×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mardik Martin, Screenwriter of ‘Raging Bull,’ ‘Mean Streets,’ Dies at 82

Screenwriter Mardik Martin, a frequent collaborator with Martin Scorsese on films including “Raging Bull,” “Mean Streets” and “New York, New York,” died Wednesday in Los Angeles at 82.

Born in Iran to an Armenian family and raised in Iraq, where he worked for a film distributor as a teenager, Martin moved to the U.S. to study economics at NYU, then gravitated to the film department, where he met Scorsese in 1961. Soon after, he began working with the director on some of his early films such as the 1964 short “It’s Not Just You, Murray,” then on Scorsese’s feature debut, “Who’s That Knocking at My Door?” and documentary “Italianamerican.”

Screenwriter Howard Rodman was among those who recalled his career.

As writer Peter Biskind recounted in “The New Hollywood,” “The two young men sat in Martin’s Valiant and wrote. In the winter, in the cold and snow.”

Martin co-wrote 1973’s “Mean Streets” with Scorsese, then co-wrote “New York, New York” with Earl Mac Rauch. After moving to Hollywood, Martin worked for Chartoff-Winkler Productions, for whom he wrote Ken Russell’s “Valentino.”

Though “The Last Waltz,” Scorsese’s 1978 film on the Band’s final concert, was a documentary, Martin worked on writing the treatment as he did for Scorsese’s documentary “American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince.”

For the 1980 “Raging Bull,” Martin spent a year and a half researching boxer Jake LaMotta’s life and co-wrote the screenplay with Paul Schrader, earning a Golden Globe nomination. He told the Los Angeles Times in 2007, “De Niro wanted to make ‘Raging Bull,’ but Marty didn’t [because] he hated boxing and sports.”

Until he found a second wind as writing professor at NYU and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Martin had a difficult period during which he became addicted to cocaine and lost out on writing jobs such as “Carlito’s Way.”

His last screenplay credit was for Fatih Akin’s 2014 “The Cut.”

A documentary about his life, “Mardik: Baghdad to Hollywood,” was made in 2008.

Martin is survived by his sister Violet Asadoorian, his brother-in-law Papken Asadoorian, his nephew and his wife Mr. and Mrs. Shant Artine, his niece Maral Asadoorian and his grandnieces Tara and Emma Asadoorian.

Services are pending at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made in his name to the Armenian Relief Society/Mayr Chapter for Mardik Martin Education Fund, P.O. Box 27863, Hollywood, CA 90027.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Mackenzie Davis Terminator Dark Fate

    ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Terminator: Dark Fate.” Ads placed for the sci-fi action film had an estimated media value of $6.81 million through Sunday for 796 national ad airings [...]

  • Judy & Punch review

    Damon Herriman Stands Out as 'The Nightingale' and 'Lambs of God' Lead AACTA Nominations

    Dark thriller, “The Nightingale” and miniseries “Lambs of God” lead the pack at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. In nominations announced on Wednesday, they picked up 15 and 18 nods, respectively. Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” was one of six films nominated in the best film category. With others including Mirrah Foulkes’ [...]

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B Joins Vin Diesel in 'Fast & Furious 9'

    Cardi B has joined the cast of Universal’s “Fast & Furious 9” in an undisclosed role. It’s the rapper’s first movie part since her role as the stripper Diamond in STX’s drama “Hustlers.” Vin Diesel disclosed the casting Tuesday in a post on his Instagram account with a video that showed him and Cardi B [...]

  • James Wan

    Film News Roundup: James Wan's Horror Thriller 'Malignant' Gets August Release

    In today’s film news roundup, James Wan’s “Malignant” gets a late-summer release, a Rita Hayworth documentary is shooting and Women in Animation have announced diversity awards winners. RELEASE DATE Warner Bros. has set an Aug. 14 release date for James Wan’s horror thriller “Malignant.” Wan will direct the movie, based on a story by Wan [...]

  • Michael Shannon Benedict Cumberbatch Tuppence Middleton

    How Martin Scorsese Saved 'Current War' From Harvey Weinstein

    Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon finally gets to release his version of his long-in-the-making “The Current War.” The film, about the competition between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, was originally set to be distributed by the Weinstein Company after Harvey Weinstein recut it, much to Gomez-Rejon’s chagrin. To make matters worse, Weinstein premiered the movie at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content