Philip D’Antoni, who won an Oscar as producer of “The French Connection” and produced another memorable crime drama with a classic car chase,”Bullitt,” died at age 89 on April 15 at his home in New York.
D’Antoni was best known for the 1971 “The French Connection,” which won three Golden Globes and five Oscars, including best picture. Gene Hackman won for best actor and William Friedkin for director and the film also won best adapted screenplay and film editing. Three years earlier, he had produced the Steve McQueen action film “Bullitt,” which won an Oscar for film editing.
In the early 1960s, he was co-producer of TV documentary-travelogues like “Elizabeth Taylor in London” and “Sophia Loren in Rome.” He also produced several episodes of “Proud Land,” a documentary miniseries. “Bullitt” in 1968 marked his first feature film producing credit, and from there he went on to produce “The French Connection.”
His third and final bigscreen credit was the 1973 “The Seven-Ups,” a spinoff film focusing on Roy Scheider’s character from “Connection.” D’Antoni also directed the film, his sole helming credit.
In the early 1970s he also produced TV titles like “Mr. Inside/Mr. Outside” and “Strike Force.”
His final TV series, “Movin’ On,” ran for two seasons on NBC from 1974 to 1976. D’Antoni created and wrote for the show, which followed a team of truckers on their cross-country adventures. His final producing credit was the 1977 comedy TV pilot, “The Rubber Gun Squad.”
D’Antoni is survived by his wife, five children, and nine grandchildren. Friedkin took to Twitter on Monday to mourn his “French Connection” partner. “Phil D’Antoni. My friend and the great producer Of The French Connection has died. May he rest in peace,” Friedkin wrote.