Serbian producer-director-writer Ika Panajotovic died July 18 after suffering cardiac arrest during a surgical procedure in Los Angeles. He was 69.
Longtime member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Panajotovic served as the Yugoslav coordinator for the 1973 Kirk Douglas starrer “Scalawag” and producer of films including “Hell River,” “Wild Wind” and “Last Train to Berlin,” which he also wrote.
A Belgrade native, he practiced law there from 1957 to 1962 and wrote for the Reporter and other major newspapers. He excelled in tennis and was a Yugoslav Davis Cup player for 11 years, making it to the Wimbledon semifinals in 1958 and becoming national champion the following year.
After a car accident prevented him from joining the Jack Kramer Pro Tour, Panajotovic came to Los Angeles, where he earned a degree in international law in 1963 before embarking on a career in film and journalism.
He is survived by wife Elena, a son, a daughter, two grandchildren and a sister.