×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

LACMA film historian Ron Haver dead at 54

Ronald D. Haver, film historian, author and film preservationist, died Tuesday in Los Angeles from complications of AIDS. He was 54.

The Oakland native, infatuated by film early on, founded a film society for the Boys’ Club at his high school with his best friend, Gary Essert, who later co-founded Filmex and the American Cinematheque. Haver projected films for the members, which led to his first job as a doorman at the Grand Lake Theater.

After graduating from high school, Haver moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as an usher at the Carthay Theater.

He then joined the army, and completed his military service in New York City, where he was transferred during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Haver continued to live in New York City, attending film classes under the G.I. Bill at the New School and Columbia U. and then working as a publicist and actor.

Haver returned to Los Angeles in 1970, where his old friend Essert helped him land a job as a projectionist at the American Film Institute’s Beverly Hills campus. Haver’s knowledge and talent as a film historian was obvious to those near him and soon he became the oral historian to Marian C. Cooper, producer of “King Kong.”

In 1972 Haver left AFI and teamed with film historian David Shepard to establish a permanent film program for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Soon LACMA named Haver director of film programs, a post he held for 20 years. While there he organized innovative film series with guest appearances by world-famous performers and directors, and instituted the popular Wednesday and Friday matinees for senior citizens.

In 1980 Knopf published Haver’s “David O. Selznick’s Hollywood.” Three years later, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Warner Bros., Haver managed the restoration of “A Star Is Born” (1954), directed by George Cukor and starring Judy Garland and James Mason. He recovered 20 of the 30 minutes missing from Cukor’s original cut. The restored film opened on June 30, 1983, to critical acclaim and sold-out houses at Radio City Music Hall, then played to audiences around the world.

He is survived by his mother, a sister, a nephew and a niece.

The family requests donations to the Film Dept., Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

More Film

  • Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear

    Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear Ex'

    Netflix has added to its roster of Mandarin-language content with the acquisition of rights to Taiwanese dark comedy “Dear Ex.” The award-winning film will play out from Feb. 1. The story involves a recently bereaved widow and a gay man fighting over a dead man’s inheritance, with the woman’s teenage son caught in the middle. [...]

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content