EmptyJoseph (J.P.) Burns, an Irish-born actor, died Oct. 9 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles after a stroke. He was 79.
Burns began his career in Dublin at the Gate Theater in numerous productions, including "The Cherry Orchard." He went on to enjoy a successful period on the London stage, where he played many of the principal Shakespearean roles.
His chief passion was the theater, gaining appreciative reviews for roles like Con Melody in Eugene O'Neill's "A Touch of the Poet," which Burns originally played at Bolton's Theater in London and reprised later at the Celtic Theater in Los Angeles.
His theatrical roles included Olsen in "The Long Voyage Home," the Priest in "The Anthem Sprinters," the Cardinal in "The White Devil" and Ron in "Absurd Person Singular."
In the 1960s and '70s, Burns moved to the U.S., where he played in numerous TV series, including "The Big Valley," "Mission: Impossible," "Peyton Place" and "General Hospital." He also appeared on "Columbo," "Kraft Mystery Theater" and "The Second American Revolution."
He was featured in several films, including "The Molly Maguires" and "Scorpio Letters."
Daryl Duke, an Emmy-winning director who helmed the 1983 miniseries "The Thorn Birds," died Oct. 21 of pulmonary fibrosis in Vancouver. He was 77.
Duke originated the first television shows from the Canadian Broadcasting Co.'s station in Vancouver, CBUT, which went on the air in December 1953. There he produced and directed variety programs, classical music series, dramas and public affairs documentaries. He also produced episodes of the acclaimed public affairs series "This Hour Has Seven Days."
Duke earned many honors, among them an Emmy in 1971 for directing an episode of "The Bold Ones," a Canadian Film Award (now the Genie Awards), an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Simon Fraser University, ACTRA's John Drainie Award for distinguished contribution to broadcasting, a Directors Guild of Canada Lifetime Achievement Award and an induction into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Herbert B. Leonard, who created and produced the 1950s Western TV series "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" and the gritty police drama "Naked City," died Oct. 14 of cancer at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He was 84.
Leonard, who also produced the series "Route 66," launched his career as a producer in the 1950s, developing adventure TV shows for Screen Gems, Columbia Pictures' television subsidiary.
His movie credits as a producer include "Popi," a 1969 comedy- drama directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Alan Arkin, and "The Perils of Pauline," a 1967 comedy starring Pat Boone. He produced and directed "Going Home," a 1971 drama starring Robert Mitchum.
Anna Russell, a British-born singer and comedian famous for her operatic parodies, including a 30-minute synopsis of Wagner's epic "Ring" cycle, died Oct. 18 in Bateman's Bay, Australia. She was 94.
Among her most memorable routines was a send-up titled "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera."
Russell began her musical career as a folk singer on BBC radio. She later took to the stage, making her New York debut in a one-woman show in 1948.
Sandy West, whose ferocious drumming fueled the influential all-female '70s rock band the Runaways, died Oct. 21 of lung cancer in San Dimas, Calif. She was 47.
West was 16 when she co-founded the Runaways in 1975 with singer-guitarist Joan Jett. Together with band members Lita Ford and Cherie Currie, they recorded such songs as "Cherry Bomb" and "Born to be Bad."