LOCALOBITUARIES

PASSINGS: Pauline Betz Addie, Giorgio Tozzi, Harry Redmond Jr., James Woodress, Mark Dantzler

EntertainmentTheaterMusical TheaterObituary DatabaseObituariesColleges and UniversitiesHuman Interest

Pauline Betz Addie

1940s tennis champion in Hall of Fame

Pauline Betz Addie, 91, a champion tennis player who won Wimbledon in 1946 without dropping a set during the entire tournament, died Tuesday at an assisted-living facility in Potomac, Md., the International Tennis Hall of Fame said. She had Parkinson's disease.

She reached the finals of the U.S. National Championship (now the U.S. Open) every year from 1941 to 1946, winning the title four times (1942, '43, '44 and '46). Besides winning Wimbledon on her first try, she won the mixed doubles championships at the 1946 French Open.

Born Aug. 6, 1919, in Dayton, Ohio, she grew up in Los Angeles and was introduced to tennis as a child by her mother, a physical education teacher.

After graduating from Los Angeles High School, she attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and graduated in 1943 with a degree in economics.

Her career was cut short at the height of her success in 1947 when she and Sarah Palfrey Cooke were declared professionals for exploring the possibility of making a pro tour. She was barred from future major competitions, which allowed only amateurs to enter until 1968.

Addie, who was known for her backhand and court agility, embarked on a professional career touring the country with fellow female pro Gussie Moran and top male stars such as Jack Kramer and Bobby Riggs.

"I remember that even after I'd already won the nationals I was still working as a waitress," Addie said in a 2005 interview with the Washington City Paper. "That's just the way it was."

A longtime teaching professional in the Washington, D.C., area, Addie was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1965 and continued playing into her 80s.

She was the widow of Bob Addie, a sportswriter for the Washington Post and the now-defunct Washington Times-Herald.

Giorgio Tozzi

Opera singer and Broadway performer

Giorgio Tozzi, 88, an eminent bass-baritone who spent 20 years with the Metropolitan Opera and often toured in stage musicals, died of a heart attack Monday in Bloomington, Ind., according to media reports.

At his best, Tozzi was imposing on stage, "a singer of uncommon versatility, warmth and intelligence," according to the "New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians."

After appearing on stage in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" in 1957, Tozzi regularly reprised his role in the musical. The 1958 film version also used his singing voice, which was dubbed for actor Rossano Brazzi's.

Tozzi's repertory included title roles in Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and "The Marriage of Figaro." He also created the role of the doctor in the 1958 premiere of Samuel Barber's "Vanessa" at the Met, which began featuring him in 1955.

He was born George John Tozzi in Chicago on Jan. 8, 1923, and began using the operatic-sounding "Giorgio" at the suggestion of a record executive.

At DePaul University, he studied biology but eventually turned toward voice.

After serving in the Army during World War II, Tozzi made his professional debut, as a baritone, in 1948 in the American premiere of Benjamin Britten's opera "The Rape of Lucretia."

While studying in Milan, Tozzi made the vocal transition to bass.

He received three Grammy Awards, for a 1959 "Figaro," a 1960 "Turandot" and a 1962 "Aida."

Nominated for a Tony for the 1979 musical "The Most Happy Fella," Tozzi also acted occasionally on television after moving to Malibu in the 1970s.

From 1991 to 2006, he taught at Indiana University's school of music.

Harry Redmond Jr.

Special-effects artist and producer

Harry Redmond Jr., 101, a special-effects artist and producer who had worked in film and television since the 1920s, died May 23 at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced.

The son of pioneering special-effects man Harry Redmond Sr., the younger Redmond was born Oct. 15, 1909, and moved with his family from New York to California in 1926.

Among his film credits are "The Last Days of Pompeii," "King Kong," " Lost Horizon," "Only Angels Have Wings," "The Outlaw," "The Woman in the Window" and "A Night in Casablanca."

In television, he did special effects for "The Outer Limits" and "Sea Hunt," among other series.

Redmond, who served stateside with the Army making training films during World War II, married production designer and illustrator Dorothea Holt in 1940. His wife died in 2009.

James Woodress

Biographer of novelist Willa Cather

James Woodress, 94, an English professor who wrote two biographies of novelist Willa Cather, died in his sleep May 19 at his home in the Mt. San Antonio Gardens senior community in Pomona, said Margaret Anne O'Connor, a longtime friend.

Woodress wrote "Willa Cather: Her Life and Art" in 1970 and "Willa Cather: a Literary Life" in 1987. A New York Times review called the latter book "the most cogent, balanced biography of Cather to date." Woodress also wrote biographies of poet and politician Joel Barlow and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Booth Tarkington, among others.

Woodress was born July 7, 1916, in Webster Groves, Mo. He earned a bachelor's degree in English at Amherst College in 1938, a master's at New York University in 1943 while working for United Press International and a doctorate at Duke University in 1950. He also served in the Army during World War II.

Beginning in the mid-1950s, Woodress taught at San Fernando Valley State College, which is now Cal State Northridge. In 1966, he moved to UC Davis. He also taught at Grinnell College and Butler University earlier in his career. He retired in 1987.

Mark Dantzler, program director for the Challengers Boys & Girls Club, a youth outreach organization based in South Los Angeles and founded by his father, Lou Dantzler, died May 24 at a North Hills hospice. He was 48 and had lung cancer.

-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports

news.obits@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Loading