Harry Harris, who won an Emmy in 1982 for an episode of "Fame," directed numerous TV series as well as specials and made-for-TV movies.
Nicholas Hughes

Son of poet Sylvia Plath

Nicholas Hughes, 47, a fisheries biologist who was the son of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, killed himself March 16 at his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, state police reported.

Hughes, who hanged himself, died 46 years after his mother committed suicide by gassing herself in the kitchen of her London home and nearly 40 years to the day after his stepmother, Assia Wevill, also killed herself.

Hughes graduated from the University of Oxford in 1984 and received a master's degree from Oxford in 1990. He immigrated to the United States and earned his doctorate at the University of Alaska. He spent more than a decade on the faculty of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks but left the school to concentrate on making pottery. He was unmarried and had no children.

His older sister, poet Frieda Hughes, issued a statement through the Times of London, expressing "profound sorrow" and saying her brother "had been battling depression for some time."

Nicholas Hughes was only 9 months old when his parents separated and still an infant when his mother died in February 1963. The immediate cause of the breakup was Hughes' affair with Wevill. Wevill gassed herself and their 4-year-old daughter in March 1969.

Ted Hughes died of cancer in 1998.

A few months before her death, Plath wrote of her son: "You are the one/Solid the spaces lean on, envious/You are the baby in the barn."

Harry Harris

Emmy-winning TV director

Harry Harris, 86, who had a five-decade career directing TV series and made-for-TV movies and won an Emmy Award for directing an episode of "Fame" in 1982, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, his family said. He had myelodysplasia, a blood disorder.

After working as a film editor for the Desilu television studio in the late 1950s, Harris got his chance to direct in 1960 on the Steve McQueen western TV series, "Wanted: Dead or Alive."

He went on to direct hundreds of episodes of TV series in the next 47 years, including dozens of installments of "Gunsmoke," "Land of the Giants," "Eight Is Enough," "The Waltons," "Falcon Crest," "In the Heat of the Night" and "7th Heaven." His extensive TV directing credits include "Rawhide," "Daniel Boone," "Branded," "Lost in Space," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "Magnum, P.I." and "Beverly Hills, 90210."

He also directed several made-for-TV movies, including "Waltons" and "Eight Is Enough" reunion programs and TV movie versions of "Swiss Family Robinson" (1975) and "Alice in Wonderland" (1988).

Harris was born Sept. 8, 1922, in Kansas City, Mo., and moved to Los Angeles in 1937. He attended UCLA before landing a job at Columbia Pictures, where he became an assistant film editor.

He enlisted in the Army Air Forces during World War II and served with the First Motion Picture Unit at the old Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, working as a sound effects editor on newsreels and training films.

In addition to his Emmy for "Fame," Harris was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for directing a 1983 "ABC Afterschool Special" called "Have You Ever Been Ashamed of Your Parents?" starring Jennifer Jason Leigh.

He also earned Emmy and Directors Guild of America nominations for directing a 1973 episode of "The Waltons."

-- Times Staff and Wire Reports