IN REMEMBRANCE: 7-13-2014

LORIN MAAZEL, BRILLIANT, INTENSE AND ENIGMATIC CONDUCTOR

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Lorin Maazel conducted the New York Philharmonic in 2011. Credit Brian Harkin for The New York Times
 

The cause was complications of pneumonia, said Jenny Lawhorn, a spokeswoman for Mr. Maazel. He had been rehearsing for the Castleton Festival, which takes place on his farm, in recent weeks.

Mr. Maazel (pronounced mah-ZELL) was a study in contradictions, and he evoked strong feelings, favorable and otherwise, from musicians, administrators, critics and audiences.

He projected an image of an analytical intellectual — he had studied mathematics and philosophy in college, was fluent in six languages (French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, as well as English) and kept up with many subjects outside music — and his performances could seem coolly fastidious and emotionally distant. Yet such performances were regularly offset by others that were fiery and intensely personalized.

Lorin Maazel led the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2009. Credit Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

He was revered for the precision of his baton technique, and for his prodigious memory — he rarely used a score in performances — but when he was at his most interpretively idiosyncratic, he used his powers to distend phrases and reconfigure familiar balances in the service of an unusual inner vision.

“He is clearly a brilliant man,” John Rockwell wrote in The New York Times in 1979, “perhaps too brilliant to rest content with endless re-creations of the standard repertory. He is also, it would seem, a coldly defensive man, and perhaps that coldness coats his work with a layer of ice.

“The only trouble with this line of thinking is that it doesn’t take all the facts into account. Mr. Maazel, when he’s ‘on,’ has led some of the finest, most impassioned, most insightful performances in memory. When he’s good, he’s so good that he simply has to be counted among the great conductors of the day. Yet, enigmatically, it’s extremely difficult to predict just when he is going to be good or in what repertory.”

Perhaps because he grew up in the limelight, conducting orchestras from the age of 9, Mr. Maazel was self-assured, headstrong, and sometimes arrogant: When he took a new directorship, he often announced what he planned to change and why his approach was superior to what had come before. He knew what he wanted and how to get it, and if he encountered an immovable obstacle, he would walk away, also with a public explanation.

That was how he handled his brief term as general manager and artistic director at the Vienna State Opera, where he was the first American to wield such power.

“I am keen that this house again be led in the fashion of Mahler and Strauss. I have the full responsibility for the opera, and I have no intention of sharing that responsibility, though I may delegate it,” he said at a news conference when his appointment was announced, adding, “I will not hesitate to make changes if I consider them necessary.”

He quickly transformed the house from a repertory company, where a different work was staged every night, to what he called a “block” system, in which groups of opera were played, with frequent repeats. He regarded this as more efficient and likely to produce better performances.

When the Viennese culture minister differed, and also complained about Mr. Maazel’s casting choices and argued that he was mainly interested in burnishing his own artistic profile, Mr. Maazel abruptly resigned, two years into a four-year term, and wrote an Op-Ed article for The New York Times, deploring interference in the arts by government officials with no artistic background. (In September 2013, the company erected a bust of Mr. Maazel, by the sculptor Helmut Millionig. Mr. Maazel attended the unveiling ceremony.)

His tenures with the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic had their rough moments, too. The Cleveland musicians voted against hiring him to succeed the legendary George Szell, who had died in 1970, because they did not consider him sufficiently accomplished to fill Szell’s shoes. Mr. Maazel told The New York Times in 2002 that “the relationship remained more or less rocky to the end.”

In New York, Mr. Maazel quickly won over the Philharmonic musicians. But several critics, while happy that the orchestra had engaged an American music director for the first time since Leonard Bernstein gave up its podium in 1969, were disappointed that Mr. Maazel, 70 at the time, was of the same generation as his predecessor, Kurt Masur (then 73), and that his tastes in contemporary music seemed conservative. Eventually, he won many of them over.

