CHICAGO (AP) -- Bernard "Bernie" Sahlins, who co-founded Chicago's Second City theater and who nurtured the early careers of many of the earliest stars of "Saturday Night Live," died Sunday. He was 90.
Andrew Alexander, one of Second City's current owners and its CEO, told The Associated Press that Sahlins died peacefully at his Chicago home with his family nearby. He is survived by his wife, Jane Nicholl Sahlins.
Sahlins and business partners Howard Alk and Paul Sills opened The Second City in December 1959, and it quickly gained national attention and helped establish Chicago as a vibrant comedy town, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The Second City wasn't Sahlins' first attempt at running a theater. He was a producer-investor in a theater troupe in the early 1950s that was comprised of many fellow University of Chicago graduates, and he and several business partners produced plays at the Studebaker Theater from October 1956 until the following year, when it had to close due to a lack of funding.
In his 2002 memoir, "Days and Nights at the Second City," Sahlins wrote that he, Alk and Sills hadn't set out to build another theater.
"We had been burned enough times doing that. This was still the Beat generation, and we started out to found a coffee house where we idlers, including the actors whom we had with for years, could loll around and put the world in its proper place."
But The Second City caught on within months of opening, despite some early money problems and other issues, and it became instrumental in the growth and development of improvisational and sketch comedy.
Sahlins had an eye for talent, and he hired and nurtured the early careers of such future stars as John and Jim Belushi, Joan Rivers, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and Harold Ramis, among others.
Shortly after "Saturday Night Live" began airing in the fall of 1975, Second City became a breeding ground for the show. According to Second City producer emeritus Joyce Sloane, who died in 2011, Sahlins once half-jokingly commanded her to lock "SNL" creator and producer Lorne Michaels out of the building, the Sun-Times reported.
Alexander, who along with business partner Len Stuart bought The Second City from Sahlins in 1985, according to the theater's website, told the AP that Sahlins will be remembered for always urging performers to work at the top of their intellect, and that this is still preached at the theater today.
"You think about that theater, and think of all the stars that came out of it ... from Belushi to Aykroyd to Allan Arkin. It's extraordinary, the amount of talented people that came out of it," Alexander said.
A tearful plea today from the grandmother of a two-year-old boy who was killed by a hit and run driver Sunday night in Spanish Lake. "Whoever you are, please have a conscience. (sobs) And just come forward. My grandson did not deserve this."
St Louis County police say two-year-old Darion Griffin ran out into the street around 8 p.m. in the 1500 block of Redmond Road. Witnesses told police that a white SUV with tinted windows was speeding eastbound on Redmond near Bellefontaine Road when it hit the toddler and his 17-year-old aunt, Sheria Evans. Police say Evans was trying to pull the child from the path of the vehicle. The SUV didn't stop.
Both victims were rushed to a nearby hospital where the boy was pronounced dead. The teen suffered minor injuries.
Anyone with information is urged to call St. Louis County Police.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Manu Ginobili had 24 points and 10 assists in a surprise start to spark the San Antonio Spurs to a 114-104 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, pushing the Spurs one victory away from their fifth championship.
Danny Green scored 24 points and broke Ray Allen's finals record for 3s in a series with 25. Tony Parker had 26 points for San Antonio.
LeBron James scored 25 points on 8-for-22 shooting for the Heat and Dwyane Wade had 25 points and 10 assists. But the Heat missed 21 of their first 29 shots to fall behind by 17 points in the second quarter of another uninspired performance.
Game 6 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Miami.
Whirling through the defense like the Manu of old, Ginobili shrugged off a postseason full of disappointment to deliver a performance that the Spurs have never needed more desperately. He hit 8 of 14 shots and had his highest points total since June 4, 2012.
Tim Duncan had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Green was 6 for 10 from 3-point range, and Parker gutted through 36 minutes on that tender right hamstring. Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and eight rebounds, and the San Antonio shot 60 percent to overcome 19 turnovers.
Allen scored 21 points and Chris Bosh had 16 points and six rebounds for the Heat, who were stunned by a vintage Ginobili performance early and never really recovered.
Miami missed 21 of its first 29 shots and Green hit three straight 3s in the middle of the second quarter to tie Allen's record of 22. The Spurs led 47-30 on Duncan's two free throws before the Heat finally showed some fight.
A 12-0 run got them back within striking distance at 47-42 and the Heat surged out of the halftime gates to cut San Antonio's lead to 61-59 in the first 1:17 of the third.
San Antonio pushed right back, getting a jumper from Parker, a 3-pointer from Green that broke Allen's record and a lefty layup from Ginobili to get a little breathing room.
Ginobili closed the third with a twisting, off-balance, left-handed runner and a right-handed drive to the bucket to bring cheers of "Manu! Manu!" from the delirious crowd.
Nowhere to be found in the first four games, and for most of these playoffs, Ginobili had his fingerprints all over the opening of Game 5. He hit a step-back jumper, had two pretty assists on a backdoor cut from Green and a thunderous dunk from Duncan and knocked down two free throws for an early 9-4 lead.
Ginobili's 3-pointer from the wing made it 15-10, bringing the nervous crowd to its feet. The awakening was a welcome sign for the Spurs, who desperately missed their playmaking daredevil.
