SOPHIA CRANSHAW, MTV PRODUCER OF SOCIAL-ISSUE CAMPAIGNS
Sophia Cranshaw, an MTV producer, director and writer who was honored for her campaigns against genocide, the stigma of mental illness and other sweeping social crises, died on Monday in Manhattan. She was 45.
Her death was confirmed by a spokeswoman for Viacom, the parent company of MTV, who said the cause was breast cancer.
Ms. Cranshaw won the Governors Award Emmy in 2006 for “Campaign for Darfur,” a public service announcement narrated by Alicia Keys calling for action against the genocide and the abuse of women and girls in Western Sudan.
“MTVU: Half of Us,” which focused on the prevalence and dangers of depression among college students, won a Peabody Award in 2007. Ms. Cranshaw was the writer, co-director and co-producer of that project, which used the tagline “The pain is real — don’t ignore the signs” and included statements of personal experience from musical celebrities like Pete Wentz and Mary J. Blige.
As vice president for promotion of MTV Networks on Campus since 2008 and in other jobs at MTV and Logo before that, Ms. Cranshaw also led or worked on campaigns that addressed racial, gender and sexual-orientation discrimination (“Look Different”); human trafficking (“Against Our Will”); global warming (with a video starring Larry David); and post-traumatic stress disorder. She handled others that celebrated Black History Month, Black Music Month, gay couples through the years and the film director Joel Schumacher.
Sophia Sant Cranshaw was born on Oct. 29, 1970, in Memphis and grew up in Tyler, Tex., the daughter of John A. Cranshaw, a FedEx employee, and the former Nonah Louise Brown, who worked for Dillard’s department store. Ms. Cranshaw received a degree in radio, television and film from the University of North Texas in 1993 and later graduated from the executive leadership development program of the U.C.L.A. Anderson Business School.
Ms. Cranshaw, who lived in Brooklyn, is survived by her parents and a sister, Pia Mitchell.
Offering career guidance to young people in 2007, Ms. Cranshaw advised Go! Magazine’s readers to be open to the input of others. “You never know when a good idea will come your way,” she said. “But at the end of the day, I’d say you should go with your gut, because instinct is everything.
“Plus, you’ll never please everybody, anyway.”
DON MARSHALL, WHO MADE CASTING HISTORY IN ‘LAND OF THE GIANTS’
Don Marshall, one of the first black actors to have a starring role on an American network television series, as a spaceship’s efficient, levelheaded first officer stranded on a mysterious planet on “Land of the Giants,” died on Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 80.
The death was confirmed by the actress BarBara Luna on a Facebook post.
“Land of the Giants,” which ran from 1968 to 1970 on ABC, was a science-fiction adventure about the passengers and crew of a small suborbital aircraft that crash-lands on a planet inhabited by humanoids 70 feet tall and house cats the size of King Kong. Mr. Marshall starred alongside Gary Conway, who played the pilot.
The producer was Irwin Allen, the man behind “Lost in Space” and other 1960s science-fiction shows and later the mastermind of blockbuster disaster movies, including “The Towering Inferno” and “The Poseidon Adventure.”
“It was a very pleasant set most of the time,” Mr. Marshall recalled in an interview with a fan website years later, “especially when Irwin Allen wasn’t there.”
At the time, just past the height of the civil rights movement, the only African-American stars on prime-time network series were Bill Cosby on “I Spy” (which began in 1965) and Greg Morris on “Mission: Impossible” (starting in 1966).
Diahann Carroll joined their ranks when “Julia,” a sitcom on which she starred as a widowed nurse and single mother, had its premiere in 1968. Mr. Marshall appeared on four episodes of that series, as the title character’s love interest.
Over three decades, Mr. Marshall appeared in more than two dozen television series as well as television movies and feature films. He was often cast as an authority figure: an F.B.I. agent on “Good Times,” a senator on “Capitol” and a police officer on “Mission: Impossible” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.”
He was particularly proud, he said, of his role as a young 19th-century doctor facing frontier bigotry in a 1981 episode of “Little House on the Prairie.”
In his screen debut, the 1962 film “The Interns,” he was a physician in training. In “Uptown Saturday Night” (1974), starring Sidney Poitier and Mr. Cosby, Mr. Marshall played a henchman. In “The Thing With Two Heads” (1972), the cult science-fiction hit about a doctor who brings Ray Milland and Roosevelt Grier together with a transplant, he was the surgeon.
After he retired from acting, he founded DJR Productions, which specialized in television commercials and other video projects.
His brother is among his survivors.
Mr. Marshall established his place in “Star Trek” history in a 1967 episode of the original series. As Lieutenant Boma, part of a small shuttlecraft landing party under attack by furry monsters with spears, he was impatient with the half-Vulcan character Spock’s reliance on logic, making that clear with cynical comments like “You? Err? Impossible?”
Two members of the landing party perished, but, going against all “Star Trek” conventional wisdom, Mr. Marshall’s character was not one of them.
JAMES GALANOS, FASHION DESIGNER FOR THE ELITE
James Galanos, a fashion designer who spent decades dressing America’s social elite, most notably Nancy Reagan, died on Sunday at his home in West Hollywood, Calif. He was 92.
