In passing: Art Gilmore, radio announcer
LOS ANGELES – Art Gilmore, a widely recognized voice on radio, television, commercials, documentaries and movie trailers, has died. He was 98.
Gilmore died Sept. 25 of age-related causes at a convalescent care center near his home in Irvine, Calif., said his nephew, Robb Weller.
“For at least 20 years, if you listened to radio, watched TV or went to the movies, you couldn’t help but hear Art Gilmore’s voice,” film critic and show business historian Leonard Maltin told the Los Angeles Times this week. “It wasn’t especially deep like some announcers, but it had authority, command and yet also a kind of friendliness. I think it was an all-American voice.”
On radio, he was the announcer on shows such as “Amos ’n’ Andy,” “Dr. Christian,” “Red Ryder” and “The Sears Radio Theater.”
Moving to television in the 1950s, he was the announcer for “The George Gobel Show,” and he began a 16-season stint as the announcer on “The Red Skelton Show.” He was also the narrator on the TV series “Mackenzie’s Raiders,” “Men of Annapolis” and “Highway Patrol.”
Moviegoers also heard Gilmore’s voice on more than 2,700 movie trailers, including those for “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “Rear Window,” “Shane,” “Creature From the Black Lagoon” and the original “Ocean’s 11.”
Gilmore was born in Tacoma on March 18, 1912. While studying speech at what is now Washington State University, he became an announcer on the campus radio station. He left school in 1935 and became staff announcer at KOL in Seattle.
A resident of Sherman Oaks, Calif., for 65 years, Gilmore moved to Irvine five years ago.
Georgy Arbatov, Soviets’ foreign policy adviser
MOSCOW – Georgy Arbatov, a foreign policy adviser to Soviet presidents who served as the country’s top America-watcher during the Cold War, died Friday. He was 87.
Russian state TV, which reported Arbatov’s death, did not give the cause of death, or say where he was when he passed away.
Arbatov, who advised leaders from Leonid Brezhnev to Mikhail Gorbachev and was especially close to Yuri Andropov, was credited in the West and later in Russia for understanding the Soviet system was fundamentally untenable.
“He belonged to a group of reformers who believed that the Soviet system could be and had to be reformed,” Yevgeny Primakov, who served as prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, said in comments to state news channel Rossiya-24.
From 1967 to 1995, Arbatov ran the USA and Canada Institute, an advisory body to Soviet authorities that he founded and that had huge sway over policy toward the American continent at a time of heightened tensions between the Cold War adversaries.
Stanley Chais, investment manager
NEW YORK – Stanley Chais, a once-esteemed investment manager and philanthropist whose reputation was marred by accusations he steered hundreds of millions of his clients’ dollars to con man Bernard Madoff, died Sept. 26, his wife said. He was 84.
His wife, Pamela Chais, declined to disclose the cause of death. A spokeswoman for New York City’s medical examiner, Ellen Borakove, said he died of natural causes.
Chais had moved to New York in recent years, where he was undergoing treatment for myelodysplasia, a blood disorder.
The Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil fraud charges against Chais in 2009, alleging he falsely told investors he was personally managing nearly $1 billion in three funds. The SEC said he was actually a middleman for Madoff, turning over the assets while collecting more than $250 million in fees.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan had asked a judge in December to delay the civil case while it determined whether to bring criminal charges. None was filed.
Catherine Walker, fashion designer
LONDON – Fashion designer Catherine Walker, whose work was championed by the late Princess Diana, died after suffering from cancer, her family said today. She was 65.
Walker was born in France, but found fame after moving to Britain and is best known for creating some of Diana’s most famous outfits. The princess was buried in a black dress created by Walker.
The designer studied philosophy at the universities of Lille and Aix-en-Province in her native France, before she moved to London where she married lawyer John Walker.
After her husband died in 1975, Walker was left to raise their two daughters alone, enrolling in a fashion course and eventually building a successful business.
“Catherine Walker overcame young widowhood and fought cancer twice with enduring bravery,” her family said in a statement. “She built one of the most successful British couture brands and at the same time raised a loving family.”
Walker had suffered from breast cancer.