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Howard Gottfried, ‘Network’ Producer, Dies at 94

Howard Gottfried, who received an Oscar nomination as producer of the 1976 media satire “Network,” died of a stroke Friday in Los Angeles. He was 94.

Gottfried also partnered with “Network” writer Paddy Chayefsky on films including “Altered States” and “The Hospital.” He met Chayefsky as a regular in a New York card game, and the two started on their first project, “The Hospital.” Gottfried met the film’s lead, George C. Scott, when Gottfried served as his divorce attorney.

Chayefsky won the best screenplay Oscar for “Network,” which also won Oscars for Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch and Beatrice Straight. Finch’s character, irate news anchor Howard Beale, was named for Gottfried.

Raised in the Bronx, Gottfried started his career as a lawyer and became involved in off-Broadway theater. He then went to United Artists, where he oversaw TV series such as “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Patty Duke Show” and “The Fugitive.” Gottfried later moved to Ed Sullivan Productions.

He won the PGA Hall of Fame award for “Network” in 2002.

Among his other producing credits were “Body Double,” “Torch Song Trilogy,” “The Men’s Club,” and the TV series “Calucci’s Department.”

Among his survivors are his wife, Mary Lynn; daughter Norah Weinstein and her husband, Brian Weinstein, president of Bad Robot; daughter Elizabeth Colling and her husband Stephane Colling; and four grandchildren.

 

 

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