Obituaries for June 2, 2009

Leonard B. Kaufman, Phil Rawlins die

Leonard B. Kaufman, a publicist, TV producer and screenwriter, died May 24 at the Motion Picture & Television Fund Home in Woodland Hills from Alzheimer's disease. He was 84.

In Hollywood in the 1950s and '60s, Kaufman was one of the industry's premier PR men, representing Cary Grant, Burt Lancaster, Ella Fitzgerald, Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters, Fred Zinnemann and David Janssen and United Artists films including "The Misfits" (1961) and "Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962).

A native of Newark, N.J., Kaufman began in public relations at Rogers & Cowan, where he represented Joan Crawford and Jane Wyman, among others.

In 1953-54, he started his own firm, soon partnering with screenwriter Robert C. Lewin and later Marvin Schwartz. The Beverly Hills firm was known as Lewin/Kaufman/Schwartz.

When L/K/S dissolved, Kaufman became a producer and worked on TV series including "Flipper," "Gentle Ben," "Hawaii Five-O," "Daktari," "Sea Hunt" and "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams." He also wrote for several series, including "The Dukes of Hazzard."

Kaufman was married to actress Doris Dowling ("The Lost Weekend," "The Blue Dahlia"), who died in 2004.

A memorial will be held June 9. For information, call (310) 475-1222.

Phil Rawlins, a Hollywood stuntman who went on to a career as a TV director and studio production executive, died May 28 at his home in Newhall, Calif. He was 79.

Rawlins began his showbusiness career doubling for Clint Eastwood in TV's "Rawhide" and standing in for such actors as Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan and Don Murray (the latter in 1956's "Bus Stop)." He rode shotgun on the stagecoach in "Gunsmoke."

After a decade as a stuntman, Rawlins became a second assistant director on TV Western "Fury" and then worked as a first assistant at Warner Bros. on such series as "Hawaiian Eye," "Cheyenne" and "77 Sunset Strip."

For two seasons, Rawlins worked as a director and producer on "F Troop" and directed episodes of "Adam 12" and "The High Chaparral."

Rawlins moved into production and served as production manager on films including "Coma" (1978), "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979), "First Family" (1980), 1984's "Gremlins" and its 1990 sequel and "Arthur on the Rocks" (1988). In the early 1990s, he became a production exec for Warner Bros. Pictures until his retirement in 2000.

As a student, Rawlins started a rodeo team at Pierce College in Woodland Hills. An accomplished calf roper and bulldogger cowboy, he later competed in 35-40 rodeos a year. After turning 40, he joined the Senior Pro Rodeo Circuit Assn. and at age 57 made the PRCA Sierra Finals in calf roping.

Among Rawlins' survivors are his two sons, cameraman Lex Rawlins and film editor Clay (Gaylynn) Rawlins.