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Howard Gottfried

Highest Rated: 100% The Hospital (1971)

Lowest Rated: 15% Suburban Commando (1991)

Birthday: Nov 13, 1923

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, USA

Howard Gottfried was an American film and television producer who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture in 1977 for producing the classic TV news satire "Network" (1976). Born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, Gottfried's chief ambition as a young boy was to become a lawyer. His career path was interrupted however, when, in the mid-1940s he enlisted in the United States Army to fight in World War II. After the War Gottfried returned to New York and eventually went on to earn his law degree from New York University (he would later go on to serve as a divorce lawyer). It was during his period as a New York divorce lawyer that Gottfried met the well-regarded theater actor George C. Scott, who would later go on to appear in the Gottfried-produced film "The Hospital" (1971). After working for a number of years a lawyer, Gottfried began a new venture as a New York theater producer. He produced a number of Off-Broadway plays during this period, and quickly found that he enjoyed the high stakes life of a producer. After honing his producing chops in theater, Gottfried moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a TV producer for United Artists Television. He eventually moved back to his hometown of New York  to take a position at TV entertainer Ed Sullivan's production company. It was during this period, back in New York, that Gottfried began attending a regular card game where the famed Oscar-winning screenwriter, Paddy Chayefsky, was one of the players. The two quickly struck up a friendship and in 1971, Gottfried produced the Chayefsky-written drama "The Hospital." The film earned Chayefsky his second screenwriting Oscar, while also garnering Gottfried's friend, George C. Scott, an acting nomination. Gottfried and Chayefsky worked together again on 1976's "Network," which earned Chayefsky his third screenwriting Oscar, as well as Gottfried his first an only Oscar nod for Best Picture. The two worked together a third time on Chayefsky's science fiction thriller "Altered States" (1980). However, after a disagreement during filming over Gottfried's choice of director, the two had a falling out and never worked together again. Chayefsky died the following year in 1981. Gottfried produced a few more films in the ensuing years, including "The Men's Club" (1986) and "Torch Song Trilogy" (1988), but none of those films equaled his previous success working with Chayefsky. His last produced film was 1991's "Suburban Commando." Howard Gottfried died on December 8, 2017 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.

Filmography

Movies

Credit
15% 32% Suburban Commando Producer $6.6M 1991
No Score Yet 22% The Men's Club Producer $1.9M 1986
76% 65% Body Double Executive Producer - 1984
84% 71% Altered States Producer - 1980
91% 93% Network Producer - 1976
100% 74% The Hospital Producer - 1971

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