EmptyBruce Taylor, a television writer, producer and showrunner for more than 35 years, died March 17 after a long illness at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank. He was 60.
Taylor came to Los Angeles after selling joke material to Phyllis Diller and was hired as a writer for "The Della Reese Show." He wrote for and performed on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," after which came game and quiz shows, including "Girl in My Life," "It's Your Bet" and "Truth or Consequences." A long career as a writer-producer of sitcoms followed, including "Diff'rent Strokes," "Small Wonder" and "Angie."
He also was a producer-showrunner on "Out of This World," "My Secret Identity," "Learning the Ropes" and "Bustin' Loose."
Erwin Geschonneck, who survived six years in Nazi concentration camps and went on to become one of the biggest film stars in communist East Germany, died March 12 in Berlin. He was 101.
Geschonneck was best known internationally for his role as Kowalski in Frank Beyer's "Jakob the Liar" (1975), the only film ever produced by the German Democratic Republic's DEFA film studios to get an Academy Award nomination (for best foreign-language film). He made his big-screen debut in 1931 as an extra in Slatan Dudows' "Kuhle Wampe," a film about unemployment in the Weimar Republic written by Bertolt Brecht.
He became a star in East Germany, playing in more than 100 films and TV series, several times as a concentration camp inmate.
Convicted in 1938 by the Nazis for his membership in the Communist Party, Geschonneck survived three camps: Sachsenhausen, Dachau and Neuengamme. In 1945, he was on board the prison ship Cap Arcona when it accidentally was bombed by the British air force. Of the 4,000 inmates aboard, only 350 survived.
Gayne Rescher, an Emmy-winning cinematographer, died Feb. 29 in Gig Harbor, Wash., after a long illness. He was 83.
Rescher, who was known for lensing the films "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and "A Face in the Crowd" as well as the telefilm "The Day After," received three Emmys for outstanding cinematography: for "Moviola: The Silent Lovers" (1980), "Shooter" (1989) and "Lucky/Chances" (1990).
He also won two awards from the American Society of Cinematographers.
Wade Battley, a Daytime Emmy-winning art director for "Days of Our Lives," died March 2 after a long struggle with cancer. She was 52.
Battley was an art director on "It's Showtime at the Apollo" and "Star Search" in New York. She moved to Los Angeles in 1990, when she art-directed and set-decorated "Days" for NBC as well as "General Hospital" and "Port Charles" for ABC.
Gloria Shayne Baker, who composed the Christmas song "Do You Hear What I Hear?" died March 6 of cancer at her home in Stamford, Conn. She was 84.
Written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" was intended as a plea for peace. It tells the story of the Nativity and has sold tens of millions of records. It has been recorded by Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Robert Goulet, Johnny Mathis and the Harry Simeone Chorale, as well as by Pat Boone, Glen Campbell, Kenny G, Bob Hope, Whitney Houston, Jim Nabors, John Tesh, the Tropical Flavor Steel Drum Band and the U.S. Air Force Symphony Orchestra.
Wally Beene, a retired Hollywood publicist, died Feb. 27 in Tucson, Ariz. He was 83.
A former newspaperman, he worked at Rogers & Cowan and Guttman & Associates before joining the journalism faculty at the University of Arizona.