PASSINGS: Charles Kaplan, Wayne Tippit, Bill Hefner
Charles Kaplan, Cal State Northridge's first English department chairman, dies at 90; Wayne Tippit, character actor, dies at 76; Bill Hefner, 12-term N. Carolina congressman, dies at 79
In the late 1950s, Charles Kaplan helped found the English department at what is now Cal State Northridge. Kaplan was also nationally renowned for his work promoting literary criticism and theory.
CSUN English professor
Charles Kaplan, 90, the first chairman of the English department at what is now Cal State Northridge, died Aug. 22 of congestive heart failure at Dubose Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., said Jean Kaplan Teichroew, one of his three children.
He was nationally renowned for his work in promoting literary criticism and theory, according to CSUN.
As a literary expert, Kaplan testified in the 1962 obscenity trial in Los Angeles over the sale of the Henry Miller book "Tropic of Cancer." Kaplan called the book "mainstream literature" that left little to the imagination, but the jury returned a guilty verdict that was overturned two years later.
He was born in 1919 in Chicago to Bernard Kaplan, a streetcar conductor and insurance salesman, and his wife, Lillian, a seamstress.
In 1940, Kaplan earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Chicago and followed it with a master's in 1942. After working in the Office of Naval Intelligence during World War II, he earned a doctorate from Northwestern University.
He moved to California in 1954 to teach at what is now Cal State L.A. and in the late 1950s helped found CSUN's English department. The longtime Granada Hills resident retired from CSUN in 1988 and moved to Chapel Hill in 2004.
Among several books Kaplan published was "The Overwrought Urn" (1970), about literary parody, which was one of his favorite subjects to teach, his daughter said.
Character actor on stage and TV
Wayne Tippit, 76, a veteran character actor who played Ted Adamson on the CBS soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" in the 1970s and '80s and then became Palmer Woodward on Fox's prime-time potboiler "Melrose Place," died Aug. 28 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his family said.
Tippit, who received a lung transplant in 2000, died of complications from emphysema.
Born in Lubbock, Texas, on Dec. 19, 1932, Tippit studied speech and drama at what is now Texas Tech University before transferring to the University of Iowa, where he received a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1953.
While serving in the Army he produced a radio show, and after his discharge he moved to New York City to pursue stage roles. He had small parts in Broadway productions of "Tall Story" and "Only in America" in 1959.
That year Tippit landed the role of Jerry Ames in the CBS soap opera "The Secret Storm." He played the part for six years while also working as a commercial spokesman for various products.
In the '60s and '70s Tippit continued to act on stage in New York and in 1978 began a five-year run on daytime TV's "Search for Tomorrow." He later moved to Los Angeles and primarily appeared in guest roles on TV, including in "L.A. Law," "Matlock" and "Diagnosis Murder."
On "Melrose Place" in the early '90s he played the father of Heather Locklear's character, Amanda Woodward.