PASSINGS: Julia Sampson Hayward, James Rizzi, Bob O’Rourke

Julia Sampson Hayward

Champion tennis player in 1950s

Julia Sampson Hayward, 77, a champion tennis player who won the women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles at the 1953 Australian Open, died Tuesday at her home in Newport Beach of complications from a fall, her family said.

Known as both Julie Sampson and Julia Sampson while playing at the national and international level, she had her best season in 1953. At the Australian Open, she teamed with Maureen Connolly to win women’s doubles and with Rex Hartwig to win mixed doubles. Sampson also reached the women’s singles final, but lost to Connolly, who was nearly unstoppable that year in winning tennis’ Grand Slam.

Sampson and Connolly made the women’s doubles finals at the 1953 French Open and Wimbledon, but lost both. Sampson and Hartwig also advanced to the mixed doubles final at the U.S. Championships, but lost that match.


Sampson, who attended USC, gave up tennis to marry Daniel Hayward in 1958 and raise their three children, Wendy, Mark and Greg. The couple later divorced. She resumed playing in the 1970s, winning several age-group championships, and taught the game in Newport Beach for years.

She was born Feb. 2, 1934, in Los Angeles, grew up in San Marino and attended South Pasadena High School. She began playing tennis as a youth and captured the 1952 national junior girls tennis title. She was ranked among the top 10 U.S. women’s players in 1952 and ’53.

James Rizzi

Pop artist known for playful sculptures

James Rizzi, 61, a pop artist known for his playful and childlike paintings and sculptures, died Monday at his New York studio.

He had a heart condition, said Alexander Lieventhal, an executive at Art 28 GmbH & Co. in Stuttgart, Germany, which manages and sells Rizzi’s work.

Rizzi was born in Brooklyn in 1950 and studied art at the University of Florida. He returned to New York in 1974 and first made his name as a street artist. He later became known for his bright, cartoon-like drawings and 3-D constructions.

His creations included the illustration for the cover of the first album by the Tom Tom Club, images for German postage stamps and a tourist guide to New York published this year.

He made posters and other promotional artwork for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and World Cup soccer games in France.

His designs also appeared in “CowParade,” an exhibit of fiberglass sculptures displayed in New York public spaces.

Rizzi developed a large international following, especially in Germany, where he decorated a jet plane with pastel stars, birds and travelers.

Bob O’Rourke

Former Caltech spokesman

Bob O’Rourke, 72, a former Caltech spokesman who campaigned to raise awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis after he was diagnosed with the disease, died Tuesday of complications from a lung transplant, the university announced.

A Pasadena resident, O’Rourke discovered that he had the incurable lung disease in 2006.

The head of Caltech’s public relations department from 1986 until 2009, he used his media contacts to try to educate the public and raise funds for research with appearances on NBC’s “Today” show, NPR’s “All Things Considered” and with other news organizations. He underwent a lung transplant in February.

O’Rourke was born Jan. 1, 1939, in Beverly, Mass. He led the public relations department at Boston University before coming to Caltech.

Harry Kullijian

Husband of Carol Channing

Harry Kullijian, a junior high school classmate of Carol Channing who married the entertainer 70 years later, died at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage after suffering an aneurysm Monday, the day before his 92nd birthday.

Kullijian had been a real estate developer and walnut grower in California’s Central Valley and served on the Modesto City Council. A native of Turlock, southwest of Modesto, and a graduate of the University of San Francisco, he fought in World War II and the Korean War.

He and Channing attended the same junior high school in San Francisco. After the death of his first wife in 2002, Kullijian was reunited with Channing, and they were married in 2003.

They went on to form the Channing-Kullijian Foundation to support arts education in schools.

—Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports