obituaries


Herbert Bayard Swope Jr., a retired film, television and theatrical producer, died Jan. 4 in Palm Beach, Fla. He was 92.

As an executive producer at 20th Century Fox and the Walter Reade Organization, Swope produced the 1950s films "Hilda Crane," "Three Brave Men," "The True Story of Jesse James," "The Bravados" and "The Fiend Who Walked the West." In the theater, he served as director and co-producer of "Step on a Crack," "Fragile Fox" and "Fair Game for Lovers."

Swope, the son of Herbert Bayard Swope Sr., a founder of the Algonquin Round Table, joined CBS Television as a remote unit director in the medium's early days, then moved into sportscasting, directing many firsts in the field.

Serving as a producer-director at NBC, he won the Sylvania TV Award for outstanding achievement in directing technique and became executive producer of NBC-TV in charge of "Wide Wide World."

He produced and directed such series and specials as "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," "Lights Out," "The Clock," "The Black Robe," "Robert Montgomery Presents," "Arsenic and Old Lace," "Climax" and "Five Fingers."



Dianne Ogden-Halder, a talent executive and casting director for numerous television shows and several films, died Dec. 29 of undetermined causes in Park City. She was 61.

Ogden-Halder booked talent for Richard Pryor television series and specials, the Billboard Music Awards, the Jukebox Awards and the first Latin Grammy Awards.

She worked on the Grammy Awards as a talent coordinator for 18 years.

Ogden-Halder testified as a lead prosecution witness in the Phil Spector murder trial in Los Angeles last year. She said Spector pressed the barrel of a gun to her face, cheek, neck and forehead when she tried to leave his house.



Ronnie Johnson, Capitol Music Group's executive vp urban music, died Dec. 29 of a heart attack at his home in Upper Nyack, N.Y. He was 49.

Johnson began his music industry career in 1989 at Reprise Records as Southwest regional R&B promotion manager. He steadily moved up the promotion ladder in roles at PolyGram Label Group, Island and Mercury Records before being named senior vp R&B promotion at Motown Records in 1998. He moved to the same position at Atlantic Records in 1999 and exited for Capitol in February.



Tom Miller, a longtime unit publicist, died Dec. 6 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., following a brief illness. He was 85.

As staff publicist at Embassy Pictures, Miller worked on "The Graduate" and "The Producers." He then moved on to American International Pictures, promoting such films as "Bloody Mama," "Wild in the Streets" and the Vincent Price/Edgar Allen Poe movies. At MGM, he publicized such films as "Dr. Zhivago," "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Alex in Wonderland," "Shaft," "The Wrath of God," "The Last American Hero," "Mikey and Nicky," "Blow Out," "The Chosen," "The Cotton Club" and the Paul Newman-directed "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" and "Harry & Son."



Phil Segura, an on-set still photographer of the 1970s, died Dec. 23 of a heart ailment at the Motion Picture & Television Fund Hospital in Woodland Hills.

Rising from the prop department, Segura shot stills on the sets of "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry," "Slaughter's Big Ripoff," "Coffy," "Frogs" and "Dillinger." He also worked in television, shooting stills for "Baretta" and "Mission: Impossible," among others.
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