The Baltimore Sun


Directed 'Private Benjamin' and 'My Girl'

Howard Zieff, the film and television commercial director whose works included Private Benjamin and My Girl, died Sunday of Parkinson's disease in Los Angeles.

Goldie Hawn, who received an Oscar nomination for best actress for her role in Private Benjamin in 1980, said Mr. Zieff "had a special talent for directing comedies, always a rare gift."

Mr. Zieff is also credited with helping to change the face of American commercials in the 1960s with witty slice-of life vignettes, such as his "Spicy Meatball" spot for Alka-Seltzer.


Widow of New Orleans musician

Antoinette K-Doe, widow of New Orleans musician Ernie K-Doe, the self-styled "Emperor of the Universe" known for his 1961 No. 1 hit "Mother-in-Law," died Tuesday of a heart attack, said Geannie Thomas, a friend and manager of the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge, a New Orleans club founded by the musician.

"If she had to die, Mardi Gras day was the appropriate time. She loved Mardi Gras," said Ms. Thomas. "It was better than Christmas for her."

Hurricane Katrina flooded the lounge, but that didn't deter Mrs. K-Doe, who quickly became a provider after the 2005 storm, cooking up pots of red beans and rice for anyone passing by the lounge, said son-in-law Gary Hughes.

She was a member of the Baby Dolls, a female marching club, Ms. Thomas said. She married Mr. K-Doe in 1996 and helped keep his memory alive after his death in 2001, Ms. Thomas said.

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