Lorin Varencove Maazel was born in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine on March 6, 1930, to a pair of American music students — Lincoln Maazel, a singer, and Marie Varencove Maazel, a pianist — who were studying there. He showed an aptitude for music early: when he was 5, by which time the family had moved to Los Angeles, he began studying the piano, and at 7, he took up the violin.

One piece in his piano repertory was a reduction of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony, and when he was 8, his father gave him a copy of the full orchestral score. Lorin studied it, along with a recording his father also bought him, and when he conducted a family ensemble in the work, his parents noted that he was adept at cues and balances. They took him to study with Vladimir Bakaleinikoff, then an associate conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

When Mr. Bakaleinikoff took a conducting job in Pittsburgh, the Maazels followed. They also sent young Lorin to music camp at Interlochen, Mich.

Olin Downes, a music critic for The New York Times, happened to be visiting the camp when Lorin, then 9, led the camp’s orchestra in a movement from Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony. Mr. Downes, though generally skeptical of prodigies, wrote that the boy conducted “with a beat clean and firm, yet elastic and with a consistency of tempo that very occasionally was modified by a nuance absolutely in place and appropriate as it was employed.”

That summer, the Interlochen orchestra performed at the World’s Fair in New York, and Lorin conducted them twice. In 1940, just before his 10th birthday, he conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony as well, and when he was 11, in July 1941, Arturo Toscanini invited him to conduct the NBC Symphony in a concert — works by Wagner, Mendelssohn and Dika Newlin — broadcast nationally from Radio City Music Hall. The orchestra, outraged at the idea of being led by a child, greeted him at the first rehearsal with lollipops in their mouths. He won their respect the first time he stopped the rehearsal to point out a wrong note.

In the summer of 1942, and again in 1944, he led the New York Philharmonic in performances at Lewisohn Stadium. But when he turned 15, he put his baton aside and settled into his academic studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

He did not abandon music entirely: In 1946, he organized the Fine Arts Quartet of Pittsburgh, with which he was a violinist until 1950, and in 1948 he joined the violin section of the Pittsburgh Symphony. An invitation from the conductor Serge Koussevitzky to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in the summer of 1951 brought him back to the podium just before he headed off to Rome, on a Fulbright fellowship, to study Renaissance Italian music.

Mr. Maazel dated the start of his mature career to Christmas Eve 1953 when, still a student in Rome, he was invited to step in for an ailing conductor at the Teatro Bellini, in Catania. His success there led to engagements in Naples, Florence and elsewhere in Europe, and then in Japan, Australia and Latin America.

By 1960, he had conducted about 300 concerts with more than 20 European orchestras, and was sufficiently well-regarded to win an invitation to conduct “Lohengrin” at Bayreuth, the German shrine that Wagner built to himself and his music. At 30, he was the youngest conductor, as well as the first American, to work there.

He was, however, virtually unknown (as an adult) in the United States. But in October 1962, he toured the country with the Orchestre Nationale de France, a Parisian radio orchestra with which he would enjoy a long relationship (he was music director from 1977 to 1991), and appeared as a guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic and at the Metropolitan Opera, where he led “Don Giovanni” and “Der Rosenkavalier.”

By the mid-1960s, he was also making recordings for two of Europe’s most prestigious labels, Deutsche Grammophon and Decca, with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic. He eventually recorded for other labels as well, among them RCA Red Seal, CBS (later Sony Classical) and Erato.

Among the highlights of his discography are recordings he made for the film versions of “Don Giovanni” (directed by Joseph Losey) and “Carmen” (Francesco Rossi), as well as his cycles of the Beethoven, Mahler and Sibelius symphonies.

Mr. Maazel’s first music directorship was that of the Deutsche Opera, in West Berlin, jointly with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, a position he held from 1965 until 1971, when he accepted the directorship of the Cleveland Orchestra, to begin in 1972.

In Cleveland, as in Berlin, Mr. Maazel took an old-fashioned approach to the job. Instead of conducting barely more than a dozen weeks of concerts and leaving the rest to guests, as was becoming the norm, Mr. Maazel spent most of his year in Cleveland. He recorded plentifully with the orchestra, and toured with it frequently. He gave up the directorship, becoming conductor emeritus, in 1982, the year he became general manager of the Vienna State Opera.

