EmptyEarl Greenburg, an entertainment industry pioneer who elevated the profile of the Palm Springs International Film Festival by luring such stars as Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Halle Berry, died Feb. 1 of skin cancer at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 61.
Greenburg, who also was known for his philanthropy and leading the fight for AIDS research, was a former president of the Home Shopping Network. He later promoted the infomercial industry as chairman of the Electronic Retailing Assn. He executive produced the 1988 telefilm "The Look of the Year" and the 1982 television serial "Fantasy."
He also was a founding partner of Transactional Marketing Partners in Santa Monica and CEO of Total Marketing Partners in Palm Springs.
Robert Guy Barrows, who wrote for episodic television in the 1960s and '70s, died Jan. 31 in Pueblo, Colo., following cancer surgery. He was 81.
Barrows and his second wife, Judith Friedman Barrows, wrote for such television shows as "Mission: Impossible," "Daniel Boone," "Bonanza" and "The Green Hornet" and also wrote several unproduced screenplays. In the late '60s, they produced the Michael McClure play "The Beard," which led to nightly arrests on profanity charges, the burning of a theater and an eventual win in a landmark free speech case.
In 1967, they sold the screenplay "Buffalo Man" and used the proceeds to buy a ranch in New Mexico, where they wrote additional screenplays. Judith died in 1970.
A private service will be held Saturday in Boulder, Colo.
Shell Kepler, who played the gossipy nurse Amy Vining for more than a decade on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital," died Feb. 1 at Oregon Health & Science University hospital in Portland, Ore. She was 49.
Kepler's busybody character on "General Hospital" was a fan favorite and enjoyed a long run from 1979-2002.
She also was in the 1982 Joan Collins film "Homework" and a couple of episodes of the sitcom "Three's Company."
Michael Spielberg, who had been an agent at CAA and WMA before stints at Prism and the early years of Miramax, died Jan. 25 of cancer in Hollywood. He was 49.
Spielberg established the West Coast office of Miramax and served as vp acquisitions, one of which was the Cannes Palme d'Or winner "sex, lies, and videotape." He went on to run Monument Pictures and was a production/acquisitions executive for numerous companies over the years, including Fox Lorber Home Video, Alpine Pictures and the Matthau Co.
His short film "Election Day" premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 1997, played the Wine Country Film Festival and the Athens Film Festival and was finalist for Cannes International Critics' Week.
Louisa Horton Hill, a stage, film and television actress, died Jan. 25 at Lillian Booth Actors' Fund Home in Englewood, N.J. She was 87.
Horton Hill, the former wife of director George Roy Hill, performed in numerous television series including "Inner Sanctum," "The United States Steel Hour," "Lights Out," "Suspense" and "The Goodyear Playhouse."
She made her film debut in the 1948 "All My Sons," opposite Burt Lancaster and Edward G. Robinson. Other movie credits include the 1976 film "Swashbuckler," starring James Earl Jones and Robert Shaw.
Horton Hill met George Roy Hill while both were actors in a Shakespeare repertory company. They married in 1951 and remained close even after they divorced in the '70s.