Oscar-nominated Robert A. Katz, the producer behind projects such as Gettysburg, Selena and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, died after a long battle with lung cancer on Wednesday at the age of 79, announced his family on Thursday. Recently, Katz had been working on a variety of projects, including the feature-length film ‘Delfino’s Journey’ based on the novel and screenplay by Jo Harper. He was also serving as an executive producer on a mini-series about the life of General Norman Schwarzkopf based on his autobiography ‘It Doesn’t Take a Hero,’ as per Deadline. Father’s Day 2022: Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Nick Jonas – Meet the Dapper Daddies of Hollywood.
Katz was the co-founder of Esparza/Katz Productions along with Moctesuma Esparza. Together, the duo produced over 20 projects, including the films Telephone, Gettysburg, Granada, Selena and Gods and Generals. In television, the company was behind the production of Rough Riders, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, and Walkout. In 1988, he produced ‘Shoeshine,’ which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween and DC Comic Artist, Dies at 66.
Katz was born on February 7, 1943, in Los Angeles, where he grew up, graduated from high school and attended college. After college, he served in the US Navy as a fighter pilot, where he helped train the Israel Air Force in the mid-1960s. After his honorable discharge, he worked as a pilot in Africa with documentary film teams. Inspired by this work, Katz turned to filmmaking, producing more than 70 documentaries for French and American television about the wars of liberation in Africa.
Katz was also a founder of Medcom, Inc., a medical education company. He was an early pioneer in the home video market producing exercise projects with Jane Fonda, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others, as per Deadline. Being an avid aviation enthusiast, Katz was also a founding member of Los Angeles-based Showhawks, an entertainment industry flying club. Katz is survived by his wife Patricia Brown along with a stepdaughter, Victoria Flores, and two grandchildren, Skyler and Adysun, from his previous marriage to Pamela Katz, who preceded him in death.
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