When the Vienna directorship went sour, in 1984, Mr. Maazel declared himself liberated, free to return to the far-flung guest conducting of his early years.

“I worked as a music administrator as well as a conductor of 20 years,” he told an interviewer in 1985, “and during that time I devoted almost all my attention to the organizations I was working for — six years in Berlin, 10 in Cleveland, three in Vienna. I’ve conducted 132 orchestras, but in the last 20 years I’ve not conducted more than seven or eight of them. So I’m having a lot of fun going around the world now, meeting people who’ve gotten to know me through records and television. I’m like a child let out of school.”

He could not, however, resist the siren song of another directorship. In 1984, he agreed to become a music consultant to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. A year later, the orchestra upgraded his title to music adviser and principal guest conductor, and in 1988, he became its music director. By the time he relinquished the post, in 1996, he had upgraded its performance standards, taken it around the world, and won a Grammy with the orchestra for a recording of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev works with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Even so, he maintained his freelance career, and was given to occasional spectacles, like the 1988 marathon in London, when he conducted all nine Beethoven symphonies in a single 10-and-a-half-hour concert. He repeated the feat in Tokyo at the end of 2010.

In 1989, he was on a short list of candidates to succeed Herbert von Karajan at the Berlin Philharmonic. When Claudio Abbado was chosen instead, Mr. Maazel insisted that he never had any intention of leaving his Pittsburgh orchestra, and canceled his Berlin dates — not, he said, in a fit of pique, but so that Mr. Abbado would have more time to whip the orchestra into shape.

He took over the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in 1991, at a salary reported to be around $3.8 million, at that point the highest paid to any conductor anywhere, and held its directorship until 2002, when he took over the New York Philharmonic.

(He gave the Philharmonic a price break: When he left that position, in 2009, his salary was reported as $3.3 million.)

In the 1990s, Mr. Maazel revived an interest in composing that had gripped him briefly in his youth, and which he explored rarely as an adult, apart from performing a short waltz in Cleveland in 1980, and his 70-minute orchestra-only reduction of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle.

He took up a series of concerto commissions, writing “Music for Violoncello and Orchestra” for Mstislav Rostropovich in 1994; “Music for Flute and Orchestra” for James Galway, in 1995, and “Music for Violin and Orchestra,” in which he was the violin soloist, in 1997. He also set to work on an opera, “1984,” based on the Orwell book, with a libretto by J. D. McClatchy and Thomas Meehan. It had its premiere at Covent Garden in 2005, and was revived at La Scala, in Milan, in 2008.

Mr. Maazel celebrated his 70th birthday with a world tour in which he revisited many of the orchestras he had conducted over the decades. One stop was at the New York Philharmonic, which was negotiating with several conductors to succeed Mr. Masur as music director. Mr. Maazel threw his hat in the ring, and within a few weeks, he captured the post.

Among his accomplishments at the Philharmonic were the premieres of several major works, including John Adams’s “On the Transmigration of Souls” and scores by Poul Ruders, Melinda Wagner and Aaron Jay Kernis, and taking the orchestra to Pyongyang, North Korea.

When the plan to visit Pyongyang drew protests from those who objected to his performing for a brutal regime, Mr. Maazel wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the visit was about “bringing peoples and their cultures together on common ground, where the roots of peaceful interchange can imperceptibly but irrevocably take hold.”

After he left the Philharmonic in 2009, Mr. Maazel set up the Castleton Festival, for classical music and opera, on the grounds of his farm in Virginia. Mr. Maazel founded and directed the festival jointly with his wife, the German actress Dietlinde Turban Maazel, whom he married in 1986. Two previous marriages — to the composer Mimi Sandbank and the pianist Israela Margalit — ended in divorce.

His wife survives him, as do their two sons, Leslie and Orson Maazel, and daughter, Tara Maazel; and three daughters — Anjali Maazel, Daria Steketee and Fiona Maazel — and a son, Ilann Margalit Maazel, from his previous marriages.

