Obituaries

Arthur Dreifuss, director, producer and writer of movies, TV shows and Broadway musicals, died Dec. 31 in Studio City after a bout with the flu. He was 85.

In 1928, Dreifuss emigrated from Germany to New York, where he played piano with George Gershwin.

Dreifuss then became a Broadway producer, and at one point had six musicals running at once.

Dreifuss was lured in the 1930s to Hollywood, where he became a contract director and produced numerous films.

His focus shifted to television in the 1950s and 1960s, and he became a talent agent in the 1970s.

Dreifuss’ credits include “The Quare Fellow,” a 1963 movie starring Patrick McGoohan and Sylvia Syms; “Riot on Sunset Strip” (1967), starring Aldo Ray and Mimsy Farmer; and the TV nature series “Wildlife in Crisis,” which he produced in Africa.

Dreifuss is survived by a son, a daughter, his former wife and two grandchildren.

A private funeral and cremation were planned.

* * *

Joseph Juliano

Joseph Juliano, movie producer and writer, died Monday in Scotts Valley. He was 69.

He began his career writing for Bob Hope and Red Skelton.

In 1964, he moved to Paris, where he produced numerous films, including “Birds, Orphans and Fools,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Norman’s Family Chapel, 3620 Soquel Drive, Soquel.

* * *

Jim Booth

Jim Booth, 48, prominent New Zealand film producer, died Tuesday in Wellington of cancer.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the New Zealand Film Commission, of which he was exec director from 1983-88, and a key player in Kiwi arts and culture for 20 years.

During the past five years he produced three films –“Meet the Feebles, “”Brain Dead” (aka “Dead Alive”) and “Heavenly Creatures.”

All were collaborations with director Peter Jackson, with whom Booth went into partnership after persuading a cautious NZFC to back Jackson’s debut pic, zombie comedy “Bad Taste” in 1987.

Jackson said, “The movies we made helped a lot of people wake up to the fact that New Zealand is producing original, uncompromising and highly professional entertainment.”

He is survived by his partner, Sue Rogers, and two sons.

* * *

Ronald Muchnick

Ronald Muchnick, an agent, personal manager and producer, died Tuesday of an AIDS-related disease. He was 56.

Before coming to Hollywood, he teamed with Yvette Schumer in a personal management firm. In 1980, he returned to Los Angeles to open his own management firm.

His clients included Milton Katselas, Richard Gere, Jeffrey Tambor, Clifton Davis, Penny Fuller and Lesley Ann Warren.

He also produced plays Off Broadway by William Inge, Joe Orton and Ira Levin.

Survivors include his father and a sister.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Project Angel Food, APLA or the Chris Brownlie Hospice.

Memorial services are pending.

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