March 30, 2006
David Rose, Famed Court Sketch Artist, Dies at 95
by Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
David Rose, who pinned history to his sketch pad in famous trials around the world, died March 4 at his Hollywood home at the age of 95, still drawing until the last weeks of his life.
As a sketch artist in courtrooms where cameras were banned, Rose brought the drama and faces of criminals, victims and judges to millions of newspaper readers and television viewers around the world.
He and Heritage publisher Herb Brin were the only American reporters at the trial of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie before a French tribunal.
Other trial personalities caught by his pen and color pencils were defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg, heiress Patty Hearst, automaker John Z. DeLorean, assassin Sirhan Sirhan and members of the Manson family gang.
Rose chronicled Israeli life before and after statehood, worked for major Hollywood studios as a designer and art director and during World War II served in a unit that created training and propaganda films.
His works were frequently displayed at fine arts galleries and were exhibited at the University of Judaism.
Rose's wife, Ida, a sculptor and teacher, and a daughter, Marsha Rose-Shea, died before he did. He is survived by a second daughter, Lisa Rose.
Deeply concerned about the future of both Israel and the United States, Rose had asked that any donations go toward defeating the Bush administration and its agenda, Lisa Rose said.
Rickie Layne, Iconic Ventriloquist, Dies at 81
by Jeff Abraham
Rickie Layne, iconic ventriloquist and comedian of Ed Sullivan fame, died Feb. 11 at Tarzana Hospital in Tarzana. The cause of death was heart failure.
Born Richard Israel Cohen in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn on Oct. 30, 1924, he began entertaining at 9. Layne was the son of Russian immigrants Sonya Ludwig (aka popular comic vaudevillian "Gypsy Sonya") and Jacques Cohen; and grandson of the watchmaker to the czar. His parents divorced when he was 5.
Layne's career began when he was a youngster, doing impersonations, then his Uncle Norbert gave him a dummy. He tried out his ventriloquism act as an encore and the audience liked the encore better. He named the dummy Willie Gladstone because he slept in a Gladstone bag.
In 1943, Willie accompanied 18-year-old Rickie to the Army, where they toured with the Major Bowes entertainment unit, playing almost every theater in the United States and Canada. After being discharged from the Army in 1945, Layne went on to headline at Grossinger's in the Catskills. It was while working in the Borscht Belt that Rickie chose to give Willie a decidedly Yiddish character, and changed the dummy's name to Velvel.
During his stint in the Army he met, fell in love with and married LaRue Olsen from Price, Utah. In September 1949, Rickie and LaRue moved from New York to the San Fernando Valley. In February 1957 they moved to Northridge, where Rickie lived until he was hospitalized in late December 2005. The unlikely union of a Mormon farm girl and a Jewish wise guy lasted 56 years, until LaRue's death in 2002.
Over their long career, Layne and Velvel played venues around the world -- Cary Grant would catch his act at Billy Gray's Bandbox, a popular Fairfax District club.
But it was in 1955 while working at Ciro's on Sunset Boulevard (now the Comedy Store), that fate stepped in and changed his life. He had been working there when Ciro's hired Maria Cole, Nat King Cole's wife, to sing. Nat would come every night to see the show and he loved Layne's act. Cole told Ed Sullivan that he needed to put Layne on Sullivan's show, but Sullivan was reluctant to come out to Los Angeles to audition a ventriloquist act. Cole was so confident in Layne's talent that he told Sullivan that if the act bombed, Cole would either pay Layne's fee or do a Sullivan show gratis. Sullivan agreed to the unusual deal, and on January 1, 1956, Rickie Layne and Velvel made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town." They made 38 appearances over 10 years.
Success on television created great demand for him in clubs and other venues around the country. Without Velvel, he performed as a character actor in television and film, including "The Thin Man" and "The Jimmy Stewart Show" as well as several Disney comedies ("The Strongest Man in the World," "The Shaggy D.A.," "Pete's Dragon" and "The North Avenue Irregulars"). In 1986, in an instance of art imitating life, Layne and Velvel appeared together on an episode of "Night Court" as an aging ventriloquist and his dummy.
In April 2002, at the Vegas Ventriloquist Festival, the International Ventriloquist Association presented Rickie Layne and Velvel with the lifetime achievement Askins Award.
Layne is survived by his daughters, Kelly (David) Benning, Sandy Duncan and Teri; granddaughters, Erin Duncan and Ashley, Kimberly and Laura Benning; and, of course, Velvel, who will live forever.