His death was confirmed by Rosina Rucci, the sister of Mr. Galanos’s friend and fellow designer Ralph Rucci.
During his long career, Mr. Galanos (pronounced with the accent on the first syllable) earned the most accolades his industry had to offer, including several Coty Awards (he was the youngest designer to win one, in 1954), a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and a bronze plaque on Seventh Avenue’s Fashion Walk of Fame. He dressed the famous and the socially prominent — the ladies who lunched, from Park Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue — and outfitted Mrs. Reagan on four inaugural occasions, twice after Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California and twice after he became president.
“Ronnie liked Jimmy’s clothes very much,” Mrs. Reagan said in a 2007 interview with Vanity Fair magazine. “Wearing Jimmy meant never going overboard or to extremes. Jimmy really set the standard.”
On another occasion, she remarked of a Galanos dress that “you can wear one inside out, they are so beautifully made.”
Mr. Galanos was in many ways as renowned for what he declined as what he embraced. More than any other American designer, he embodied the concept that elegance is refusal.
He evaded celebrity, never sought a broad clientele and actively shunned the fashion establishment and its press. He did not stage fashion shows. He contented himself with providing precisely executed, chaste and ingeniously cut clothing to a small and unswervingly devoted group from what was once termed “the luxury niche.”
“I’m only interested in designing for a certain type of woman,” Mr. Galanos once said. “Specifically, one that has money.”
Although his name was for decades among the best known and most revered in American fashion, he did not transform himself into a mass-market brand, as his contemporaries Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene did. While others developed less expensive collections and long lists of licensees manufacturing products under their names, Mr. Galanos stuck to designing costly luxury clothing.
Mr. Galanos authorized just two licenses — one for furs and one for perfume — between 1951, when he opened Galanos Originals in Los Angeles, and his retirement in 1998 from a business he believed had become irretrievably crass.
“How many women can wear just a patch over their crotch and bra?” he asked in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily at the time. “Aren’t you embarrassed when you see a young girl walking down the street practically naked?”
Exposed is something no woman ever felt in a Galanos design. The simple shapes he favored were as much engineered as designed and were, for all their technical complexity, not ostentatious.
“Like a master craftsman, Mr. Galanos is constantly seeking new ways to achieve different effects, to extend the range of dressmaking techniques,” Bernardine Morris, the New York Times fashion critic, observed in 1993. The French couturier Hubert de Givenchy seconded that opinion. “We don’t make them this well in Paris,” he said.
When Mr. Galanos was given a career retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum in 1997, his work was reviewed by art critics, a sign of how successfully he had bridged the gulf between the fine and applied arts in creating designs that demanded to be taken seriously as cultural totems.
A critic for Artforum magazine went so far as to inventory the component parts of a simple evening dress from 1969: “Bodice of black over yellow silk chiffon, vertically pin-tucked; bead embroidery by D. Getson; Eastern embroidery; skirt of white silk and printed matelassé (double weave), printed in yellow, pink, pale green and brown with a black ground by Staron with a self-belt by Winton.”
Although Mr. Galanos said when he retired that he had “no plans except to relax,” in recent years he had turned his attention to photography, shooting both black-and-white landscapes and abstract works in color.
Information on survivors was not immediately available.
For a time Mr. Galanos worked as an assistant to the designer Hattie Carnegie. He decamped at age 20 for California, where he apprenticed himself to the costume designer Jean Louis at Columbia Studios. With the exception of an unpaid yearlong internship with the Parisian couturier Robert Piguet and a brief stint as a ready-to-wear designer in New York, he remained in California for the rest of his career.
Yet he was never allied with his more adventurous West Coast competition, the designers from what is called the Golden Age of California who laid the groundwork for the athletic, sportswear-inspired styles that became a potent cultural export of postwar America.
While Los Angeles contemporaries like Rudi Gernreich explored futurism with topless swimsuits, thongs and monokinis, Mr. Galanos stuck to supplying the “little nothing” dresses that were his trademark to a coterie of celebrity loyalists like Marlene Dietrich, Rosalind Russell and Diana Ross, and to the moneyed elite of both coasts.
Shortly after he established Galanos Originals, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills and Neiman Marcus in Dallas placed orders. Influential fashion editors soon championed his work, and his reputation was established.
Among his early clients was Grace Kelly. Stanley Marcus, the chairman emeritus of Neiman Marcus, once recalled that with her wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco approaching in 1956, she decided that “she didn’t have the right thing to wear, so she called Jimmy and said she needed one of his beautiful chiffon dresses” — within a week. He delivered.
When Mr. Galanos retired from fashion in 1998, he was asked what he considered to be the highlight of his career.
“The highlight of my career is simply existing for 46 years,” he answered. “The most important thing I have done is to maintain what I started out to do.”
“I never deviated,” he added, “from what was most important, which was quality.”
An obituary in some editions on Monday and in some copies on Tuesday about the fashion designer James Galanos misidentified the location of the town from which his parents immigrated. They were from the town of Naoussa in Greek Macedonia — not the town by the same name on the Greek island of Paros.