tomorrow the World,” and was involved in the scoring for “Ladies in Retirement” and “The Commandos Strike at Dawn.” She also created controversy among the critics with her Americanized version of the Frederick Von Flotow opera “Martha,” with English lyrics written in collaboration with Vicki Baum. Ronell wrote the lyrics for new songs added to “The Chocolate Soldier” for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Assn. She wrote the lyrics and musical adaptation for the folk opera “Oh, Susanna!” based on the songs of Stephen Foster, and wrote the song “The Lullaby” for “The Crucible.” Shewas married to Lester Cowan, the independent film producer, who died two years ago.
* * *Jeremiah Sullivan Jeremiah Sullivan, legit, feature and TV actor and former Hollywood columnist , died Dec. 12 of an AIDS-related illness in New York. He was 58. A graduate of Harvard University, Sullivan debuted legit with the American Shakespearean Festival production of “The Merchant of Venice,” starring Katharine Hepburn. His Broadway start came with a featured part in “Compulsion.” Other Broadway and Off Broadway credits included “The Scent of Flowers,””The House of Blue Leaves,””Master and Margarita” and Jerry Herman’s musical revue, “The Grand Tour.” TV and feature credits included co-starring roles in “The Soldier,””Somebody Killed Her Husband,””Hart to Hart,””The Adams Chronicles,””I, Leonardo,””The Dwarfs,””You Can’t Go Home Again,””Two Deaths of Sean Doolittle” and recurring roles on “Knots Landing,””Guiding Light,””All My Children,””Another World” and “General Hospital.” As a writer, Sullivan was a regular columnist for “Show” and “Hollywood” magazines. He also was a professional astrologer who boasted an international clientele. There will be no funeral. Friends are requested to make contributions to the Actors Fund of America.
* * *Jerry Adler Agent-producer Jerry Adler died Dec. 31 of leukemia following a long illness. He was 64. Adler began his career as a literary agent with MCA and moved to the Ashley-Steiner Agency in 1958. He then produced “Flap,” starring Anthony Quinn, for Warner Bros. Adler went on to create, produce and supervise TV projects. His credits include TV movies “Ruby & Oswald,””Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night,””Perfect Gentleman,””Death in Canaan” and “See How She Runs.” With Norman Lear, he worked on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “Fernwood, USA.” In recent years, he opened the Adler Agency and later joined the Lew Weitzman literary agency. Survivors include his mother, wife, a son and daughter. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 Centinela Ave., at the Park Chapel.
* * *Mark Hardwick Mark Hardwick, pianist, actor and co-creator of Broadway musicals, died Nov. 17 in New York of an extended illness. He was 39. He co-created and performed in the Broadway musical “Pumpboys and Dinettes,” which was nominated for a Tony in 1982. He was musical director and arranger of “Smoke on the Mountains” Off Broadway. Hardwick’s films include “Broadway Danny Rose” and “Men Don’t Leave.” Survivors include his mother, three brothers and his longtime companion, Mike Craver. Memorials may be made to the Mark Hardwick Music Scholarship Fund c/o First National Bank, Hughes Springs, Texas 75656.
* * *Garrett Peckinpah Garrett Denver Peckinpah, son of producer David Peckinpah, died Dec. 19 in Westlake Village after a sudden illness. He was 16. In addition to his father, he is survived by his mother, Sandra Lee Peckinpah , and two brothers and a sister. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Orme School Scholastic Fund, HC 63, Box 3040, Mayer, Ariz. 86333.
* * *Dominic Costanzo NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Jazz trombonist Dominic (Sonny) Costanzo, who played with such artists as Woody Herman, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and Clark Terry, died Dec. 30 after a heart transplant. He was 61. His Sonny Costanzo Jazz Orchestra often backed big-name singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney when they played the area. In 1987, Costanzo and his orchestra became artists-in-residence at Quinnipiac College. In 1992, “Sonny’s on the Money” became Costanzo’s first recording to be released by a major label, Stash.
* * *Jon Russell Jon Russell, 32, entertainment lawyer, died in Cayucos, Calif. The cause of death was drowning. He worked with the firm Hill, Wynne, Troop & Meisinger. Survivors include his wife, Ute Leonhardt Russell, producer at Propaganda Films; and a daughter, Indiana Leonhardt Russell. Donations may be made to the Indiana Leonhardt Russell Education Trust c/o Hill, Wynne, Troop & Meisinger, 10940 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90024- 3902.
* * *Muriel Alexander Muriel Alexander, wife of the late film producer and TV distribution pioneer Arthur Alexander, died Dec. 31 in Westwood. She was 78. She was one of the original founders of Vista Del Mar Child Care Services, and a founding member of Gateways Associates. Survivors include a son, a grandson and two nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Rossi Rund for Children With Cancer, 2045 Ridge Ave., Los Angeles, Calif., 90041.
* * *Stanley Goldstein Stanley Goldstein, 69, Camden Courier-Post editor who set a newspaper trend by creating the TGIF weekend section, died Dec. 28 in Sicklerville, N.J. He began working at the Courier-Post in 1964 and created the TGIF entertainment section in the mid-1970s. He is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter, his mother, a sister and five grandchildren.
* * *Irving Desfor Irving (Doc) Desfor, newspaper and entertainment photographer, died in San Francisco. He was 86. He specialized in photographing magicians and his book, “Great Magicians in Great Moments,” carried selections of the more than 20,000 shots he took on the subject. He worked for the Associated Press from 1929-72. Survivors include a son and three daughters.
* * *Sam Clark Sam Clark, a 40-year employee of Warner Bros., died Nov. 12 after a long illness. He was merchandising manager at Warner Bros. when he retired in 1970. He is survived by his wife.
* * *Jamie Ruth Deckard Jamie Ruth Deckard, a longtime employee of Hanna-Barbera, died in Los Angeles of lung cancer Oct. 22. She was 73. She worked in the film vault as well as in shipping and receiving at the animation studio for 23 years. She is survived by a brother and sister.
* * *Charlotte Lawrence Charlotte Lawrence, actress and music industry employee, died Oct. 20. Her age was unknown. She performed on radio in “Lux Radio Theatre” and “CBS Radio Workshop” and she appeared on “I Love Lucy” and in the film “Th
e Opposite Sex.” She worked at Capitol Records for 18 years and in the music licensing department at Lorimar and Warner Bros. Most recently she was director of business and legal administration at Saban Entertainment.
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