BREAKING NEWS
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Passings: René Angélil, Sheldon Ausman, David Marguiles, James Browning, C.D. Wright, Brian Bedford and Richard Libertini

René Angélil dies at 73; husband and manager of Celine Dion

Authorities say René Angélil, the husband and manager of singer Celine Dion, has died in Las Vegas. He was 73 and had battled throat cancer.

Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said his office was notified Thursday of Angelil's death. He died at home in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson under the care of a doctor. Fudenberg said he died of natural causes and no further investigation is expected.

Dion and Angélil have three children.

Dion has won Grammy awards for songs including the "Titanic" theme, "My Heart Will Go On." She returned to her residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in August after taking a year off to care for her husband.

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Sheldon Ausman dies at 82; accounting executive and civic booster

Sheldon Ausman, a one-time managing partner of Arthur Andersen in Los Angeles and Gumbiner Savett principal with a long record of local civic work, died Sunday of pancreatic cancer, a family spokeswoman said. He was 82.

He served as a chairman with KCET, the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Music Center operating company, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the 1993 Los Angeles Super Bowl, for which he organized a program to allow 700 low-income children to attend for free. He was also a founding board member of the Los Angeles Sports Council and a longtime champion of the Autry Museum of the American West.

Sheldon I. Ausman was born June 3, 1933, in Milwaukee. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and began working as a CPA at Arthur Andersen in Milwaukee. He moved to Pittsburgh, then Los Angeles, where he became the firm's managing partner, and tripled the size of the office to 1,500 over 12 years. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Ausman, chief of protocol for Los Angeles County; daughter Cynthia Lachman of Los Angeles; and three grandchildren.

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David Margulies dies at 78; 'Ghostbusters' actor

David Margulies, a veteran actor of the stage and screen whose career spanned decades on Broadway and numerous film roles including the mayor in "Ghostbusters," has died. He was 78.

Margulies died in New York on Monday, his agent Mary Harden said Tuesday. No cause of death was immediately available, she said.

The Brooklyn-born Margulies made his Broadway debut in the 1973 revival of "The Iceman Cometh." He performed on Broadway a dozen more times, including as Roy Cohn in "Angels in America."

He played the mayor of New York in 1984's "Ghostbusters," as well as its 1989 sequel. Most recently, he had roles in J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" and John Turturro's "Fading Gigolo." His numerous TV stints included playing Tony Soprano's lawyer, Neil Mink, on "The Sopranos."

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James Browning dies at 83; Patty Hearst prosecutor

James Browning, lead prosecutor in the case that sent newspaper heiress Patty Hearst to jail in what was then one of the most sensational trials in U.S. history, died in the Tucson suburb of Oro Valley on Tuesday after a fall, his brother David Browning said. He was 83.

Born in Globe, Ariz., in 1932, James Browning Jr. attended law school in San Francisco before becoming the prosecutor in San Mateo County, California. He was appointed U.S. attorney in Northern California by then-President Richard M. Nixon.

He rose to prominence when he won the case against Hearst, who was 19 when she was kidnapped in 1974 by a group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army, and then joined their cause. The self-styled radicals viewed aspects of U.S. society as racist and oppressive, and were accused of killing a California school superintendent. Several members of the group died in a fire and shootout with police in Los Angeles.

But it was a group bank robbery that raised questions about whether Hearst was forced into crime or a willing participant. The daughter of newspaper magnate Randolph A. Hearst eventually went on trial in 1976 on bank robbery and other charges.

James Browning helped secure her conviction, squaring off with noted defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey.

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C.D. Wright dies at 67; award-winning poet

C.D. Wright, an award-winning poet renowned for her forceful and eclectic style and her passion for writing, has died. She was 67.

Wright died Tuesday at her home in Barrington, R.I., according to publisher Copper Canyon Press. Spokeswoman Kelly Forsythe told the Associated Press on Thursday that Wright died "unexpectedly" and the cause had not yet been determined.

A native of Mountain Home, Ark., who often drew upon her childhood, Wright was a National Book Award finalist and winner of the National Book Critics Circle prize for her 2010 collection, "One With Others." Her other books include "Rising, Falling, Hovering," "One Big Self" and "Steal Away." She was a professor of poetry at Brown University at the time of her death.

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Brian Bedford dies at 80; Tony Award-winning classical actor

Brian Bedford, a Stratford Shakespeare festival stalwart whose stage work included roles by Anton Chekhov and a memorable cross-dressing turn as a dowager on Broadway, has died. He was 80.

Bedford died Wednesday of cancer in Santa Barbara, said his agent at Paradigm Talent Agency, Richard Schmenner.

Bedford earned his seventh Tony nomination in 2011 for his drag performance as Lady Bracknell, Oscar Wilde's fearsome social arbiter, in "The Importance of Being Earnest," which he also directed. "I approached Lady Bracknell just as seriously as I approached King Lear," he told the Associated Press in 2010.

Bedford, born in the north of England in Yorkshire, attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts with such stars as Peter O'Toole, Albert Finney and Alan Bates.

He won a Tony Award in 1971 for a spectacular performance in Moliere's "The School for Wives." At 36, he played a man twice his age, a cuckolded husband hilariously consumed by jealousy.

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Richard Libertini dies at 82: 'In-Laws' actor

The comedic character actor Richard Libertini died Jan. 7 after a 2-year-long battle with cancer, said his ex-wife Melinda Dillon. He was 82.

The bald-and-bearded actor portrayed such memorable characters as the wacky Latin American general from 1979's "The In-Laws," the eccentric Tibetan mystic from 1984's "All of Me" and the boss of Chevy Chase's newspaper reporter, Irwin Fletcher, in the "Fletch" films.

Libertini also appeared in the movies "Big Trouble," "Days of Heaven," "Popeye" and "Awakenings," as well as the TV series "Baretta," "The Bob Newhart Show," "Moonlighting" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

Born in Cambridge, Mass., Libertini started his career with the Second City improvisational group in Chicago.

He is survived by his son, Richard; sister, Alice; and brother, Albert.

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