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Anthony Radziwill; TV Producer Won Emmy

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Anthony Radziwill, a cousin and close friend of the late John F. Kennedy Jr. who was an Emmy Award- and George Polk Award-winning television producer, has died of cancer.

The son of Lee Bouvier Radziwill Ross--younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis--and Prince Stanislas Albert Radziwill died Tuesday at New York Hospital one week after his 40th birthday, according to a statement from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Radziwill had a steadfast friendship with John F. Kennedy Jr., his first cousin. When Radziwill married Carole Ann DiFalco at a church in East Hampton, N.Y., in August 1994, Kennedy was the best man. And Radziwill stood beside Kennedy two years later when he married Carolyn Bessette in a clandestine ceremony on Cumberland Island, Ga.

Kennedy, 38, the editor of George magazine, was killed July 16 along with his wife, 33, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, 34, an investment banker, in a plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard.

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When their ashes were scattered at sea a few days later, Radziwill was aboard the Navy destroyer for the ceremony, seated in a wheelchair.

“Anthony was immensely talented, but he was also an immensely engaging and decent human being,” Sen. Kennedy said in the statement.

“His loss so soon after the death of his close friend and cousin, John Kennedy, is very hard for our whole family. But Anthony lived a happy life of high achievement and great courage, and that is how we will always remember him.”

Radziwill grew up in England, where his parents lived at the time. When he received his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University in 1982, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg were in attendance, along with his mother, literally standing and cheering him on.

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He then started his television career as an associate producer for NBC Sports, doing Emmy Award-winning work during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

He joined ABC News as a producer for “PrimeTime Live” in 1989, and it was during the coverage of the trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez in Los Angeles for the killings of their parents that Radziwill met DiFalco, then a producer for another ABC program, “Day One.” Their wedding was dedicated to the memory of Jacqueline Onassis, who had died just three months earlier.

Several years later, Radziwill was named in a federal appeals court decision that gave reporters wide latitude to secretly tape-record reluctant sources--a case that stemmed from his 1994 interview with an American Airlines flight attendant regarding O.J. Simpson’s flight the night of his ex-wife’s murder.

Diane Sawyer, now the co-anchor of “Good Morning America,” worked with Radziwill for several years on the now defunct newsmagazine “‘PrimeTime Live” and was a good friend. She remembered him Wednesday as a tireless journalist.

“He was both fearless and humane in his reporting,” Sawyer said. “He thought nothing of going into the streets, knocking on doors or talking to strangers to get the story.”

In 1990, Radziwill won the prestigious Polk Award for an investigation of neo-Nazism in the United States. He later won the Emmy for his work on the Menendez case.

In 1997, he took the post of vice president for documentaries at HBO, where he was involved in the development and production of documentaries for both HBO and Cinemax.

As supervising producer, his latest HBO project was “Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth,” which aired Monday night.

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Radziwill is survived by his wife; mother; stepfather Herbert Ross, the movie director; and sister, Anna Christina Radziwill. His father was a Polish prince who died in 1976, two years after divorcing Lee Radziwill. They were married 15 years.

No funeral plans were announced.

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