Gene Levitt

TV Writer and Director

Gene Levitt, 79, a veteran television writer, director and producer who created the 1970s hit TV series "Fantasy Island," died of prostate cancer Nov. 15 at his home in Los Angeles.

His biggest hit came in 1978 when he created "Fantasy Island," a show about a faraway resort where guests' wishes were fulfilled by a character played by Ricardo Montalban. The other star, who portrayed Montalban's assistant, was Herve Villechaize.

Mr. Levitt began his career in 1947, and he helped create the 1947 radio drama "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe." Mr. Levitt went on to write, direct and produce television features and work for such series as "Barnaby Jones," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Alias Smith and Jones."

Owen E. Hague

Tuskegee Airman

Owen E. Hague, 80, who served with the legendary Tuskegee Airmen unit of black aviators during World War II and later rose to the rank of Air Force lieutenant colonel, died Nov. 23 in Atlanta. He had kidney failure.

He was one of nearly 1,000 black aviators who prepared for service at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and formed a unit that escorted U.S. bombers on missions during the war.

Col. Hague joined the Army Air Forces as a fighter pilot in 1942 and later served as assistant to the unit's commander. After retiring from active duty in 1962, he was a financial auditor for the Georgia Insurance Department.

William K. Rutherford Jr.

Arkansas Journalist

William K. Rutherford Jr., 65, the last managing editor of the Arkansas Gazette, a past president of the Arkansas Press Association and a staunch supporter of the state Freedom of Information Act, died of pancreatic cancer Nov. 24 in Little Rock.

His career spanned 36 years at the Little Rock newspaper before it was purchased by the rival Arkansas Democrat, which resulted in a merged Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 1991.

After that, Mr. Rutherford retired from the paper and started a career as an editorial writer for several weekly papers. He also taught journalism at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.