Robert Katz, a film and television producer known for gettysburg, selena, And Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Van Nuys died on June 22 at Valley Presbyterian Hospital after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 79 years old and his death was confirmed by his family.
Katz was born on February 7, 1943, in Los Angeles, where he grew up, graduated high school, and attended college.
Katz served as a jet fighter pilot in the US Marines. In the mid-1960s, he was detailed to Israel, where he helped train the Israeli Air Force. After his honorable discharge, he was a bush pilot in Africa, traveling with documentary film crews. This inspired him to become a filmmaker, producing more than 70 documentaries for French and American television about the wars of liberation in Africa, which is now Zimbabwe, as well as independence forces in neighboring countries.
He owns a medical education company, Medcom, Inc. was the founder of the company, which he successfully made public. Katz was an early pioneer in the home video market, creating exercise projects with Jane Fonda, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many others. His time abroad gave him an entry point into the international sales and licensing of films.
In 1986, he founded Esparza/Katz Productions with Moctesuma Esparza. Together, they produced over 20 projects including theatrical motion pictures. telephone, (1989), gettysburg (1993), Granada (1996),Selena (1997) which won an Imagine Award as Best Picture, And gods and generals (2003). His television projects include rough Riders (1997), Introduction to Dorothy Dandridge (1999), which received an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Made for a TV Movie, and going outside (2006).
In 1988 he produced shoe shine, Which won an Oscar nomination in the Best Live Action Short Film category.
Most recently, Katz was working on a variety of projects, including a feature length motion picture, Delfino’s JourneyBased on Harper’s novel and screenplay. He was also working on a mini-series about the life of General Norman Schwarzkopf, based on his best-selling autobiography. It doesn’t take a hero. On the Schwarzkopf project, he is one of the executive producers.
An avid aviation enthusiast, Katz was a founding member of the Shohawks, an entertainment industry flying club based in Los Angeles.
Katz is survived by his wife, Patricia Brown, a stepdaughter, Victoria Flores, and two step-grandchildren, Skyler, 17, and Addison, 15, from a prior marriage to Pamela Katz, who preceded his death, as was his first wife. , Tishialu Katz.
Burial will be held at Mount Olive Memorial Park on Sunday 26 June at 11:00 am. The cemetery’s address is 7231 E. Slawson Ave., Commerce, CA 90040.