×

Producer, director Mark Cowen dies

Recently produced 'Hatfields & McCoys' docu for History

Documentary producer and director Mark Cowen died in Virginia on Monday, Sept. 10, after a battle with an unnamed debilitating disease. He was 50.

Cowen’s professional career began in the early 1980s at ZM Prods., where he helped to define the marketing genre of behind-the-scenes “making of” documentaries and electronic press kits, which are still widely used in motion picture publicity campaigns. He worked to shape the campaigns for films including “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Patriot Games” and “Empire of the Sun.”

In 1990, Cowen in partnership with producer Paul Hall, formed marketing and TV production company the Berkeley Group. The company produced EPKs, and they produced successful Fox television shows “Sightings” and “Encounters.”

Cowen went on to produce and direct the Emmy-nominated “We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company” which was a companion documentary to the Emmy Award winning HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” He was also the director of the Imax film “Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D,” which he produced with his partner and longtime collaborator Mark Herzog, and co-wrote the film with Tom Hanks and his younger brother Christopher.

Most recently, Cowen produced “America’s Greatest Feud: Hatfields and McCoys,” which was the companion documentary to the highly successful miniseries on History.

Mark Proctor Cowen grew up in San Marino, Calif. He attended St. Lawrence U. and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount U.

He is survived by his wife, Katie; three sons, his father; brother Christopher Cowen, VP of original programming at Herzog & Co.; and sister Maureen Kessler.

Donations may be made, in support of the education of the Cowen boys and in support of film education at Lighthouse Studios in Charlottesville and elsewhere, to the Mark Cowen Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o First Citizens Bank, 2101 Dominion Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m.

A celebration of Mark’s life will be held in Los Angeles at a date and time to be determined.

More Scene

  • Sir Elton John, David Furnish. Sir

    New Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala to be Held in the South of France

    Elton John and David Furnish are launching a new gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The two will host the inaugural A Midsummer Party benefit on July 24 in the south of France at the Johnny Pigozzi’s private estate, Villa Dorane, in Cap d’Antibes. A cocktail reception will be followed by dinner, a live [...]

  • Dwayne Johnson Idris Elba

    Dwayne Johnson: Idris Elba Nixed 'Black James Bond' Joke in 'Hobbs & Shaw'

    In the “Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw,” the movie’s villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba, spreads his arms out wide and declares “I’m black Superman.” It turns out that might not have been the original line. Dwayne Johnson tells Variety that Elba was first asked to proclaim he’s “black James Bond,” but the [...]

  • Matteo BocelliAmerican Icon Awards Gala, Inside,

    Top Music Manager Calls Out American Icon Awards for Failing to Pay Talent

    The centuries-old adage no good deed goes unpunished is a common refrain for star music manager Scott Rodger of late. Rodger, who represents Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli at Maverick, says his client Matteo Bocelli, the son of the opera star, was stiffed out of promised expense reimbursement by the American Icon Awards. The event, [...]

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of skunk — and success — hanging [...]

  • Dwayne Wade holds up the legend

    Dwyane Wade, Megan Rapinoe Win Big at 2019 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards

    The 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards was filled with incredible athletes, inspiring moments and — of course — a massive amount of slime. “I love the kids. I love the slime. I loved the games. I love seeing celebrities and athletes like become kids again. And it’s like my favorite thing,” Michael Strahan told [...]

  • Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani

    Dave Bautista Talks Representation in Hollywood and Defying Stereotypes with 'Stuber'

    Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani make an unlikely duo in “Stuber,” an R-rated comedy about a police officer and his Uber driver. But the two connected over the rare chance to star in the film as actors of Asian descent (Baustia is half-Filipino and Nanjiani is Pakistani). “I’ve been stereotyped for a couple different reasons [...]

  • Skin

    How Jamie Bell Transformed Into a Neo-Nazi for 'Skin'

    Anyone who still associates British actor Jamie Bell with his breakout role as a young boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer will quickly forget all about “Billy Elliot” after seeing “Skin,” which screened at ArcLight Hollywood on Thursday night. “I was shocked,” the film’s writer-director, Guy Nattiv, told Variety of his leading man’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content