×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sam Grossman

Sam Grossman, whose various films as writer and director included the hit genre comedy “The Van,” died of cancer Monday at his home in West Los Angeles. He was 53.

Grossman directed 1976’s “The Van” starring a pre-“Taxi” Danny DeVito, one of the most successful of the California-youth comedies of that period. At the time of his death, he was completing post-production on “Static,” which he wrote and directed last year on location in New York City.

He was born May 27, 1945, in New York City, attended the High School of Art and Design and later went to the New York University Film School before moving to California. He was a fellow at the American Film Institute from 1971 to 1976, where his mentors included George Stevens and Frank Capra.

While at AFI, he made two shorts, “At the Edge of the Bed” and “A Date With Chris.” He later wrote 1979’s “The Visitor,” which starred Mel Ferrer and Glenn Ford and, in the mid-1980s, directed three installments of Casey Kasem’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Gold Mine” documentaries on the pop music of the ’60s.

For Playboy Television, Grossman wrote the performance documentary “Playboy’s History of Striptease” and several installments of the Playboy Channel series “Ribald Classics.” He also authored several stage plays, including “In Your Own Backyard.”

He is survived by his wife, Naomi, a production executive at KingWorld, and a son, Robert, a screenwriter. A memorial service is scheduled for noon Sunday at the Greystone Mansion.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the UCLA Intervention Program, 1000 Veteran Avenue, Westwood CA 90024.

More Scene

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

  • Christian Bale'Vice' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Christian Bale Recalls Meeting Donald Trump: 'He Thought I Was Bruce Wayne'

    With Christian Bale‘s latest film, “Vice,” a political dramedy, it’s inevitable ties will be drawn between the film and the current political administration and its chief, President Donald Trump. On the red carpet for the premiere of “Vice,” Bale, who stars as former Vice President Dick Cheney, shared that he met the current president while [...]

  • Amy Poehler Is Ready for a

    Amy Poehler Is Ready for a 'Parks and Rec' Reunion

    Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up? We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion. “I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.” “Parks and Recreation” [...]

  • Meredith Walker, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler,

    Inside Amy Poehler's Smart Girls 10th Anniversary Dinner (EXCLUSIVE)

    “I’ve made an observation I’d like to share. I’m the only one that’s eaten my crab cake,” joked Amy Poehler as she addressed the room during the round robin introductions being made at her Smart Girls 10th anniversary dinner on Monday night. The 16 women at the table, who were so enthralled in the conversation [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron, Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de

    Alfonso Cuaron Says 'Roma' Is Better in Theaters

    Director Alfonso Cuaron opted to work with Netflix for his latest film “Roma,” but the decorated filmmaker isn’t discounting the importance of a big-screen viewing. “The complete experience of ‘Roma’ is unquestionably in a movie theater,” Cuaron said Monday night at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles for the premiere of “Roma.”  The streaming giant did [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content