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Peg Bracken, author of the "I Hate to Cook Book," which sold more than 3 million copies after it appeared in 1960, died Oct. 20 in Portland, Ore. She was 89.

The book was intended for working women who decried the notion that their destiny was to stand by the stove and be the ideal wife. Bracken adored convenience foods that were new at the time — mixes and canned foods — and discovered that a can of mushroom soup could cover many sins.

She was a newspaper columnist, magazine writer and a featured guest on national television shows including "I've Got a Secret." She also was a TV spokeswoman for Birds Eye frozen foods in the late 1960s and early '70s.



Vic Ramos, a casting director for such groundbreaking filmmakers as Francis Ford Coppola, Federico Fellini, John Cassavetes, Sidney Lumet and George Lucas — and who later turned to personal management and guided the careers of actor Matt Dillon and others — died Oct. 21 of pulmonary failure in New York. He was 77.

Ramos married Virginia Loew, granddaughter of Marcus Loew, founder of MGM's parent company. The union lasted until her death in 1964. Ramos' father, Victor Ramos Sr., was a grip at RKO.



Paul Raven, bassist for the band Ministry, was found dead Oct. 20 of an apparent heart attack in a French village on the Swiss border. He was 46.

Known as well for his work with Killing Joke and Prong, Raven was in Geneva working with French recording act Treponem Pal on its new album.

Paul Vincent Raven established himself with his work in the seminal postpunk/industrial group Killing Joke after joining the band in 1982. He played on "Fire Dances," "Night Time" and "Brighter Than a Thousand Suns."



Lonny Chapman, a stage and screen actor who was the founding artistic director of the Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre in North Hollywood, died Oct. 12 of heart disease at Sherman Village Healthcare Center. He was 87.

Chapman's television and movie career spanned more than 50 years. In 1950, he originated the role of Turk in the Broadway production of William Inge's first play, "Come Back, Little Sheba." He performed on the New York stage for more than a decade.

After moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s, he helped found a local branch of the Actors Studio. Eventually renamed the Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre, the nonprofit 99-seat theater became one of the longest-surviving small theaters in Los Angeles. A memorial service will be held at noon Dec. 2 at the theater.



Robert Lantz, a talent agent whose clients ranged from Bette Davis to Leonard Bernstein to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, died Oct. 16 of heart failure in Manhattan. He was 93.

From a small office overlooking Central Park, Lantz worked for such A-list clients as writers James Baldwin, Lillian Hellman and Carson McCullers; actors Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Yul Brynner, Montgomery Clift and Myrna Loy; director Milos Forman; playwright Peter Shaffer; and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner.



Judy Crichton, the first executive producer of the public television series "American Experience," died Oct. 14 from complications of leukemia in Manhattan. She was 77.

During her tenure as executive producer from 1988-96, "Experience" won seven Emmys, six Peabody Awards, five WGA Awards and two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Journalism Awards.

Crichton oversaw the production of 100 documentaries.
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