PASSINGS: Lee K. Harrington, Charles Sellier, Lena Nyman, Margaret Price



Headed L.A. Economic Development Corp.

Lee K. Harrington, 64, a businessman who was executive director of the Southern California Leadership Council and the former head of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., died Friday near his Hollister Ranch home while surfing off the coast of Santa Barbara County, according to the Santa Barbara County coroner.


Harrington was surfing with friends at St. Augustine Beach, west of Santa Barbara, when one of them noticed he was unconscious on his surfboard, KSBY-TV in Santa Barbara reported. Paramedics were unable to revive him.

From 1995 until 2006, Harrington was president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., a nonprofit group that represents local business interests, provides economic research and consults on land use and infrastructure projects. When he retired from the organization five years ago, it said he had helped to retain or create more than 100,000 jobs in Los Angeles County.

He then became chief of the Southern California Leadership Council, which bills itself as a voice for the region’s business community.

Before joining the LAEDC, Harrington had been a senior vice president with Southern California Gas Co.

Lee Kent Harrington was born June 21, 1946, in Long Beach. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Santa Barbara in 1968 and a law degree from USC in 1975.



Creator of ‘Life and Times of Grizzly Adams’

Charles Sellier, 67, a producer of Christian films and creator of the book and television series “The Life and Time of Grizzly Adams,” died unexpectedly Monday at his home near Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

Darryl Howard, director of sales and marketing for Sellier’s production company, confirmed the death but did not give the cause.

Sellier produced dozens of family-friendly films and television shows, many of them with religious themes. They include “In Search of Noah’s Ark” and “Breaking the Da Vinci Code.”

But he was perhaps best known for creating Grizzly Adams, a fictional book and television character (played by Dan Haggerty) who flees bounty hunters and recues a bear cub that grows into a companion.



Swedish actress in explicit movies

Lena Nyman, 66, an actress who starred in sexually explicit movies that defined Swedish cinema in the 1960s, died peacefully in a Stockholm hospital early Friday after a long illness, said her manager, Mats Nilemar.

Nyman starred in more than 50 Swedish films and plays. She won international fame mainly as the lead character in “I Am Curious — Yellow,” a 1967 film that was banned in the U.S. for two years, and its sequel, “I Am Curious — Blue.”

Directed by Vilgot Sjoman, the movies combined social criticism with frank depictions of nudity and sex, contributing to the Sweden’s image in the ‘60s as sexually liberated.

Nyman also starred in Ingmar Bergman’s “Autumn Sonata.”


Noted Welsh opera singer


Margaret Price, 69, considered one of the world’s leading sopranos, died Jan. 28 at her home in Wales of heart failure, according to British news reports.

Price, who was known for her exquisite renditions of Mozart’s complicated music, rose to prominence after her debut as Cherubino in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Welsh National Opera in 1962. She had performed in most of the world’s great opera houses by the time she retired in 1999.

“Margaret Price was one of the last of the real spinto sopranos, a singer who commanded imposing vocal strength yet was able to sing really sweetly and smoothly in reflective passages,” said Martin Bernheimer, The Times’ music critic from 1965 to 1996.

She was born April 13, 1941. Although her career was centered in Europe, she also had several roles with the San Francisco Opera.

—Times staff and wire reports