Mr. Maazel’s life as a festival director did not diminish his wanderlust. He became music director of the Munich Philharmonic in 2010. And in a blog on his website, he noted that in 2013 — he was 83 — he conducted 102 concerts, performing 72 compositions in 28 cities in 16 countries. He added that he was looking forward to getting back in harness.

“Curiously, for someone who has a fairly good reputation for stick technique,” he told a New York Times reporter in 2002, “I don’t recognize stick technique per se. I don’t think I ever make the same motion twice in the same bar of music. The aim is to find a motion that responds to the need of a particular player at a particular moment. The player must be put at ease, so that he knows where he is and what is expected, and is free to concentrate on beauty of tone. There is no magic involved.”

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TOMMY RAMONE, WHO GAVE PUNK ROCK ITS PULSE

Tom Erdelyi, far right, better known as Tommy Ramone, with the Ramones (from left, Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee) in 1978. Credit Ed Perlstein/Redferns, via Getty Images
 

The cause was cancer of the bile duct, his family said. Of the original Ramones, Joey (the singer) died in 2001, Dee Dee (the bassist) in 2002 and Johnny (the guitarist) in 2004.

Mr. Erdelyi played only on the band’s first three albums, “Ramones” in 1976 and “Leave Home” and “Rocket to Russia,” both from 1977. And he cut a much more easygoing figure than his bandmates, who despite their fraternal stage names were notorious for internecine feuds. Yet Mr. Erdelyi played a crucial role in the sound and early development of the band, which was started by the high school friends from Forest Hills, Queens.

When the group first came together in 1974, Mr. Erdelyi, who had some experience in the music business as a recording engineer, was the manager. Equally in love with hard rock’s buzz-saw guitar and the sunny clarity of 1950s and ’60s radio pop, the four men, dressed in leather jackets and ripped jeans like B-movie juvenile delinquents, opposed the mellow singer-songwriters and opulent progressive rock that dominated pop at the time.

Mr. Erdelyi in Berlin in 2005. Credit Soeren Stache/dpa Picture-Alliance, via Associated Press

In the band’s earliest incarnation, Joey — real name Jeffrey Hyman — was the drummer. But once it was discovered that Joey had the most capable singing voice, he moved to lead vocals.

“We started auditioning drummers, but they just couldn’t grasp the concept of the band — the speed and simplicity,” Mr. Erdelyi said in a 2011 interview with the website Noisecreep. “So I’d sit down and show them what we were looking for and the guys just finally said, ‘Why don’t you do it?’ So I gave it a try and that’s when the sound of the band sort of solidified.”

In songs like “Beat on the Brat” and “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue,” the nascent Ramones compressed nursery-rhyme chords into adrenalized blares, and seemed to satirize the very ideas of teenage boredom and cheap kicks. Playing regularly at the East Village bar CBGB, the band charged through the set, pausing long enough between songs only for Dee Dee to shout, “One, two, three, four!”

Official songwriting credits were shared by the full band. But Mr. Erdelyi was the primary author of several of the Ramones’ early classics, including “Blitzkrieg Bop,” which opens their first album with the chant “Hey ho, let’s go!” and features lyrics that boil teenage angst down to its most basic and kinetic:

What they want, I don’t know

They’re all revved up and ready to go

He was born Erdelyi Tamas on Jan. 29, 1949, in Budapest. His parents were professional photographers. Most of the rest of his family died in the Holocaust, he recalled in Steven Lee Beeber’s 2006 book, “The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: A Secret History of Jewish Punk.”

Mr. Erdelyi produced the Replacements’ “Tim” in 1985 and Redd Kross’ “Neurotica” in 1987. With Ed Stasium, he also produced the Ramones’ 1979 live album, “It’s Alive” — recorded in 1977 when Mr. Erdelyi was still with the band — and “Too Tough to Die” in 1984.

