Manning, Feldman, Weston

Manning, Feldman, Weston

Gordon Manning, a TV news executive who helped guide coverage of some of the 20th century's most significant events and arranged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's first interview on U.S. television, died Sept. 6 in a Connecticut hospital after a heart seizure. He was 89.

Gorbachev's one-hour exchange with NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw aired in November 1987, shortly before Gorbachev's summit meeting with President Reagan. Manning had visited Moscow regularly for two years, cultivating contacts in the Kremlin, in his effort to land the interview.
The interview and another major NBC project from 1987, "Changing China," won Manning a George Polk Award for Journalism in 1988.

Manning started his journalism career in Boston as a reporter for United Press. He later went on to jobs as managing editor of Collier's magazine, executive editor of Newsweek and vp of both CBS News and NBC News.

Gene Feldman, a writer and educational filmmaker, died Aug. 25 in New York of complications related to lymphoma. He was 86.

Feldman began his literary career as an editor for Ace Books in New York. There, he wrote several screenplays and plays including "Go Show Me a Dragon," which ran off-Broadway. He edited, with Max Gartenberg, the anthology "The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men," which included such writers as Anatole Broyard, Jack Kerouac, John Clellon Holmes, JP Donleavy, Norman Mailer and Allen Ginsberg.

In the 1960s Feldman began working for Jules Power Prods. and Danny Wilson TV Prods., producing and directing hundreds of documentary films, many for the long-running ABC children's weekly newsmagazine and travelogue series "Discovery."

Feldman was the producer, writer and director of "The Hollywood Collection," a series of 34 primetime television biographies produced between 1982-99 of such classic Hollywood stars as Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, William Holden, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.

Edward Weston, a veteran Broadway and film dancer and for 22 years western regional director of Actors' Equity Assn., died Sept. 6 in Venice, Calif. He was 81.

Weston was about to enter the University of Chicago on a scholarship in 1942 when he was selected for the cast of the touring musical "Best Foot Forward" and decided on a career in entertainment. The role brought him his equity card and paved the way for such Broadway productions as "By Jupiter," "The Merry Widow," "Allegro," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "Plain and Fancy" and "Say, Darling."

Weston appeared in numerous television musical specials, films, off-Broadway productions and live industrial shows for sponsors including Oldsmobile. He also toured in "Oklahoma!" in Rome, Naples, Milan and Venice, Italy, and in the Far East in "Brigadoon."

Remy Belvaux, a Belgian director, screenwriter and actor whose only feature film, "Man Bites Dog," became a cult hit, died Sept. 4 in Orry-la-Ville, north of Paris. He was 38.

Shot on a very small budget, "Man Bites Dog" purported to be a fly-on-the-wall TV documentary about the life of a cynically jovial serial killer. The movie walks a dangerous line between black humor and abject horror as the TV crew gradually becomes more implicated in the killer's gruesome crimes.

Belvaux co-wrote and starred in "Man Bites Dog" with Andre Bonzel and Benoit Poelvoorde, who has gone on to be a major star in France. The trio also produced the movie, which won a string of awards after being shown at Cannes in 1992.

Despite the movie's impact, Belvaux never helmed another feature, turning instead to directing commercials, for which he won several industry awards.
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