Gordon T. Stulberg, a longtime film executive who held top studio posts during the 1970s and ’80s including a stint as president and chief operating officer of 20th Century Fox, died Thursday at UCLA Medical Center of complications from diabetes. He was 76.
In 1954, he served as chief counsel and chief negotiator for the Screen Actors Guild, where he helped introduce the twin concepts of separation of rights and residuals into collective bargaining agreements.
In 1958 Stulberg joined Columbia Pictures as an executive assistant and from there went from one exec post to the next all the way up the ladder.
In 1967, CBS president William Paley brought Stulberg over to help build a movie business for the network. He responded by creating Cinema Center Films. Under Stulberg’s leadership, Cinema Center created features including “Little Big Man, “Rio Lobo” and “With Six You Get Eggroll.”
In 1971, Stulberg agreed to head Twentieth Century Fox, which produced films during his tenure that included “The Poseidon Adventure,” “Harry and Tonto,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “The Towering Inferno” and “Star Wars.”
In late 1975, Stulberg left the film business and returned to practicing law as a partner at the entertainment law firm of Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp.
He later returned to the film business and served as president of Polygram Pictures; chairman of the board of Philips Interactive Media of America; and a consultant for Cox Enterprises. He retired in 1994 and more recently served on the board of directors for Trimark Pictures and performed film arbitration for the American Film Market Assn.
The Toronto-born Stulberg graduated from the U. of Toronto in 1946 and won the Alfred Hoyt Scholarship to Cornell Law School.
Stulberg is survived by his wife of 48 years, Helen, and their four children.
Services will be held at noon Sunday at Hillside Mortuary, 6001 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests donations be made to the American Diabetes Assn.