Roger Corman, B-Movie Director, Producer And Actor With A-List Reputation Dies At 98 SuperNayr



SANTA MONICA (CelebrityAccess) – Roger Corman, the pioneering filmmaker, producer and actor – known for his prolific output of B-List movies and his role in launching the careers of numerous Hollywood icons, passed away Thursday (May 9) at home in Santa Monica. His death was confirmed by a statement released by his wife, Julie, and their children, Catherine, Roger, Brian, and Mary. “He was generous, open-hearted and kind to all those who knew him,” the statement said. “When asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, ‘I was a filmmaker, just that.’” He was 98.

Corman’s legacy in American independent cinema is profound. He was educated at Stanford and Oxford Universities before entering the realm of grindhouse glory, merging exploitation with opportunity.

According to NPR, Corman’s debut feature, Monster from the Ocean Floor (1950), epitomized his knack for seizing opportunities, securing a miniature submarine from a newspaper ad to adorn his film set. “I finished breakfast, called them up, said I was an independent filmmaker and would be interested in having their submarine in my picture,” he recalled to NPR.

Films he directed, such as Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Tales of Terror (1962), Bloody Mama (1970) – produced such as The Fast and the Furious (1954 – also story writer, stunt driving and 2nd unit director), Scorsese’s Boxcar Bertha (1972), Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader (2012), and executive produced – Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959), plus many others were often dismissed as schlock, were breeding grounds for cinematic innovation.

Throughout his career, Corman’s productions were characterized by thrifty ingenuity and breakneck schedules. He churned out as many as eight films a year, setting a pace that rivaled major studios. Yet, within the whirlwind of his productions, Corman fostered an environment where emerging talents flourished.

Corman, described as a mentor by those who knew him, helped elevate then-obscure talents into household names. Icons such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert De Niro found their footing in Corman’s realm of cinematic experimentation. His mentorship extended beyond directors like Ron Howard to actors like Jack Nicholson, who became synonymous with Corman’s productions – including the Edgar Allan Poe series starring Vincent Price.

In 2009, Corman was given an honorary Oscar for his prolific contributions to cinema. He has produced and directed over 300 films. Though modest in budget, his productions laid the groundwork for Hollywood’s future luminaries.

Filmmaker and composer John Carpenter said on X (formerly Twitter): “Roger Corman, one of the most influential movie directors in my life, has passed away. It was my privilege to know him. He was a great friend. He shaped my childhood with science fiction movies and Edgar Allan Poe epics. I’ll miss you, Roger.”

Writer Joel Eisenberg via X: “As far as I’m concerned, everyone and anyone who today works in the moving pictures business owes a debt to Roger Corman. Whether they know it or not. RIP.”

Writer, director and producer Ron Howard via X: “RIP Roger Corman. A great movie maker and mentor. When I was 23. he gave me my 1st shot at directing. He launched many careers & quietly led our industry in important ways. He remained sharp, interested and active even at 98. Grateful to have known him.”

Beyond the glitz of Hollywood, Corman’s personal life reflected a steadfast partnership with his wife, Julie, herself a producer and collaborator.

He is survived by Julie, his wife of 60 years and their children.

RIP.

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