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Longtime Oscars director Marty Pasetta dies at 82

Los Angeles: Marty Pasetta, a veteran director of live TV extravaganzas including 17 Academy Awards shows, has died. He was 82.

Marty Pasetta died last week from injuries sustained in a single-car accident in La Quinta, where he lived. According to the Riverside County coroner's office, the driver of the car in which the director was riding had left the engine on after they left the vehicle. The car struck Pasetta and another passenger. Pasetta died at the scene. The operator of the vehicle, Keith Stewart, 75, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

During four decades in television, Pasetta directed and produced specials for many of Hollywood's biggest names, including Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, and oversaw star-studded tributes to Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire and Alfred Hitchcock. He was credited with convincing Elvis Presley to suspend his drug use and lose weight for the 1973 special "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii", which has been described as the first satellite broadcast of a live concert. Pasetta was born June 16, 1932, in San Jose.

He attended Santa Clara University, but dropped out to work at San Francisco's KGO-TV, where he rose to stage manager and producer.

He later moved to Los Angeles, landing his first major directing job on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" in 1967. In addition to his son Marty, Pasetta is survived by his wife, Elise, daughter Debbie, son Gregory and five grandchildren.

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