Lita Warner Heller, 92, passed peacefully in her sleep in her Westwood home with her family at her bedside. Lita Warner was the daughter, and only child of Sam Warner and Lina Basquette. Sam Warner was Warner Bros./First National Pictures Founder and Producer, and “talkie” movies pioneer, who was credited with the production of the “Jazz Singer;” the movie and the sound/film process, Vitaphone, that changed the exhibition of films to a sound art form from a silent one. Following Sam Warner’s untimely death, a day before the “Jazz Singer” premier in October,1927, Lita was then sent to the home and raised by Sam’s brother, Harry Warner, Founder and President of Warner Bros/First National Pictures and his wife, Rea Levinson Warner. Lita attended Beverly Hills High School, and university at Stanford University, admitted at 16 years old.
Lita was a young Los Angeles socialite and patron of the arts and dedicated supporter of charitable organizations including The Thalians, The Music Center and a founding Blue Ribbon member, and Reisse Davis, among other philanthropic causes
In the mid 70’s, Lita and second husband, Mort Heller moved to Aspen Colorado where Lita helped develop the cultural arts and was a founder of the Aspen Ballet company which today is the acclaimed Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company.
Lita is survived by her son, Palisadian, Michael Hiatt, alocal Sotheby’s International Realty Broker Associate, and his wife, Deborah Chenoweth Hiatt. Grandsons: Parker Chenoweth, Warner Hiatt, aka Worn-Tin.
Son Sam Hiatt and granddaughter, Rachael Hiatt, Daughter Vicki Hiatt and grandson Cyrus Shaki Khan.
In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations in Lita Warner Heller’s name to The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company of Aspen, Colorado, Windwalkers for Horses, Carbondale, Colorado and Lucky Day for Dogs, Aspen, Colorado.