Greek-born producer Moris Ergas, who was active in the Italian film industry through the 1950s and ’60s, died Feb. 8 in Rome after a long illness. He was 72.
Ergas left his hometown of Thessaloniki to study in Belgrade. He was interned during World War II in the Ferramonti Tarsia concentration camp for Jews in Italy.
Best known of the films Ergas produced are Roberto Rossellini’s “General Delia Rovere” (1959), Gillo Pontecorvo’s “Kapo” (1960) and Alberto Lattuada’s “The Steppe” (1963).
During the same period, he was frequently featured in the Italian gossip columns because of his stormy 11-year relationship with actress Sandra Milo.
Ergas left the film industry in the late 1970s to pursue activity in the construction sector as well as the exploitation of solar energy in the Middle East.
He resurfaced in 1990 as a producer and distributor of Czech cinema, which had long been blocked by state film censors. Years earlier, he is believed to have been instrumental in helping Czech directors Milos Forman and Ivan Passer relocate to the West.
He is survived by two daughters from his first marriage, as well as actress Debora Ergas, his daughter with Milo.