Deborah Raffin, the Mid-'70s, Early-'80s Ingenue Who Later Appeared on TV's '7th Heaven' and 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager,' Dies at 59 THR
"Deborah Raffin, 59, an actress and entrepreneur who launched audiobook powerhouse Dove Books-on-Tape with her husband, music producer Michael Viner, has died," reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The story adds, "Raffin died Wednesday of leukemia at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, her brother William told the Los Angeles Times. She was diagnosed with ... blood cancer about a year ago, he said."
According to an entry about Raffin on Wikipedia, Raffin's "1976 television movie 'Nightmare in Badham County' became a theatrical hit in mainland China, making Raffin a star there, and leading to her later becoming the first Western actress ever to make a movie promotion tour in that country. She was nominated for both a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress -- Motion Picture Drama and a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performance in 'Touched by Love' in 1981."
She also starred in the 1975 movie "Once Is Not Enough," based on the Jacqueline Susann potboiler.
Raffin and her late husband, Michael Viner, were friends with the author of a number of other potboilers, Sidney Sheldon. According to THR, "In the mid-1980s, she and Viner -- who as a music producer had assembled the Incredible Bongo Band -- launched Dove in 1985 in the garage of their Coldwater Canyon home. Viner had won an $8,000 bet in a backgammon game with Sidney Sheldon; rather than collecting his winnings, Viner asked the author to let him publish two of his works as audiobooks.
"Dove would publish Sheldon's 'The Naked Face' and salacious titles that included 'You'll Never Make Love in This Town Again,' about prostitutes and Hollywood celebrities, and Faye Resnick's book about Nicole Brown Simpson. But it did serious fare as well, like Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time.'"