After Michael Landon called a news conference at his Malibu home to announce that he had inoperable cancer of the liver and pancreas, tens of thousands of get-well cards began pouring in from people who had watched the handsome actor grow up during the 14 years he portrayed Little Joe on "Bonanza." His talent for bringing high-quality family entertainment to television continued as he wrote for and starred in "Little House on the Prairie." He later was the star and executive co-producer of "Highway to Heaven." Landon died in July at age 54.
Hollywood lost Frank Capra, the multiple Academy Award winner whose Everyman films symbolized the American spirit. His many films, including "It Happened One Night," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" and "You Can't Take It With You," are considered classics.
The dapper Fred MacMurray, leading man in a series of fast-paced film comedies and star of the "My Three Sons" television series, died at 83. A master of comedic timing, he was equally at home in drama.
Comedian Redd Foxx, who rose to stardom playing the bawdy junkman in "Sandford and Son," died of a heart attack after he collapsed at Paramount Studios while rehearsing an episode of his television show, "The Royal Family." He was 68.
Miles Davis, the trumpeter credited by many with broadening the appeal of modern jazz, died at 65 in Santa Monica.
Theodor (Ted) Geisel, whose "Dr. Seuss" books entertained generations of children and parents, died of cancer at age 87 in La Jolla. He was one of the best known, most highly imitated and most prolific children's writers. His 47 books were translated into 20 languages and have sold 200 million copies.
In politics, Paul Ziffren, who served as California's Democratic national committeeman in the 1950s and is credited with guiding the party on a more liberal course, died in Malibu at age 77. As chairman of the board that ran the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, he helped fulfill pledges for a Games at no cost to local taxpayers.
After a no-frills graveside funeral, 11-year-old Jesus Castro was buried--five years after being severely beaten and nearly drowned by the woman who county officials had assigned to care for him. Child-welfare advocates cited his case as one of the most egregious examples of the shortcomings of the Los Angeles County Department of Children's Services to protect children under its supervision. A private attorney took up his cause and helped set up a specially equipped home for children with severe medical disabilities. Had he lived, Jesus would have stayed there.