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David Shaw, a veteran dramatist who was featured in the HBO documentary “Funny Old Guys,” died in his sleep July 27 at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 90.
Shaw collaborated on the libretto for “Redhead” with Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields and Sidney Sheldon. The Broadway musical that made Gwen Verdon a star won a Tony as best musical of 1959. Shaw also wrote the book for the 1963 musical “Tovarich,” starring Vivien Leigh.
His first film credit was for the story for “A Foreign Affair,” the 1948 Billy Wilder political comedy starring Jean Arthur. Shaw then turned to television and wrote scripts for “Playhouse 90,” “Philco TV Playhouse,” “The Defenders” and “Studio One,” among others. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his screenplay for the 1970 comedy “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.”
Tommy Makem, an Irish singer-songwriter-storyteller, died Aug. 1 of lung cancer in Dover, N.H. He was 74.
Makem was born in County Armagh, Ireland, and played banjo and tin whistle and sang in a deep baritone. He came to international prominence as a member of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, who sang in sellout concerts at Carnegie Hall and were feted at the Newport Folk Festival.
Makem brought audiences to tears with “Four Green Fields,” about a woman whose sons died trying to prevent strangers from taking her fields. His songs also included “Gentle Annie” and “Red Is the Rose.”
Art Davis, a renowned double bassist who played with John Coltrane and other jazz greats, died July 29 of a heart attack at his home in Long Beach, Calif. He was 73.
Davis was blacklisted in the 1970s for speaking up about racism in the music industry and later earned a doctorate in clinical psychology, balancing performance dates with patients’ appointments.
Known for his mastery of the double bass, Davis was able to jump between genres. He played classical music with the New York Philharmonic; was a member of the NBC, Westinghouse and CBS orchestras; and played for Broadway shows.
Davis played with artists including Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, John Denver, Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary.
Kay Dotrice, an actress and the wife of stage, film and TV actor Roy Dotrice, died Aug. 2 of a heart attack at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. She was 78.
She grew up in Liverpool and Cheshire, England, and in 1945 met RAF flyer Dotrice, who had just been released from a German POW camp. They wed in May 1947. Kay Dotrice later gave birth to actresses Michele, who starred on the British series “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em” and “Chintz” and the miniseries “Vanity Fair” and “Bramwell”; Karen, who appeared in “Mary Poppins” and 1978’s “The 39 Steps” and the series “Upstairs Downstairs”; and Yvette, who starred on British TV’s “Crossroads,” “Maybury” and “Fox.”
During the 1950s, Dotrice appeared with her husband in numerous repertoire productions in theaters throughout Britain. She appeared on British television in “The Wednesday Play” with daughter Michele; as Deborah Crisp in the soap opera “Crossroads,” with Yvette; and in the 2004 TV documentary “Camp Hollywood,” in which she played herself. Her film work includes “Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers” (1984).
In addition to her husband and children, Dotrice leaves sons-in-law actor Edward Woodward (“Hot Fuzz,” TV’s “The Equalizer”), producer and executive Ned Nalle and aviation insurance specialist John Lumley.
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Writers Guild of America