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Jerry’s Famous Deli founder

From Times Staff Reports

Isaac Starkman, 70, who founded the Jerry’s Famous Deli chain with the 1978 opening of its Studio City location, died of a heart attack Thursday in Miami, the company announced.

The idea for the restaurant grew out of a fresh bagel and lox home-delivery service that Starkman used Sunday mornings in Los Angeles.

“I thought I could make it into something bigger,” Starkman told the Miami Sun Post in 2006.

The chain, which has a nominal Broadway theme, has grown to include nine Jerry’s restaurants in Southern California and one in Miami Beach. It was named for Starkman’s original partner, Jerry Seidman, who left the company in the early 1980s.

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Before Jerry’s Famous Deli became successful, Starkman kept adding items to the menu, hoping to find the right formula. The menu grew to more than 700 offerings. “The problem was, we have never taken anything off,” Starkman told The Times in 1996.

Born in 1937 in Israel, Starkman served in the Israeli military before arriving in New York City in 1961. After moving to Los Angeles in 1963, he worked in the food and beverage industry.

Starkman’s two sons, Guy and Jason, work for the Jerry’s Famous Deli company.

The business also operates two L.A. nightclubs, Guy’s and Guy’s North, and a gourmet market in Miami Beach.

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Lilyan Chauvin, a veteran character actress and longtime acting coach in Los Angeles, died June 26 at her Studio City home. Chauvin, who had battled breast cancer and congestive heart disease, was 82.

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news.obits@latimes.com

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