Roger Corman confirmed Gene Corman’s passing and said, “My brother was a great man, both as a producer and as a family man.”
Gene Corman was born in Detroit in 1927, 17 months after his brother. In 1940, the family moved from Detroit to Beverly Hills and both attended Beverly Hills High School and Stanford University.
Gene Corman broke into the entertainment business as an agent at MCA, where his clients included Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Ray Milland, Harry Belafonte, Richard Conte and Nicholas Ray. He also arranged the distribution deal for Roger Corman’s first film, “Monster From the Ocean Floor,” in 1954.
The brothers first collaborated on the 1958 film “Hot Car Girl,” followed by “Night of the Blood Beast,” “Beast From Haunted Cave,” “Premature Burial,” and “Tower of London.” The movies were made quickly and on shoestring budgets.
“We found them easy — fun — to make and more readily marketed than most other types of films,” Gene said in Tom Weaver’s book, “Interviews With B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers.”
“If you got away from that kind of horror or science fiction, you found yourself truly competing with the major studios, and in that arena it was impossible. One, you didn’t have the production values, and two, you could not afford the stories or the actors, For some reason, the other studios had laid back and let science fiction alone for a great deal of time.”
The Cormans launched FilmGroup in 1959 to produce and distribute their films, including “The Wasp Woman” and “Ski Troop Attack.” In 1970, they co-founded New World Pictures.
Gene Corman also began producing mainstream fare on his own in the mid 1960s, such as Arthur Hiller’s “Tobruk,” starring Rock Hudson; “F.I.S.T.,” starring Sylvester Stallone; and Sam Fuller’s “The Big Red One.” He received an Emmy for producing the 1982 telefilm “A Woman Called Golda,” starring Ingrid Bergman as Israeli prime minister Golda Meir.
Gene Corman’s other producing credits included “The Cat Burglar,” “Cool Breeze,” “Vigilante Force,” and “A Man Called Sarge.” He also worked a V.P. in television at 20th Century Fox during the 1980s and retired in 1990.
Gene Corman was also an avid art collecter, chaired the Beverly Hills Fine Arts Commission and was a member of the Beverly Hills Tennis Club. He was also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, where for several years he served on the panel selecting films to screen for members.
In addition to his brother, survivors include his wife of 65 years, Nan; sons Todd and Craig; and grandchildren Wyatt, Bayley, Kyle and Paige.
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