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Gerald Margolis, an entertainment attorney who represented Robin Williams, R. Kelly, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and others during his 30-year law career, died Sept. 15 at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica of complications relating to pneumonia. He was 65.
Margolis was a partner at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips and a key figure in building his firm’s powerhouse music practice. He successfully tried such high-profile cases as Hulex Music v. Columbia Pictures, in which the plaintiff contended the title theme from the 1984 film “Ghostbusters” was deliberately copied from the song “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis and the News, and Rege v. Williams, where he defended longtime client Williams in a product disparagement action brought against the comedian related to remarks he made on an HBO special.
Margolis also served as counsel to Kelly in a suit regarding the termination of the 2002 Best of Both Worlds tour and defended Jagger and Richards in a case alleging copyright infringement by the Rolling Stones members relating to the song “Saint of Me” on the album “Bridges to Babylon.”
Nicole von Ruden, a segment director and field producer for “Dr. Phil,” “Entertainment Tonight” and CNN, died Aug. 7 of brain cancer in Los Angeles. She was 40.
Von Ruden, a member of the DGA, spent 18 years in news and entertainment. She began her entertainment news career at CNN, working in New York and Los Angeles for six years on “Showbiz Today.” She became an associate director on “ET” in 1997 and worked for five years on the show both before and after her diagnosis in 2000.
As a segment director on “Dr. Phil,” where she worked since 2004, host Phil McGraw honored her on the show this year for her courageous fight against cancer by bringing in the crew from MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” to jazz up the scooter she used to get around.
Patricia Place, a veteran character actress who won an Ovation Award in 1998 for her performance in “Valsetz,” died Sept. 20 from lymphoma. She was 83.
After years of acting in New York, Place moved to Los Angeles in the mid-’80s and appeared in a string of TV shows, including “Wings,” “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” “Dharma & Greg,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Cold Case,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Big Love” and “The Sarah Silverman Program.”
The annual Ovation Awards, which honor the finest in Los Angeles theater, named Place best lead actress for her performance as a no-nonsense widow in “Valsetz” at the Celebration Theatre.
A ceremony to celebrate the life of Ruth Engelhardt Courtney will be held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood. Engelhardt Courtney, who spent 59 years with WMA, died July 29.
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