PASSINGS: Leo Kirch, Roland Petit, Cal Montney, Lee Vines, Googie Withers, Frank Billerbeck
Montney spent more than 30 years at The Times and worked before that at the Los Angeles Mirror.

"He had a full range of talents," said former Times photographer Rick Meyer. "He could shoot a fire one day and visit British royalty the next."

Calvin Montney was born May 27, 1920, in Walker, Minn., and became interested in photography in high school. He came to California with his wife and daughter in 1940, then served in the Navy in Texas and Florida from 1944 to 1946.

Lee Vines

Veteran television announcer

Lee Vines, 92, a veteran television announcer for "What's My Line?" and other game shows, died July 9 at a North Hollywood convalescent hospital of complications from a fall and pneumonia, said his wife, Catherine.

Besides appearing on "What's My Line?" in the 1950s, he also was the announcer for "Hallmark Hall of Fame," "The Name's the Same," "Password All-Stars" and other TV programs. He had occasional acting roles on TV including on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Born in Brantford, Canada, on April 11, 1919, Vines enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. He served in Europe during World War II, his family said.

Googie Withers

British actress known for 'The Lady Vanishes'

Googie Withers, 94, a British actress best known for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes," died Friday at her home in Sydney, Australia.

Born Georgette Lizette Withers in what was then British India, she was given her nickname by her Indian nanny.

Her family moved back to Britain, where she began acting at age 12. She was a dancer in a West End production in London when she was offered work in 1935 as a film extra in "The Girl in the Crowd."

Withers appeared in dozens of films in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, including her role as Blanche in "The Lady Vanishes" playing opposite Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. Among her other films were "On Approval," "It Always Rains on Sunday" and "Night and the City."

In 1958, Withers moved to Australia with her husband, Australian actor John McCallum.

Her last role was in the 1996 Australian movie "Shine."


Frank Billerbeck, a character actor who took the stage name of Billy Beck and appeared in such movies as Billy Wilder's "Irma la Douce" and "The Fortune Cookie" in the 1960s and 2005's "Just Like Heaven" with Reese Witherspoon and a slew of TV roles from the 1950s to the 2000s, died of congestive heart failure June 29 at a Glendale nursing home. The longtime Silver Lake resident was 91.

Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports