Joseph Mattioli
Pocono Raceway founder

Joseph Mattioli, the founder and chairman of Pocono Raceway, died Jan. 26 at a hospital in Allentown, Pa. He was 86.

His death was confirmed by Bob Pleban, the vice president of administration at Pocono Raceway. The specific cause of death was not disclosed.

Dr. Mattioli, a dentist known as “Doc” to friends and associates, founded the raceway in the early 1960s and ran it for more than four decades with his wife, Rose. Under his leadership, the track grew in stature and has hosted 68 successful NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events.

Dr. Mattioli and his wife retired last year, handing over control of Pocono Raceway to their eldest three grandchildren.

Pocono Raceway is the only remaining family owned and run track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Dr. Mattioli served in the Pacific during World War II as a Navy medic. Using the G.I. bill, he enrolled in the dentistry program at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Upon graduation, he turned his dental practice into a lucrative business. He began developing properties in Philadelphia and northeastern Pennsylvania, where he became involved in the development of Pocono Raceway.

Dimitra Arliss
Actress

Dimitra Arliss, who played a hired killer alongside Robert Redford and Paul Newman in the comedy “The Sting,” died Jan. 26 at a medical facility in Los Angeles. She was 79.

She had complications from a stroke, said Jaime Larkin, a spokesperson for the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital.

Ms. Arliss, a native of Lorain, Ohio, began her acting career at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. On Broadway, she starred opposite Stacy Keach in “Indians” and with Kevin Kline and John Malkovich in “Arms and the Man.”

After appearing as a hit lady in the 1973 hit “The Sting,” she was seen in “Xanadu,” starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, and in Clint Eastwood’s “Firefox.”

Her numerous television credits include “Dallas,” “Quincy, M.E.” and “Rich Man, Poor Man.”

Clare Fischer
Composer

Clare Fischer, a Grammy-winning composer who wrote scores for television and movies and worked with legendary musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, died Jan. 26 a hospital in Burbank, Calif. He was 83.

He had suffered a heart attack two weeks earlier, family spokeswoman Claris Sayadian-Dodge said.

An uncommonly versatile musician, Mr. Fischer worked as a composer, arranger, conductor and pianist for more than 60 years.

He is best known for his arrangements for Prince, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Branford Marsalis, Raphael Saadiq, Usher and Brandy.

Nominated for a Grammy 11 times in the best instrumental arrangement category, Mr. Fischer won in 1986 for his album “Free Fall” and in 1981 for “Clare Fischer and Salsa Picante Present 2+2.”

Born in Durand, Mich., Mr. Fischer got his start playing piano and writing jazz-inspired arrangements for the Hi-Lo’s, an a capella quartet popular in the 1950s.

He worked as the arranger on Gillespie’s “Jazz Portrait of Duke Ellington.”

Mr. Fischer recorded 51 albums over his lifetime with his son Brent Fischer. The music ranges in style from jazz to salsa to symphonies.

— From news services