Obituaries for Aug. 3, 2009

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Ted Swanson, a production manager and assistant director whose career spanned more than four decades and 60 films, died July 23 of congestive heart failure. He was 72.

Swanson's credits as an assistant director include "Hellfighters," "Coogan's Bluff" (both 1968) and "The Omega Man" (1971). He served as a production manager on such films as "Rocky" (1976), "Caddyshack" (1980) and "Witness" (1985) and TV's "The Waltons" and "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman." He was a producer the 1978 miniseries "King."

In later years, Swanson produced "My Father the Hero" (1994), starring Gerard Depardieu, and TV's "The Tale of Sweeney Todd," starring Ben Kingsley, and "Separate but Equal," starring Sidney Poitier and, in his last role, Burt Lancaster.

Phil Midiri, vp finance at Sony Pictures Entertainment since 2001, died June 29 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 58.

Midiri began his career with CBS Records in New York and Australia. He joined Paramount Pictures in Hollywood in 1982, then went to work with such home entertainment companies as Virgin Video, Academy and Media Home Entertainment and Sony Wonder, the children and family's music and video arm of Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

Midiri continued with Sony Music through 2001 and represented the company at MIPTV, MIPCOM, NATPE and other markets.

Juan Carlos Frugone, a writer, film critic and film festival director, died July 7 of cancer at a hospital near Madrid. He was 71.

Frugone for 24 years was associated with International Film Week in Valladolid, Spain, serving as director of the event from 2005-08. He helped organize fests in Venice, Chicago, Huelva, Spain and Mar del Plata, Argentina. He participated as a member of fest juries in Guadalajara, Edinburgh, San Sebastian and Oxford.

Frugone wrote books on director Stanley Donen, director-screenwriter Mario Camus and screenwriter-novelist Rafael Azcona and scripts for films like "Mujeres in 1965."

Robert Bryden Cushman, a longtime staff member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who was widely acknowledged for his encyclopedic knowledge of movie still photography, died July 13 while traveling in Kentucky. He was 62.

Cushman joined the Academy staff in 1972. During his 37-year career with the organization, he was the person most responsible for developing and enhancing the library's vast photograph collection, which now has more than 10 million items.

Cushman was instrumental in obtaining major studio archival collections -- most recently the UA Collection -- as well as those from individual industry stalwarts like Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and George Cukor. He developed the protocols for organizing the collections to ensure items would be readily accessible for research, and he created special procedures to conserve photographs.

Before joining the Academy, Cushman served as a research fellow at the American Film Institute and produced program notes for film series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Cushman's published works include "Hollywood at Your Feet: The Story of the World-Famous Chinese Theatre" (with Stacey Endres), "Hollywood's Chinese Theatre: The Hand and Footprints of the Stars from the Silents to "Star Trek" (also with Endres), "Mary Pickford Rediscovered: Rare Pictures of a Hollywood Legend" (introduction and photograph selection) and "Douglas Fairbanks" (photographic editor).

Juan Carlos Frugone, a writer, film critic and film festival director, died July 7 of cancer at a hospital near Madrid. He was 71.

Frugone for 24 years was associated with International Film Week in Valladolid, Spain, serving as director of the event from 2005-08. He helped organize fests in Venice, Chicago, Huelva, Spain and Mar del Plata, Argentina. He participated as a member of fest juries in Guadalajara, Edinburgh, San Sebastian and Oxford.

Frugone wrote books on director Stanley Donen and director-screenwriter Mario Camus.
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