Literary agent, producer
Ingo Preminger, a literary agent, producer of the film “MASH” and brother of the late filmmaker Otto Preminger died June 7 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He was 95.
Preminger began his career as an attorney in Vienna, Austria, but fled the Nazis with his family in 1938 and moved to New York, where he owned a paint supply business. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1947 and he began a new career in the entertainment business.
He opened his own talent agency in 1948 and later represented leading writers who were blacklisted during the McCarthy era, including Ring Lardner and Dalton Trumbo. He helped them skirt studio restrictions by getting other writers to agree to take credit for their work.
Lardner helped Preminger make his biggest career move by sending him a copy of the book “MASH.” Preminger took it to Richard Zanuck, head of production at 20th Century Fox, who quickly agreed to turn it into a movie and brought on Preminger as producer.
The 1970 film, directed by Robert Altman, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a Golden Globe for best musical or comedy film and was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture.
Lardner won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.
Preminger also produced 1972’s “The Salzburg Connection.” He retired from the film business in the late 1970s.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Kate; a son, Jim, a literary agent; daughters Eve and Kathy Kauff; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His brother, Otto, died at 80 in 1986.