Michelle Agasi died Feb. 5 at 52. She is survived by her husband, Nir; and sister, Elizabeth Good. Chevra Kadisha
Bluma Asch died March 6 at 90. She is survived by her husband, Samson; daughters, Hella (Charles) Hershson and Basia (Larry) Frank; son, Morris (Linda) Asch; and three grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Pauline Gottlieb Behar died Feb. 27 at 91. She is survived by her daughter, Jacqueline Shapiro; son, Jules (Judy); five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Ben Berkowitz died March 7 at 94. He is survived by his son, Alvin Berke; one granddaughter; and one great-granddaughter. Malinow and Silverman
JOSEPH BESBECK died Feb. 24 at 103. He is survived by his children, Robert (Shirley) and Dee (Harold) Buchwald; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Emma; and brother-in-law, Marvin Berk. Hillside
JANINE AVIGAIL BITTON died Feb. 21 at 51. She is survived by her husband, Moshe; daughter, Joanna; and sister, Marie Yvonne Gabay. Sholom Chapels
LIBBY CHROMAN died March 6 at 94. She is survived by her nephew, Dr. Ira Diamond. Sholom Chapels
Norma Curtis died March 7 at 75. She is survived by her husband, Daniel; and daughters, Cathy and Tracy. Malinow and Silverman
JOE DEITCH died Feb. 27 at 87. He is survived by his wife, Lilly; daughter, Lauren (Frank) Liuzzi; son, Steve (Pamela); grandsons Michael and Jason; sister-in-law, Anita; nephew, Stewart (Nancy); niece, Cyndie Geller; and extended family. Hillside
William Dimsdale died March 3 at 85. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Lillian (Bernie) Bornstein. Malinow and Silverman
RUTH LEAH DRUCKER died Feb. 26 at 79. She is survived by her son, Mark (Dede); daughter, Linda Sapier; three grandchildren; and brother, Hy Budoff. Hillside
SAM DUNN died March 1 at 85. He is survived by his daughter, Diane; son, Danny; and niece, Robin Weinberg. Hillside
Laura Dworkin died March 7 at 96. She is survived by her daughters, Sophie Brill, Barbara (Morton) Scolnick and Marlene (William) Schwartz; son, Marvin (Patty) Dworkin; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sister, Lil Block; brother, Jim Hillelson; nieces; and nephews.
Jack Evans died March 2 at 83. He is survived by his wife, Lillian; and sons, Philip and Eric. Mount Sinai
Doris Falikman died March 4 at 91. She is survived by her daughter, Esther Bloch; and grandson, Michael (Carolynne) Bloch. Mount Sinai
Harry Aaron Farkas died March 3 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Roslyn; daughters, Lynne (Howard) Dasteel and Barbara (Tom) Carlson; and four grandchildren. Groman
BERTHA FINEMAN died March 2 at 92. She is survied by her daughter, Elaine (Jerry) Pfefferman; grandchildren, Darren (Bella) and Erich; and great-grandson, Jonas. Hillside
LILLIAN FREEMAN died Feb. 25 at 99. She is survived by her son, Robert (Rose) Hoffman; and two grandchildren. Hillside
DORIS GAMSON died Feb. 27 at 78. She is survived by her husband, Ed; daughter, Jan (Bill) Tanner; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Hillside
Leonard Gelbman died Feb. 27 at 91. He is survived by his wife, Adele; son, Andrew (Julie); granddaughter, Monica; and grandson, Mark (Jean). Mount Sinai
Alfred Gernsbacher died March 1 at 83. He is survived by his nephews, Sidney (Gloria) and Bruce (Yvonne) Kassler; great-niece, Lexi Kassler; and cousins, Sylvia and Dr. Jerry Wilkenfeld. Mount Sinai
LILLIAN GERSON died March 3 at 84. She is survived by her son, Jack (Amanda); daughter, Shoshana; six grandchildren; and sister, Sylvia Elkin. Sholom Chapels
Andrew Gervay died March 6 at 86. He is survived by his daughter, Sandy; and two grandchildren. Groman
Henry Norman Gold died Feb. 27 at 73. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; son, David; daughter, Delisa Levine; three grandchildren; brother, Herbert; and sister, Ruth Bronstein. Groman
Hilary Goldstone died March 3 at 58. She is survived by her husband, Donald Burns. Groman
Leona Gould died March 6 at 92. She is survived by her two sons, Jerrold and Charles Berger; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Groman
Dorothy Grossblat died March 6 at 98. She is survived by her daughters, Leba Marquez and Bina (Brian) Garfield; son, David; one grandson; and sister, Seleste Gersten. Malinow and Silverman
Beatrice Bernadette Gurkewitz died March 2 at 86. She is survived by her daughters, Sandra (Henry Markus) and Rona; and two grandchildren. Groman
Rita Hartz died Feb. 28 at 78. She is survived by her husband, Lawrence; daughter, Michelle (Robert Burgess); and grandson, Joseph Burgess. Mount Sinai
William Herskovic died March 3 at 91. He is survived by his wife, Maria; daughters, Micheline Herskovic Keller, Patricia and Susanne; four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. Groman
JEROME JACOBSON died Feb. 25 at 68. He is survived by his wife, Anita; daughters, Suzi (Michael) Vanole and Jill; grandsons, Dante and Nico Vanole; mother, Mae; sister, Karen (Chuck) Cohen; and cousin, Karen Greensweig. Hillside
