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Ezra Swerdlow, ’21 Jump Street’ and ‘Spaceballs’ Producer, Dies at 64

Longtime New York film producer Ezra Swerdlow died of complications from pancreatic cancer and ALS on Jan. 23 in Boston. He was 64.

Swerdlow amassed more than two dozen producing credits on feature films, including “Spaceballs,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Waiting to Exhale,” “Wag the Dog,” “Enchanted,” “Zombieland,” “21 Jump Street,” and “The Equalizer.”

Swerdlow was the son of Amy and Stanley Swerdlow, and grew up in Great Neck, N.Y. He attended Hampshire College, where he met his wife, Lindsey Hicks, and studied political theory at Rutgers University.

In 1979, he was hired by a friend as a location scout on the Woody Allen film “Stardust Memories.” Swerdlow then worked on “Arthur” as a unit production manager, on “Tootsie” as a location manager, and on “Zelig,” “The King of Comedy,” and “Broadway Danny Rose” as a unit manager. He was an associate producer on “Radio Days.”

He briefly moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s and collaborated with Mel Brooks on “Spaceballs,” but primarily worked in New York City. In 2011, Swerdlow was nominated for an Emmy award for producing the HBO movie “Too Big to Fail.”

Swerdlow is survived by his wife Lindsey, son Nick, daughter-in-law Caroline, sisters Joan and Lisa, brother-in-law Rob, and brother Tommy.

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