obituaries

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Gerald Levert, one of the most popular R&B stars of the 1980s and '90s as a solo singer and as a member of the groups Levert and LSG, died Nov. 10 of a heart attack in Cleveland. He was 40.

Levert was a second-generation soul man; his father was vocalist Eddie Levert of hit- makers the O'Jays.

Gerald Levert's career lifted off in 1986, when he formed his eponymous group with his brother Sean and childhood friend Marc Gordon. Through the early '90s, the trio scored a string of top R&B hits, including the No. 1 smashes "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind," "Casanova" (which hit No. 5 on the pop singles chart), "Addicted to You," "Just Coolin' " and "Baby I'm Ready."

He hit the solo trail in 1991, quickly racking up No. 1 R&B singles with "Private Line" and "Baby Hold on to Me."

In 1997, the singer fans called "G-Bear" stepped into another popular unit, LSG, a supergroup that also featured Keith Sweat and former New Edition member Johnny Gill.



Sonny Cohn, trumpet player and band manager for the Count Basie orchestra for 30 years before his retirement in the mid-'90s, died Nov. 7 of congestive heart failure in Chicago. He was 81.

Cohn joined Basie in 1960 after a career in Chicago playing with Red Saunders in the house bands at the Club DeLisa and the Regal Theatre and gigging with such name bands as Erskine Hawkins and Louis Bellson as they passed through town.

As a member of the Basie trumpet sec- tion, he recorded with Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington, among many others. As a sideman, he recorded with Elmore James, Milt Jackson, Quincy Jones, Joe Williams, Arthur Prysock, Duke Jordan, Big Joe Turner, Teresa Brewer, Tab Smith and Detroit Junior.



Sid Davis, who produced more than 180 educational films warning youngsters of the dangers of drugs, drinking and running with scissors, died Oct. 16 of lung cancer at the Atria Hacienda senior residence in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 90.

Davis was born in Chicago but moved to Los Angeles as a child. From the 1950s into the early '70s, he created cautionary short films that were screened in classrooms. With such titles as "The Bottle and the Throttle" and "Seduction of the Innocent," they warned kids about underage drinking, drug abuse, vandalism and dropping out of school.

Davis also was a movie set stand-in for John Wayne. The actor loaned Davis the money to start a production company, later refusing his $5,000 repayment.



Marian Marsh Henderson, the doll-faced 1930s actress perhaps best known as the teen milkmaid Trilby mesmerized by John Barrymore in "Svengali," died Nov. 9 at her home in Palm Desert, Calif. She was 93.

The wide-eyed actress appeared in more than 40 motion pictures in the 1930s and early '40s, starring in mostly damsel-in-distress roles opposite such Hollywood greats as Edward G. Robinson, William Powell and Boris Karloff.

Her movie credits include "A Girl of the Limberlost" in 1934; "Crime and Punishment" and "In Spite of Danger" in 1935; "Come Closer, Folks," "The Man Who Lived Twice" and "Lady of Secrets" in 1936; and "Saturday's Heroes" and "When's Your Birthday?" in 1937.
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