Irv Berwick

Independent filmmaker Irv Berwick, best known for his production of low-budget B movies for more than three decades, died June 29 of heart failure at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Panorama City. He was 82.

Born in New York in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, Berwick exhibited talent as a 14-year-old classical pianist.

He acted in the Yiddish Theatre, and left home at age 16 to pursue a film career in Hollywood, where he worked as an extra and appeared as a billboard model for White Owl Cigars.

Following World War II service in the Army, he returned to Hollywood and was hired by Columbia Pictures as a trainee director. He later worked at Universal for 12 years.

A member of the Directors Guild of America since 1959, he produced numerous low-budget features, including “Monster of Piedras Blancas” (1959) and “Malibu High” (1979) for Crown Intl.

He also taught a course at UCLA for 15 years titled “Low-Budget Film Production.”

He is survived by son Wayne, a television writer; daughter Wendy and two grandchildren.

Donations can be made to Temple B’nai Hayim.

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