The Eulogizer: Actor Peter Falk and Cablecam inventor James Rodnunsky
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The Eulogizer: Actor Peter Falk and Cablecam inventor James Rodnunsky

JERUSALEM ““ The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently.

Peter Falk, 84, TV’s ‘Columbo’

Actor Peter Falk, a four-time Emmy winner as the rumpled TV detective on “Columbo” who also won acclaim as an actor in indie films by John Cassavetes and others, died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., on June 23 at 84.

Falk’s portrayal of Columbo, a police detective whose first name was never definitively confirmed, was lauded by film critics both during the series’ heyday in the 1970s (it ran periodically in the form of made-for-TV movies until 2003) and in the wake of his death.

“He invested the shabby, preoccupied detective with so much credibility that the show became one of the most successful detective series in the United States,” one critic wrote.

James Rodnunsky, 54, Cablecam inventor

James Rodnunsky, developer of the Cablecam, a remote-controlled camera that slides along a spider’s web of wires to get innovative and rare angles for sports events and films, died June 10 at 54.

Rodnunsk munity Center for 10 years. The sisterhood of Augusta’s Adas Yeshurun Synagogue gave her its Woman of the Year award in 1997, and Hadassah awarded her a National Leadership Award in 1998.

David Kalib, 70, Pittsfield., Mass., volunteer

David Kalib, a former senior vice president and general counsel of Berkshire Life Insurance and a community volunteer in Pittsfield, Mass., died June 13 at 70. Kalib was a former general campaign manager of the United Way of the Berkshires, as well as ex-president of Temple Anshe Amunim in Pittsfield and of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.

Gerald Abramovitz, 82, architect

Gerald Abramovitz, an architect and designer whose signature piece, a cantilevered desk lamp, is featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, died June 16 at 82, three weeks after being mugged and beaten on a friend’s doorstep on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Abramovitz designed an award-winning chair for the international furniture company Knoll, and the cantilever desk lamp of aluminum and steel for British design firm Best and Lloyd. He studied architecture at the University of Pretoria and design at London’s Royal College of Art, and then worked in his native South Africa.

Benjamin Herman, 84, Baltimore author

Benjamin Herman, a writer who in newspaper articles and books wove tales of life in his part of Baltimore, died June 6 at 84. While he was a high school English teacher, Herman sold his first article to a Sunday magazine supplement in Baltimore in 1950 and continued writing for decades about the residents and former residents of the northeastern U.S. city. Herman said in 1996 that he never forgot the “thrill of that first $15 check” for his magazine piece.

Edith Wyden, 91, Shoah survivor and senator’s mother

Edith Wyden, the mother of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who fled to Iraq from Germany with her family at the beginning of World War II, died June 19 at 91. Edith Wyden was an industrial economist, researcher and reference librarian. She worked at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., and was a World War II veteran of the Women’s Army Corps.

JTA Wire Service

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