Prolific Producer Dies at 98

Prolific Producer Dies at 98

( – Roger Corman, a prolific “B movie” producer, has died at the age of 98. Mr. Corman’s family announced his passing on social media, saying, “He was generous, open-hearted, and kind to all those who knew him.” He died at his home in Santa Monica, California, after a lifetime in the movie industry, where he mentored and inspired big Hollywood names, including Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, and Martin Scorsese. Family members described his film contributions as “revolutionary and iconoclastic.”

Known as the “King of the Bs,” Corman spent seven decades in Tinseltown producing and directing hundreds of movies. Critics credit him with kickstarting the careers of a long list of household names, such as Jack Nicholson and Robert DeNiro. Nicholson once said Mr. Corman “carried” him for his first seven years in Hollywood. The Academy Awards recognized his work in 2009 with an honorary Oscar.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1926, Corman graduated from Stanford University with an engineering degree in 1947. Within three years, however, he was employed as a mailroom messenger at 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles. In love with the film industry, the future director eventually worked his way up to story reader before composing a script that he sold to Allied Artists for $2,000. He used those funds to raise more cash and produced his first film, Monster from the Ocean Floor, in 1954.

Among his famous works were The Little Shop of Horrors in 1960, The Pit and the Pendulum in 1961, and The St Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1967. Corman later enjoyed cameo appearances in smash hits including The Silence of the Lambs and The Godfather Part II after influencing the art of directors Jonathan Demme and Ford Coppola.

The legendary producer made his final film, Frankenstein Unbound, in 1990. He married Julie Halloran in 1970, and they had four children. Also a movie producer, Julie Corman created a series of cult films including Saturday the 14th and Chopping Mall.

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