EmptyWard Grant, a longtime publicist for Bob Hope, died Jan. 11 of congestive heart failure at his Burbank home. He was 75.
Grant served as director of media and public relations for Hope Enterprises Inc. since 1973, coordinating the comedian's public appearances and TV work and accompanying him to hundreds of appearances every year.
Grant also helped write and edit books for Hope and continued to represent the family after the entertainer's death at age 100 in 2003.
After serving in the Navy, Grant did PR work for others — including Dorothy Lamour, Fess Parker, Eva Gabor and Phyllis Diller — before signing with Hope.
Steve Krantz, who produced the X-rated animated movie "Fritz the Cat" and the theatrical feature "Cooley High," died Jan. 4 of complications of pneumonia at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 83.
Krantz, the husband of novelist Judith Krantz, created successful TV miniseries out of his wife's best-sellers, including "Scruples," "Mistral's Daughter" and "Dazzle."
During his TV career, Krantz wrote for Milton Berle and Arthur Godfrey, was executive producer for Steve Allen's "The Tonight Show" and, as head of creative development at Columbia Pictures Television, helped create several comedies, including "Dennis the Menace" and "Bewitched."
Peter Turner, a veteran literary agent who headed the Peter Turner Agency and was a former vp at WMA, died Dec. 27 of natural causes at his home in Woodland Hills. He was 59.
Among his clients and their films, TV shows and/or books were Phil Alden Robinson ("Field of Dreams"), Rob Reiner ("This Is Spinal Tap"), Leslie Bohem ("Dante's Peak"), Tab Murphy ("Brother Bear"), Terry Winkless ("The Howling"), Neal Marshall ("The Flamingo Kid"), Robert Harmon ("The Hitcher") and Bob Mahoney ("The Cavanaughs").
Edgar Small, a longtime theatrical agent, actor and producer who oversaw the careers of such actresses as Demi Moore, Inger Stevens, Lynda Carter, Deborah Raffin and Suzanne Somers, died Dec. 23 at his home in Beverly Hills after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 83.
Small began as an agent proper in 1956 to help his mother, Dore Schary's sister Lillian, who had taken over Paul Small's talent agency after his death. His clients included actors Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, Ed Wynn and Howard Keel and such screenwriters and songwriters as Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen.
In 1961, Small negotiated a buyout with the Ashley-Steiner Agency, the precursor of ICM. He formed the Witzer Small Agency with Ted Witzer in 1970 and started Artists Career Management in 1975. Small's expertise was in helping young actors onto the launching pad of what, in some cases, became highly successful careers, including those of John Cassavetes, Wally Cox, Angie Dickinson, Anthony Geary, Crispin Glover, DeForest Kelley, Ray Liotta, Yvette Mimieux, Sidney Poitier, Pernell Roberts, Gena Rowlands and George C. Scott.
Jack Winter, a writer on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Laverne & Shirley" and "Happy Days," died Dec. 29 in Victoria, British Columbia. He was 65.
Winter also wrote one episode of "The Odd Couple" and five episodes of "The Monkees." His directorial credits include "Odd Couple" and one episode of "Laverne & Shirley." He also was a contributing writer for the New Yorker and the Atlantic Journal.