EmptyGian Carlo Menotti, who composed a brace of Pulitzer Prize-winning operas and founded the Spoleto arts festivals in Italy and the U.S., died Feb. 1 at a hospital in Monaco. He was 95.
The Italian composer won Pulitzers for two of the 20th century's more successful operas: "The Consul," which premiered in 1950 in Philadelphia, and "The Saint of Bleecker Street," which opened at New York's Broadway Theatre in 1954.
Menotti wrote the Christmas classic "Amahl and the Night Visitors" for NBC, which was broadcast in 1951 and might have been the first opera written for TV.
Whitney Balliett, a jazz critic for the New Yorker for four decades who also created the TV show "The Sound of Jazz" in the late 1950s, died Feb. 1 at his home in Manhattan. He was 80.
Balliett joined the New Yorker in 1951, writing poetry and pieces for the "Talk of the Town" section. In 1957, he began writing a jazz column, which he continued until 1998. He also contributed book, film and theater reviews, as well as art criticism and book notes.
Balliett also wrote 15 books on jazz, the New Yorker said. Among his awards was an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1996.
Lee Bergere, a stalwart character actor who appeared on more than 200 television shows, including an original "Star Trek" episode in which he played Abraham Lincoln, died Jan. 31 at the Colonial Poplin Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Fremont, N.H. He was 88.
During his 60-year career, Bergere also was known as Joseph, the head of the household on "Dynasty." He had roles in "North and South," "Falcon Crest," "Hot L Baltimore" and "Incident at Vichy." He also appeared in the 1969 feature "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice."
A celebration of his life will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Colonial Poplin in Fremont, N.H.
Frank Meyer, a longtime entertainment writer and theatrical agent in Miami and former managing editor of Variety, died Jan. 26 of lung cancer in New York. He was 71.
Meyer joined the Miami News staff as a sportswriter in June 1959, and for the next five years he moved between jobs in journalism and public relations. In February 1964, he joined the Miami Beach Sun as chief copy editor and soon became the entertainment editor. At that point, he became Variety's South Florida correspondent.
He moved to New York in 1974 as a general assignment reporter at Variety. In 1975, he became music editor, a position he held until returning to Florida in late 1980. In 1982, he moved back to New York, where he worked as special sections editor and later as managing editor at Variety, a post he held until 1983.
Donfeld, a costume designer nominated for four Academy Awards, died Feb. 3 in Los Angeles.
Donfeld was Oscar nominated for "Days of Wine and Roses," "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?," "Tom Sawyer" and "Prizzi's Honor." Capitol Records hired him as a teenager to illustrate album covers. Frank Sinatra liked the young artist's work and introduced him to an executive at Paramount Pictures, and Donfeld's long motion picture career began.
Michel Roux, an actor considered a pillar of Paris' so-called boulevard theater for the masses and the dubbed voice for many English-speaking movie stars, died Feb. 2. He was 77.
In his career, the actor scored major success in such plays as "Le diner de cons" (The Dinner Game) and "La Cages aux Folles" before they were turned into hit movies.
Roux provided the voice for such English-speaking stars as Jack Lemmon, Peter Sellers and Alec Guinness, dubbing their translated movie lines for French audiences.