Ismail Merchant, 68

Renowned for producing lavish and literary period movies ("Howards End," "The Remains of the Day") that looked many times more expensive than they cost, the Bombay-born Merchant was a master at charming investors. His partnership with Oregon-born director James Ivory and German-born novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala--the principals in Merchant Ivory Productions--lasted 44 years. They struck gold with "A Room With a View." Under his shrewd financial guidance, Merchant Ivory became more than a company name: it was a genre unto itself.


An actor in movies and television for more than 50 years, Albert was best known for his role as the befuddled Oliver Douglas on "Green Acres."