PASSINGS: Peter Haskell, Carlos Franqui, Peter Steele

Peter Haskell

‘Bracken’s World’ star

Peter Haskell, 75, a prolific stage, screen and TV actor who starred in the TV series “Bracken’s World,” died April 12 at his Northridge home, said his daughter, Audra.

He played writer-producer Kevin Grant on “Bracken’s World,” a melodramatic backstage look at the film industry that ran on NBC in 1969 and ’70. He also had a stint on daytime TV in the early 1980s on the ABC soap “Ryan’s Hope.”

Born Oct. 15, 1934, in Boston, Haskell began acting while studying for a degree in literature at Harvard University. He appeared on stage in Boston, New York and Canada in the 1960s and won his first TV role in “Death Valley Days” in 1964.

Dozens of TV appearances followed on series including “Ben Casey,” “Combat!,” “Lassie,” “The Big Valley,” “Mannix,” “Medical Center,” “Barnaby Jones,” “Vega$,” “Murder, She Wrote” and the 2009 series finale of “ER.”

He also appeared in two “Child’s Play” horror films in the ‘90s and was active in theater in Los Angeles.

His first marriage ended in divorce. In 1974 he married Dianne “Crickett” Tolmich. They had two children, Audra and Jason.

Carlos Franqui

Cuban writer and Castro critic

Carlos Franqui, 89, a Cuban writer and activist who was a figure in the Cuban revolution but became an outspoken critic of Fidel Castro, died Friday in Puerto Rico after being hospitalized for bronchial and heart problems, said Andres Calendario, a family friend.

The son of a poor farmer, Franqui was born in 1921 and entered leftist political movements as a youth. He joined and left the Communist Party and as a journalist eventually joined Castro’s rebellion against dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Franqui edited the movement newspaper Revolucion before and after Castro’s insurgents defeated Batista but increasingly clashed with hard-liners who were restricting cultural and political dissent.

In 1963, Franqui moved abroad. He openly broke with the communist government in 1968 when he denounced the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Franqui’s “Diary of the Cuban Revolution,” published in 1976, remains one of the most-quoted works on the history of that struggle.

He eventually moved to Puerto Rico and in the early 1990s helped establish Carta de Cuba, an independent magazine that covers his homeland.

Peter Steele, 48, singer-songwriter and bassist for the heavy-metal quartet Type O Negative, died Wednesday after a short illness, his family announced on the band’s website. Steele formed the Brooklyn-based band in 1990, and it developed a cult following after the 1993 release of the CD “Bloody Kisses.”

-- times staff and wire reports