EmptyTerry Ryan, whose best-selling memoir "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" described how her mother raised 10 children by writing winning advertising jingles, died May 16 of cancer at her home in San Francisco. She was 60.
Ryan, a technical writer and poet who also penned the punch lines to "T.O. Sylvester," a cartoon in the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote her book in grief after her mother's death in 1998. Evelyn Ryan, an Ohio housewife with a husband who drank most of his paycheck, entered the contests in the 1950s to keep her family housed and fed.
Ryan's book was adapted for the 2005 movie starring Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson.
In 1983, Ryan met Pat Holt, then editor of the San Francisco Chronicle's Book Review, and Ryan and Sylvia Mollick successfully pitched her the idea of running a one-panel cartoon in the publication.
Mimi Weber, a legendary talent agent and personal manager who in 1962 was the first woman invited to join the National Conference of Personal Managers, died May 16 of an aneurysm at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 80.
Weber began her career in 1958 at MCA in New York, eventually representing such clients as Laurence Olivier, Warren Beatty, Bette Davis and Cary Grant.
She became a personal manager in 1961 and represented such actors as George Maharis, Myrna Loy, Harry Guardino, Nick Nolte and Pam Dawber.
Ben Weisman, a classically trained pianist who helped write nearly 60 songs for Elvis Presley, including many for his movies, died May 20 at a long-term-care hospital in Los Angeles. He was 85.
Weisman, whom Presley dubbed "the Mad Professor," wrote or co-wrote a string of gold- and platinum-selling songs for Presley, including "Follow That Dream" and "Fame and Fortune."
His songs include "Wooden Heart" for the movie "G.I. Blues," "Rock-a-Hula Baby" for "Blue Hawaii" and "Crawfish" for "King Creole."
Carl Wright, an actor who began his career as a tap dancer and comedian, died May 19 of cancer at his home in Chicago. He was 75.
Wright's film credits include "Barbershop," "Soul Food" and "Big Momma's House."
Born in Orlando, Wright traveled the world as a young man working as a tap dancer, and he once danced with a one-legged partner in a team called the Three-Leggers, his daughter said. He also worked as a comedian, master of ceremonies and songwriter.
C. Timothy O'Meara, an Emmy-winning film editor, died May 16 at his home in Chatsworth, Calif. He was 64.
O'Meara worked on such films as "Blazing Saddles," "All the President's Men," "The Rose" and "Conan the Barbarian." He won the Emmy for the miniseries "The Thorn Birds."
Alphonse Ardoin, a Louisiana Creole accordionist and singer who devoted years to upholding South Louisiana tradition in his music, died May 16 in Eunice, La. He was 91.
Ardoin, whose nickname was Bois Sec, worked for 50 years with fiddler Canray Fontenot, playing some of the oldest-known Creole tunes, infusing Cajun waltzes with the blues. Eventually the style evolved into zydeco.
Ardoin and Fontenot, who died in 1995, both received the highest award for American traditional arts from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1986.