×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Joel Freeman, ‘Shaft,’ ‘Love at First Bite’ Producer, Dies at 95

Joel Freeman, producer of more than 100 films including “Shaft” and “Love at First Bite,” died on Jan. 21. He was 95.

Freeman died at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif., after a long battle with lung cancer and Alzheimer’s.

He received the 1971 NAACP Image Award for “Shaft” as producer of the year. He was also a member of the Directors Guild, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a board member of the Producers Guild of America for 30 years, from whom he received a lifetime membership award.

Freeman began his career at 19 as a messenger at MGM, working his way up to become an associate producer at the studio. After working as a production supervisor, studio head Jack Warner asked Freeman to help run the production of “Camelot,” making Freeman one of the top three executive positions at the studio until Warner sold the company. 

Subsequently, Freeman worked with Francis Ford Coppola on “Finian’s Rainbow” and then executive-produced the Oscar-nominated classic “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.”

Among his other producing credits also include Chuck Norris’s “The Octagon” and “Lonelyhearts,” and several TV series including “The Californians” and “Highway Patrol.”

The producer also spent three years in the Air Force during World War II, two with the First Motion Picture Unit (AAF) where he was script supervisor and assistant director on training films.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; sons Josh and Jeff; and stepchildren, Daniel and Kurina.

More Biz

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Some Weinstein Accusers Balk at $30 Million Settlement

    Updated: Some of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are balking at a proposed $30 million settlement of their harassment claims, which could scuttle the deal, Variety has learned. Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case told Judge Mary Walrath on Thursday that they are close to a global resolution of the civil litigation. The accusers, their lawyers [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Accusers Near Settlement in Bankruptcy Case

    Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case say they are getting close to reaching a settlement that would compensate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers. The company went bankrupt last year, as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and numerous civil suits on behalf of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The company sold to Lantern [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Pamela Anderson

    Pamela Anderson Fears Julian Assange 'Won't Survive' Extradition to U.S.

    After previously speaking out in support of her friend and WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, Pamela Anderson doesn’t think he would survive an extradition from the U.K. to the U.S. “I hope he gets out of there, but I don’t think he’ll survive extradition. It can’t happen. It’s not even an option. We can’t have him [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content