Dan A. Polier, 78, longtime distribution and exhibition executive and film producer, died in Palm Desert of heart failure Wednesday following a recent heart attack.Polier, born Aug. 9, 1918, in Atlanta, attended Georgia Military Academy and later the U. of Illinois. He served as a sports columnist for the Charlotte News. During World War II, Polier entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as a sergeant, was a news and sports editor for the U.S. Army weekly Yank. In 1943, he married Leila Michalove, daughter of Dan Michalove, VP of National Theaters, which was then owned by 20th Century Fox. Following the war, he entered the motion picture business in the advertising department of 20th Century Fox. He went on to become head of the booking department for Fox West Coast Theaters. After working for Fox, Polier became VP and co-director of theater operations at National General Corp. In 1967, he was named VP in charge of production at National General Prods., where he worked on such films as “The Cheyenne Social Club,” “The Stalking Moon,” “A Dream of Kings,” “Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting,” “The Grasshopper,” “El Condor,” “How Sweet It Is!” and “The Baby Maker.” Polier joined Radnitz/Mattel Prods. in 1972 as VP in charge of distribution for the highly acclaimed film “Sounder.” He left in 1973 to become VP of Mann Theaters Corp. of California, then returned to Radnitz/Mattel as vice president in charge of marketing. In 1979, he became president of Knotf/Polier, a marketing distribution consulting firm, representing Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, David Geffen, Norman Jewison, Blake Edwards, Alan Pakula, Mel Brooks and Handmade Films. Some of the notable films Polier represented included “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Starting Over,” “Gremlins,” “Stir Crazy,” “Victor/Victoria,” “Time Bandits,” “The Terminator,” “Lost in America,” “Willow,” “Risky Business,” “Mona Lisa,” “Agnes of God,” “Purple Rain,” “A Fish Called Wanda” and his last, “Driving Miss Daisy,” after which he retired. During retirement, he served on the executive board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Polier, whose first wife died in 1981, is survived by his second wife, Shirley; a son and daughter from his first marriage, Dan and Diane; former daughter-in-law Marcy Polier, president of Entertainment Data Inc.; and four grandchildren. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at Hillside Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, family suggests contributions in Polier’s name to Butch Waltz Neurological Foundation, c/o Dr. Donald Skinner, 1441 E. Lake Ave., Suite 7414, Los Angeles, CA 90033.
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