By TOM McWILLIAMS

Editor, mentor. Died aged 82.

Des Dubbelt was the editor of Playdate magazine from 1961 to 1972. For much of that time he was also New Zealand correspondent for the showbiz bible Variety.

On Playdate, he did almost everything, from organising fashion shoots, taking the photos and then laying out the spreads, to writing film and record reviews (classical and pop), designing covers and writing features.

The reviews were signed D.G.D., but for features he chose the byline Our Man, who reported from backstage with Mr Lee Grant, talked to Tom Jones, walked in LA, partied in Hollywood, heard the thunder of Led Zeppelin in San Francisco and interviewed rising director Francis Ford Coppola there.

Playdate rose on the flood of 1960s pop culture, documenting the scene in New Zealand.

Dubbelt had a ruggedly independent Kiwi background. He had prospected for gold during the Depression, spent the war years in a camp for conscientious objectors, was a lifelong tramper, and built a modernist cabin in the 1950s.

But his tastes were cosmopolitan. He revered musical giants Elgar and Rachmaninov, read Hardy and Nabokov, seized on the New Journalism of Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe, and loved the bold new independent films of the late 1960s and 1970s.

Roger Donaldson, whom he hired to photograph pop groups, later directed Sleeping Dogs.

Dubbelt also gave crucial early encouragement to artist Gretchen Albrecht, author/journalist Geoff Chapple, adman and now Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey, and many more.

In retirement, Dubbelt played the piano daily, read and remained a keen tramper of the Waitakeres.

His wife, Una, died in an accident in 1975. He is survived by his daughters, Ingrid and Anna, and granddaughter Una.