Richard Kimble

Death Takes No Holiday -- The Obituary Thread

542 posts in this topic

(I've thought about starting a thread like this for awhile. With the death of "The Last Of The Moguls", it seems as good a time as any. We'll see if it works.)

 

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Kirk Kerkorian Dies: Former MGM Owner Was 98
 
Kirk Kerkorian was a major Hollywood force over two decades before 1986 when he sold MGM Studios to Ted Turner, and then again for nearly a decade in 1996 when he regained control. He died Monday, nine days after he turned 98.
 
“Kirk Kerkorian will be forever linked to the history and success of MGM,” CEO Gary Barber says. “We know that his legacy and fighting spirit will live on through all of our future endeavors.”
 
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren said that the billionaire “combined brilliant business insight with steadfast integrity to become one of the most reputable and influential financiers of our time. Personally, he was a friend and coach, who taught me the importance in looking forward, and to look back only to understand how things could be done better."
 
Kerkorian was MGM Resorts’ majority shareholder until 2009 when he dropped his holding to 37%.
 
Although he rarely gave interviews. Kerkorian cut a wide swath from his private holding company, Tracinda Corporation. In addition to his studio deals, he drove the development of mega resorts in Las Vegas at the International Hotel, the MGM Grand Hotel, an the MGM Grand. In 2000 he paid $6.4 billion for Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts, and in 2004 paid $4.8 billion for Mandalay Resort Group.
 
He also was engaged in multiple efforts to become an auto industry power: In 1995 he and former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca made a hostile bid for the company that was thwarted. He also bought major stakes in General Motors and Ford that he eventually sold.
 
A pilot during World War II, Kerkorian began to build his fortune in the 1950s with a charter service that flew between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Seeing the gambling business begin to boom, he bought property there that he sold for $9 million in 1968 to the company that built Caesar’s Palace.
 
The following year he bought MGM, which he dismantled and largely sold. But he held on to much of the library, supplementing it with United Artists, which he bought in 1981. He sold the company in 1986 to cable pioneer Ted Turner, who was eager to secure Hollywood programming. But he had overextended himself and sold UA back to Kerkorian — later returning MGM except for the pre-1986 MGM films and pre-1950 ones from Warner Bros.
 
The studio became trading bait again in 1990 when Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti swooped in with a $1.2 billion offer. But he, too, bit off more than he could chew and sold MGM to Credit Lyonnais. It sold MGM back to Kerkorian in 1996.
 
Kerkorian is survived by two daughters, Tracy Kerkorian and Linda Ross Hilton Kemper, and three grandchildren.
 

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Yeah, and didn't this Kerkorian guy also get into that whole euthanasia thing for a while too?

 

(...oh...wait...wrong Armenian dude, huh...sorry...never mind) 

 

;)

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Yeah, big news here in the "D" as Kirk did have some dealings with the "big three" in the past and other Detroit developements.  Also instrumental in getting casinos here.

 

But, as I'm NOT in his will, the news didn't exactly ruin my breakfast.

 

 

Sepiatone

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So you're **** on his grave?

 

Well, lets just say I'm not a fan. He should've stayed in Vegas and left MGM alone..........

 

His name will forever linked to the history and success of MGM??? Maybe the history. Talk about BS!

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http://variety.com/2015/film/news/steve-blauner-dead-dies-easy-rider-five-easy-pieces-1201522567/

 

Steve Blauner, who was Bobby Darin’s manager and a partner with Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson in BBS Productions, which produced classic films including “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “The Last Picture Show,” died June 16 at his home in Marina Del Rey, Calif. He was 81 and was suffering from the complications of a broken hip.

 

After working for Screen Gems, where he was involved in sitcoms such as “Bewitched,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Hazel” and “The Monkees,” Blauner joined “Monkees” producer Schneider and director Rafelson, who had already formed a company called Raybert, in forming BBS in the mid 1960s. Over a span of several years, the company produced the Academy Award-winning 1974 documentary “Hearts and Minds” and New Hollywood films “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “The Last Picture Show,” “The King of Marvin Gardens” and “A Safe Place.”

 

Rafelson said, “Steve was the most beloved of three partners, he was the one that talent could go and confide in, and in every sense of the word, he was simply the most beloved person I ever knew in show business.”

