LOS ANGELES -- Robert Cummings, 80, who played a swinging bachelor photographer in the 1950s sitcom "The Bob Cummings Show" and starred in dozens of films, died of kidney failure and pneumonia Dec. 2 at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills. He had Parkinson's disease.
After a movie career in the 1940s, he entered the burgeoning television industry and starred in two versions of "The Bob Cummings Show," which in its first incarnation was probably the closest thing to a sex comedy on television at the time.
On the first show, which ran on NBC and CBS from 1955 to 1959, he played Bob Collins, a photographer with his own airplane who squired beautiful models around town. He could never settle on any one woman, causing endless problems at home and among the various girlfriends. It was called "Love That Bob" in syndication, and still can be seen in reruns.
The show also starred Rosemary DeCamp, who played his widowed sister and long-suffering housekeeper; Dwayne Hickman as Mr. Cummings's admiring nephew; and Ann B. Davis, who portrayed Charmaine "Shultzy" Schultz, the savvy girl Friday who held the photo business together.
Incorporated into the scripts were several details of Mr. Cummings's real life: his penchant for maintaining youthful good looks, his home town of Joplin, Mo., and his hobby of flying small aircraft -- including assuming the role of "Grandpa Collins," who took great glee in bombing his "enemies" with jugs of cider while flying his beloved World War I-era "Jenny."
In its second incarnation, "The Bob Cummings Show" ran as a comedy-adventure on CBS in 1961 and 1962, and he played Bob Carson, a charter pilot and amateur detective. In 1964 and 1965, he had top billing in the CBS situation comedy "My Living Doll." He portrayed Robert MacDonald, a psychiatrist who was guardian of Rhoda Miller (Julie Newmar), an amazingly lifelike robot whose existence was a government secret.
His television career also included the starring role in the 1952-53 NBC situation comedy "My Hero," and a 1954 Emmy for a dramatic role in the "Studio One" production of "Twelve Angry Men."
Most of Mr. Cummings's film roles were in light comedies, but included some serious portrayals, such as in "Kings Row," in which he co-starred with Ronald Reagan, and "Dial M for Murder," Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 thriller.
His later film credits included "What a Way to Go!" and "The Carpetbaggers" in 1964; "Promise Her Anything" and a remake of "Stagecoach" in 1966; and "Five Golden Dragons" in 1967.
Clarence Robert Orville Cummings was born in Joplin. He studied engineering and business before turning to the theater to make money for his family during the Depression. He launched his acting career in England and passed himself off as British, calling himself Blade Stanhope-Conway. To help establish his credentials, he bribed a London stagehand to take his picture under a marquee bearing his alias.
Back in this country, he co-starred with Fanny Brice in "The Ziegfeld Follies" and worked as a straight man for Milton Berle. Mr. Cummings got his first film role in 1935, adopting a Texas accent to play opposite Margaret Sullavan in "So Red the Rose."
After retiring from show business, he became an ardent believer in health food and astrology. Preserving his youthful looks into his later years, Cummings wrote a book on nutrition, "How to Stay Young and Vital."
Survivors include his fifth wife, Janie, whom he married in 1989. He had seven children and nine grandchildren.
GEORGE R. GAYLIN
UPI Pictures Manager
George R. Gaylin, 80, a retired manager of the Washington picture bureau of United Press International who was a former Washington and Silver Spring resident, died Dec. 3 at his home in Coconut Creek, Fla., after a stroke.
He served as president of White House News Photographers in the mid-1950s. Mr. Gaylin began his news career in 1927 in his native Cleveland. His first job was in the photo department of Scripps-Howard newspapers, which owned United Press, a predecessor of UPI. He transferred to Washington as bureau manager in 1938 and held that post until retiring to Florida in 1972.
He made his news photography career as an editor and desk man rather than as a photographer. In addition to serving as head of UPI's Washington picture operations, he also traveled to national political conventions and international conferences as an editor. During the Korean War, he opened and directed United Press facilities in Japan.
Survivors include his wife, Ida, of Coconut Creek; a son, Harvey, of El Granada, Calif.; a daughter, Barbara Kannee of Silver Spring; a sister, Fannie Krasny of Los Angeles; and two grandchildren.
