Henry Bromell, a novelist and short-story writer who brought a literary quality to some of the most acclaimed dramatic TV series of the past two decades, including “Homeland,” “Northern Exposure” and “Homicide: Life on the Street,” died March 18 at a hospital in Santa Monica. He was 65.
The cause was an apparent heart attack, said his agent, Peter Benedek.
Mr. Bromell spent the past 23 years writing, producing and directing TV dramas noteworthy for their resonant characters and sharp dialogue. He shared an Emmy last year as a writer and executive producer on “Homeland,” the Showtime series about a CIA agent who suspects an American war hero is a terrorist-in-waiting.
One reason he was hired on “Homeland” was his personal history: His father had been a CIA station chief in the Middle East in the 1950s. His background also inspired him to write “Little America,” a 2001 novel about a son who struggles to ferret out the truth about his father’s life as a spy.
His TV career began on a fluke in 1990, when writer-producer John Falsey, whom he had never met, called to thank him for his help getting into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop a dozen years earlier. He asked Mr. Bromell to help him write his new show, “Northern Exposure.”
Mr. Bromell took Falsey up on his offer and began writing for the CBS series, which went on to win seven Emmys and two Peabody awards for its poetically comedic depiction of culture clash in a fictional Alaska town.
He went on from “Northern Exposure” to be a writer and executive producer for “Homicide: Life on the Street,” the NBC series that debuted in 1993.
He made his film directing debut in 2001 with “Panic,” a quirky movie about the midlife crisis of a professional hit man, played by William H. Macy.
Mr. Bromell was born in New York and was a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts. He launched his literary career in his early 20s when his short stories began appearing in the New Yorker. He made his debut as a novelist in 1983 with “The Follower,” which Los Angeles magazine described as “an oddly didactic novel” about a waiter and aspiring actor who becomes a victim of mistaken identity.
Max Jakobson, 89, a former Finnish diplomat who helped shape his country’s policy of neutrality during the Cold War, died March 9 in Helsinki.
The family confirmed the death but did not disclose the cause.
Mr. Jakobson was born into a Jewish family in the Finnish city of Vyborg, which was ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II.
His family later moved to Helsinki, the capital, where Mr. Jakobson launched an international career that took him to London as the correspondent of a Finnish newspaper from 1948 to 1953. He later served six years as Finland’s ambassador to the United Nations.
In 1971, Mr. Jakobson ran for the post of U.N. secretary general, but he was defeated by Kurt Waldheim of Austria. He subsequently spent a few years as Finland’s ambassador to Sweden.
Mr. Jakobson wrote widely about Finnish politics in the Cold War and was a major shaper of public opinion about it. His books included “The Diplomacy of the Winter War” (1961), an account of the Russo-Finnish War of 1939-1940.
Fran Warren, a singer who was best known for her 1947 recording of “A Sunday Kind of Love,” died March 4 at her home in Brookfield, Conn. She was 87.
Alan Eichler, a spokesman for the singer-actress, confirmed the death but did not disclose a cause.
Ms. Warren’s career spanned more than 50 years with hits that included the Tony Martin duet “I Said My Pajamas (and Put on My Prayers),” the Lisa Kirk duet “Dearie” and “It’s Anybody’s Heart.” Her films roles included a supporting part in “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd” (1952).
She frequently appeared and performed on the talk shows of Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Steve Allen.
Helen Kutsher, matriarch of the family that ran the last of the big resorts in Upstate New York’s “Borscht Belt,” died March 19 at a hospital in Philadelphia. She was 89.
Family members confirmed the death but did not disclose the cause.
Kutsher’s was one of the most famous big hotels in the Catskills in the days when the region attracted largely Jewish families who drove a few hours north from New York City to escape the summer heat.
In its heyday, Kutsher’s was known for serving up big meals and for attracting entertainers such as Mel Brooks and Milton Berle.
Helen Wasser was born in New York. Her husband, Milton Kutsher, whom she married in 1946, died in 1998.
Zillur Rahman, Bangladesh’s figurehead president, died March 20 at a hospital in Singapore. He was 84.
The cause was respiratory problems, the president’s office said.
Mr. Rahman was a top leader of the ruling Awami League party before Parliament elected him president in 2009. His death does not affect the government since Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy, with the prime minister — currently Sheikh Hasina — holding executive powers.
The president’s office said parliamentary speaker Abdul Hamid will be acting president until the legislature elects a new president.
— From news services