Nevada man central to Howard Hughes inheritance fight dies

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Melvin Dummar, a delivery driver who falsely claimed that billionaire Howard Hughes left a handwritten will bequeathing him $156 million when he died in 1976, has died in rural Nevada.

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly (WER’-lee) said Dummar died Sunday under hospice care. He was 74.

Dummar’s brother, Ray Dummar, of Gabbs, Nevada, says Melvin Dummar battled cancer for many years. He previously lived in Brigham City, Utah.

Melvin Dummar’s plight was depicted in the film “Melvin and Howard” in 1980. Mary Steenburgen won a best supporting actor Oscar.

Battles over the authenticity of the so-called “Mormon will” lasted more than a decade.

Dummar maintained that he found Hughes on a Nevada desert road in 1967 and drove him to Las Vegas.

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