ELMER LEE COCK
Elmer Lee Cock, 81, a retired building materials salesman for L.C. Smith Co. and a former Falls Church resident, died Nov. 28 at Palm Springs Health Care Center in California. He had emphysema and heart ailments.
Mr. Cock was born in Arlington. As a young man, he worked briefly at the Pentagon, then joined the staff of L.C. Smith as a truck driver. He retired there as a salesman in 1981 after 34 years with the company. He moved to Palm Springs on retirement and had lived there since.
His wife, Margaret Cock, died in 1980. Survivors include a daughter, Lora L. Hough of Palm Springs; two stepchildren, Lawrence McCann of Post Falls, Idaho, and Dorothy Carter of Charles Town, W.Va.; a brother, Webb Cock of Vienna; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
ADA GUTTMAN APPLETON
Kiln Club Member
Ada Guttman Appleton, 85, a potter and arts patron who had lived here since the 1940s, died Nov. 27 of respiratory failure at Washington Hospital Center. She had lived in Adelphi since the early 1950s.
She was a charter member of the Kiln Club of Washington, and a judge of its pottery exhibits.
Mrs. Appleton was a native of New York who studied design there and at the University of Minnesota, where she also taught art classes in the early 1930s. She moved to Baltimore around the time of World War II, and lived in Silver Spring before moving to Adelphi. She was active in the Adelphi Citizens Association.
In addition to her interests in pottery and textile design, Mrs. Appleton supported a number of arts and philanthropical organizations, and had helped young musicians at the University of Maryland.
Her husband, Herbert Appleton, died in 1974. She leaves no immediate survivors.
HAZEL S. SCHLEE
Church & Club Member
Hazel S. Schlee, 91, a founding member of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church in Bethesda and a 50-year member of the Chevy Chase Woman's Club, died Nov. 30 at Suburban Hospital after a stroke.
Mrs. Schlee, who lived in Bethesda, was born in Bolling Green, Ohio. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University and taught school in Detroit before moving to the Washington area in 1932.
During World War II she worked at the National Bureau of Standards, where her duties involved testing the strength of plastics.
She was an amateur oil painter and ballroom and folk dancer.
Survivors include her husband of 67 years, Herbert J. Schlee of Bethesda; two children, Joan Schlee Duffy of Bedford, Mass., and John S. Schlee of Falmouth, Mass.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Eliza deSaussure Gault, 86, an area resident since 1932 who was active in church groups, died of cancer Nov. 20 at the Washington Hospice. She lived in Washington.
She had been secretary of St. John's Episcopal Church in Georgetown from 1950 to 1969, and also had done social work for the church from 1932 to 1969. A church member, she also was a choir member and Sunday school teacher. She was a member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and had marched in civil rights demonstrations.
Mrs. Gault was a graduate of Winthrop College in her native South Carolina.
Survivors include her husband, Pierce Gault, and a daughter, Sarah Ostad, both of Washington; a sister, Serena deSaussure Cox of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and two grandchildren.
JOHN B. WISHARD
Carpenter and Mechanic
John B. Wishard, 56, a carpenter and automobile mechanic and a lifelong resident of the Washington area, died of cancer Nov. 28 at Anne Arundel General Hospital in Annapolis.
Mr. Wishard, who lived in Deal, Md., was born in Washington. He served in the Army in the mid-1950s and was stationed in West Germany.
Until 1980, he was a mechanic at various garages in the area, including Tommy's Auto Clinic in Upper Marlboro. He then became a carpenter, and he was employed by Cliff Mar construction in Deal at the time of his death.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara A. Wishard, whom he married in 1961, of Deal; two children, Barbara M. Jones of Laurel and John C. Wishard of Glen Burnie; two sisters, Alma Moore of Poland, Ohio, and Jeanette Forbes of Upper Marlboro; three brothers, Norman and William Wishard, both of Lanham, and Robert Wishard of Washington; and two grandchildren.
ODESSA MINOR PARKER
Foreign Service Wife
Odessa Minor Parker, 73, a former teacher and the wife of a Foreign Service officer, died of cancer Nov. 27 at Washington Hospital Center.
Mrs. Parker, who lived in Arlington, was born in King George County, Va. She grew up in Washington. She graduated from Dunbar High School and what is now Morgan State University.
