LOS ANGELES – Richard Sarafian, an influential film director whose 1971 countercultural car-chase thriller Vanishing Point brought him a decades-long cult following, has died in Southern California, his son said Saturday night.
Richard Sarafian died at a Santa Monica hospital Wednesday of pneumonia contracted while he was recovering from a fall, Deran Sarafian told the Associated Press. He was 83.
Sarafian worked primarily in television in his early career, directing episodes of 1960s shows including Gunsmoke, I Spy, and 77 Sunset Strip. He also directed 1963s Living Doll episode of The Twilight Zone, a chilling tale whose demonic main character Talky Tina terrified children for decades.
But Sarafian was best known by far for Vanishing Point, a dark story of a drug-fueled auto pursuit through the Nevada desert brought on by a bet between a Vietnam vet and his drug dealer.
The film and director had a major influence on the generation of maverick moviemakers and actors, often referred to as Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, who would come to dominate Hollywood in the 1970s.
Wife of Kerouac companion dies
Carolyn Cassady, a writer who was married to Jack Kerouacs travel companion and a lover of the famous Beat author, has died. She was 90 years old.
Longtime friend Estelle Cimino, co-owner of the Beat Museum in San Francisco, said Saturday that Carolyn Cassady died Friday in a hospital near her home in Bracknell, southeast England. Cimino and her husband are longtime family friends of Cassady and her children. Cause of death was not immediately clear.
Cassady was married to Neal Cassady – a central character in the Beat generation and the basis of the character Dean Moriarty in Kerouacs On the Road – for about 20 years. The couple had three children.
She was also a close friend of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and chronicled her experiences with the three in the memoir Off the Road: My Years with Cassady, Kerouac and Ginsberg, published in 1990.
Scratch-and-sniff creator dies at 77
Thomas E. Hutchinson, a University of Virginia engineering professor who created scratch-and-sniff technology by accident and later invented a device to help disabled people communicate by sending commands to a computer through the movement of their eyes, died Sept. 2 at a hospice in Charleston, S.C. He was 77.
He had a stroke in 2009, his wife, Colleen Hutchinson said, and had complications from dementia and heart ailments.
His Eye-gaze Response Interface Computer Aid - ERICA, for short - uses infrared light to track the movement of a persons eyes across a computer screen. The changing focus of the eyes causes the computers cursor to move to different keys or visual images, allowing people to communicate like anyone else with a computer. They can type on a keyboard, change heating and air-conditioning controls and surf the Internet.
After receiving a Ph.D in physics from the University of Virginia in 1963, he worked for 3M in Minnesota, where he accidentally developed a form of microencapsulation in which perfume oil could be enclosed in a form of plastic and applied to paper. Advertisers and magazine readers came to know it as scratch and sniff.
During the 1990s, he often testified as an expert witness in materials science, particularly in trials involving artificial joints and medical devices.