Steve Broidy, 86, president of Monogram Pictures and its successor, Allied Artists, from 1945 to 1965, died April 29 in Los Angeles following a heart attack.
A native of Maiden, Mass., Broidy attended Boston U. and entered the film industry as a salesman for Universal in 1926, remaining with the company for four years. He shifted to Warner Bros. in 1931 but left to join Monogram as sales manager in 1933.
Monogram was a low-budget outfit known for Westerns starring John Wayne, Buck Jones and Johnny Mack Brown; the East Side Kids/Bowery Boys and Bomba, the Jungle Boy, series; and Charlie Chan films with Sidney Toler.
Broidy was named to Monogram’s board of directors in 1940 and was elected v.p. in charge of operations in 1945, becoming president of the company in November of that year.
Monogram used the brand name Allied Artists for its bigger-budget pics, such as “The Babe Ruth Story” with William Bendix, until it dropped the Monogram name in the early 1950s and began using the AA label exclusively.
AA acquired more prestige in that period, while it continued to make bread-and-butter programmers but also began to attract such major directors as Billy Wilder (“Love In The Afternoon”) and William Wyler (“Friendly Persuasion”).
In the early 1960s, AA released such big-budget films as the Samuel Bronston Euro-made epics “El Cid” and “55 Days At Peking,” along with such low-budgeters as “Sex Kittens Go To College” and “Caltiki, The Immortal Monster.”
Broidy ankled AA in 1965, founding the indie firm Motion Pictures Intl.
With MPI, Broidy signed Sonny & Cher and young tv director William Friedkin to make their feature debuts with Columbia’s 1967 comedy-tuner “Good Times.”
Broidy’s second indie pic, “The Fox” (also 1967), made with producer Raymond Stross, dealt with a then-controversial lesbian theme and was the first feature directed by Mark Rydell.
MPI also co-produced the drama “80 Steps To Jonah” (1969), Wayne Newton’s first pic, with Newton’s company.
Active in many charitable enterprises, Broidy received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1963 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Survived by his daughter, two sons and six grandchildren.