PASSINGS: Furio Scarpelli, M. Edgar Rosenblum, Milan Herzog, William G. Spitzer, Christie Stanley
Furio Scarpelli, 90, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who co-wrote some of the best Italian comedies of the post-war period and who ventured into the spaghetti-western genre with the “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” died Wednesday at his home in Rome, his family said.
He had long suffered from heart problems.
During a decades-long, prolific partnership with Age, a screenwriter whose given name was Agenore Incrocci, Scarpelli co-wrote some of Italy’s finest movies after World War II, including the iconic comedy “Big Deal on Madonna Street.”
The writers’ sense of humor and an unforgiving display of the vices of Italian people became the pair’s trademark, and made for memorable roles and lines for actors such as Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio Gassman.
The pair also wrote “Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo” (“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”), the spaghetti-western classic directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood.
Age, who died in 2005, and Scarpelli received two Oscar nominations for best screenwriting in the 1960s, for “The Organizer” and “Casanova ’70.” In 1995 Scarpelli received another nomination for “Il Postino” (“The Postman”), written with his son Giacomo.
M. Edgar Rosenblum
Longtime executive director of the Long Wharf Theatre
M. Edgar Rosenblum, 78, longtime executive director of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn., who was preparing the second season of the California International Theatre Festival in Calabasas, died of a heart attack April 18 at his home in Woodstock, N.Y.
Rosenblum and artistic director Arvin Brown built the Long Wharf into one of the nation’s leading performance institutions, sending many productions on to Broadway. Under Rosenblum’s tenure from 1970 to 1996, the theater produced back-to-back Pulitzer Prize winners in “The Shadow Box” and “The Gin Game” in the late 1970s and employed such stars as Al Pacino in “Hughie” and Mike Nichols and Elaine May in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
After Long Wharf, Rosenblum worked for Circle in the Square and Theatre for a New Audience, both in New York City, as well as the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Mass. He also was president of the League of American Resident Theaters, representing the nation’s leading regional theaters.
Morton Edgar Rosenblum was born Jan. 8, 1932, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and attended Lafayette and Bard colleges. He and his wife, Cornelia, ran art galleries until he turned to theater in the 1960s.
Educational film producer
Milan Herzog, 101, who produced hundreds of educational films for Encyclopaedia Britannica that were viewed in classrooms across the country, died April 20 at his home in Los Angeles.
Herzog was born Aug. 23, 1908, in Croatia and rode out World War I with his family in Yugoslavia.
From there, he pursued a law degree in Paris and later worked as a translator, journalist and judge.
Alarmed by the rise of Adolf Hitler, Herzog fled with his family to the United States. By that time, he had mastered five languages: Serbo-Croatian, French, Spanish, English and German.
In the late 1940s while living in Chicago, he began producing films for Encyclopaedia Britannica on such subjects as photosynthesis and Christopher Columbus.
After moving to Los Angeles in the 1970s, Herzog was an independent film producer for more than 20 years.
His first wife, Roni, died in the late 1970s. He married Shanta Gidwani, an Indian filmmaker, in 1979.
William G. Spitzer
Former USC dean and electrical engineering professor
William G. Spitzer, 82, a retired professor of electrical engineering, materials science and physics who served in several administrative and academic posts at USC, died April 14 at his home in Oceanside a day after suffering a heart attack, the university announced.
Spitzer was dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences from 1985 to 1989. He retired from teaching in 1992 but a year later returned to USC to serve as interim provost. He was also an advisor to university President Steven B. Sample.
Spitzer began his teaching career at USC in 1963. He was chairman of the department of materials science from 1967 to 1969 and head of the physics department from 1969 to 1972.
Born April 24, 1927, Spitzer received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1949, a master’s in physics from USC in 1952 and a doctorate in physics from Purdue University in 1957. He was a research scientist at Bell Labs before returning to USC.
First female district attorney in Santa Barbara County
Christie Stanley, 61, the first female district attorney in Santa Barbara County, died Sunday at her home in Santa Barbara after a bout with lung cancer, Acting Dist. Atty. Ann Bramsen said.
Stanley retired in January because of her illness.
She was elected in 2006 by a wide margin after 25 years as a prosecutor. Stanley oversaw several high-profile prosecutions during her time in office, including the murder conviction last year of Jesse James Hollywood for the events that inspired the 2007 movie “Alpha Dog.”
Stanley graduated from the Ventura College of Law and practiced civil law before joining the D.A.'s office in 1980.
— Times staff and wire reports