In the 2000s Mr. Erdelyi and his longtime companion, Claudia Tienan, performed bluegrass-style music as the duo Uncle Monk, releasing a self-titled album on their own label, Airday. Ms. Tienan survives him, as does a brother, Peter.

The Ramones, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, were a quintessential rock group whose influence far exceeded record sales.

The group’s self-titled debut, which Rolling Stone magazine has ranked the 33rd greatest album of all time, peaked at No. 111 on Billboard’s album chart. In April, 38 years after its release, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, recognizing that it had finally sold at least 500,000 copies.

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EILEEN FORD, GRANDE DAME OF THE MODELING INDUSTRY

 

Eileen Ford Dies at 92


CreditMarty Lederhandler/Associated Press

Eileen Ford, the grande dame of the modeling industry who influenced standards of beauty for more than four decades while heading one of the most recognizable brands in the trade of gorgeous faces, died on Wednesday in Morristown, N.J. She was 92.

Her death, at a Morristown Memorial Hospital, was announced on Thursday by her daughter Katie Ford. Mrs. Ford lived in Califon, N.J., in Hunterdon County.

Ford Models, created by Mrs. Ford and her husband, Jerry, in the late 1940s, became the top agency in the world. It elevated the modeling profession into a serious business with $1 million contracts, represented thousands of beautiful young women, and created a market for “supermodels,” a select handful who could command enormous salaries for their looks.

While Mr. Ford managed the business, Mrs. Ford became the face of the agency and its chief talent scout, sometimes virtually plucking young women out of a crowd and turning them into models.

Some became celebrities in their own right, among them Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs, Veruschka, Jerry Hall, Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Elle Macpherson.

Many found stardom in Hollywood: Suzy Parker, Jane Fonda, Ali MacGraw, Brooke Shields, Candice Bergen, Rene Russo, Kim Basinger, Lauren Hutton and Jean Shrimpton, who in her modeling days embodied the miniskirted Swinging London of the 1960s.

And long before she became a lifestyle mogul, Martha Stewart was in the Ford stable to help pay her way through college.

Mrs. Ford built a reputation for transforming girls into stars with lessons in grooming, etiquette and style while running her agency like a convent. Some in the industry called her the mother of New York modeling, in almost the literal sense. A formidable manager, she was widely known for protecting models from underhanded deals and sexual misconduct and generally cleaning up the sleazy image of the business, insisting that both clients and models observe a code of ethics and decorum.

Indeed, Mrs. Ford allowed some of her charges to live in her Upper East Side townhouse when they were starting out so she could keep a watchful eye on their careers. On weekends, she would take them to her summer home in Quogue, on Long Island, and have them help in the garden.

“They have to account for their time to me,” she said in a Forbes article on the industry in 1984. “They eat dinner with me, at table, every night. I don’t ever want to tell a mother I don’t know where her daughter is at 2 a.m.”

In his 1995 book, “Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women,” Michael Gross described the Fords as the moral exemplars of modeling. Their agency, he wrote, was “a fortress of propriety and moral rectitude that was to stand for 50 years.”

At the same time, Mrs. Ford was criticized for an imperious approach. She was well known for brusquely dismissing applicants of a sensitive age with stinging rejections.

“Eileen Ford took one look at me and told me to get a nose job,” Lynn Kohlman, a favorite model of the designer Perry Ellis who died in 2008, wrote in Vogue.

Birgitta af Klercker, a favorite of the fashion editor Diana Vreeland and the photographer Richard Avedon, said Mrs. Ford told her that she was fat and had crooked teeth.

Mrs. Ford was unapologetic. “I interview about three thousand models yearly, and I must see almost 20 tons of excess avoirdupois annually,” she wrote in “Eileen Ford’s Book of Model Beauty” (1968), one of her five books on modeling. “The average would-be model weighs about 16 pounds more than she should.”

Mrs. Ford made perhaps her most infamous statement while appearing on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1971 — and in doing so seemed to crystallize the perception of a fashion industry that was indifferent to complaints that it was promoting an unhealthy body ideal.

Challenged by another guest on the show — the writer Gwen Davis, who compared a model agency to pimping — Mrs. Ford coolly replied, “I never worry about fat people worrying about thin people, because slender people bury the dead.”

