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Actor, ‘Monster’ Producer Was 91

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Actor, 'Monster' Producer Was 91
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

Mark Damon, who starred within the Vincent Worth horror basic Home of Usher and spaghetti Westerns earlier than revolutionizing the overseas gross sales and distribution movie enterprise and producing options together with 9 1/2 WeeksMonster and Lone Survivor, has died. He was 91. 

Damon died Sunday of pure causes in Los Angeles, his daughter, Alexis Damon Ribaut, advised The Hollywood Reporter.

Damon spent the primary 20 years of his profession as an actor, together with a couple of dozen as a number one man in Italian motion films, earlier than he transitioned to the enterprise facet.

He had early success as an government producer with two films written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen: the German-language World Warfare II drama Das Boot (1981), which acquired six Oscar nominations, and The NeverEnding Story (1984), a big-budget fantasy movie that featured a Damon-commissioned rating by Giorgio Moroder for non-German audiences.

He shared an Unbiased Spirit Award with director Patty Jenkins and others for Monster (2003), starring Charlize Theron in an Oscar-winning flip as real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos.

Damon produced or government produced some 5 dozen options throughout his profession, amongst them Adrian Lyne’s 9 1/2 Weeks (1986), John Badham’s Brief Circuit (1986), Joel Schumacher‘s The Misplaced Boys (1987), Stalingrad (1993), The Jungle E book (1994), Trey Parker’s Orgazmo (1997), A Canine of Flanders (1999), The Upside of Anger (2005), Baltasar Kormákur’s 2 Weapons (2013), Peter Berg‘s Lone Survivor (2013), The Final Full Measure (2019) and Willy’s Wonderland (2021).

Born Alan Harris in Chicago on April 22, 1933, Damon attended Fairfax Excessive College and UCLA in Los Angeles, studied appearing with Lee Strasberg and Sanford Meisner and roomed with Jack Nicholson.

He had an enormous 12 months as an actor in 1956, exhibiting up on CBS’ Alfred Hitchcock Presents and within the movies Inside Detroit, Screaming Eagles and Richard Fleischer’s Between Heaven and Hell.

He graduated to main man standing with Younger and Harmful (1957) and The Occasion Crashers (1958) — each reverse Connie Stevens — plus Life Begins at 17 (1958), This Insurgent Breed (1960) after which AIP’s Home of Usher (1960), from producer-director Roger Corman.

For his efficiency because the fiancé of a lady (Myrna Fahey) whose demented brother (Worth) desperately tries to forestall them from marrying, Damon acquired a Golden Globe for many promising male newcomer.

When he was 28, he went to Italy and was solid in Westerns. “I used to be stunned, as a result of I had by no means ridden a horse in my life,” he mentioned in a 2014 interview. “Cowboys needed to be tall and blond, and I’m not that tall. I had very darkish hair on the time, however they mentioned, ‘It doesn’t matter. You’re American.’ I mentioned OK and realized to journey a horse.”

He starred in Italy in Sergio Corbucci’s The Shortest Day (1963), Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath (1963), The Son of Cleopatra (1964), Secret Agent 777 (1965), Ringo and His Golden Pistol (1966), Johnny Yuma (1966), A Prepare for Durango (1968), The Younger, the Evil and the Savage (1968), Pistol Packin’ Preacher (1971), Crypt of the Residing Useless (1973) and Bang, and the Angels Sing (1974).

Mark Damon in 1966’s ‘Ringo and His Golden Pistol’

Courtesy Everett Assortment

With Damon discovering himself typecast and Westerns turning into outworn, he stop appearing to seek out one thing else to do, and in 1975 he took a job with an Italian movie distributor that paid him $1,000 a month. “They actually wished me as a result of they thought I knew everybody in Hollywood and will get them larger footage,” he mentioned.

On the time, the foremost U.S. studios dealt with overseas gross sales, however he thought native corporations might get extra field workplace out of movies.

“An unbiased distributor abroad who’s placing his personal cash into a movie, he’s going to combat quite a bit more durable, not solely in the important thing cities but in addition the provinces, to make that image occur, as a result of he has his personal cash at stake,” he advised producer/podcaster Matthew Helderman in 2020. “The majors have their staff who’re solely eager about their paychecks.”

Damon mentioned it took him about seven years earlier than he lastly proved that independents might do higher than the studios.

He returned to the U.S. in 1977 and based the manufacturing and gross sales firm Producers Gross sales Group. Following Das Boot and The NeverEnding Story, PSO dealt with overseas gross sales for Martin Scorsese‘s The King of Comedy (1982) and ‘s As soon as Upon a Time in America (1984).

After PSO went bankrupt, he, Jon Peters and Peter Guber in 1987 based Imaginative and prescient Worldwide, which ultimately was bought to Credit score Lyonaisse. In 1993, Damon launched manufacturing, gross sales and distribution outfit MDP Worldwide, which went public; a decade later, it turned Media 8 Leisure, then it filed for chapter safety in 2012.

In 1980, he was one of many founders of the American Movie Advertising Affiliation, now referred to as the Unbiased Movie & Tv Alliance, and he printed a e-book, From Cowboy to Mogul to Monster: The Neverending Story of Movie Pioneer Mark Damon, in 2008.

Along with his daughter, survivors embrace his second spouse, actress Margaret Markov, whom he married in October 1976 — they first met when she starred in The Enviornment (1974), which he produced with Corman — his son, Jonathan; and his son-in-law, Mathieu.

“My declare to fame can be the truth that I mainly, coming from an appearing background, turned what they name the godfather of unbiased movies. The one who invented the overseas gross sales enterprise. The one who invented methods to get movies financed,” Damon mentioned in Luke Ford’s 2004 e-book, The Producers: Profiles in Frustration.

“How did someone do what I did? As a result of I didn’t know higher. I got here in with such contemporary viewpoint as a result of I’d been an actor and didn’t know something.”

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