Producer Charles A. Pratt died April 27 in Encino, Calif. of lung cancer. He was 81.
Pratt produced films including “Willard,” the “Walking Tall” trilogy, and “The Great Santini.”
Born in Chicago, he started his career in advertising, eventually becoming an account executive for NBC-TV. He then held vice president positions at Alberto-Culver and General Foods. Moving to Cox Broadcasting in Atlanta, he was dispatched to fix problems at Cox acquisition, Bing Crosby Productions.
Pratt oversaw the TV production company’s entry into theatrical films, with the first release the low budget ratpic “Willard.” Following “Willard” were a sequel, “Ben,” “Terror In The Wax Museum,” “Arnold,” and then the surprise hit “Walking Tall,” the true story of Buford Pusser, a Tennessee sheriff. The film initially flopped, but a revamped marketing campaign turned the picture around. Two sequels, “Walking Tall, Part II” and “Walking Tall, Final Chapter” followed. Pratt also produced “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud,” and “You’ll Like My Mother.”
His final film was “The Great Santini,” produced in partnership with Orion Pictures and Mike Medavoy, which received two Oscar noms.
Pratt is survived by his wife Joan; a daughter; and two sons, Andrew M. Pratt, a videographer and owner of Hi-Angle Productions in Eugene, Oregon; and writer-producer Charles Pratt Jr.; four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.