Alfred Jones died March 3 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; daughter, Sandra Jones; stepdaughters, Rosalyn Lipof, Susan Corman, Irene Larsen and Cindy Murray; and eight grandchildren. Groman
Ejllal Khalili died March 6 at 75. He is survived by his wife, Farangis; and son, Nader. Chevra Kadisha
Ruth Kliegman died Feb. 28 at 93. She is survived by her son, Harold; daughter, Linda Boyer; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Groman
Frank Kligman died March 6 at 92. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughter, Maxine Fox; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Groman
Sheila Krotinger died March 4 at 75. She is survived by her husband, Nathan; daughters, Michelle (Aaron) Wolf and Eve Panush; and four grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman
SHIRLEY LEVIE died Feb. 23 at 81. She is survived by her daughters, Linda Friedman and Laura; and granddaughters, Rebecca and Rachel Friedman. Hillside
MINNA BESS LEWIS died Feb. 25 at 92. She is survived by her son, Marlo Jr. (Mary); four grandchildren; five great grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Monica Lewis Lang. Hillside
Mary Liss died Feb. 27 at 82. She is survived by her husband, Sidney; sister, Ruth Ash; nephews, Harold and David (Peggy) Ash; and two grandnephews. Mount Sinai
Rita Loeb died March 6 at 86. She is survived by her niece, Alba Kourbatoff-Ventura. Chevra Kadisha
SEYMOUR MARIAS died Feb. 28 at 83. He is survived by his wife, Seidel; children, Richard (Teri) and Joel (Melissa); grandchildren; Rachel, David and Brian. Hillside
Lillian Mark died March 5 at 92. She is survived by her daughter, Roberta (Allan) Nyman; son, Steven (Vera); six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sister, Nina Wuint; and brother, Dr. Harold Pokras. Mount Sinai
DORIS MONTROSE died Feb. 28 at 84. She is survived by her sons, Howard and Charles; daughter, Sandra; daughter-in-law, Donna; brother, Alan Layne; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Hillside
Davoud Nastarin died March 3 at 93. He is survived by his wife, Heshmat; daughter, Djamileh (David Soley) Soleymani; and grandson, Behtaj (Afsaneh) Amiri. Mount Sinai
Michael Nissen died March 3 at 81. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne; son, Lawrence; brother, Sidney; and three grandchildren. Groman
HAROLD NORMAN died March 3 at 81. He is survived by his wife, Gerry; children, Barbara (Max) Reif, Michele (Michael) and Jill; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Hillside
Lawrence Orenstein died Feb. 22 at 87. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; son, Robert; and daughter, Laura Roveda. Chevra Kadisha
ALBERT PESSES died Feb. 26 at 77. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; daughter, Marilyn (Marty) Kay; sons, Leon and Harold; and grandchildren. Sholom Chapels
Leonard Pode died Feb. 14 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Marion; son, Charles (Laura); daughter, DonnaSue (John) Boni; six grandchildren; sisters, Shirley Priceman and Lillian; nieces; and nephews. Mount Sinai
DAVID ROSE died March 4 at 95. He is survived by his daughter, Lisa Rose. Mount Sinai
Evelyne Rosenblatt died Feb. 28 at 89. She is survived by her sons, Richard and Stanley; three grandsons; and two great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Rose Rosenstein died March 1 at 94. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy Schroeder; and two grandchildren. Mount Sinai
ISADORE ROSENTHAL died Feb. 24 at 82. He is survived by his son, Leonard. Sholom Chapels
Sonya Sapozhnik died Feb. 25 at 88. She is survived by her sons, Semyon and Yaakov Sapozhnikov. Chevra Kadisha
Florence Sederoff died March 3 at 89. She is survived by her son, Ronald (Heike); daughter, Rosalie (Michael); four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and sisters, Ethel Spizer and Ruth Bloom. Malinow and Silverman
Joseph Paul Shanfield died March 2 at 100. He is survived by his children, Stephen (Alicia Leff), Paula and Allan (Reenie Mandel); three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; brother, Albert; sister, Hannah Grossman; and brother, Henry. Mount Sinai
MINNA FRANCES SILVERGLADE died Feb. 25 at 96. She is survived by her daughters, Sigrid (Alan), Judith and Debbie; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Hillside
Norman Seymour Stern died March 2 at 78. He is survived by his sons, Jeffrey and Michael; daughter, Maxine Joy Simon; and three grandchildren. Groman
DIANE SHALET STRONG died Feb. 23 at 71. She is survived by her friend, Dr. Sidney Prince. Sholom Chapels
William Wolinsky died Feb. 27 at 84. He is survived by his daughter, Estelle (David) Horwitz; son, Carl (Laura Vink); granddaughter, Leah Horwitz; and grandson, Joshua Horwitz. Mount Sinai
Bernard Zeiger died March 3 at 88. He is survived by his son, Greg; and daughter, Constance (Richard) Frank. Malinow and Silverman
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JewishJournal.com is produced by TRIBE Media Corp., a non-profit media company whose mission is to inform, connect and enlighten community