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Dave Gilbert, a renowned voice actor in Hollywood who James Earl Jones credits for coaxing him into doing voice-overs, died April 13 in Atlanta of complications from diabetes and congestive heart failure. He was 78.

Gilbert, a favorite of director Steven Spielberg's, was the voice of gravitas heard on such major motion pictures as "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977), "Schindler's List" (1993), "Amistad" (1997), "JFK" (1991), "The China Syndrome" (1979), "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979), "All the President's Men" (1976), "The Bridges of Madison County" (1995) and two "Star Trek" films.

Spielberg handpicked Gilbert to narrate the full-length audio version of "Schindler's List" for the visually impaired, after which the director wrote, "Your voice lends the perfect rich and dramatic texture we needed."

Gilbert also narrated and wrote a one-hour HBO film, "The Making of the Three 'Godfather' Movies."

Jones, for years the voice of CNN, said Gilbert convinced him to do voice-overs for movie trailers in the early '60s. "Dave opened my mind to this acting specialty as a way to exercise my voice, become a facile speaker, help overcome my problem with stuttering — and earn a very good living while doing it," Jones said.

Gilbert is survived by his longtime partner, Fredrick Bush.



Tom Shaw, a longtime assistant director who worked on such notable films as "In Cold Blood," "The Misfits" and "Elmer Gantry," died April 24 of natural causes in Northridge, Calif. He was 87.

Shaw, a member of the DGA for more than 50 years, was a longtime colleague of John Huston (who directed 1961's "The Misfits") and Richard Brooks (who helmed 1960s Elmer Gantry"). He also worked as a production manager.

Other films on which Shaw worked included "Separate Tables" (1958), "The Professionals" (1966), "Under the Volcano" (1984), "Lonely Are the Brave" (1962), "Paint Your Wagon" (1969) and "The Dead" (1987).
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