PASSINGS: Sergio Rodrigues, David Anderle

Sergio Rodrigues, the Brazilian designer of the award-winning 'Mole' armchair, has died at 86

 Sergio Rodrigues

Brazilian designer of the 'Mole' armchair

Sergio Rodrigues, 86, a celebrated Brazilian designer whose "Mole" armchair is among the most iconic pieces of mid-century design, died of liver failure Monday at his home in Rio de Janeiro, according to his secretary, Carla Claro.

A Rio native, Rodrigues studied architecture before turning to furniture design. According to his official biography, he designed more than 1,200 pieces of furniture, though none would prove as enduring a hit as his Mole armchair, named for the Portuguese word for "soft." Created in 1957, the award-winning chair has a squat wooden frame topped by interlocking leather pillows fitted with thick straps.

The design garnered the top prize in the Cantu international furniture competition in Italy in 1961. In 1974, New York's Museum of Modern Art acquired a Mole armchair for its collection, the biography said.

Like many of his other designs, the chair initially was made from jacaranda, a prized Brazilian hardwood that was harvested into near-oblivion. The factory licensed to produce his designs then switched to woods such as eucalyptus, "pau marfim" or ivorywood.

Other top designs include the "Kilin" armchair, from 1973, and the "Diz," from 2003.

David Anderle

Former A&M exec in 1980s, '90s

David Anderle, 77, a record producer and longtime executive with the A&M label who supervised such film soundtracks as "Pretty in Pink" and "The Breakfast Club," died Monday at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced. He had cancer.

A Los Angeles native and USC graduate, Anderle began his career in the music business in 1964 as West Coast talent director for MGM. In 1966, he helped Beach Boy Brian Wilson found Brother Records. Moving to Elektra in 1968, Anderle directed West Coast operations for three years and worked with the Doors, Judy Collins and others.

He joined A&M in 1971, and over the years worked with such artists as Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Delaney and Bonnie, Blues Traveler, Amy Grant and Sheryl Crow. He was vice president of A&M's film division from 1985 to 1991 and retired in 1999.

— Times staff and wire reports

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