Spaghetti Westerns producer, Oscar winner
James Hager, who produced several spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s and later garnered a docu Oscar for “The Man Who Skied Down Everest,” died Feb. 8 of heart failure in Beverly Hills. He was 61.
Hager graduated from UCLA in 1962 and enjoyed a successful stint as a stock broker. With Pietro Notarianni as his producing partner, he produced a string of Westerns during the 1960s including “A Stranger in Town,” “Samurai on Horseback” and “Return of the Stranger.”
During the 1970s, he co-founded Canamco, a Canadian-American studio and was involved in the distribution of several rock documentaries including “Woodstock” and “Gimme Shelter.” His greatest achievement as a producer came in 1976 when his documentary of the previous year, “The Man Who Skied Down Everest” won the Academy Award for best feature documentary. He shared the Oscar with longtime friend-partner and co-producer Dale Hartleben.
He is survived by his sister.