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December 03, 2012

Deborah Raffin, Actress and Audio Publishing Entrepreneur

In addition to her performing career, Raffin co-founded the audiobook company Dove Books on Tape with her then-husband, Michael Viner.

Deborah Raffin, an actress who co-founded a well-known audiobook company, died November 21, 2012, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 59.

According to news reports, the cause was leukemia.

An L.A. native, Raffin was a college student when she caught the eye of a talent scout while riding on an elevator. The encounter led to roles in such feature films as 40 Carats, Once Is Not Enough and The Ransom.

In 1980 she earned a Golden Globe nomination for best actress for the feature film Touched by Love.

Raffin also appeared in made-for-television movies, including Nightmare in Badham County, Mind Over Matter and Haywire. In addition, she co-starred in the miniseries Noble House and was a regular in the ABC series Foul Play and had guest roles in numerous other series, including 7th Heaven, ER, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

In 1974, Raffin married music producer Michael Viner. In 1985, the couple founded Dove in the garage of their Los Angeles home. According to reports, Viner had won an $8,000 bet in a backgammon game with author Sidney Sheldon. Rather than collecting his winnings, Viner asked Sheldon to let him publish two of his works as audiobooks.

The result was the launch of Dove, which released titles ranging from the gossipy You’ll Never Make Love in This Town Again to scientist Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Many celebrities recited Dove books, including William Conrad, Ruby Dee, Elliott Gould, Roger Moore, Burt Reynolds and Jason Robards.

Raffin and Viner sold Dove in 1997 and divorced in 2005. Viner died of cancer in 2009.

More about Raffin is available at:

Hollywood Reporter

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