November 5, 2006 in Nation/World

In Passing

The Spokesman-Review
 

Los Angeles

Leonard Schrader, screenwriter

Leonard Schrader, who was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay adaptation for the 1985 film “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” and who headed the graduate screenwriting program at the American Film Institute, has died. He was 62.

Schrader, who had suffered from cancer and other ailments, died Thursday of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said his brother, writer-director Paul Schrader.

Along with his brother, Leonard Schrader was known for weaving dark, complex stories that explored violence and the underbelly of society. Among the screenplays the brothers wrote together were “The Yakuza” (1975), a suspenseful tale about the Japanese Mafia, and “Mishima” (1985), a stylized drama about Yukio Mishima, the militaristic Japanese author who killed himself in a ritual suicide.

Los Angeles

Robert Anderson, aerospace leader

Robert Anderson, a colorful automotive engineer who turned Rockwell International Corp. into an aerospace powerhouse that in its heyday built the space shuttle and the B-1B bomber in sprawling Southern California factories, has died. He was 85.

Anderson died Oct. 28 at his home in Los Angeles from complications of cancer.

A chain smoker with a gravelly voice, Anderson oversaw the development of NASA’s space shuttle and the Air Force’s B-1B aircraft as president and chairman of Rockwell International, once one of the world’s largest aerospace companies.

Although better known as one of the more blunt executives in the usually staid aerospace industry – he once said “a bomber is a baby-killer. People don’t like bombers” – Anderson also had a distinguished 22-year career in the automotive business.

Anderson helped develop the Plymouth “426 Hemi” engine. He later became general manger of the Chrysler-Plymouth division where he was instrumental in creating and marketing the popular “muscle” car, the Plymouth Road Runner.

Kusatsu, Japan

Richard Gilman, drama critic

Richard Gilman, an eloquent and exacting theater critic who helped sharpen America’s definition of modern drama, died at his home in Kusatsu, Japan, on October 28. He was 83. He had been battling illness since being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 1997.

A professor for 31 years at the Yale School of Drama, Gilman influenced more than a generation of theater practitioners and academics throughout his teaching career.

Though he also taught at Columbia, Stanford, Barnard and the City University of New York, Yale was his academic home. He was invited to teach there by Robert Brustein, then dean of the Yale School of Drama, after stepping down as drama critic for Newsweek.

For three decades after joining the faculty in 1967, he commuted regularly to New Haven from his home in New York City, offering seminars, workshops and tutorials for aspiring playwrights, critics and directors, as well as students from other parts of the campus looking to extend their knowledge of the contemporary stage.


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