MEL SHAVELSON, 90 Hollywood writer, director

Melville Shavelson, who wrote, directed and produced dozens of films with such stars as Lucille Ball, Jimmy Cagney and Frank Sinatra and was twice nominated for Academy Awards, died Wednesday at his Studio City home of natural causes, family spokesman Warren Cowan said.


After writing gags for Bob Hope's radio show in the 1930s, Mr. Shavelson wrote or co-wrote more than 35 movies and directed a dozen.

He was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay for The Seven Little Foys, a 1956 movie that starred Mr. Hope as legendary vaudevillian Eddie Foy, and for the 1958 romantic comedy Houseboat. He also directed both movies.


Mr. Shavelson also wrote and directed Cast a Giant Shadow, The Five Pennies, It Started in Naples, On the Double, A New Kind of Love and The War Between Men and Women.

He served three terms as president of the Writers Guild of America, West and was on the faculty of the writing program at the University of Southern California.

He also wrote two novels and four nonfiction books.

His autobiography, How to Succeed in Hollywood Without Really Trying, P.S. - You Can't! was published April 1, his 90th birthday.

RUSSELL JOHNSON, 83 Designed acclaimed acoustics

Russell Johnson, who designed the acclaimed acoustics for several of the world's leading concert and opera venues, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, died Tuesday in his sleep at his home in New York.

Mr. Johnson founded his firm in 1970 and served as chairman until his death. He collaborated with architects around the world and was instrumental in shaping contemporary approaches to the design of concert halls, opera houses, theaters and recital halls.

Performance spaces designed under his leadership have been acclaimed not only for their impact on individual communities but also on the performing arts world as a whole.


He was responsible for a host of new and renovated concert halls in cities around the world, including Dallas; Birmingham, England; Edmonton, Canada; Lucerne, Switzerland; Sao Paulo; Philadelphia; Toronto; Singapore; Miami and Paris.

His firm also worked on the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and the Pikes Peak Center near Colorado Springs, Colo.