Categotry Archives: Media

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Larry McCormick

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Categories: Hollywood, Media

lmccormick.jpgLarry McCormick, a veteran journalist who broke color barriers in Southern California media circles, died on Aug. 27. Cause of death was not released. He was 71.

The Kansas City, Mo., native studied theater arts and broadcasting at what is now the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He worked a short stint as a disc jockey and community relations director at KPRS-FM before relocating to Los Angeles in 1958.

McCormick’s smooth voice earned high ratings on several local radio stations, but it was his handsome face and professional demeanor that made him a charismatic presence in front of the camera. When he joined KCOP-TV in 1969, McCormick was one of the city’s first black newscasters.

He moved to KTLA-TV in 1971 and spent the next 30 years steadily working his way up the ranks from weathercaster and health/fitness reporter to news anchor. Until he took ill, McCormick co-anchored the station’s “News at Ten: Weekend Edition” and hosted the public affairs series “Making It: Minority Success Stories.” He also played a TV anchorman in dozens of movies and TV shows, including “Throw Mama From the Train,” “Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Angel” and “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.”

A former president of the Radio & Television Association of Southern California, McCormick won a local Emmy Award and the 1994 Governor’s Award. His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located at 6420 Hollywood Blvd.

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David Raksin

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Categories: Education, Hollywood, Media, Musicians

draksin.jpgDavid Raksin, the Oscar-nominated composer who wrote the theme to the 1944 film “Laura,” died on Aug. 9 of heart failure. He was 92.
The Philadelphia native was raised to have an appreciation of music. His father ran a music store, conducted an orchestra at a silent movie house and occasionally served as a substitute reed player for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Raksin learned to play several instruments as a child and later attended the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of classes, he moonlighted as a jazz clarinetist and arranger.
Raksin moved to Hollywood in 1935 and launched what would become a six-decade career composing soundtracks for the film industry. He worked with a few temperamental directors — both Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock fired him — and developed scores for more than 100 movies, including “The Bad and the Beautiful,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Father of the Bride,” “Force of Evil” and “Al Capone.” He also received two Academy Award nominations, for “Forever Amber” and “Separate Tables.”
But Raksin was best known for composing the mournful theme to “Laura.” One of the most recorded songs in history, it was inspired by a letter Raksin received from his wife asking for a divorce. Cole Porter once remarked that “Laura” was a song he wished he had written.
Raksin’s greatest challenge, however, came during the McCarthy era, when he was forced to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. After admitting he was a former member of the Communist party and naming 11 Communist sympathizers (all of whom were either dead or previously identified), Raksin was blacklisted for six years.
Raksin also taught film composition at the University of Southern California from 1958 to 2003, and hosted “The Subject Is Film Music” radio show on NPR. A former president of the Composers & Lyricist Guild of America, he was the first film composer invited to establish a collection of his manuscripts in the music division of the Library of Congress. In 1992, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awarded Raksin the Golden Soundtrack Award for a lifetime of achievement in film and television music.
Theme from "Laura" Download “Laura”

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Pete Dobrovitz

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Categories: Media

Pete Dobrovitz was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was six years old. He received his first cadaver kidney transplant in 1983, but the organ stopped functioning 18 months later. His second cadaver kidney lasted eight years before failing.
Dobrovitz spent years on dialysis while waiting for a matching living-donor. Finally, he decided to take matters into his own hands. In 2001, he placed a classified ad in the Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.) newspaper that read: “WANTED: Your Spare Kidney.”
The ad worked.
Within a week, a dozen people came forward with offers to help. After screening out the folks who wanted money or who weren’t serious about organ donation, the field was narrowed to four candidates. One of them, a man named Steve Aman was an ideal tissue match. Upon further investigation, the two strangers learned that they had attended the same Catholic high school, but never met. Dobrovitz also served as executive director of the Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Greater Rochester, a child-mentor program where Aman once volunteered.
After receiving Aman’s kidney in 2002, Dobrovitz lived life to the fullest. He indulged in his favorite hobbies: gardening and photography. He compiled one of the largest private collections of Rochester Red Wings’ baseball memorabilia in the country. And he started traveling (New Mexico was one of his favorite vacation spots).
Prior to his third transplant, the New York native graduated from Marquette University and worked as a TV reporter for WROC-TV (Channel 8), WOKR-TV (Channel 13) and WHEC-TV (Channel 10). He co-founded R News, a 24-hour TV news operation in 1990. Seven years later, he launched DobroVision, a media consulting video production business.
Dobrovitz died on Aug. 17 of complications from food poisoning that he contracted last fall. He was 51.

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Andrew N.S. Glazer

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Categories: Education, Law, Media, Writers/Editors

aglazer.jpgAndrew Norman Glazer knew when to hold ’em. He knew when to fold ’em. He also knew how to teach the game to regular folks.
Glazer was the gaming columnist for the Detroit Free Press and the author of several books, including the popular “Casino Gambling the Smart Way.” As president of Casino Conquests International, he toured the country giving gambling seminars to “the great gambling middle class,” people who were not professional gamblers, but not beginners either.
Born in Massapequa, N.Y., Glazer graduated from the University of Michigan and the Emory University School of Law. (Half of his college tuition costs were paid for with gambling winnings.) Glazer later taught business and law classes at several universities, and a class called “Surviving the Casino” at Kennesaw State College in Atlanta.
Known as the “Poker Pundit,” he published articles in Chance Magazine, ESPN.com, Poker.net, FinalTablePoker.com and Card Player Magazine. Glazer also co-authored “Poker Brat,” the biography of Phil Hellmuth, Jr., the youngest person ever to win the World Series of Poker. His final book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Poker,” will be released this fall.
Glazer died on July 4 of complications from a blood clot. He was 48.

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Bob Murphy

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Categories: Media, Military, Sports

bmurphy.jpgThe “Voice of Summer” has been silenced.
Bob Murphy, who broadcast New York Mets games for four decades, died on Aug. 3 of lung cancer. He was 79.
The Oklahoma native studied petroleum engineering at Tulsa University and served in the Marines during World War II. He launched his broadcasting career calling games for the Muskogee (Okla.) Reds before moving into the major leagues in 1954. There he worked behind the microphone for the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles.
On April 11, 1962, Murphy announced the Mets’ first game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Together with Lindsay Nelson and Ralph Kiner, he spent years offering uncritical verbal portraits of every ball, strike and out to radio and television audiences. For the final 15 seasons of his career, Murphy shared “happy recaps” with Gary Cohen on WFAN 66AM. In all he covered 6,000 games, including two World Championships.
Murphy was elected to the Mets Hall of Fame in 1984. A decade later, he received the Ford C. Frick Award and was inducted into the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. When he retired, the radio booth at Shea Stadium was named in his honor.
Murphy’s final broadcast aired on Sept. 25, 2003: “I’ll say goodbye now to everybody. Stay well out there, wherever you might be. I’ve enjoyed the relationship with you.”
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