Empty"Liltin' " Martha Tilton, a pop singer remembered for her hit recordings of "And the Angels Sing" with the Benny Goodman big band and the World War II ballad "I'll Walk Alone," died Dec. 8 at her Brentwood, Calif., home. She was 91.
Tilton appeared in several motion pictures, including "The Benny Goodman Story," playing herself opposite Steve Allen's Goodman; "Strictly in the Groove"; "You'll Never Get Rich"; "Irene"; "Topper"; "Crime, Inc."; and "Swing Hostess."
Tilton made her first recording in 1937, when she joined Goodman, and she remained with him until 1939. Tilton worked with Artie Shaw briefly before joining the Billy Mills Orchestra on the "Fibber McGee and Molly" radio show in 1941. She also was the host of her own NBC radio show, "Liltin' Martha Tilton Time."
Georgia Gibbs, a versatile pop singer who starred on radio's "Your Hit Parade" and reached the top of the charts in the 1950s, died Dec. 9 of complications from leukemia at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She was 87.
Among her 15 top 40 hits, mostly for Mercury Records, was the tango-based "Kiss of Fire," which went to No. 1 in 1952. "Tweedle Dee," a cover of LaVern Baker's R&B hit, reached No. 2 in 1954, while "Dance With Me Henry," an Etta James cover, reached No. 1.
Sid Raymond, an actor who landed roles alongside A-list stars and was the voice of beloved cartoon characters but was largely anonymous, died Dec. 1 from complications of a stroke in Aventura, Fla. He was 97.
The voice of the obese cartoon duck Baby Huey, the comical bartender of 1960s beer commercials for Schlitz and a familiar face on television from "The Ed Sullivan Show" to "The O.C.," Raymond was a showbiz fixture for six decades. But he mostly made brief, sometimes uncredited appearances on Broadway, in such movies as "The Hustler" and "Big Trouble" and on the small screen.
Jack Bean, a producer and personal manager who guided the career of his wife, Mitzi Gaynor, to stardom in motion pictures, television musical specials and on the Las Vegas strip, died Dec. 4 of pneumonia at his Beverly Hills home. He was 84.
Bean, an agent for MCA, met Gaynor, under contract to 20th Century Fox and already the star of pictures like "Golden Girl," when a fellow agent arranged a blind date. The meeting clicked, and the actress asked Bean to become her agent, beginning a relationship that turned into a 52-year marriage.
Leon Roth, a veteran motion picture producer, publicist and USC film school professor, died Nov. 24 of pneumonia in Los Angeles. He was 87.
Roth began his career as a writer for the newspaper PM in New York and became assistant publicity manager at United Artists there, rising to vp and head of publicity when UA opened its offices in Hollywood. Later, he became vp and head of publicity at the Mirisch Co.
Roth oversaw the campaigns for "West Side Story," "Some Like It Hot," "Witness for the Prosecution" and "Two for the Seesaw," among others.
Paul Miller, a longtime business executive and attorney at MCA/Universal Television, died Dec. 3 at his Hollywood Hills home.
He served at MCA/Universal for more than 40 years. Before that, he worked in similar capacities at Paramount Studios, George Burns Prods. and MCA Artists.