- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Allan Hely, one of the architects of the Australian music industry, died July 26 in Sydney of motor neurone disease. He was 80.
Hely, a one-time financial adviser to Rupert Murdoch, ran the media magnate’s Festival Records from 1961-98. The operations included pressing plants, publishing, accounts and a video department, all under the same roof.
As chairman of Australia’s first powerhouse independent music company, Hely ensured its fortunes with a steady flow of international hits through licensing new labels from the U.S. and U.K. These included deals with A&M Records, Liberty Records, Virgin Records, Chrysalis Records and Island Records. During some months in the 1970s, Festival exceeded the share of Australian market leader EMI Records.
At the same time, while multinational record companies showed minimal interest in domestic acts, Festival launched the careers of the Bee Gees, Olivia Newton-John, Sherbet and Billy Thorpe, among others.
Lionel Schaen, director of sales at Los Angeles pubcaster KCET and a veteran of L.A. television, died July 25 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 72.
Schaen served as treasurer and then president of the Hollywood Radio & Television Society and was chairman of the California Broadcasters Assn. He was a professor at the USC School of Cinema-Television and USC’s Marshall School of Business.
Schaen was one of the pioneers in interactive media and held the positions of president of pay TV service at SelecTV, president of ACTV Interactive, director of domestic sales at the Harmony Gold Program Distribution Co. and president of Hubbard Broadcasting’s USTV & USSB Satellite & Program Syndication.
Jack Fearey, a Peabody Award-winning television pioneer who helped establish two major civic festivals, died July 28 in Seattle after a long illness. He was 84.
Born in Portland, Ore., Fearey earned a music degree at the University of Washington and worked at radio stations in Bellingham before going to KING-TV in Seattle. He went on to win a Peabody for his work on the children’s show “Wunda Wunda.”
In 1970, Fearey was appointed director of the Seattle Center, a civic complex on the site of the 1962 World’s Fair. His 12 years at the helm included the origins of Bumbershoot, the city’s principal arts festival, and the Northwest Folklife Festival.
Wen Roberts, the longtime official photographer for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kings and Inglewood Forum, died July 23 at his home in El Segundo, Calif., of complications from myasthenia gravis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 70.
Roberts was hired by the Lakers in 1960 when the NBA team moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. After then-owner Jack Kent Cooke was awarded an NHL franchise, Roberts became the official Kings photographer in 1967.
Cooke opened the Forum that same year, and Roberts became the house photographer for all events at the arena, including boxing matches, concerts, circuses and other spectacles.
Laura Devon, who had a short film and TV acting career in the 1960s, died July 19 of heart failure at her Beverly Hills home. She was 76.
Devon played leads in several films from the mid- to late ’60s, including “Red Line 7000,” opposite James Caan, in 1965, as well as “Gunn” with Craig Stevens and “A Covenant of Death” with George Maharis, both from 1967.
A native of Detroit who started her career singing in nightclubs there, she moved to Southern California in the early ’60s and made her film debut in 1964 in director Vincente Minnelli’s “Goodbye Charlie.”
She had numerous guest roles in TV series, including “Route 66,” “The Twilight Zone” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day