Alex Gordon, producer of such films as “Requiem for a Gunfighter” and AIP sci-fier “The Day the World Ended” died Tuesday June 24 in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 80.
London native served in the British army during WWII, then joined indie distrib Renown Pictures as head of advertising and publicity. In his spare time, he ran a fan club for Gene Autry and met Autry when the Singing Cowboy came to Blighty on a personal appearance tour.
In 1947 he emigrated to the U.S., where his first job was in the film booking department of Walter Reade Theaters in Gotham. When Autry came to New York for a rodeo, the two renewed their friendship and Autry hired him as advance publicity man for future U.S. tours.
The job brought Gordon to Hollywood, where he became involved with production of oater “The Lawless Rider” and struck up a friendship with lawyer Samuel Z. Arkoff, who repped the pic’s star, Johnny Carpenter. When Arkoff and Jim Nicholson formed American Intl. Pictures, Gordon joined the company and went on to produce 18 pics for them, including “The She-Creature” and Roger Corman’s “The Day the World Ended.” He also wrote the stories for two Ed Wood pics, “Jail Bait” and the infamous Bela Lugosi starrer “Bride of the Monster.”
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Gordon left AIP in 1957 to strike out on his own as a producer. Subsequent pics included “The Atomic Submarine” at Alliance Artists, “The Underwater City” for Colpix and oaters “The Bounty Killers” and “Requiem for a Gunfighter” for Embassy.
In 1968 he accepted a TV production job at 20th Century Fox, where he instituted a film restoration project. He rediscovered more than 30 of Fox’s silents and early talkies, pics that had been thought lost. In ’76 he left Fox for the Gene Autry Organization, where he remained until his death.
He is survived by Ruth, his wife of 46 years, and brother Richard Gordon, of New York, also a producer.