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Sep 22, 2015 9:07 PM

Publisher Tarcher dies; came out with eclectic best-sellers

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) Jeremy P. Tarcher, whose eponymous publishing house released an eclectic wave of best-sellers ranging from Joan Rivers' "Having a Baby Can Be a Scream" to "Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class," has died.

Penguin Group (USA), the parent company of Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc., announced that Tarcher died Sunday from complications related to Parkinson's disease. He was 83 and died at his home in Bel Air, California, a Penguin spokeswoman told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Tarcher, the brother of best-selling author Judith Krantz and widower of Emmy-winning puppeteer Shari Lewis, founded his company in the early 1970s. A transplanted New Yorker who had studied Eastern philosophy in India, he set up shop on Sunset Boulevard and effectively tapped into the West Coast culture. His successes included Mind/Body/Spirit guides (Betty Edwards' million-selling "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"), New Age favorites ("Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class") and numerous celebrity books, including Lewis' "The Kids-Only Book Club."

"Being 3,000 miles from the orchestra," Tarcher said of the New York publishing world during a People magazine interview in 1976, "we can make our own music out here."

Tarcher also helped oversee the rise of Lewis' career, organizing her first network TV show (for NBC, in 1960) and collaborating with her on a script for the original "Star Trek" series. Tarcher and Lewis were married in 1958 and remained together until her death, 40 years later. Their daughter, Mallory Lewis, also became a puppeteer.

Tarcher's publishing house was purchased by Putnam, now part of Penguin, in 1991. He continued to run the company, which was moved to New York, until 1996.


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