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Shirley Kassler Ulmer

Shirley Kassler Ulmer, a screenwriter and script supervisor and widow of film director Edgar G. Ulmer, died July 6 of natural causes in Los Angeles. She was 86.

She served as a script supervisor on all her husband’s films and assisted on his screenplays. She also wrote novels and original scripts under the name Shirle Castle.

In addition, she acted as a script supervisor for directors William Wyler, Frank Borzage, Frank Lloyd and Douglas Sirk.

She also worked on several TV series including “The Lone Ranger,” “My Private Secretary,” “Batman,” “S.W.A.T.” and “CHIPS.”

A memorial service will be held Sunday at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd.

– Doug Galloway

Neal Hitchens

Neal Hitchens, actor, author, journalist and AIDS activist, succumbed to the disease on July 17 in Los Angeles. He was 43.

As an author, Hitchens wrote two books about the AIDS epidemic, “Fifty Things You Can Do About AIDS” and the award-winning “Voices That Care,” a book that chronicles the stories of people living with AIDS. The book, which was subsequently made into a play, includes entries from celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Cher and Dolly Parton.

Hitchens was also the author of “The Unabridged Marilyn,” a compendium of the life of Marilyn Monroe, co-authored by Randall Riese.

However, it was as an actor that Hitchens got his start. Starting with a Hawaiian Punch commercial with Donny and Marie Osmond, he next essayed a role in the remake of “From Here to Eternity” with Natalie Wood, followed by “Hawaii Five-O,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Eight Is Enough.”

In 1980, Hitchens moved to Los Angeles to write. In addition to his Monroe biography and books on AIDS, he contributed to “The Unabridged James Dean” and “All About Bette,” among others.

Hitchens again made a career change in 1988 when he became a Hollywood-based staff reporter for the National Enquirer, where he remained until April 1999 when he went on disability leave. During his time at the Enquirer, he was also a regular on-air reporter for “The Joan Rivers Show” and “Hard Copy.”

Hitchens is survived by his parents, two brothers, a sister and an uncle.

Family suggest donations be made in his name to AIDS Project Los Angeles or to the AIDS-related research and/or service group of the giver’s choice.

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