Harold Elias, Scott Salmon

Harold (Hal) Elias, 93, longtime officer on the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the recipient of an honorary Oscar, died July 18 in Woodland Hills of a heart attack.

Born in Brooklyn, Elias began his career writing news and reviews for Variety. He then moved to Denver and served as publicity director for the State Theater, which led to an eight-year stint as MGM’s Western exploitation manager for the Rocky Mountain division.

In 1934, he moved to California to work for MGM in advertising and publicity. Elias headed MGM Studio’s cartoon and short subjects productions. Under his tenure, the studio’s “Tom and Jerry” series won eight Academy Awards.

Elias stayed with MGM until 1959, when he joined UPA Pictures as VP and studio manager.

Elias also served for 25 years as an officer on the Academy’s board of governors and was a member of the board for 37 years. He received the honorary Oscar in 1979. With his wife, Rheba, Elias supported the Motion Picture and Television Fund with a donation of $ 100,000.

Survived by a stepson, Gerald Mayer.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s Louis B. Mayer Theater at 23388 Mulholland Drive, Woodland Hills.

* * *

Scott Salmon

Scott Salmon, 51, director/choreographer, died July 17 in Northridge following an auto accident.

Salmon was nominated for a Tony Award for his choreography of the Broadway musical “La Cage Aux Folles.” He was also nominated for an Emmy for his choreography of the “57th Annual Academy Awards” telecast.

Other choreography credits include the Grammy Awards telecast, various special programs for Steve Martin, David Copperfield, Barbara Mandrell and “Liberty Weekend,””NBC 60th Anniversary” and “The Television Academy Hall of Fame.”

In 1990, Salmon began an association with Radio City Music Hall as director/choreographer for an all-new “Easter Extravaganza.” He went on the direct and choreograph the famous “Christmas Spectaculars” for the past two years.

Salmon was a co-producer of “Share Boom Town,” a celebrity event in Los Angeles that raises money for the mentally retarded. In addition, he co-produced and directed the “Princess Grace Benefit” and the “Love Boat Reunion.” On July 4 , 1991, he directed the “Dedication of Mount Rushmore” with President and Barbara Bush.

He also choreographed a budget trade show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and has served as choreographer on the “Miss America Pageant” for the last eight years.

Feature films for which he choreographed include “Torch Song Trilogy,””Stir Crazy,””The Last Married Couple in America” and “The Jerk.”

Survived by two children, Meagan and Gavin.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Church of the Valle, 6565 Vesper Ave., Van Nuys.

In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made to the Scott Salmon Fund, c/o Bank of America, 12700 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91403.

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