TheWrap; Variety

The Director of 17 (!) Consecutive Oscar Telecasts, Marty Pasetta, Dies in Tragic — and Bizarre –Auto Accident. He Was 82

May 22, 2015  •  Post A Comment

“According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s office:

‘On Thursday, May 21, at 9:22 P.M. the La Quinta Police Department responded to the 49000 block of Via Conquistador, in the city of La Quinta regarding a fatal traffic collision. The driver, Keith Stewart, age 75 of La Quinta, was stopped on Via Conquistador allowing passengers to exit his vehicle. Stewart exited his vehicle, with the transmission still engaged, and [the vehicle] collided with two passengers who had already exited the vehicle. One passenger succumbed to his injuries at the scene and the other injured passenger was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.’”

The two paragraphs above come from a story on the website of TheWrap. The person killed was Marty Pasetta, 82, best known for directing the live TV broadcast of the Academy Awards for 17 consecutive years from 1972 thru 1988.

TheWrap story adds, “Stewart was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.”

“Pasetta also helmed ‘Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii,’ which aired on Jan. 14, 1973, in more than 40 countries,” reports Variety, adding, “The concert special, featuring Elvis Presley at the Honolulu International Center, remains one of the most watched TV programs in history.”

The Variety story also says that Pasetta “produced and directed eight live Grammy Awards and Emmy telecasts. Pasetta’s other notable credits include ‘AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Fred Astaire’ (1981), ‘The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour’ (1967) and TV inaugural galas for presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.”

The Wrap story adds, “Three of Pasetta’s children — Martin Pasetta Jr., Debbie Pasetta Palacio and Greg Pasetta — are members of the Directors Guild and have worked in live television.”

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