The Heat reclaimed momentum in Game 4 thanks to a shuffle of the starting lineup by coach Erik Spoelstra, who moved sharp-shooter Mike Miller into the starting lineup in Udonis Haslem's place, giving Miami a smaller lineup that spaced the floor better and gave James and Wade room to operate.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made a move to match that on Sunday night, putting the struggling Ginobili in for center Tiago Splitter. Ginobili was averaging 7.5 points in the first four games and shooting 34 percent. In the final year of his deal, the soon-to-be 36-year-old was asked about retirement on Saturday.
The crowd roared for Ginobili when he was introduced last, with one banner reading "We still Gino-believe!"
Wade had endured a similarly quiet start to these finals before erupting for 32 points and six steals in Miami's Game 4 victory that evened the series. That carried over to the opening quarter of Game 5, when Wade's assertive play helped Miami withstand Ginobili's initial haymaker.
Wade's trademark euro-step on the break and two free throws kept the game tight and James hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 17 with under 5 minutes to play in the period.
The two teams entered Game 5 riding a pendulum of momentum that was swinging wildly back and forth over the previous three games. A classic, air-tight Game 1 victory by the Spurs gave way to three blowouts - Miami by 19 in Game 1, San Antonio by 36 in Game 3 and the Heat by 16 in Game 4.
The volatility made it difficult for either team to feel like it had a grip on expectations heading into the pivotal Game 5, but the Heat did appear to finally assert themselves with a dominant performance from their three All-Stars on Thursday night.
James, Wade and Bosh broke out of a series-long malaise to combine for 85 points, 30 rebounds and 10 steals, finally finding a way to get to the rim against the paint-clogging Spurs defense.
But for a team as talented and experienced as they are, these Heat have shown a maddening inconsistency over the last month. The team that won 27 straight during the regular season came into the game having going 11 straight games without winning two in a row.
There was so much more riding on this game for the Spurs than the Heat, who reclaimed homecourt advantage with their decisive victory in Game 4. Under the current 2-3-2 format that was adopted in 1985, no visiting team has won both Games 6 and 7 on the road in the finals.
And the Spurs played with more urgency from the start.
Now the Heat's backs are against the wall one more time. And it was Ginobili who put them there.
MIAMI (AP) -- Maybe the St. Louis Cardinals were looking ahead to the Chicago Cubs.
In a matchup of worst versus first, NL Central leader St. Louis mustered only five hits Sunday and lost to the woeful Miami Marlins. 7-2.
The Cardinals dropped two of three games in Miami - the first series they've lost since April 26-28 against Pittsburgh. They went 5-4 on a three-city trip and open a homestand Monday against the traditional rival Cubs.
The Marlins climbed above .300 at 21-47, still baseball's worst record.
"We didn't see it," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "The team we saw is hitting the ball and making good pitches."
The Cardinals didn't do enough of either. Tyler Lyons (2-3), making his fifth major league start, lost for the third time in a row after winning his first two decisions.
Lyons gave up six runs in 5 1-3 innings.
"I made some mistakes with guys on base," the rookie said.
The Cardinals, who have the lowest ERA in the majors, gave up 19 runs in the series. Meanwhile, they managed just three hits and one run against Ricky Nolasco, who pitched seven innings.
St. Louis scored a run in the ninth and loaded the bases with two out, but Steve Cishek came to strike out pinch-hitter Matt Holliday looking to end the game.
Matheny liked the comeback bid.
"These guys have always shown that - they don't give up," Matheny said. "They keep coming. That will pay off in the long run."
Aside from the ninth inning, the Cardinals did little. All of their hits were singles, and with Holliday and NL batting leader Yadier Molina out of the starting lineup and given a day to rest, St. Louis went down in order in five of the first six innings.
Carlos Beltran finished 0 for 4 to end the longest active hitting streak in the majors at 14 games. Matt Carpenter was also hitless and went 7 for 38 (.184) on the trip.
Jon Jay and Matt Adams drove in St. Louis' runs. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton made a leaping catch at the fence to rob Adams of an RBI and an extra-base hit in the seventh.
"With that lineup, probably among the top three in the league, you just have to stay focused," Nolasco said. "You can't lose concentration and leave balls over the middle, because they're just going to start crushing you. I was able to get away with some balls that they hit hard, and we had great defense at the same time, so it worked out."
A bout of wildness against the bottom of the order cost Lyons in the fourth inning. He hit Jeff Mathis, who was batting .128, and then Nolasco walked for the first time this year to load the bases. Juan Pierre followed with a two-out, two-run single for a 4-1 Miami lead.
Placido Polanco had three hits starting for the first time in five games after being sidelined by back stiffness. His two-out, two-run double in the fifth made it 6-1.
The abundance of offense was a refreshing change for Nolasco (4-7), who has endured the worst run support of any pitcher with at least 14 starts. Luxuriating in an early lead, he retired 11 in a row during one stretch.
"It helps a ton," he said. "It just changes everything and the way you pitch and your approach."
Pierre drove in two runs and had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, while Justin Ruggiano added a two-RBI single. The Marlins have won eight of the past 14 games, their best stretch this season.
"To get a win against such a great team and a great lineup, and to play as well as we did, that's a great day for all of us," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
NOTES: Miami 1B Logan Morrison (back) took grounders before the game but sat out for the third day in a row. ... Lyons' six strikeouts were a career high. ... The crowd of 18,468 was the largest of the homestand. ... David Freese had one hit, but his lifetime average against the Marlins fell to .462 (18 for 39).