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Obituaries in the News

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Walker Edmiston

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Walker Edmiston, an actor who was the voice of many cartoon and puppet characters, including Ernie the Keebler elf in TV commercials, has died. He was 81.

Edmiston died of complications from cancer at his home in Woodland Hills Feb. 15, said his daughter, Erin Edmiston. He worked up until becoming ill in January, she said.

Edmiston was born Feb. 6, 1926, in St. Louis, Mo., and moved to Los Angeles in 1947.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, Edmiston had a children's show on local television, "The Walker Edmiston Show," which featured his own puppets, including Kingsley the Lion and Ravenswood the Buzzard.

In the 1960s and 1970s, he voiced many characters on shows created by Sid and Marty Krofft, including Dr. Blinkey and Orson the Vulture on "H.R. Pufnstuf" and Sparky the Firefly on "Bugaloos."

Edmiston also had acting roles in episodes of such TV series as "Gunsmoke," "Mission: Impossible" and "The Dukes of Hazzard," and performed for nearly 20 years on "Adventures in Odyssey," a radio series produced by the nonprofit group Focus on the Family.

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Hal Rothman

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Hal Rothman, a writer, professor and expert on all things Las Vegas, died Sunday after a yearlong battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 48.

Rothman died Sunday night of complications related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, his wife, Lauralee Rothman, said.

Rothman hosted a radio show, wrote a column in the Las Vegas Sun and wrote several books. He began teaching history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1992, when the Las Vegas Strip was leading southern Nevada into a decade-long economic boom. He focused on the city's reinvention and growth in his 2002 book, "Neon Metropolis: How Las Vegas Started the Twenty-first Century."

His analysis made him the media's choice for thoughtful perspective on the city. He was quoted in or appeared on almost every national news outlet, including The New York Times, Newsweek magazine, ABC World News Tonight, The Wall Street Journal, the CBS Evening News, CNN and National Public Radio.

Though he became known as a historian of modern Las Vegas, Rothman's areas of expertise also included environmental history and the history of the American West. He was the chairman of UNLV history department from 2002 to 2005.

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Ian Wallace

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ian Wallace, a journeyman drummer who toured with Bob Dylan, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt and recorded with Stevie Nicks, Ry Cooder and other music stars, died last Thursday. He was 60.

Wallace died at UCLA Medical Center of complications from esophageal cancer, his wife Marjorie Pomeroy said Monday.

Born in Bury, England, Wallace began playing in rock bands in the 1960s and earned a reputation for his eclectic range.

Wallace went on to provide beats for prominent musicians in a variety of genres. They included Crosby, Stills & Nash, Stevie Nicks, Roy Orbison, Traveling Wilburys, Brian Eno and Jackson Browne.

He also played with several jazz bands and founded the Crimson Jazz Trio.

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