EmptyBuddy Childers, who played lead trumpet in the big bands of Stan Kenton, Benny Carter, Les Brown, Woody Herman and Tommy Dorsey, died May 24 at his Woodland Hills home from complications of cancer. He was 81.
A self-taught performer, arranger and composer, Childers landed a spot in the fledgling Kenton band when he was 16.
In the 1980s, Childers served as a musical director for Frank Sinatra Jr. He also recorded with the Lew Tabackin-Toshiko Akiyoshi orchestra and released his own albums.
In 1993, Childers left the Sinatras, formed a big band and for years continued to perform. In 2005, he finished his last, still unreleased album, "Haunted Ballroom."
Mark Harris, best known for his baseball novels that included 1956's "Bang the Drum Slowly," died May 30 in Santa Barbara, Calif., a month after he broke his hip in a fall and contracted pneumonia. He was 84.
Harris wrote five nonfiction books and 13 novels, including the baseball books "The Southpaw" (1953), "A Ticket for a Seamstitch" (1957) and "It Looked Like Forever" (1979). "Drum," which he also adapted for the 1973 movie starring Michael Moriarty and Robert De Niro, was named one of the top 100 sports books of all time by Sports Illustrated.
Harris taught in the English departments at the University of Minnesota, San Francisco State University, Purdue University, California Institute of the Arts, USC and the University of Pittsburgh.
Jean-Claude Brialy, a French actor who became an emblematic figure of the New Wave film movement, died May 30 in his Paris home after a long battle with cancer. He was 74.
Brialy was a familiar face in films made by legendary French directors including Claude Chabrol, Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.
Brialy's appearance in the title role of the 1958 Chabrol film "Handsome Serge" catapulted him to fame. He went on to star in Eric Rohmer's "Claire's Knee" in 1969 and "The Phantom of Liberty" by Spanish director Luis Bunuel in 1974.
Wallace Seawell, a Hollywood photographer whose career spanned more than 60 years snapping portraits of such stars as Bette Davis and Audrey Hepburn, died May 29 of age-related causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 90.
Born in Atlanta in 1916, Seawell originally wanted to become a portrait painter. In 1937, he was awarded a scholarship at the Ringling School of Art and Design. He then was accepted at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he graduated with honors in 1940.
After World War II, Seawell moved to Los Angeles, where he produced and designed training films for the Army Signal Corps. He also began working for the movie studios and fan magazines.
"Wallace Seawell's Hollywood Camera" was published in 1962 by Whitestone Publications.
George Greeley, a pianist, conductor, composer and arranger whose career spanned 50 years, died May 26 in Sherman Oaks after a long battle with emphysema. He was 89.
As a pianist and arranger, Greeley was known as a "musician's musician." His friends and admirers included Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mandel and Sammy Fain and conductors Nelson Riddle, Paul Westin and John Williams.
For many years, he collaborated on background musical scores at Columbia Pictures, including "Picnic" and "The Eddy Duchin Story" (his hands were used when Tyrone Power sat at the piano in the latter movie).
His career as a performing artist was launched when he was signed by Warner Bros. Records for a series of albums based on the world's favorite piano concertos. There were 25 albums, all of them hits.