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PASSINGS: Wendy Hughes, William Hauck, S. Lee Pogostin, Fred Kaz

Wendy Hughes

Australian actress dies at 61

Wendy Hughes, 61, an Australian actress best known to American audiences for her performance in the 1979 film "My Brilliant Career," died of cancer Saturday in Sydney, her family said.

Hughes began her rise to stardom during a renaissance in the Australian film industry in the 1970s and '80s, beginning with "My Brilliant Career," in which she played Aunt Helen to the headstrong heroine portrayed by Judy Davis. The film swept the Australian Film Institute awards and in the U.S. was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

Her other notable films include "Careful, He Might Hear You" (1983), which brought Hughes a best actress award from the Australian Film Institute; "Lonely Hearts" (1982); and "An Indecent Obsession" (1985).

On television she appeared opposite Pierce Brosnan in the 1989 HBO movie "The Heist;" played Jacqueline Kennedy's mother, Janet Lee Bouvier, in the Emmy-winning miniseries "A Woman Named Jackie" (1991); and in 1993 had a recurring role as Dr. Carol Blythe in the NBC series "Homicide: Life on the Street."

She also played Lt. Cmdr. Neala Daren on an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," a continuation of the original "Star Trek" television series. "I loved being beamed up!" she told the Sun Herald of Sydney in 2001.

Hughes was born in Melbourne on July 29, 1952. Initially drawn to ballet, she turned to theater when she realized that she was not cut out to be a dancer. A graduate of Australia's prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art, she worked in repertory in Melbourne before she began to land juicy parts, including the role of Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

William Hauck

Longtime Cal State trustee dies at 73

William Hauck, 73, a prominent business and political figure who served longer than any other member of the California State University board of trustees, died Friday at a hospital in Roseville after a long battle with brain cancer, officials said.

Hauck, a resident of St. Helena in Napa Valley, was chairman of the Cal State board's finance committee, where he was instrumental in guiding the nation's largest four-year university system through a bruising period of state funding cuts, class reductions and tuition hikes.

Hauck led search committees for campus presidents at Sacramento, San Jose and San Diego and in 2012 chaired the panel that appointed Cal State Chancellor Timothy P. White, who succeeded former Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

Hauck was appointed to the board in 1993 by former Gov. Pete Wilson and served as chairman from 1998 to 2000. He was an alumnus of San Jose State University and a former president of the California State Student Assn.

He served on several committees focused on student achievement and in 2010 endowed the Trustee William Hauck Scholarship, awarded to a San Jose State student in recognition of academic performance, personal accomplishment and service to the community.

Hauck was born Aug. 20, 1940, in Topeka, Kan., and lived in Salt Lake City and New Jersey. He graduated from Burlingame High School in Northern California and attended the College of San Mateo before transferring to San Jose State, where he earned a bachelor's degree in social science in 1963.

Hauck held a number of positions in state government and was a close advisor to leaders of both parties, serving as deputy chief of staff for the Republican Gov. Wilson and chief of staff for former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown Jr., a Democrat. He also directed the Assembly Office of Research.

He served as president and chief executive of the California Business Roundtable and in 2011 joined the Sacramento public relations firm Goddard Claussen/West (now Redwood Pacific) as a senior advisor.

S. Lee Pogostin

TV and film writer and director dies at 86

S. Lee Pogostin, 86, a television and film writer and director whose projects featured such leading actors of the 1960s as James Coburn, Lee Remick and Cliff Robertson, died Friday at his Chatsworth home after a long illness, his son Stephen said.

Pogostin gained prominence in the era of live TV, writing for dramatic series such as "Lux Video Theatre," "Campbell Soundstage" and "Studio One." He won a Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination in 1966 for his original teleplay "The Game," which was directed by Sydney Pollack and starred Robertson.

He became known for stories with unorthodox twists, such as in the 1969 film "Hard Contract," which Pogostin wrote and directed. It revolved around a hired killer played by Coburn, who is humanized by a woman he falls in love with, played by Remick.

"'Hard Contract' has to be called an auteur film in the French sense because there is not a character, a line, a moment, which does not bear the impress of one guiding intelligence, Pogostin's," critic Charles Champlin wrote in The Times.

Pogostin also wrote a number of other movies, including "Synanon," "Nightmare Honeymoon" and "High Road to China."

Born in Jersey City, N.J., on March 8, 1927, Pogostin grew up in Washington, D.C. In 1950 he moved to New York, where he wrote for radio programs such as "Suspense" before shifting to television and film work.

Fred Kaz

Music director of Chicago's Second City dies at 80

Fred Kaz, 80, a jazz pianist who was the music director of Chicago's Second City comedy theater for 24 years, died Wednesday of lung cancer on his boat in San Pedro, where he had lived in retirement. The theater announced his death.

Hired in the early 1960s, Kaz was assigned to do what jazz pianists do, only with actors instead of fellow musicians.

For the next few decades, Kaz tickled the keys amid the sketches and improvised sets on the main stage, becoming as crucial as any cast member.

"You have a skeletal structure, and you fill it in by virtue of your talent and awareness," Kaz said in a 2009 interview with the Chicago Tribune, describing his role at the Second City piano. That process of "filling in," Kaz explained, was motivated as much by how the audience was reacting as what the cast was doing.

His formidable skills as an improvisational pianist were all the more remarkable because he was missing two fingers on his left hand, the result of a factory accident when he was 22.

Kaz also served for a time as musical director of the Upfront Comedy Showcase in Santa Monica.

Times staff reports

news.obits@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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