Film and television producer and distributor Laurence “Larry” Joachim died in Beverly Hills on Nov. 17. He was 88.
Joachim was an innovator in the radio and television “plug business,” a term he used for product placement and gifts given or won on gameshows.
In 1974 and 1976 Joachim produced and distributed for and with 20th Century Fox and his companies Trans National Film and JMJ Productions two movie versions of the TV series “The Green Hornet” with Bruce Lee as Kato.
As an independent distributor he founded and ran Trans National Film Corp., Televentures Corp. and Trans Continental Film Corp. He released Chuck Norris action pic “Breaker Breaker,” produced and distributed Jim Kelly starrer “Black Samurai” and distributed Sonny Chiba’s “The Executioner” and “The Assassin.” He also produced and distributed “The Wild West,” a compilation documentary featuring the Republic Pictures Westerns starring John Wayne and others, and he introduced Jackie Chan to a U.S. audience, distributing in the U.S. and other territories “Fearless Hyena,” “Shaolin Wooden Men,” “Dragon Fist,” “Half a Loaf of Kung Fu” and many others. He also distributed kung fu pictures starring Dragon Lee (“Dragon’s Inferno”), Bruce Li (“Call Me Dragon”) and Bruce Lo (“Tiger’s Claw”). Joachim was hands on for the theatrical campaigns and art work for all the movies with which he was involved.
In addition to martial arts films, Joachim co-produced “Murder, Inc.” for 20th Century Fox in 1961, launching actor Peter Falk’s career.
In the 1960s and early 1970s Joachim procured many children films and introduced “kiddie matinees” for children distributing through Trans National Film Corp “Singing Princess,” starring the voice of Julie Andrews; “Treasure Island”; “Tales Of Jungle Book”; “Skeleton Island”; “Haunted Mansion”; “Pinocchio”; and “Journey to the Beginning of Time,” as well as early Hedy Lamarr film “Ecstasy.” He also distributed “Cannibal Holocaust” in 1984.
In 1983, Joachim and second wife Barbara Holden created and produced “Video One,” one of the first daily syndicated musicvideo shows, which ran on L.A. TV station KTLA. Hosted by KROQ radio personality Richard Blade, “Video One” helped launch and enhance the careers of Madonna, Duran Duran, Prince, Culture Club, Wham!, Tears for Fears, Run DMC and Michael Jackson.
Joachim continued with film production and distribution well into his 80s.
Born in Brooklyn, Joachim, got his start in entertainment at 16, writing comedy gags and skits and for Bob Hawk, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Frank Sinatra and many others. He had his own radio show in 1941 at 16 called “Comedy Convention” and eventually “College Daze With Larry Haze” on WNEW Radio.
His father Leo Joachim published and owned Printing News, and his mother Daisy Rieger was an actress in the original Group Theater.
Joachim was first married to actress Barbara Loden, best known for roles in “Splendor in the Grass”, “After The Fall” on Broadway, “Wanda” the movie and a regular on “The Ernie Kovacs Show.”
He was married to second wife Barbara Holden from 1975 until she passed away in 2004.
Joachim is survived by his son Marco Joachim and stepsons Leo Kazan and Jodd Readick.