Michael Gottlieb, Movie Director, Film Professor at Pasadena’s Art Center, Dies at 69

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Michael Gottlieb, a writer, producer, director, photographer and, latterly, a professor of film at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., died in a motorcycle accident on the Angeles Crest Highway in La Canada on Friday, May 23. He was 69.

His bigscreen credits included “Mannequin” (1987), “The Shrimp on the Barbie” (1990), “Mr. Nanny” (1993) and “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court” (1995), all of which he directed.

He also produced several top videogame titles, including “Midway Arcade Treasures 3,” “Fire Blade,” “Mortal Kombat: Special Forces,” “Muppet Monster Adventure,” “Paperboy,” “NBA Hang Time” and “Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero.”

Raised in New York, Gottlieb began his professional career working as an assistant on film and photo shoots, becoming a successful fashion photographer. His work in this arena led to a career as a Cleo Award-winning commercial director and cinematographer, making many national spots for such clients as Xerox, Coca-Cola and McDonalds.

It was his work in advertising that led to his bigscreen efforts in Hollywood.

At Pasadena’s Art Center, Gottlieb taught classes for the Undergraduate and Graduate Film Departments and for Art Center at Night, including Advanced Feature Screenwriting: Scenes & Characters; The Art of Storytelling; and The Journey: Feature Screenwriting.

Gottlieb was a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.

He is survived by three daughters.

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  1. Simba Sims says:

    It has now been three years and the story still brings me sadness at moments when I return to Art Center; where Michael was my mentor and writing coach. One thing he said that I will never forget as I was writing my thesis screenplay was that I needed more life under my belt. He said, “Simba, GO-OUT and experience life! And only then will you know what your story is really about, and then you will be ready.” Sir, I am ready! And thank you for the wisdom. My warmest condolences for his family. I too loss my father, which became the “life” I needed to inspire my story.

    Simba Sims

  2. simba sims says:

    Michael was an inspirational instructor. He was first writing coach and film mentor.

  3. DG says:

    Sorry to hear this.

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