 

Blauner’s first contact with show business was through a friendship he developed with Sammy Davis Jr., whom he had idealized. He got a job as an agent at GAC, at that time the third-largest talent agency. He soon discovered singer-songwriter Bobby Darin, and though Blauner did not yet have any experience in management, he signed Darin with GAC. Darin insisted that Blauner get not 15% of the takings but 50%. Later, he quit the agency but continued on as Darin’s manager until 1965. Blauner and Darin split professionally after Darin had received his Academy Award nomination for “Captain Newman, M.D,” but remained friends. (After Darin’s death, Blauner represented his estate.)

 

At BBS (which stood for Bert, Bob and Steve), Blauner was entirely responsible for distribution, picking theaters city by city individually for the films produced. Blauner was producer of Jack Nicholson’s 1971 directorial effort “Drive, He Said” and in 1979 he produced the documentary “Richard Pryor: Live in Concert.” Later, in 1987, television series “The New Monkees,” produced by Blauner’s Straybert Productions, ran for 13 episodes; four young musicians were placed in a series similar to the original show but “updated” for the 1980s.

 

Jules Stephen Blauner was born in New York City. While he was in kindergarten, the family moved to White Plains, N.Y., where he met childhood friend and future collaborator Schneider. He later served in the U.S. Air Force. Blauner himself appeared in a few videotaped comedy “blackout” sketches for TV comedian Ernie Kovacs during the early 1960s. He was portrayed by John Goodman in the 2004 Bobby Darin biopic “Beyond the Sea,” starring Kevin Spacey, and he served as a consultant on the film. In 2010 the Criterion Collection brought out the critically-lauded box set “America Lost and Found: The BBS Story,” featuring the seven seminal works produced by the trio.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/obituaries/jack-rollins-dies-at-100-sharpened-talent-like-woody-allens.html?_r=0

 

Jack Rollins Dies at 100; Sharpened Talent Like Woody Allen’s
 
By ROBERT D. McFADDEN
 
JUNE 18, 2015
 
Jack Rollins, a producer and a sharp judge of talent who saw more than a shy gag-writer in Woody Allen and believed that the manic improvisations of Robin Williams would crack up audiences, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 100.
 
His daughter Susan Rollins confirmed his death.
 
Mr. Rollins did not just boost fragile young egos. To his clients — who also included Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Lenny Bruce and the team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May, an American pantheon of hilarity — he was a father-confessor, real estate agent, psychiatrist, marriage counselor and financial guru.
 
Mr. Rollins and his longtime partner, Charles H. Joffe, who was a co-producer of most of Mr. Allen’s films in the 1970s, were deans of comedy management for decades starting in the 1960s, nurturing generations of the nation’s funniest entertainers to fill the hungry maws of nightclubs, television, Broadway and Hollywood.
 
Mr. Rollins was the model, loosely, for the manager of bizarre variety acts played by Mr. Allen in “Broadway Danny Rose” (1984). Like Danny Rose, he was a sympathetic listener, a friend and adviser who catered to the idiosyncrasies and professional needs of performers, although unlike Danny he never handled a blind xylophone player, a one-legged tap dancer or a performing penguin dressed as a rabbi.
 
Mr. Rollins, who was tall and thin and typically wore a rumpled suit and smiled a lot with a cigar clenched in his teeth, got his start in show business after World War II as a Broadway producer. But it was a struggle, and in 1951 he founded a one-man talent agency in Midtown Manhattan. He began representing dramatic actors, writers and singers before turning to handling comedians almost exclusively.
 
Many managers favored established performers, but he preferred to find and develop young comics, then focused on only a few for a closer working relationship. He was a regular at Greenwich Village clubs, where he scouted the talent. He helped clients pick clothes and find apartments, stood up as best man at their weddings and later mediated their marriage spats and consulted on life insurance.
 
One of his first clients was Harry Belafonte. Mr. Rollins suggested that he give up pop songs and sing calypso and folk music that reflected his Caribbean heritage. He also helped Mr. Belafonte develop an act that took advantage of his striking good looks and acting ability as well as his voice, which was husky and expressive but, as Mr. Belafonte acknowledged, not very powerful. Although they parted company, Mr. Belafonte soon became a sensation.
 
Mr. Rollins also promoted the early career of Lenny Bruce, the rebel comedian who was prosecuted for obscenity, and developed the comedy team of Nichols and May, who had a meteoric rise on television and Broadway in the 1950s before going separate ways.
 
