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Joseph Pevney, who directed some of the most popular episodes of the original "Star Trek" TV series, died May 18 of age-related causes at his home in Palm Desert, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported. He was 96.

Pevney started on Broadway as an actor and appeared in supporting roles in several notable Hollywood noir films, including "Nocturne" (1946), starring George Raft, and "Body and Soul" (1947), starring John Garfield.

He then directed more than 35 movies, including "Man of a Thousand Faces," "Tammy and the Bachelor" and "The Midnight Story." All three Universal International films opened on the same 1957 weekend in Los Angeles.

Focusing on TV from the early 1960s to the mid-'80s, Pevney directed episodes of "Wagon Train," "The Munsters," "The Fugitive," "Bonanza," "12 O'Clock High," "Adam-12," "Marcus Welby, M.D.," "The Incredible Hulk," "Fantasy Island," "Medical Center" and "Trapper John, M.D."

However, "Star Trek," which ran on NBC from 1966-69, was Pevney's most enduring credit as a director and made him a familiar name to devoted fans of the show.

He helmed 14 episodes of "Trek," tying him with Marc Daniels as the credited director of the most episodes. He helmed some of the top fan-favorite episodes, including "The City on the Edge of Forever," "Amok Time," "The Trouble With Tribbles" and "Journey to Babel."



Sophie Altman, a TV producer who created the long-running quiz show "It's Academic," pitting teams of high school students against each other, died May 24 of heart disease at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington. She was 95.

Altman already was a seasoned TV producer in 1961 when she started "It's Academic" in the Washington area. The quiz show is entering its 48th season in the nation's capital, and there are local versions in several other cities; at one point more than 20 cities had their own versions.

The show — reminiscent of the "GE College Bowl" that ran on TV in the 1960s — tests brainy high school students on an array of subjects.

"She had the idea that it would be really nice if academic achievement had the same accolades as the heroes on the football field," said her daughter, Nancy Altman. "If you got a right answer, it was like you got a touchdown."

According to the show's Web site, among the competitors the show attracted were future Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, astronaut Timothy Creamer, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Chabon and ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.



Fred Haines, a writer and director who was nominated for an Oscar for his adaptation of James Joyce's "Ulysses," died May 4 of complications from lung cancer at his home in Venice, Calif. He was 72.

Haines also wrote and directed a 1974 film version of "Steppenwolf," from the novel by Hermann Hesse. Max von Sydow starred as Harry Haller.

For "Ulysses" (1968), Haines and director Joseph Strick used the novelist's prose almost exclusively and cast the film with leading Irish actors. The film was banned in Ireland, just as the novel had been in 1922, but the Irish film censor reversed its ruling in 2000.



A memorial service for Burton "Bud" Stone, former president of Deluxe Laboratories, will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood.
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