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Brandt, Movie Columnist Tries Suicide

HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 1 – Steven Brandt, a Hollywood movie magazine gossip columnist who was questioned extensively during the investigation of the Sharon Tate murder case attempted to kill himself Friday with an apparent overdose of pills.

Sheriff’s deputies found Brandt, 30, unconscious on a couch in the den of his studio apartment in West Hollywood after a close friend, singer Eddie Fisher, asked authorities to check on him.

Brandt, who wrote for Photoplay magazine, was an intimate friend of Miss Tate and her director husband Roman Polanski and had been the couple’s witness when they were married in London’s Chelsea Registry Office in January, 1968.

Officials at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center said Brandt remained in critical condition early today and was still in a coma. Sources said his prognosis for recovery was “poor.”

Deputies found an empty bottle of a drug called Tylenol, an acetaminophen, in the apartment. The drug is analgesic often used to treat arthritis and rheumatism.

Brandt was in New York City at the time Miss Tate and four other persons were murdered at the Polanskis’ plush Benedict Canyon estate Aug. 9. Officers said the columnist was “not a suspect,” but he had been quizzed extensively about the case.

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