One day in the late ’50s, a bony, bespectacled face peeked in at the Rollins-Joffe door. It was a painfully shy Mr. Allen. “Woody wanted merely for us to manage his affairs in a conventional fashion, to better his career as a TV writer,” Mr. Rollins told The New York Times in 1985. “Well, we just thought he had the potential to be a triple threat, like Orson Welles — writer, director, actor.”
 
Mr. Rollins worked with Mr. Allen on routines, perfecting timely pauses, the right inflections and gestures for punch lines, and prodded him to take risks. It took 18 months of stand-up club dates, but the Allen magic caught on. “He pushed me to always be deeper, more complex, more human, more dramatic — and not to rest comfortably,” Mr. Allen told Eric Lax for his book “Woody Allen: A Biography” (1991).
 
“A Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe Production” was the credit on many Woody Allen films, although both were not always involved. While their partnership continued, they often worked separately with different clients. Mr. Joffe moved to Los Angeles in the late 1970s, while Mr. Rollins remained in New York. Despite having a joint credit, Mr. Joffe alone accepted the 1977 Academy Award for best picture for Mr. Allen’s “Annie Hall.”
 
Robin Williams became a client in the late 1970s. Agents hardly knew what to do with his parodies of Shakespeare in iambic pentameter, his impromptu foreign dialects and improvisations like “and look, a gentle rose, dying here anon ... like myself.” Mr. Rollins gave structure to the scattershot performances, breaking them down into beginnings, middles and ends. Mr. Williams was soon one of the hottest stars on television, playing a quirky alien on “Mork and Mindy” and on his way to stardom.
 
Jack Rollins was born Jacob Rabinowitz in Brooklyn around March 23, 1915, a date his parents agreed on years later because no one kept track. He was the oldest of three children of Louis and Sarah Rabinowitz, Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Russia. His father, a blacksmith in Kiev, became a garment worker.
 
Jacob and his sisters, Netty and Harriette, grew up in East New York. Jacob graduated from Jefferson High School in 1933 and the City College of New York in 1937, then changed his name to Jack Rollins and worked for two years at an orphanage in Chicago.
 
Drafted by the Army, he spent most of World War II in India, decoding communications. One of his commanding officers was the film star Melvyn Douglas, who staged shows for troops in the China-Burma-India theater and helped Mr. Rollins make contacts to get started as a producer after the war.
 
In 1948, Mr. Rollins married Pearl Rose Levine. She died in 2012. Besides his daughter Susan, he is survived by two other daughters, Hillary Rollins and Francesca Rollins, and four grandchildren.
 
Mr. Rollins was the executive producer of “Late Night With David Letterman” on NBC from its debut in 1982 to 1992, shortly before Mr. Letterman moved to CBS. In 1990, he and Mr. Joffe sold their agency to associates and returned to a two-man partnership with only a few clients, including Mr. Letterman and Mr. Allen.
 
Mr. Joffe died in 2008. Mr. Rollins, who had lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for 50 years, and who also had a home in Old Chatham, N.Y., retired in 1992. He had kept a reminder on his office wall: “It’s difficult to soar with eagles when you walk with turkeys.”

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WOW. 100. I had no idea he was that old. I remember his credits from the early UA Allen films.....

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Phil Austin of the comedy group The Firesign Theatre has died at age 75. From the group Facebook page:

 

TO ALL OUR DEAR FRIENDS AND FIRESIGN FANS:

Nick Danger has left the office.

Our dear friend and Firesign Theatre partner for over 50 years succumbed to various forms of cancer early this morning at his home on Fox Island, Washington, with his wife Oona and their six beloved dogs at his side. It is a tremendous and unexpected loss, and we will miss him greatly; but in keeping with his wishes, there will be no public memorial.

 

The group is best known for their radio work and LPs but they did make some films, including the "electric western" Zachariah (1971) and the serial spoof J-Men Forever (1979).

 

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Dick Van Patten

 

Actor Dick Van Patten, perhaps best known as patriarch Tom Bradford on the '80s series Eight Is Enough, has died. He was 86.  Van Patten died Tuesday morning at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, due to complications from diabetes, PEOPLE confirms. 

 

The actor was born in Kew Gardens, New York, in 1928 and began his career as a child star and model. He made his Broadway debut when he was 7 years old in Tapestry in Gray.

