obituaries


Al Viola, a guitarist who worked with Frank Sinatra for 25 years and played the mandolin on "The Godfather" soundtrack, died Feb. 21 of cancer at his home in Studio City. He was 87.

Viola performed with Sinatra at concerts, on recordings and on television specials. He can be heard on such Sinatra hits as "My Way" and "New York, New York." The singer once called him "one of the world's great guitarists."

In addition to "Godfather," Viola can be heard on numerous TV and movie soundtracks, including "West Side Story" and "Blazing Saddles."

He appeared on more than 500 albums for artists ranging from Neil Diamond to Marvin Gaye and was a familiar live performer in Los Angeles clubs.



Peter V. Herald, a movie producer and production manager, died Feb. 17 in his Los Angeles home from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 86.

Born in Berlin, Herald served the American military government in Germany as a film control officer from the end of World War II through 1954. From 1960-66, he worked for Walt Disney, who hired him as his production supervisor for Europe. During that time, Herald produced "Almost Angels" (1962) and associate produced "Miracle of the White Stallions" (1963) and "Emil and the Detectives" (1966).

In 1967, Herald continued his producing career in Los Angeles on such films as "Silver Streak," "Star Wars," "Foul Play," "Outrageous Fortune" and "Married to It."



Walker Edmiston, an actor whose career spanned 58 years, died Feb. 15 of cancer at his home in Woodland Hills. He was 81.

Edmiston began his career in 1949 as an actor voicing Clowny in the TV puppet series "Time for Beany." He worked on such series as "Top Cat," "The Smurfs," "The Flintstones," "H.R. Pufnstuf," "The Bugaloos," "The Gummi Bears" and "Lidsville." He also was the voice of Ernie the Keebler Elf in commercials.

Edmiston played Jefferson Davis Collie III and Enik the Altrusian (Sleestak) on "Land of the Lost," Gen. Douglas McArthur in "War and Remembrance," Harry S. Truman in "J. Edgar Hoover" and appeared on more than 100 TV shows, including "Knots Landing," "Riptide," "Falcon Crest," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Little House on the Prairie," "The Waltons," "Quincy, M.E.," "Dallas," "Columbo," "Gunsmoke," "Mission: Impossible," "Cannon" and "Bonanza."



Elliott Baker, a screenwriter and novelist whose first book, "A Fine Madness," was made into a film starring Sean Connery, died Feb. 9 of cancer in Los Angeles. He was 84.

Baker also wrote the 1966 film version of "Madness."

He began writing for television shortly after graduation from Indiana University, working on "Robert Montgomery Presents," "The Kaiser Aluminum Hour" and other shows. He adapted Murray Schisgal's play "Luv" for Hollywood in 1967 and John Osborne's play "The Entertainer" for TV in 1976.



Ian Wallace, a drummer who toured with Bob Dylan, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt and recorded with Stevie Nicks, Ry Cooder and others, died Feb. 22 at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood of complications from esophageal cancer. He was 60.

Private memorial services are scheduled for March 11 in Los Angeles and March 17-18 in London.



Ethan Willoughby, a Grammy-nominated audio and mix engineer, died Feb. 18 in a collision with a drunk driver on the Ventura Freeway in Sherman Oaks. He was 31.

Willoughby was recognized with an album of the year Grammy nomination this year for his engineering efforts on Justin Timberlake's multiplatinum "FutureSex/LoveSounds."
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