- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 20, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Herman Older, the Los Angeles Superior Court judge who presided over the murder trial of Charles Manson, died June 17 of complications from a fall, said his longtime friend and former law partner, Edward Cazier. He was 88.

Judge Older had been on the bench only a few years when he was handed the Manson case. Manson and three of his followers — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — were tried for the 1969 killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others.

The defendants showed up in court with shaved heads and X’s on their foreheads and sometimes chanted nonsensically. Manson one day tried to attack Judge Older.

“He presided over the trial in a very firm, dignified way, and he tried to be fair to both sides, with no pre-existing bias,” said Vincent Bugliosi, the Manson trial prosecutor.

After the trial, Judge Older sent a Los Angeles Times reporter to jail for refusing to reveal the source for a story he wrote on the case. That move ultimately resulted in the strengthening of the state’s shield law for reporters.

Judge Older served as a pilot with the Flying Tigers during World War II, and his family said he shot down more than 18 Japanese planes, the third most of any Flying Tiger.

Vincent Sherman, 99,Hollywood filmmaker

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vincent Sherman, who directed — and romanced — Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth and Joan Crawford during his heyday as a leading Hollywood filmmaker in the 1940s and ‘50s, died June 18 of natural causes at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital. He would have turned 100 on July 16.

Mr. Sherman, whose film career was seriously damaged by Hollywood’s communist red scare, later became a successful director of such television series as “The Waltons,” “Doctors’ Hospital,” “Baretta,” “Trapper John, M.D.” and “77 Sunset Strip.”

He had begun as an actor, appearing on Broadway and in a few movies, among them 1933’s “Counselor at Law,” in which he had a small but memorable role as a young anarchist opposite John Barrymore.

Because of his ability to evoke powerful performances from strong-willed female stars — he also directed Ida Lupino, Ann Sheridan and Patricia Neal — Mr. Sherman became known as a woman’s director, a title he hated. He was quick to point out that he also directed Errol Flynn in “Adventures of Don Juan,” Paul Newman in “The Young Philadelphians,” Humphrey Bogart in “All Through the Night,” Richard Burton in “Ice Palace” and Ronald Reagan in “The Hasty Heart.”

Mr. Sherman also gained a reputation for romancing many of his famous actresses, and he wrote about them in his 1996 autobiography, “Studio Affairs.”

Though both were married at the time, he and Miss Davis had an affair that began during the filming of 1943’s “Old Acquaintance” and continued through “Mr. Skeffington,” which was released the next year. His dalliance with Miss Crawford lasted through three movies, and another with Miss Hayworth happened during “Affair in Trinidad,” after she had divorced Aly Khan.

Mr. Sherman’s wife, Hedda, tolerated his extramarital adventures, and their marriage lasted 53 years. She died in 1984.

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