PASSINGS: Doris Singleton, Elinor Agnew, Bob Banfield, Patricia Bario

Doris Singleton

Actress worked with Lucille Ball

Doris Singleton, 92, an actress best known for playing Lucy’s friend Caroline Appleby on the classic TV comedy “I Love Lucy,” died Tuesday in Los Angeles of complications from cancer, according to her nephew Henry Isaacs.

Singleton, who was married for 61 years to comedy writer Charles Isaacs, worked in radio as an actress and singer before moving into television in the early 1950s. Besides her recurring part on “I Love Lucy,” she had guest roles on several of Lucille Ball’s later TV series, as well as “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “My Three Sons,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “All in the Family,” and other comedies and dramas.

Born Dorothea Singleton on Sept. 29, 1919, in Brooklyn, N.Y., she spent her childhood in New York and trained as a ballet dancer. She later moved with her family to Long Beach, where she attended high school, and began singing and acting.

Elinor Isabel ‘Judy’ Agnew

Widow of vice president

Elinor Isabel “Judy” Agnew, 91, the widow of former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew who preferred quiet domesticity to the political limelight, died June 20 of natural causes in Rancho Mirage, said a daughter, Susan Sagle.

In 1973, Spiro Agnew resigned from office after pleading no contest to a charge of tax evasion. Four years later the couple moved to the Coachella Valley.

She was born in Baltimore on April 23, 1921, the daughter of William Lee Judefind, a chemist and business executive, and Elinor Ruth Judefind, a homemaker.

Agnew, who shared the nickname “Judy” with her father, met her future husband when they were working at a Baltimore insurance company — she as an $11-a-week file clerk.

On May 23, 1942, the two married. After serving in the Army during World War II, her husband completed law school and got involved in Baltimore County politics before being elected governor of Maryland in 1966.

Judy Agnew celebrated her life as a homemaker.

“I majored in marriage,” she liked to say.

In 1968, Agnew was propelled from her closely guarded obscurity to the national spotlight when Richard M. Nixon chose her husband to be his vice presidential running mate.

There were moments when she departed from her characteristic reluctance to comment on current events.

She explained in 1971 that she wasn’t moved by the goals of the women’s rights movement.

“Some of the things they do are silly,” she told the Associated Press. “I’m fine, I don’t think I need to be liberated.”

But her response to reporters’ questions during the 1972 presidential campaign was more typical:

“I do not speak out on the issues,” she said. “I’m here to back up my husband. After all, my husband is the one running for office, and he is very knowledgeable.”

Spiro Agnew died in 1996.

Bob Banfield

Longtime KABC-TV reporter

Bob Banfield, a longtime KABC-TV reporter who covered Robert Kennedy’s assassination, the Manson murders and numerous earthquakes during his 43 years at the Los Angeles station, died Thursday, two days after his 82nd birthday. He had been battling cancer, KABC announced.

Banfield got his first broadcasting job at 18 as a junior announcer on a radio station in East Liverpool, Ohio.

He moved on to WHIZ in Zanesville, Ohio, and other stations before joining KABC-TV (Channel 7) in 1967. In the 1970s, he co-hosted the station’s “A.M. Los Angeles” show with Regis Philbin.

He eventually became bureau chief for KABC’s coverage of the inland counties east of Los Angeles. A resident of Loma Linda, he retired two years ago.

In 1994, after the Northridge earthquake, Banfield reflected on how TV news coverage had changed during his career.

“I covered the Sylmar quake back in 1971, and we could do so much more handling this one,” Banfield told the Riverside Press Enterprise. “We were still using film back in Sylmar. We didn’t have helicopters with instant pictures. Technology has made us so much more advanced these days.”

Patricia Bario

Washington PR executive

Patricia Bario, 79, a former public relations executive who served as deputy White House press secretary under President Carter, died May 30 at Kindred Hospital in Los Angeles of complications from a chronic illness and a stroke, her family said.

A Michigan native, Bario arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1963 as a communications aide to Sen. Philip Hart (D-Mich.) and served until his death in 1976. She then moved to the White House as director of the media liaison office and deputy press secretary. She served briefly as press secretary to Geraldine Ferraro when the Democratic congresswoman from New York was the vice presidential nominee during Walter Mondale’s run for the White House in 1984.

Bario later worked for the Burson-Marsteller public relations firm in Washington before founding her own company. She moved to Marina del Rey five years ago to be closer to her two sons, Franco and Marco.

She was born Patricia Yaroch in Kinde, Mich., on Aug. 12, 1932, to a family of Polish-Irish background. She graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s in journalism and worked as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining Hart’s staff.

Her marriage to Sante Alessandro Bario ended in divorce.

-- Times staff and wire reports

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