Mrs. Ford was born Eileen Cecile Otte on March 25, 1922, in Manhattan, the only daughter of four children of Nathaniel and Loretta Marie Otte, who together owned a credit-rating company. Eileen grew up in Manhattan and in Great Neck, on Long Island. Her mother had been the first model ever hired by the venerable clothing chain Best & Company. Eileen began modeling as well, for the prominent Harry Conover agency, during her summer breaks from Barnard College, from which she graduated in 1943 with a degree in psychology.

Jerry Ford was in the wartime Navy and attending officers’ school at Columbia University when the couple met in 1944 at a nearby drugstore, Tilson’s. Three months later they eloped to San Francisco, where Mr. Ford was stationed and preparing to ship out for the Pacific for two years.

In New York, Mrs. Ford worked briefly for a photographer, Elliot Clark, and as a stylist and reporter for The Tobe Report, a fashion trade publication.

After serving on a supply ship, Mr. Ford returned to New York in 1946 and resumed his studies in accounting at Columbia. By then Mrs. Ford had been working as a secretary for several model friends and becoming their informal agent. When she became pregnant, Mr. Ford stepped in to manage the business, and he soon recognized the potential for a more organized agency that could compete with the big ones like those of Conover and John Robert Powers.

Ford Models was born in 1947, starting out in Mrs. Ford’s parents’ home. In 1948 they opened an office on Second Avenue, selling their car to pay the rent.

Mrs. Ford was the deal maker, snapping at photographers like Mr. Avedon and Louise Dahl-Wolfe and inspecting the young models who came through their doors; Mr. Ford managed the operations, introducing a five-day workweek for models, organizing their scheduling and establishing a voucher system, which allowed them to be paid in advance. (Before then, models often had to wait a year or more to be paid.) The agency then recouped the fees from the clients.

The agency was a success. Within a decade, its fees reached $3,500 a week for top models like Dorian Leigh and Mary Jane Russell, the agency’s first stars. (Another early model and an enduring one for the agency was Carmen Dell’Orefice.) On its 20th anniversary, Mr. Ford said the company was billing $100,000 worth of bookings each week.

Its position as the world’s top agency appeared to be constantly at risk as the Fords faced intense competition throughout the so-called model wars of the 1970s and ’80s, challenged by rivals like John Casablancas and Elite Models.

Ford responded by expanding, opening offices around the world and establishing divisions for creative artists, plus-size models, older models, children, catalog work and, in a publicity maneuver by Mrs. Ford in 1980, an international scouting contest for what became known as the Ford Supermodel of the World.

The Fords sold their agency in 2007 to an investment bank, Stone Tower Equity Partners, which has since been renamed Altpoint Capital Partners. Mr. Ford died at 83 in 2008.

Besides her daughter Katie, Mrs. Ford is survived by three other children, Jamie Ford Craft, Lacey Williams and Gerard William Ford Jr., who is known as Billy; her brother, William Otte; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Known for an ability to spot talent, Mrs. Ford particularly liked to discover a potential model who had not been introduced to her. Sometimes she would follow a young woman for a few blocks, appraising her (and, after drawing close enough, usually walking away).

In one case, however, she noticed a striking young woman walking down the stairs next to her at the Bonwit Teller department store in Manhattan. Her discovery, Karen Graham, became the first face of Estée Lauder. Mrs. Ford spotted another model, Vendela, in a restaurant in Stockholm.

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Mrs. Ford did not always trust the assessment of others. In 1961 she was invited to Helsinki by the Finnish publishing magnate Aatos Erkko to judge a beauty contest in one of his publications, according to a biographical sketch prepared by her family. Young women from all over Finland sent in pictures, and Mrs. Ford was presented with the 20 deemed best by the magazine’s editors.

“None of these will do,” Mrs. Ford said. “I want to look at all entrants.”

And she did, going through more than 700 photos. She finally chose Hellevi Keko, and Ms. Keko became a very successful Ford model.

