Historical mysteries author sued publisher of
Michael Baigent, 65, a writer who gained attention for launching a lawsuit contending that "The Da Vinci Code" stole ideas from his book, died of a brain hemorrhage June 17 in Brighton, England, his family said.
Baigent is best known for writing the 1982 nonfiction book "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," which explores theories that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, the couple had a child and the bloodline survives. In 2006 Baigent and coauthor Richard Leigh made international headlines when they sued Dan Brown's publisher for copyright infringement, claiming in a high-profile London court case that Brown "appropriated the architecture" of their book. They eventually lost the case.
Brown was cross-examined in London by lawyers during the 2006 copyright case. Although acknowledging that he had read "Holy Blood" during research for "Da Vinci," Brown said he also used many other resources and that Baigent and Leigh's work was not crucial to the novel.
Though Baigent lost the case, it boosted publicity for his work, and sales of "Holy Blood" — his first book — jumped as a result.
The author penned about a dozen other nonfiction books and a novel, specializing in topics including secret sects and historical mysteries. "The Messianic Legacy" was a sequel to "Holy Blood"; "The Temple and the Lodge" explored the origins of Freemasonry. He also wrote about the Inquisition, ancient astrology and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Michael Feran Baigent was born in Nelson,
From 1998 he lectured on and led tours of the temples and tombs in Egypt, and from 2001 he was editor of the magazine "Freemasonry Today."
Longtime film, TV actor with a comic touch
Reid died of heart failure at an assisted living facility where he had resided in recent years, his nephew said.
Although Reid had a number of dramatic roles, he was best known for his comic touch in such films as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."
In that 1953 movie, Reid memorably played Ernie Malone, a private investigator hired to keep track of Monroe's character, Lorelei Lee, who is suspected of being a gold digger by her fiance's wealthy father. Along the way, Malone falls for Monroe's best friend, Dorothy Shaw, played by Russell.
Reid also played Fred MacMurray's self-important romantic rival in Disney's "The Absent-Minded Professor" in 1961 and its 1963 sequel, "Son of Flubber," as well as a local prosecuting attorney in "Inherit the Wind" in 1960.
A gifted mimic, Reid developed an impersonation of
Edgeworth Blair Reid — he later took Elliott as his stage name — was born Jan. 16, 1920, in
In addition to his film and radio work, Reid appeared often on television series and variety shows. He was a regular guest on shows hosted by
John L. Dotson Jr.
Newspaper publisher pushed for newsroom diversity
John L. Dotson Jr., 76, a longtime journalist, editor and newspaper publisher who championed diversity in the newsroom, died Friday in Boulder, Colo., of mantle cell
During his long career, Dotson served as an editor at Newsweek and the publisher of two newspapers, including the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio when it won
Dotson was an early advocate for minorities and female journalists, joining others in establishing the Institute for Journalism Education in 1977, now the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. The organization pushed for diversity in newsrooms throughout the U.S.
Born Feb. 5, 1937, in Paterson, N.J., Dotson graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia. He worked as a reporter for the Evening News in Newark, N.J., and the
He moved to Los Angeles three years later to become the magazine's deputy bureau chief. He advanced to the position of bureau chief before moving in the mid-1970s to the magazine's New York headquarters to be a senior editor.
Times staff and wire reports