Edgar ‘Buddy’ Freitag
Broadway producer

Edgar “Buddy” Freitag, 80, a producer who helped back some of Broadway’s most talked-about shows, including “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Memphis” and several hit revivals, died May 30 in New York of complications from a brain tumor, according to his wife and producing partner, Barbara Freitag.

Several of his shows — including the hit revival of “Porgy and Bess,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It” and “End of the Rainbow” — will be vying Tony Awards in June.

Mr. Freitag was in advertising and mortgage banking before he and his wife began investing in theatrical productions.

In 2007, he began his Broadway producing career with “The Homecoming.” He went on to back such shows as “Passing Strange,” “The Miracle Worker,” “Catch Me if You Can,” “West Side Story,” “Legally Blonde,” “In the Heights” and “All My Sons.”

Michael O’Neill
journalist

Michael O’Neill, 89, former editor in chief of the New York Daily News, who oversaw coverage of the city’s financial crisis in the 1970s, died May 29 at his home in Scarsdale, N.Y. He had pulmonary fibrosis, his daughter Kathryn O’Neill said.

Mr. O’Neill started at the Daily News’s Washington bureau in 1956 and rose through the ranks to become the top editor in 1975. His tenure included the famous Daily News headline about President Gerald R. Ford’s speech denying the city money during the financial crisis, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.”

Mr. O’Neill, who stepped down from his position as editor in 1982, hired columnists Jimmy Breslin and Mike Lupica and called for wider coverage of New York’s five boroughs.

Jim Paratore
TV executive

Jim Paratore, 59, a Warner Bros. television executive who developed and steered such series as “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Tyra Banks Show” and who helped create the TMZ entertainment Web site, died May 29 after suffering a heart attack while bicycling in France.</p><p>Mr. Paratore was Warner Bros. Telepictures Productions president from 1992 to 2006 and executive vice president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution since 2002.</p><p>In 2005, he and Harvey Levin launched TMZ, which has become a popular Web site and television show for entertainment news.</p><p>Mr. Paratore was also an executive producer of DeGeneres’s talk show and helped build Telepictures Productions into a top producer of syndicated TV and a supplier of prime-time reality shows, including “The Bachelor.”</p>

Jim Paratore, 59, a Warner Bros. television executive who developed and steered such series as “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Tyra Banks Show” and who helped created the TMZ entertainment Web site, died May 29 after suffering a heart attack while bicycling in France.

Mr. Paratore was Warner Bros. Telepictures Productions president from 1992 to 2006 and executive vice president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution since 2002.

In 2005, he and Harvey Levin launched TMZ, which has become a popular Web site and television show for entertainment news.

Mr. Paratore was also an executive producer of DeGeneres’s talk show and helped build Telepictures Productions into a top producer of syndicated TV and a supplier of prime-time reality shows, including “The Bachelor.”

Orlando Woolridge
basketball player

Orlando Woolridge, 52, a former standout player in the National Basketball Association, died May 31 at his parents’ home in Mansfield, La. DeSoto Parish Chief Coroner Billy Locke said Mr. Woolridge had been under hospice care for a chronic heart condition.

The 6-foot-9 Mr. Woolridge played college basketball at Notre Dame before becoming a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls in 1981. He played for the Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Detroit during a 13-year NBA career.

One of the league’s most prolific dunkers, Mr. Woolridge averaged 16.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

After his NBA career, he played two seasons of professional basketball in Italy and coached the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.

— From news services

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