Jerry Reed, a singer who became a good ol' boy actor in car chase movies like "Smokey and the Bandit," died Sept. 1 of complications from emphysema. He was 71.

Sony BMG Nashville chair Joe Galante called Reed a larger-than-life personality. "Everything about Jerry was distinctive: his guitar playing, writing, voice and especially his sense of humor," he said.

Reed's catalog of country chart hits, from 1967-83, were released under the label group's RCA imprint.

As a singer in the 1970s and early '80s, Reed had a string of hits that included "Amos Moses," "When You're Hot, You're Hot," "East Bound and Down," "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)" and "The Bird."

In the mid-'70s, he began acting in movies like "Smokey and the Bandit" with Burt Reynolds, usually as a good ol' boy. But he was an ornery heavy in "Gator," directed by Reynolds, and a hateful coach in 1998's "The Waterboy," starring Adam Sandler.

He won a Grammy for "When You're Hot, You're Hot" in 1971. A year earlier, he shared a Grammy with Chet Atkins for their collaboration "Me and Jerry." In 1992, Atkins and Reed won a Grammy for "Sneakin' Around."

Sheldon Keller, a writer who collaborated with Neil Simon, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner on the 1950s sketch comedy show "Caesar's Hour" and wrote variety shows for Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren and other stars, died Sept. 1. He was 85.

Keller died of complications from Alzheimer's disease at his home in Valencia, Calif., said his son Casey.

A son of Polish immigrants, Keller moved from Chicago to New York in the early 1950s to pursue a career in comedy. He found success in 1955 when he joined the renowned writing staff that worked on Sid Caesar's television show, a spinoff of the popular program "Your Show of Shows."

Keller also wrote variety shows for such stars as Sinatra, Loren, Dick Van Dyke, Danny Kaye and Dinah Shore. He won an Emmy for a show he wrote for Carol Channing.

Michael Pate, who appeared in more than 50 films and was a regular guest star on American TV shows in the '50s and '60s, died Sept. 1 of respiratory failure at Gosford Hospital in New South Wales. He was 88.

The Australian actor began his career as a writer and broadcaster for Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio before moving to the U.S. He spent almost 20 years there, guest starring in various Westerns and a number of popular TV shows, including "Batman," "Mission: Impossible," "Get Smart" and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."

From 1971, he starred in the Australian crime drama "Matlock Police," for which he won a Penguin Award for best actor.