Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

January 01, 1991

Kiel Martin, who played the shady detective Johnny "J. D." LaRue on the television series "Hill Street Blues," died Friday of lung cancer at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 46. Mr. Martin was a regular performer on the Emmy-winning series. In 1987 he played a dead man given a chance to return to life in "Second Chance," a Fox television series, and in the same year he co-starred with Ann Jillian in the NBC-TV movie "Convicted: a Mother's Story."

Harry Drackert, whose "dude ranches" were briefly home to playwright Arthur Miller, Mary Rockefeller and other luminaries establishing Nevada residency in order to get divorces, died Wednesday of heart failure at a Reno hospital. He was 87. From the 1940s to the 1960s, he and his wife, Joan, operated three guest ranches, including the Donner Trail guest ranch in Verdi and the Silver Circle Ranch in Reno.

David Saperstein, who helped put together the Securities and Exchange Commission and then fought questionable market practices as one of its top officials, died Friday at a hospital in North Bergen, N.J. He was 89. As a lawyer with the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency in the 1930s, he helped draft the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and his role with the committee grew as it stepped up its inquiries into banking and stock market dealings. He joined the SEC in 1934, and by 1935 had posted a "rogues' gallery" of some 30,000 names to weed out fake stock salesmen accused of preying on unwitting clients during the boom days. He left government service in 1937 and worked as a corporate lawyer until he retired in 1982.

Warren Skaaren, a screenwriter who worked on such blockbusters as "Batman" and "Top Gun," died of bone cancer Friday night at his home in Austin, Texas. He was 44. During the 1980s, Mr. Skaaren gained a reputation as one of the country's top script doctors -- a screenwriter who could take over a troubled script and rewrite it. The four films he was best known for rewriting -- "Batman," "Top Gun," "Beverly Hills Cop 2" and "Beetlejuice" -- together grossed more than $1 billion. In the mid-1970s, he helped form FPS Inc., a television and film productions services company in Dallas. The company has handled location shooting for the television series "Dallas," and worked on the film "Tender Mercies," which was shot in Waxahachie.

Richard Dunne, the former executive director of the Gay Men's Health Crisis, New York City's largest private provider of AIDS services, died Saturday at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I., while on a family visit. He was 46 and lived in Manhattan. He died of AIDS-related causes, his family said. Mr. Dunne ran the agency from 1985 to 1989. It claims a volunteer corps of 1,800, up from 500 in 1985, and puts the number of AIDS sufferers it has served at 8,000.

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