EmptyChris Hayward, an Emmy-winning television writer who helped develop the bumbling animated Canadian Mountie Dudley Do-Right and other offbeat characters for the Rocky and Bullwinkle TV show, died Nov. 20 of cancer at his Beverly Hills home. He was 81.
Hayward contributed satire, wordplay and puns for "Rocky and His Friends," a witty kids cartoon that built a large adult following. The show debuted on ABC in 1959 and was renamed "The Bullwinkle Show" when it moved in 1961 to NBC.
Hayward also wrote and produced episodes of TV's "Get Smart" and "Barney Miller." With partner Allan Burns, Hayward helped create "The Munsters," and in 1968 the pair received an Emmy for their work on the CBS sitcom "He & She."
Ruth Webb, a talent agent who resurrected faded stars and revived old ones, died Dec. 4 at a Los Angeles hospital after a lengthy illness. She was 88.
She launched her Ruth Webb Agency in New York in 1962 and moved it to Hollywood a decade later. She gained a reputation in the 1970s for giving new life to Ginger Rogers, Dorothy Lamour and Donald O'Connor on the dinner-theater circuit. Then, in the 1990s, Webb and business partner Sherri Spillane began a "scandal division" to promote such clients as Tonya Harding, Gennifer Flowers, Joey Buttafuoco, John Wayne Bobbitt, Tammy Faye Bakker and O.J. Simpson houseguest Kato Kaelin.
Webb also was a Broadway actress and Manhattan cabaret singer.
Takeomi Nagayama, chairman of Japanese film and television production company Shochiku, died Dec. 13 of leukemia in Tokyo. He was 81.
Nagayama joined the company in 1947 and is credited with preserving the traditional Japanese stage entertainment of kabuki before going on to oversee the company's expanding business.
He was named director of Shochiku in 1967 at age 42 and was promoted to president in 1984. He was instrumental in stepping up distribution of domestic and foreign films, global sales and video releases as well as producing films and television programs.
Recognized by the government for his contribution to Japanese culture, including its promotion overseas, Nagayama was a recipient of the Kikuchi Kan prize.
Denis Payton, the sax player in the Dave Clark Five, died Dec. 15 in Bournemouth, England, after a long struggle with cancer. He was 63.
Payton appeared on all the group's records, also playing guitars and harmonica and singing backing vocals.
The Dave Clark Five's "Tottenham sound" was London's answer to the wave of hits pouring out of Liverpool in the 1960s. The group scored seven top 10 hits in the U.S. from 1964-67, including "Glad All Over," "Bits and Pieces," "I Like It Like That" and "Do You Love Me?" They hit No. 1 with "Over and Over" in 1965.
The group was nominated in October for consideration for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Scott Mateer, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and longtime Mississippi disc jockey, died Dec. 17 at his home in Flowood, Miss. He was 46.
Mateer worked in the 1980s and '90s at several Jackson radio stations. He also performed a voice-over on Queensryche's 1988 album "Operation: Mindcrime" and earned a Grammy nomination for co-writing "Dear Me," country singer Lorrie Morgan's first hit.
He co-founded music label Solarfire Records after leaving radio in the late '90s.