Producer Otto Plaschkes, who shepherded “Georgy Girl” and “The Homecoming,” died Feb. 14 in London of a heart attack. He was 75.
Born in Vienna, he arrived in England via the kindertransport in 1939 and was temporarily adopted by a family in Liverpool. He was later reunited with his parents and his older sister, and grew up in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Thanks to his enthusiasm for the Cambridge Film Society in college, he became interested in the film business and found work at Ealing Studios as a runner. He was promoted to production assistant and also worked in the cutting room.
In 1960 he was assistant director to Otto Preminger on “Exodus,” and, in 1962, production assistant on “Lawrence Of Arabia.”
The respected and cultured producer was at the forefront of the ’60s renaissance of British cinema, starting as co-producer of “Georgy Girl” in 1966 with James Mason, Alan Bates and Lynn Redgrave. After that came “The Bofors Gun,” and an American production, Larry Peerce’s “A Separate Peace,” for Paramount.
As executive producer for the American Film Theater, Plaschkes produced Peter Hall’s film of Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming”; Bertolt Brecht’s “Galileo,” directed by Joseph Losey; Pinter’s “Butley” with Alan Bates and Jessica Tandy; and, Lindsay Anderson’s adaptation of “In Celebration” in 1975.
His most commercially successful film was “Hopscotch” with Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson. His most recent theatrical production was “Shadey” in 1985. For television, he produced “The Sign Of Four,” “Doggin’ Around” and “The Hound Of The Baskervilles.”
From 1984 to 1986, he served as head of production for Cannon Productions. He was also a teacher at the National Film School. At the time of his death, he was working on three new film projects.
He is survived by his wife Louise, a daughter, Valli, who works in theater; a brother and a sister.