Meredith MacRae, talk-show host and star of TV's Petticoat Junction, died of brain cancer Friday, July 15, at her home in Manhattan Beach, Calif. She was 56.
At 7 years old, she began her acting career beside her father, Gordon MacRae, and Doris Day in the 1953 film By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Her role as Billie Jo on Petticoat Junction from 1966 to 1970 began a long line of film and television appearances, including a regular role on My Three Sons. She won a local Emmy for her work in the '80s as co-host of Mid-Morning L.A. on KHJ-TV Los Angeles.
She is survived by her husband, Phil Neal; daughter, Allison; mother, Sheila MacRae; and two stepsons.
Christie R. Basham, who held executive positions at NBC, CBS and PBS, died Sunday, July 16, of brain cancer in her home in Washington. She was 68.
She began her 40-year career in broadcast news in 1957 as a reporter and researcher for David Brinkley at NBC. She spent four years at CBS News, as producer of morning and evening news and northeast bureau manager. Before returning to NBC in 1982, she was executive producer of news and public affairs at PBS' WETA-TV Washington. After her retirement, Basham was a consultant for several TV documentaries.
Her husband, William R. Basham, died in 1986. She is survived by her brother.
Joshua Darsa, former CBS news correspondent and senior program officer for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, died Friday, July 14, of cancer. He was 67.
During his 15 years with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Darsa helped develop such highly regarded shows as the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour and Frontline. He won a 1978 Peabody Award for the documentary "Dialogues on a Tightrope: An Italian Mosaic."
He is survived by his brother, Aaron.