 

He went on to appear in nearly 30 more Broadway shows.  Van Patten made the jump to television with the role of Nels Hansen in I Remember Mama, which ran from 1949 to 1957.  He also went on to act in numerous other TV shows including The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Happy Days, The Love Boat and, more recently, Arrested Development, That '70s Show and Hot in Cleveland.  In November, the actor joined his Love Boat castmates for a reunion in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to help christen a new Regal Princess cruise ship and celebrate 50 years of Princess Cruises.  He also acted in various Disney films, along with three movies directed by Mel Brooks (High Anxiety, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)

 

In 2009, Van Patten penned an autobiography, Eighty Is Not Enough, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  He is survived by his wife Patricia Van Patten, whom he was married to for more than 60 years, and three sons.

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Dick Van Patten
 
Actor Dick Van Patten, perhaps best known as patriarch Tom Bradford on the '80s series Eight Is Enough, has died. He was 86.  Van Patten died Tuesday morning at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, due to complications from diabetes, PEOPLE confirms. 
 
The actor was born in Kew Gardens, New York, in 1928 and began his career as a child star and model. He made his Broadway debut when he was 7 years old in Tapestry in Gray.
 
He went on to appear in nearly 30 more Broadway shows.  Van Patten made the jump to television with the role of Nels Hansen in I Remember Mama, which ran from 1949 to 1957.  He also went on to act in numerous other TV shows including The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Happy Days, The Love Boat and, more recently, Arrested Development, That '70s Show and Hot in Cleveland.  In November, the actor joined his Love Boat castmates for a reunion in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to help christen a new Regal Princess cruise ship and celebrate 50 years of Princess Cruises.  He also acted in various Disney films, along with three movies directed by Mel Brooks (High Anxiety, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)
 
In 2009, Van Patten penned an autobiography, Eighty Is Not Enough, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  He is survived by his wife Patricia Van Patten, whom he was married to for more than 60 years, and three sons.


I always liked Dick Van Patten. I remember him best in Eight is Enough, but my favorite role of his is in High Anxiety when he is driving his car in a rain storm and can't turn the radio off which is blaring rock and roll. It's a very funny scene. RIP, Dick.

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I always liked Dick Van Patten. I remember him best in Eight is Enough, but my favorite role of his is in High Anxiety when he is driving his car in a rain storm and can't turn the radio off which is blaring rock and roll. It's a very funny scene. RIP, Dick.

 

Dick was a very likeable actor.     I watch his son Vince often since he host many poker tournaments.  

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How sad.  Dick Van Patten was always on a tv show in the '60-'s and 70's and '80's. Talented real life family, that I'm sure he was proud of. I also liked Eight Is Enough. I agree, a very likeable guy.

 

RIP Dick Van Patten

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George "Foghorn" Winslow

 

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/local/4092182-181/george-wentzlaff-child-actor-in
 

A child actor with a bass voice and a deadpan comedic delivery, George Karl Wentzlaff appeared in 10 films in the 1950s along with stars like Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe and Shirley MacLaine.

 

Retiring from show business at age 12, Wentzlaff finished school, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, moved to Camp Meeker in the late 1970s and retired from the Postal Service a few years ago.

-----------------

 

Nicknamed “Foghorn” for his raspy voice as a slender child with dark blond hair and deep blue eyes, Wentzlaff, a Los Angeles native, broke into the entertainment business on Art Linkletter’s family-oriented radio program, “People Are Funny.” Asked his name by Linkletter, the youngster said: “George Wentzlaff, but I’d rather be Casey Jones,” with a delivery that cracked up Linkletter and the audience and led to about 20 subsequent appearances on the show, according to a biography on the IMDb.com website.

 

Grant, who heard the show and was impressed with Wentzlaff’s unusual voice and comedy instincts, introduced him to director Norman Taurog, leading to the boy’s first role in Grant’s 1952 film “Room for One More.” The successful movie landed Wentzlaff — under the stage name George Winslow — a contract with Warner Bros. that was bought out two years later by Twentieth Century Fox.

 

He teamed with Grant again in “Monkey Business,” another 1952 film that co-starred Ginger Rogers and Monroe, making her first movie appearance with platinum-blond hair. Next up was “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953), in which Wentzlaff — playing Henry Spofford III, Monroe’s young admirer — stole scenes from the actress, including his classic line about her possessing a “certain animal magnetism,” according to IMDb.com.

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Patrick Macnee    

 

Actor Patrick Macnee, star of The Avengers TV series, has died in California at the age of 93.  The Briton, best known for playing John Steed in the 1960s television series, died at home with his family at his bedside, his son Rupert said.  Macnee also played roles in theatre, appearing on Broadway, and served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. 

