Michael Green, chairman of Entertainment Film Distributors, the U.K.’s leading independent distrib, died June 17 of natural causes in London. He was 84.
Green joined United Artists in 1934, rising to become sales supervisor for Europe and the Near East, before he left in 1948 to form his own company as a producer’s representative dealing in global imports and exports.
Ten years later he and partner Joe Vegoda formed Regal Films Intl. for worldwide distribution. The company’s pictures included “Hellfire Club” (1960) and “Live Now, Pay Later” (1962). It was taken over by British Lion in 1963.
Green then became an executive director of British Home Entertainment, alongside Lord Brabourne and Tony Havelock-Allan. The company was formed to launch pay TV in Britain but went into film production with a slate including “Othello” (1965) starring Laurence Olivier, and Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” (1968).
When BHE was taken over by Commonwealth United in 1968, Green once again became an independent producer’s rep. He handled sales for films such as Joseph Losey’s “The Romantic Englishwoman” (1975).
In 1972 he launched Variety Film Distributors to release movies in the U.K. and formed Blackwater Film Prods. with Derek Ford.
In 1978 he launched Entertainment Film Distributors, subsequently joined by sons Nigel and Trevor. In the past decade the company has emerged as the U.K.’s leading indie distrib, releasing films such as “The Piano,” “The Mask” and the upcoming “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Michael Green is survived by his wife Jean and his two sons.