PASSINGS: Bill Erwin, Ellis E.I. Clarke, Bobby Farrell



Character actor got

Emmy nomination


Bill Erwin, 96, a veteran character actor remembered for his role as Arthur the bellman in the 1980 fantasy film “Somewhere in Time” and his Emmy-nominated guest appearance on “Seinfeld,” died Wednesday at his home in Studio City of age-related causes, his son Mike said Friday.

Erwin had a long-running career in film, television and theater with dozens of roles in episodic TV. He was nominated for an Emmy Award as outstanding guest actor in a comedy series in 1993 playing the cranky Sid Fields in a “Seinfeld” episode titled “Old Man.”

He also had roles in the TV series “Growing Pains,” “Gunsmoke,” “Highway to Heaven,” “Perry Mason,” “The Golden Girls,” “Twilight Zone,” “ Zane Grey Theater,” “Who’s the Boss?” and many more.

Erwin became a favorite of the devoted fans of “Somewhere in Time,” the romantic time-travel drama starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, and he was featured in a documentary accompanying the film’s 20th anniversary DVD.

William Lindsey Erwin was born Dec. 2, 1914, in Honey Grove, Texas, and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin in 1935.

He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and performed there and at the Laguna Beach Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse beginning in 1940.


Erwin continued acting on local stages over the decades and received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award in 1983 for his performance in “Old Friends” at the Actors Forum.


First president of

Trinidad and Tobago

Ellis Emmanuel Innocent Clarke, 93, an attorney who became the first president of Trinidad and Tobago and created the island’s founding constitution, died late Thursday. His family released a statement in Port-of-Spain saying Clarke was immobilized by a massive stroke in November and never recovered.

Clarke was the last governor-general of the eastern Caribbean island when it was still under British colonial rule and was elected president when it became a republic in 1976.


He was born Dec. 28, 1917, in the northern part of the island to middle-class parents.

Clarke studied law at the University of London and became Trinidad’s attorney general. He later served as the island’s ambassador to the U.S. and as a permanent representative to the United Nations.

Bobby Farrell, whose group Boney M topped the 1970s European charts with its glittering showmanship and blend of disco and Calypso music, was found dead in his hotel bed Thursday while on tour in Russia, his agent said. Farrell, whose string of hits with Boney M included “Brown Girl in the Ring,” “By the Rivers of Babylon,” “Daddy Cool,” “Mary’s Boychild” and “Sunny,” was 61.

— Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports