Variety Staff

Gene Levitt

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Gene Levitt, writer, producer and director who created the original “Fantasy Island” TV series, died Nov. 15 of prostate cancer in Los Angeles. He was 79. Levitt first worked as a writer for the…

John Noga

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John Noga, owner of two internationally known jazz clubs in San Francisco, the Blackhawk and the Downbeat, died Nov. 9 of natural causes at his home in Studio City. He was 83. Noga was a club owner…

Marketplace

Mary Ference Butala

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Mary Ference Butala, grandmother of actress Jenna Elfman and mother of the Lettermen’s Tony Butala, died Nov. 10 of complications from cancer in San Luis Obispo. She was 89. In addition to her son…

Eddie Maxwell

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Eddie Maxwell, longtime comedy writer and lyricist during Hollywood’s golden age, died Nov. 21 of natural causes in Studio City. He was 87. During his career, he wrote gags for such notables as the…

  • Biz

World brief

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AUSTRALIA In a record defamation payout, Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network has been ordered to pay nearly A$1 million ($640,000) in damages to Australia’s largest bridal wear company. The case stemmed from…

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