Correction: July 11, 2014
An earlier version of this obituary misstated the name of the hospital where Mrs. Ford died. It is Morristown Memorial Hospital, not Morristown Hospital.

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DICK JONES, WHO GAVE VOICE TO DISNEY’S PINOCCHIO

Dick Jones, then known as Dickie, during the production of the animated “Pinocchio” (1940). Credit Disney Enterprises
 

He died after hitting his head in a fall, his son Rick said.

Mr. Jones was known as Dickie when, as an 11- and 12-year-old, he played the title role, the marionette who dreams of becoming a real boy, in “Pinocchio,” still recognized as one of the great animated features in movie history.

Released in 1940, the film was adapted from a 19th-century Italian novel for children (originally written as a serial) in which Pinocchio could be a rather obnoxious wooden tyke. It was Walt Disney himself who insisted that the movie make him more universally lovable, and that the role be played by a child actor.

Dickie Jones gave him what he wanted: the charm of an innocent on a beguiling quest for humanity. Accompanied by Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Cliff Edwards), who, in a role greatly expanded from the novel, serves Pinocchio as both a conscience and a comic sidekick, he braves temptation after temptation in a series of adventures, learns the virtues of being truthful and ethical — a good boy — and thus earns his string-free human status.

In 1955 and 1956, Mr. Jones played the title role on the series”Bufallo Bill Jr.,” the marshal of the fictional town of Wileyville, Tex. Credit ABC, via Photofest

As Mr. Jones remembered it, he was chosen for the part from among 200 or so children who auditioned. But he was no newcomer to moviemaking, having already appeared in several significant films, including “Stella Dallas” with Barbara Stanwyck and two Jimmy Stewart features, “Destry Rides Again” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

Decades later, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of “Pinocchio,” Mr. Jones wryly recalled his preteenage world-weariness. After the auditions, he told an audience at El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, Walt Disney invited him and his mother to lunch at the Hyperion Avenue studio, then home of Disney’s animation productions.

“That’s where he asked me the famous question: ‘Would you like to do the voice of Pinocchio?’ ” Mr. Jones said. “And in my mind I’m thinking, ‘What the heck do you think I’m here for?’ I didn’t say that. I said: ‘Oh boy, oh boy, yeah, I really would. I really want to do that.’ ” He paused.

“I was acting,” he said.

Dick Jones Credit Everett Collection

Richard Percy Jones Jr. was born on Feb. 25, 1927, in Snyder, on the plains of north-central Texas. His father, a printer, was not part of the family for long. His mother, Icie Laverne Coppedge, encouraged young Dickie’s precocious gift for rodeo, and by the time he was 6 he was stunt riding and performing rope tricks. As Mr. Jones recounted the pivotal moment in his young life in The Los Angeles Times in 1984, Hoot Gibson, an early movie cowboy, saw him do his stuff at a Dallas rodeo and was suitably impressed.

“Hoot told my mother the famous words: ‘That kid ought to be in pictures,’ ” Mr. Jones recalled. “She said, ‘Whoopee!’ and away we went to Hollywood.”

Dickie Jones’s earliest screen appearances, in movies including “Babes in Toyland” with Laurel and Hardy, date to 1934, when he was 7. After “Pinocchio” he continued to work regularly through high school, often in westerns, though he also played a teenage Samuel Clemens in “The Adventures of Mark Twain” (1944), in which the title character was played as an adult by Fredric March. For a time he played the role of Henry Aldrich, the mischievous teenage son on the popular radio comedy “The Aldrich Family.”

His career was interrupted by a stint in the Army; he served mostly in Alaska. He made appearances on the original television series “The Lone Ranger” with Clayton Moore, and in the early and middle 1950s was a regular character on the western series “The Range Rider” and an occasional guest star on “The Gene Autry Show” and “Annie Oakley.” In 1955 and 1956, by then known as Dick Jones, he played the title role on the series “Buffalo Bill Jr.,” the marshal of the fictional town of Wileyville, Tex.

