Obituaries in the news

Eds: SUBS Leavitt item to CORRECT attribution. ADDS Scheider.

By The Associated Press

John Alvin

RHINEBECK, N.Y. (AP) -- Illustrator John Alvin, who created the posters for more than 120 movies including "Blazing Saddles," "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," and "The Lion King," has died. He was 59.

Alvin died Wednesday of a heart attack, according to the president of Linda Jones Enterprises in Irvine, Calif., one of several galleries representing Alvin's work.

Alvin's career began in 1974 with his creation of the movie poster for Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles." That successful campaign led to work on numerous other Brooks films including "Young Frankenstein."

Alvin produced many special works for Lucasfilm's Star Wars phenomenon, including the Star Wars Tenth Anniversary poster, highly coveted by collectors. Some of his most famous work was done for science fiction and fantasy film series such as "Alien," "Jurassic Park," the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "Harry Potter."

He also produced posters and promotional artwork for numerous Disney movies, including "Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid," "Pinocchio," and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

As other forms of movie promotion and advertising became more important than posters in recent years, Alvin had begun to focus more on creating interpretive art about movies rather than advertising.


Ron Leavitt

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ron Leavitt, who co-created the sitcom "Married With Children," has died Sunday. He was 60.

Leavitt died of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles, his publicist Larry Winokur said.

Leavitt was best known for teaming up with Michael G. Moye to create "Married With Children," a sitcom about the luckless shoe salesman Al Bundy and his dysfunctional family.

"Married With Children" ran on the Fox network from 1987 to 1997 and became the network's second-longest running sitcom behind "The Simpsons." Leavitt served as the show's executive producer and helped write nearly 150 episodes.

Leavitt broke into television in the 1970s writing episodes of "Busting Loose," "Happy Days," "Laverne he Bad News Bears." In the 1980s, Leavitt had a stint as a producer of "The Jeffersons."


Roy Scheider

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Roy Scheider, a two-time Oscar nominee best known for his role as a police chief in the blockbuster movie "Jaws," has died. He was 75.

Scheider died Sunday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock, hospital spokesman David Robinson said. The hospital did not release a cause of death.

However, hospital spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said Scheider had been treated for multiple myeloma at the hospital's Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy for the past two years.

He was nominated for a best-supporting actor Oscar in 1971's "The French Connection" in which he played the police partner of Oscar winner Gene Hackman and for best-actor for 1979's "All That Jazz," the autobiographical Bob Fosse film.

However, he was best known for his role in Steven Spielberg's 1975 film, "Jaws," the enduring classic about a killer shark terrorizing beachgoers and well as millions of moviegoers.

Widely hailed as the film that launched the era of the Hollywood blockbuster, it was also the first movie to earn $100 million at the box office. Scheider starred with Richard Dreyfuss, who played an oceanographer.

In 2005, one of Scheider's most famous lines in the movie -- "You're gonna need a bigger boat" -- was voted No. 35 on the American Film Institute's list of best quotes from U.S. movies.