EmptyAbby Mann, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Judgment at Nuremberg" and such telefilms as "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" and "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story," died March 25 of cardiac arrest in Beverly Hills. He was 80.
"Nuremberg" originally was presented live on "Playhouse 90" in 1959. The movie version brought Mann to Hollywood, where he went on to write 1963's "A Child Is Waiting," directed by John Cassavetes, and the 1965 adaptation of Katherine Anne Porter's novel "Ship of Fools," which brought Mann a second Oscar nomination.
Mann received an Emmy and a WGA Award for the telefilm "Marcus-Nelson Murders," which introduced the character of Kojak, played by Telly Savalas.
Dith Pran, a Cambodian journalist whose life was portrayed in the movie "The Killing Fields," died March 30 of pancreatic cancer in New Brunswick, N.J. He was 65.
For much of the early 1970s, Dith served as a guide and interpreter in Cambodia for Sydney Schanberg of the New York Times, whose reporting on the country's civil war and the rise of the Khmer Rouge won a Pulitzer Prize. Schanberg accepted the award on behalf of himself and Dith, whom he credited with saving his life.
After escaping from a Khmer Rouge commune and reaching the U.S., Dith became a staff photographer for the New York Times.
Rafael Azcona, who wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-winning Spanish film "Belle Epoque," starring Penelope Cruz, died March 24 in Spain after suffering from lung cancer. He was 81.
Azcona worked with most major Spanish filmmakers during the past five decades and wrote nearly 100 screenplays, winning six Goyas. His credits include "The Girl of Your Dreams" also starring Cruz, and "In Praise of Older Women."
Arthur Lyons, who wrote a number of detective novels set in California and co-founded the Palm Springs Film Noir Festival, died March 21 of pneumonia and complications from a stroke at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. He was 62.
A former Palm Springs city councilman, Lyons helped launch the film festival with Craig Prater in 2001.
Starting with Lyons' first novel, "The Dead Are Discreet," in 1974, he delved into California cults, rebellious youth ("Castles Burning"), pornography ("Hard Trade") and other seedbeds of criminal activity. Critics admired "the pungency of his style, the neat planning and the avoidance of hokum," according to a 1975 article about Lyons' novels in the New York Times.
Wally Phillips, the most listened-to Chicago radio host for two decades, died there March 27 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He was 82.
Considered a pioneer in talk radio, Phillips introduced the talk format that interacted with phone listeners. He dominated Chicago's radio airwaves after taking over WGN's morning show in 1965.
Mixing audience participation, public service and breaking news, his broadcast was the No. 1 morning show in Chicago from 1966 until he left to take over an afternoon program in 1986, according to WGN.
At the height of his popularity, he had an audience of nearly 1.5 million — or about half the listeners in the Chicago area.
Jim Tanaka, who served as art director in Manhattan for Disney's Buena Vista Division for nearly 40 years before his retirement in 1979, died March 10 at his home in Pittsburgh. He was 90.
Tanaka worked on such Disney classics as "Fantasia," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Pinocchio" and "Dumbo."
After his retirement, he won recognition for his watercolors and posters of jazz musicians.