 

A statement on the actor's website read: "Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories."  "Patrick Macnee was a popular figure in the television industry", the statement said. "He was at home wherever in the world he found himself. He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them."  He died peacefully at his home in California's Rancho Mirage on Thursday, Rupert said. 

 

Born in London and educated at Eton, Macnee first appeared in the West End while still in his teens.  He played a number of minor roles - including one in Laurence Olivier's 1948 film version of Hamlet - before rising to fame in the original Avengers series between 1961 and 1969.  He returned when that series was reprised as The New Avengers in the 1970s, appearing alongside Joanna Lumley's Purdey and Gareth Hunt's Mike Gambit.  He also appeared in the 1985 James Bond film A View to Kill, playing an ally of Roger Moore's Bond character. 

 

In a 2014 interview with The Lady magazine, Macnee said he believed The Avengers was a success because it "did something different and did it better."  He told the magazine: "It was beautifully written, the ideas were very good, way ahead of their time and they incorporated fantasies for people who dreamed of doing exciting things."

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33279566

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Very sad to hear about Patrick McNee. Was a huge fan of The Avengers (at least till Diana Rigg left) But he did live a long life. Wish I could see those shows again on tv..........

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Jack Carter, a pioneering comic, died of respiratory failure in his Beverly Hills, Calif. home on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. He was 93 years old.

 

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He first popped in the mainstream after appearing on Texaco Star Theatre, Milton Berle’s variety show. Carter then hosted The Jackie Gleason Show precursor Cavalcade of Stars for a year before landing his own program: The Jack Carter Show. He regularly appeared on The Hollywood Squares and The Ed Sullivan Show later in his career. More recently, Carter had guest turns on New GirlShamelessParks and Recreation, and Rules of Engagement

 

TV aside, Carter was also a theater mainstay, making his Broadway debut in 1946 as a replacement in the musical revue Call Me Mister. In 1956, Carter first appeared in a leading role opposite Sammy Davis Jr. in Mr. Wonderful, and soon thereafter hosted the 10th annual Tony Awards, for the show’s first televised ceremony. Carter’s other stage credits include Guys and Dolls, Top Banana, The Odd Couple, Oliver!, Little Me, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

 

As for the silver screen, Carter acted in films such as Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part I, Viva Las VegasThe Octagon, and many more.

 

Carter is survived by his wife Roxanne, sons Michael and Chase, daughter Wendy, and two grandchildren Jake and Ava.

 

 

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/06/29/comedian-jack-carter-dies-93

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Jerry Weintraub, who produced such hits as the Karate Kid and the Ocean's series, died Monday of cardiac arrest in Santa Barbara, his publicists said. He was 77.

 

A promoter and impresario in the old sense, Weintraub was a larger-than-life, Damon Runyon-esque character. A steely, hard-charging personality, he was wildly successful in a wide-ranging entertainment career that spanned more than 50 years.

 

Before his success as a motion picture producer, Weintraub was a force in the management and musical fields. He spent more than two decades promoting concerts and some of the top musical acts in the world: Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, the Beach Boys, the Pointer Sisters and John Denver, among them.

 

His foray into movies came after a Weintraub-produced Denver performance, where he met director Robert Altman, who sent him a prospective project: Nashville. The 1975 film went on to garner five Oscar nominations, including one for best picture.

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jerry-weintraub-dead-producer-dies-806941

 

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Those of y'all who dig '80s nostalgia will likely remember Amanda Peterson from the 1987 movie "CAN'T BUY ME LOVE" which starred Patrick Dempsey.  I saw it in theaters when I was 14 way back when.  Her father reported she died in Colorado yesterday at age 43.  I reckon an autopsy will be done; no cause of death was listed in the article I read. 

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Those of y'all who dig '80s nostalgia will likely remember Amanda Peterson from the 1987 movie "CAN'T BUY ME LOVE" which starred Patrick Dempsey.  I saw it in theaters when I was 14 way back when.  Her father reported she died in Colorado yesterday at age 43.  I reckon an autopsy will be done; no cause of death was listed in the article I read. 

From her TMZ obituary:

 

Peterson became a superstar playing Cindy Mancini opposite Patrick Dempsey in the 1987 romantic comedy

 

???

 

One reason I try to avoid quoting TMZ

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The 'superstar' line is a bit much. 

 

     I recall she co-starred with the ill-fated River Phoenix in the Joe Dante movie 'EXPLORERS' (1985). 

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