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Tony Thomas

Tony Thomas, a former broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. who later moved to Los Angeles and penned numerous Hollywood-themed books, has died.

Thomas died Tuesday at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank of complications from pneumonia. He was 69.

Considered one of Hollywood’s preeminent film historians, Thomas authored more than 30 books, produced more than 50 albums of music and produced documentaries for television.

Thomas was born July 31, 1927, near Portsmouth, England, the son of a bandmaster in the Royal Marines, and moved to Canada when he was 18.

At the age of 21, he became an announcer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., eventually becoming a writer-producer for CBC Radio, specializing in programs about Hollywood and the film business.

Thomas later served as writer and host of the CBS television series “As Time Goes By” and as a panelist on the series “Flashback.”

Thomas relocated to Los Angeles in 1966 and began a new career as a chronicler of Hollywood. His many books included “Music for the Movies,” “The Films of 20th Fox,” “The Hollywood Musical: The Saga of Songwriter Harry Warren” and “The Busby Berkeley Book.”

Thomas was one of the founders of the Society for the Preservation of Film Music and served on its advisory board for many years.

Thomas also wrote for the Academy Awards shows in 1979 and 1984 and served as a segment producer for the Oscars beginning in the late 1970s.

As an independent writer-producer, his film credits included “Hollywood and the American Image,” “Back to the Stage Door Canteen,” and “The West That Never Was,” all of which aired on PBS.

Thomas is survived by a son, David; a daughter, Andrea; a brother and sister; and his companion, Lorna Grenadier.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Beverly Garland Hotel in North Hollywood.

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