In 1945, she settled in Baltimore and in 1946 she married James A. Parker. She taught in the Baltimore public school system until 1954, when she accompanied her husband on a State Department Foreign Service assignment to Liberia. Later postings took them to Nigeria; Barcelona, Spain; Cameroon and Bolivia.
The Parkers established their residence in the Washington area in 1961. Mrs. Parker was a member of the Reid Temple A.M.E. Church in Lanham.
In addition to her husband, of Arlington, survivors include two daughters, Cheryl A. Parker of Washington and M. Parker Anderson of Arlington; a son, Jimm Parker of Oakland, Calif.; and a grandchild.
MARION M. GROCE
Marion Mangan Groce, 86, a retired D.C. government psychiatric social worker, died Nov. 29 at Georgetown University Hospital after a stroke. She lived in Washington.
Mrs. Groce joined the D.C. government in the 1950s, working in adult alcoholism and family planning programs, before becoming chief social worker of the adolescent program at the Area A Community Center in Georgetown. She retired from that post in 1974.
She was born in New York City. She was a graduate of St. Elizabeth's College in New Jersey and the Columbia University school of social work. She also received a master's degree in social work at Catholic University.
Mrs. Groce worked for Catholic Charities in New York before coming here in the mid-1940s. In the early 1950s, she was a psychiatric social worker at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville.
Her husband, George C. Groce, died in 1964. Survivors include a sister, Dorothy M. Brickley of Whiting, N.J.
ANNE B. RITCHIE
Anne Beach Ritchie, 77, a lifelong area resident who was a member of the sodality of Catholic Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament, died Nov. 30 at Suburban Hospital after a stroke. She had diabetes and a heart ailment.
Mrs. Ritchie, who lived in Chevy Chase, was born in Washington. She was a graduate of Georgetown Visitation prep school and George Washington University. During World War II, she was a job analyst with the War Manpower Commission.
Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Gordon F. Ritchie, and a son, Gordon F. Jr., both of Chevy Chase; a brother, David Beach of La Jolla, Calif.; and two grandchildren.
EMMA G. THOMPSON
Emma Grimes Thompson, 82, a former bookkeeper who had been a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, died of cancer Dec. 1 at the home of a sister in Silver Spring. She lived in Chevy Chase.
She was a bookkeeper with the Hecht Co. in the 1920s and with the Treasury Department and National Savings & Trust bank in the 1930s.
Mrs. Thompson, who was born in Nottingham, Md., came to the Washington area in 1918. She lived in Sarasota, Fla., from the mid-1950s until returning here in the early 1960s.
Her husband, William C. Thompson, died in 1981. Survivors include a son, Frank, of Frederick, Md.; a daughter, Patricia Dube of Somerset, Mass.; a sister, Melissa G. Pisciotta of Silver Spring; and six grandchildren.
JOYCE A. MATTIS
Joyce A. Mattis, 63, a Silver Spring-based sales director for Vivian Woodward Cosmetics, died of cancer Dec. 1 at Washington Adventist Hospital. She lived in Silver Spring.
Mrs. Mattis was born in Sherman, Tex., and attended Austin College. She moved to the Washington area in the mid-1950s. She was an administrator for the Corn Refiners Association before going to work for Vivian Woodward Cosmetics about 15 years ago.
Survivors include her husband, Edward S. Mattis of Silver Spring; seven children, Edward S. Mattis of Gaithersburg, Marianna C. Jones of Damascus, Denise M. Wesolowski of Laurel, Stanley J. Mattis of Baltimore, Gary K. Mattis of Laurel and Kathy A. Mattis and John T. Mattis, both of Silver Spring; and 13 grandchildren.
ELLA P. HANCE
Ella Parran Hance, 64, a retired Defense Department information specialist, died of cancer Dec. 2 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Miss Hance, who lived in Washington, was born in Prince Frederick, Md. She graduated from Calvert County High School and Fairfax Hall Junior College.
She was a secretary at the Bureau of the Mint in Washington during World War II, then joined the Defense Department after the war. She retired in 1980.
Survivors include her mother, Helen Parran Hance, and a brother, Young D. Hance, both of Prince Frederick.