When television and film roles began to dwindle in the late 1950s, Mr. Jones decided against doing the acting work that was available in commercials — “He didn’t want to be a pitchman,” Rick Jones said — and instead began a career in real estate that he pursued until nearly the end of his life.

In addition to his son Rick, whose full name is Richard Percy Jones III, Mr. Jones is survived by his wife, the former Betty Bacon, whom he married in 1948; another son, Jeffrey; two daughters, Melody Hume and Jennafer Jones; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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ROSEMARY MURPHY, EMMY WINNER FAMILIAR TO BROADWAY

Rosemary Murphy, center, as a sensible neighbor, with Estelle Evans and Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962). Credit Universal Pictures, via Photofest
 

The cause was cancer, her nephew, Greg Pond, said.

Ms. Murphy won an Emmy in 1976 for her portrayal of Sara Delano Roosevelt, the mother of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in the ABC television movie “Eleanor and Franklin.” The film starred Edward Herrmann and Jane Alexander as the president and the first lady.

In a 1977 sequel, “Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years,” Ms. Murphy reprised her role and was nominated for an Emmy.

Elsewhere on television, Ms. Murphy played Mary Ball Washington, the mother of the nation’s first president, in the mini-series “George Washington” (1984) and Rose Kennedy, the mother of President John F. Kennedy, in the 1991 mini-series “A Woman Named Jackie.”

Her film credits include the part of Maudie Atkinson, a neighbor of Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck), in the celebrated 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Ms. Murphy appeared on Broadway many times. In 1957 she originated the role of Helen Gant Barton, the weary daughter-in-law in “Look Homeward, Angel,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning stage adaptation by Ketti Frings of Thomas Wolfe’s novel.

Other roles she created include Dorothea Bates, the beleaguered wife of a Korean War veteran, in “Period of Adjustment” (1960), by Tennessee Williams; Dorothy Cleves, the well-meaning wife who blunders into her husband’s love nest, in Muriel Resnik’s 1964 comedy, “Any Wednesday”; and Claire, a bitter alcoholic, in “A Delicate Balance” (1966), by Edward Albee. Ms. Murphy received Tony nominations for all three parts.

Reviewing “Any Wednesday” in The New York Times, Howard Taubman called her performance “impeccably graceful.” Ms. Murphy reprised that role when “Any Wednesday” was adapted by Hollywood in 1966, appearing opposite Jason Robards and Jane Fonda.

Rosemary Murphy was born on Jan. 13, 1925, in Munich, where her father, the noted American diplomat Robert D. Murphy, was a vice consul. Reared mainly in France, she was sent to the United States in 1939, at the outbreak of war in Europe.

Ms. Murphy, whose résumé came to include French and German films, trained as an actress at the Catholic University of America in Washington and with Sanford Meisner in New York.

Her other stage work includes appearances at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Conn., and the Spoleto Festival in Italy, where she created the part of the chaste Hannah Jelkes in the world premiere of Williams’s “The Night of the Iguana” in 1959.

Ms. Murphy was seen frequently on television shows of the 1950s and ’60s, among them “Lux Video Theater,” “Robert Montgomery Presents,” “The Virginian,” “Ben Casey” and “The Fugitive.”

Her later TV credits include the soap operas “The Young and the Restless” and “As the World Turns” and the short-lived drama “Lucas Tanner,” on which she was a regular.

Ms. Murphy’s survivors include a sister, Mildred Pond.

Because many of the Broadway plays in which Ms. Murphy appeared turned out to be hits, she relied on her puckish sense of humor to ease the tedium of long runs. In an interview with The Times in 1965, she recalled an episode involving Anthony Perkins, who played her brother in “Look Homeward, Angel.”

“Knowing someone in particular is in the audience will sharpen your performance,” Ms. Murphy said. “Once during ‘Angel’ I told Tony Perkins that Federico Fellini was out front, and he spent three hours painstakingly enunciating every vowel so that Mr. Fellini would be able to understand him.

“He was a little miffed when we told him it was all a joke — but he gave a great performance.”

SOURCE

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

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