John Beck, 83, producer and studio executive who, with Lew Wasserman, helped organize the motion picture division of MCA for the late Dr. Jules Stein, died July 18 in Woodland Hills of cancer.
Beck produced numerous films, including “Harvey” with James Stewart, “Countess of Monte Cristo” with Sonja Henie, “Kill the Umpire” with William Bendix, “One Touch of Venus” with Ava Gardner, “The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell” with Bob Hope, and the Debbie Reynolds film “The Singing Nun.”
Beck, one of 14 children, was born and raised in Pomona, graduated from Columbia U. and worked for a short time as a booking agent for a theater owner.
He joined MCA after serving in the Merchant Marines during WW II, helping in the merger of Intl. Pictures and Universal Pictures into Universal Intl. Pictures.
Beck later served as a production executive for Howard Hughes at RKO and in numerous executive capacities for several studios including 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.
Beck was an organizing founder of the annual Catholics in Motion Pictures breakfast.
Survived by daughter Anne Marshall and son John Jr.; a granddaughter and two great-granddaughters.