John J. Whitacre

Nordstrom Chief

John J. Whitacre, 50, a former shoe salesclerk who became the only head of the Nordstrom clothing chain from outside the founding family, died Nov. 18 in Seattle after a heart attack.

Mr. Whitacre, who started the company's $300 million Internet catalogue business, tried to maintain a low-key style after being named Nordstrom's chief executive in 1997.

He nearly doubled the size of the chain before resigning in 2000 as earnings plummeted and a $40 million "Reinvent Yourself" campaign backfired. He then moved to London, where he managed Harrods department store. He returned to Seattle this year.

Marvin Mirisch

Film Producer

Marvin Mirisch, 84, one of three brothers whose independent film company produced a string of commercial and critical successes including "Some Like It Hot" and "In the Heat of the Night," died Nov. 17 in a hospital in Los Angeles. The cause of death was not disclosed.

The company, founded in the 1950s, produced three films that won Best Picture Oscars: 1960's "The Apartment," 1961's "West Side Story" and 1967's "In the Heat of the Night." Their other hits included "The Magnificent Seven," "The Great Escape," "The Pink Panther," "The Thomas Crown Affair" and "Fiddler on the Roof."

Mr. Mirisch moved to Hollywood in 1953 and four years later launched Mirisch Pictures. His brother Walter focused more on actual film production, while Marvin and Harold Mirisch tended toward the business side.

Bert Granet

TV Writer-Producer

Bert Granet, 92, a television writer and producer who helped bring such classic series to the small screen as "Twilight Zone" and "The Untouchables," died Nov. 15 at a nursing home in Santa Monica, Calif., after a fall.

He moved to Hollywood in 1934 and over the next four decades produced nearly a dozen motion pictures and television shows or series and wrote scripts for 30 others.

Among the motion pictures he produced were "Berlin Express" in 1948 and "The Marrying Kind" in 1952. He also had been an executive with Desilu Studios and producer of the weekly anthology series "Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse."