PASSINGS: Flynn Robinson, Steve Forrest, Mack Emerman

Flynn Robinson dies
Flynn Robinson led the Lakers reserves in scoring during the 1971-72 season, averaging 9.9 points in 15.7 minutes per game.
(Los Angeles Lakers)

Flynn Robinson

Guard in Lakers 1971 championship team

Flynn Robinson, 72, a flashy guard who was a member of the 1971-72 Lakers team that brought Los Angeles its first NBA title, died Thursday at Keck Hospital in Los Angeles from complications related to cancer. He had been battling multiple myeloma for about two years, according to the Lakers.

His scoring binges with the championship team earned him the nickname “Instant Offense” from longtime Lakers announcer Chick Hearn. Robinson led the Lakers reserves in scoring during the 1971-72 season, averaging 9.9 points in 15.7 minutes per game.


The team also set an NBA record that season by winning 33 consecutive games. His teammates included Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Gail Goodrich.

In 2008, Robinson told The Times that Jack Kent Cooke, who then owned the Lakers, hadn’t shown the team enough appreciation. “We won 33 games in a row and he gave us a $5 pen set,” said Robinson, a longtime resident of Los Angeles.

Flynn James Robinson was born April 28, 1941, in Elgin, Ill., into a large family.

At one time, he was the most prolific scorer in University of Wyoming basketball history, collecting 2,049 points and averaging 27 points per game during his senior season.


During an NBA career that lasted eight seasons, Robinson played with the Lakers for parts of two seasons. He was an All-Star with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969-70 season while playing alongside rookie center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Robinson also played with the Cincinnati Royals, Chicago Bulls and Baltimore Bullets. He spent his final season in the now-defunct American Basketball Assn. with the San Diego Conquistadors.

Steve Forrest

Starred in 1970s ‘S.W.A.T.’ TV show

Actor Steve Forrest, 87, best known for starring as Lt. Dan “Hondo” Harrelson in the 1970s television series “S.W.A.T.,” died Saturday at his Thousand Oaks home, his family announced.

As the tough-yet-tender leader of a Special Weapons and Tactics force in Southern California, Forrest was often shown reining in the firepower of his junior officers. His character’s signature phrase was “let’s roll!”

A spinoff of the series “The Rookies,” “S.W.A.T.” debuted on ABC in 1975 but was canceled the next year after being heavily criticized for its on-screen violence.

He was born William Forrest Andrews on Sept. 25, 1925, in Huntsville, Texas, the youngest of 13 children of a Baptist minister and his wife.


While Forrest served in the Army during World War II, his brother Dana Andrews was starring in 1944’s “Laura” and other films. When Forrest visited his brother, he decided to stay in Hollywood, but only considered acting as a career after enrolling at UCLA, according to the All Movie Internet database.

In 1950, he received a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from the school, where he met his future wife, Christine. The couple had three sons.

As a stagehand at the La Jolla Playhouse, Forrest caught the attention of actor Gregory Peck, who cast him in a production and got him a screen test. He was soon under contract at MGM. A small but flashy part in the 1952 film “The Bad and the Beautiful” led to other roles.

In a career that spanned 60 years, Forrest often played the villain. He appeared in many TV westerns, including “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza,” and in about 40 films. They include “The Longest Day” (1962), “North Dallas Forty” (1979) and “Mommie Dearest” (1981).

In later years, Forrest spoofed his tough-guy image in the 1980s films “Spies Like Us” and “Amazon Women on the Moon.” His final screen credit was a 2003 cameo in the feature film version of “S.W.A.T.”

Mack Emerman

Criteria Recording Studios founder

Mack Emerman, 89, founder of Criteria Recording Studios, where acts including Eric Clapton, James Brown and the Bee Gees made some of their most famous records, died Tuesday in Miami of complications from pneumonia, said his daughter Bebe Emerman.


The Criteria studio, which he opened in 1959 in North Miami, has been operated by the Hit Factory since 1999. About 250 gold or platinum singles and albums were recorded at Criteria, which became known as Atlantic Records South when Emerman formed an alliance with label co-chairman Jerry Wexler and producer Tom Dowd.

The records include “Layla” by Clapton’s group Derek and the Dominos, James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” “Eat a Peach” by the Allman Brothers Band and portions of huge 1970s hits such as “Saturday Night Fever” by the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and “Hotel California” by the Eagles.

“I used to see ‘recorded at the Hit Factory Miami’ written in the back of some of my favorite CDs,” singer Nelly Furtado said in 2008. “When I finally cut an album there, I understood why. The whole building has this creative magic.”

Maxwell Louis Emerman was born in 1923 in Erie, Pa., and began playing jazz trumpet while attending Duke University. With his wife and two daughters, he came to South Florida in 1953 to work in his father’s candy business in Hialeah. He soon began recording live jazz and set up a studio in his garage, running cables into the family living room, where the musicians performed, his daughter said.

With a loan from his father, he built Criteria, regarded as Miami’s first world-class recording studio. Other musicians who recorded there included Black Sabbath, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Lenny Kravitz, Lynyrd Skynyrd and R.E.M.

Times staff and wire reports

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