PASSINGS: Paul Picerni, Guy Greengard, Romulus Linney


Paul Picerni

Prolific character actor

Paul Picerni, 88, a prolific character actor who costarred in the television series “The Untouchables” and was featured in the 1953 horror movie “House of Wax,” died Jan. 12 of a heart attack at his home in the Antelope Valley community of Llano, said his daughter, Maria Atkinson-Bates. He was pronounced dead at Palmdale Regional Medical Center.


Picerni portrayed Agent Lee Hobson, sidekick to Eliot Ness, played by series star Robert Stack. “The Untouchables” ran on ABC from 1959 to 1963. Picerni joined the cast in its second season.

He was a familiar presence on television with appearances on such series as “Kojak,” “Barnaby Jones,” “Mannix” and “Perry Mason.”

Picerni was born Dec. 1, 1922, in Corona, N.Y. He was a bombardier during World War II and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Loyola University in Los Angeles in 1950, having acted in several campus productions.

“House of Wax,” which starred Vincent Price, was the first 3-D feature produced by a major studio, said writer Tom Weaver, who collaborated with Picerni on the 2007 book “Steps to Stardom: My Story.” Picerni played Scott Andrews, a young sculptor who was the boyfriend of Sue Allen, played by Phyllis Kirk.

Picerni’s other films included “The Scalphunters” in 1968 and “Airport” in 1970. Picerni was the halftime master of ceremonies at Los Angeles Rams games at the Coliseum for 30 years.

Guy Greengard

Owner of men’s luxury clothing store

Guy Greengard, 91, who owned Mr. Guy, a luxury men’s clothing store that was a longtime fixture on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, died Jan. 7 of complications from aging at Ocean House, a retirement home in Santa Monica, said Valerie Reynolds Mueller, a longtime friend and former employee.

Mr. Guy specialized in European men’s wear and clothes that carried the Mr. Guy label, Reynolds Mueller said. “Whatever I sell represents my fashion outlook alone, no one else’s,” Greengard told the New York Times in 1981.

It was one of the first clothing stores on Rodeo Drive when it opened in 1969, Reynolds Mueller said. “Rodeo Drive was a sleepy little street” then, Greengard told the Daily News Record, a fashion industry publication, in 1990.

He moved from Rodeo Drive to another Beverly Hills location at the end of his 20-year lease. He retired in the early 1990s.

Greengard was born July 3, 1919, in Canada and grew up in International Falls, Minn. His father was a clothing retailer, as was an older brother. Greengard served in the Army during World War II and moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1940s to study advertising and public relations at UCLA.

He worked for the May Co. department store on the Miracle Mile before starting his own business. “After five or six years I became merchandising manager. I got tired of that and decided to start working for myself,” he told Rodeo Drive magazine in 1984.

In 1953, Greengard opened his first store in Los Angeles, which included sports shirts he designed, Reynolds Mueller said.

Romulus Linney

Playwright, father of actress

Romulus Linney, 80, a prolific playwright whose work ranged from stories set in Appalachia to those dramatizing the lives of historic figures, died of lung cancer Saturday at his home in Germantown, N.Y., said his wife, Laura Callanan.

Linney, father of actress Laura Linney, wrote more than 30 plays that covered a number of subjects. Some of his works were set in Appalachia, which he was familiar with from growing up in the South. Others were historical dramas that examined moments in time such as the Nuremberg trials or the Vietnam War, and others were taken from the lives of public figures such as the poet Lord Byron in “Childe Byron” or a Prussian king in “The Sorrows of Frederick.”

His dramas about life in the South included “Holy Ghosts,” “True Crimes” and “Tennessee.”

Most of Linney’s work appeared in regional theater (including the Mark Taper Forum and South Coast Repertory) and off-Broadway, with one production on Broadway.

A novelist as well as a playwright, Linney also adapted other writers’ novels for the stage, including Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam story “Going After Cacciato” and Ernest J. Gaines’ “A Lesson Before Dying,” about a teacher helping a wrongfully accused young man prepare to face a murder sentence in the Deep South.

Born in Philadelphia in 1930, Linney spent most of his childhood in North Carolina and Tennessee. He was 13 when his father died, and he moved to Washington, D.C., with his mother.

Linney served in the Army and earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master of fine arts from the Yale School of Drama.

-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports