Iceal 'Gene' Hambleton
Air Force Aviator
Iceal "Gene" Hambleton, 85, a military aviator and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel whose 1972 rescue in Vietnam inspired the movie "Bat*21," died of cancer Sept. 19 at a hospital in Tucson.
Col. Hambleton was shot down on Easter 1972 and was the focus of the largest rescue operation in Air Force history. During 12 days in hostile territory, the then-52-year-old Col. Hambleton kept in touch with U.S. forces through his hand-held survival radio, directing many strikes against enemy supply lines by calling in the locations of vehicles on the highway.
Bat*21 was the call sign of the EB-66 radar jamming aircraft Col. Hambleton flew as navigator.
Actor Gene Hackman played Col. Hambleton in the 1988 film "Bat*21," which showed how he survived in the midst of thousands of enemy troops. The movie was based on the 1980 book of the same name by William C. Anderson. A second book, "The Rescue of Bat 21," was published in 1998.
Lawrence P. Bachmann
Film Writer, Studio Executive
Lawrence P. Bachmann, 92, a film writer and studio executive at RKO, MGM and Paramount, died Sept. 7 at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Calif. No cause of death was reported.
Mr. Bachmann, the son of Paramount film executive J.G. Bachmann, became after college an assistant to Pando S. Berman, head of production at RKO. Later, he moved to MGM, working for J.J. Cohn, the head of the B unit, which produced small films that were part of the double feature bill in theaters.
As a writer, Mr. Bachmann had his first big success with "Speed" (1936), starring James Stewart. He also wrote many of the scripts in the Dr. Kildare film series. After World War II, Mr. Bachmann worked in Berlin as head of films for the State Department.
Shakespeare Festival Director
Jerry Turner, 76, who helped transform the Oregon Shakespeare Festival from a summer program for semiprofessional actors into one of the top regional theaters in the United States, died Sept. 2 at his home in Olympia, Wash. He had a heart ailment.
During his years as the festival's artistic director from 1971 to 1991, Mr. Turner led the Ashland, Ore.-based company beyond its original Shakespearean repertoire, adding classic works by Bertolt Brecht, George Bernard Shaw and others. His passion for Scandinavian drama made Ashland a center for new interpretations of plays by Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, directed by Mr. Turner.
He also translated a number of Scandinavian plays, including Strindberg's "The Dance of Death" and "Miss Julie."
Mr. Turner was the second artistic director in the festival's 79-year history, taking over when Angus Bowmer retired. Under Mr. Turner's leadership, the festival more than doubled in size.