Film and TV distrib exec Robert Lazarus died in L.A. on March 11 after a pulmonary illness. He was 43.
After graduating from the U. of Denver, Lazarus started in entertainment in 1983 as Western regional affiliate sales and marketing manager for the Disney Channel. He entered the independent film business as president, worldwide marketing and distribution for Vista Street Entertainment, where he established relationships with distribs around the world.
He then moved to Turner Broadcasting Systems, where he held the position of executive vice president and general manager of Turner Pictures Worldwide Distribution. At Turner, he worked on acquisitions, sales, marketing, business development and legal and business affairs. Among his achievements at Turner was the creation of direct distribution and licensing deals in certain key territories.
In 1996, Robert joined Paramount-based Mutual Film Co. as chief operating officer. He co-developed and executed the business plans and finance models for the co-financing of six features including “A Simple Plan,” “Primary Colors” and “The Jackal.”
He also staffed and operated Mutual Film Intl., the global sales, marketing and distribution arm of the company.
In 2000, Robert teamed up with production exec Chris Buchanan to launch online movie site Flixer.
He is survived by his life partner, John E. Ferraro; father, Herb, president of international distribution for Carsey-Werner; mother; and two brothers.
Donations may be made to the Robert David Lazarus Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Education and Support Group Fund, c/o Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 444 S. San Vicente Blvd., Mark Goodson Building Room 902, Los Angeles, CA 90048, attention: Pulmonary Rehabilitation.