EmptyNorman Smith, a leading record producer who was the original sound engineer for the Beatles through 1965 and later signed Pink Floyd to a recording contract, died March 4 of cancer in East Sussex, England. He was 85.
Smith, who had a top five hit in the U.S. with "Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?" singing under the name Hurricane Smith, was selected by Beatles producer George Martin to handle the controls when the group cut its first session June 6, 1962, which included the early hit "Love Me Do."
He would handle the engineering for every Beatles recording through the "Rubber Soul" sessions in 1965, including several No. 1 singles.
Leonard Rosenman, a film and television composer who won two Oscars and two Emmys during his 50-year Hollywood career, died March 4 of a heart attack at his home at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills. He was 83.
Rosenman won back-to-back Oscars in 1975 and '76 for original scores for "Barry Lyndon" and "Bound for Glory." He was nominated twice more for "Cross Creek" (1983) and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986).
He won Emmys for his TV-movie scores for "Sybil" in 1976 and "Friendly Fire" in 1979.
Malvin Wald, a prolific writer for film and television best known for co-writing the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for the 1948 film "The Naked City," died March 6 of age-related causes at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was 90.
Wald wrote the story for the archetypal police drama, which ended with the now-famous line: "There are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them." He and writer Albert Maltz were credited with the screenplay, which also was nominated for a WGA Award.
The movie won Oscars for cinematography and film editing.
Milton Ebbins, a talent manager of jazz greats and a Kennedy administration and Rat Pack insider, died March 4 of heart failure in Los Angeles. He was 96.
Ebbins started his career in the early 1930s as a trumpet player and bandleader and then became a talent manager. He soon became one of Hollywood's top personal managers, guiding the careers of Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine and Vic Damone.
He also represented actresses Elizabeth Montgomery and Patty Duke, comedian Mort Sahl and actor Peter Lawford, whom Ebbins managed for 35 years.
Ebbins produced many of his clients' film and television projects and was partnered in a company with Lawford that produced the 1960s TV series "The Patty Duke Show." He associate produced the 1950s TV series "The Thin Man," starring Lawford and Phyllis Kirk. He also produced two films starring Rat Packers Lawford and Sammy Davis Jr.: "Salt and Pepper" (1968) and "One More Time" (1970). He was involved in setting up the original Rat Packer film, "Ocean's Eleven," and subsequently "Sergeants 3." He also was involved in the production of "The Longest Day."
Jim Begg, an actor and producer, died Feb. 15 of natural causes at his home in Sherman Oaks. He was 69.
Begg produced movies, commercials and television for Fries Entertainment and New World and was an on-air spokesman for Steak-n-Shake in the 1970s.
After moving to the West Coast in the 1960s, he appeared in many movies, including "Village of the Giants," "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken," "Grand Theft Auto" and "The Cat From Outer Space," as well as such TV shows as "Bewitched," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." "Petticoat Junction" and "WKRP in Cincinnati."