Business Affairs Executive Donald Mirisch Dies at 67

Donald Mirisch
Donald Mirisch
 Courtesy of The Mirisch Agency

Veteran Hollywood business affairs executive Donald I. Mirisch died July 26 from the effects of brain cancer, according to his family. He was 67.

A member of one of Hollywood’s best-known families, Mirisch grew up fascinated by show business. His father Marvin and two brothers, Harold and Walter, formed The Mirisch Company in the late 1950s, which became a very successful movie producer. Its credits include Some Like It Hot, West Side Story and The Thomas Crown Affair.

Donald, who was born in Milwaukee, moved with his family to Beverly Hills when he was about 5. He attended Brandeis University and Harvard Law School. After working for a law firm, he moved to Washington, where he worked for the Government Accounting Office.

In 1978, he returned to Los Angeles and began his career in Hollywood business affairs working for 20th Century Fox.

He went on to hold senor positions at Fox, Universal Pictures, Embassy Home Entertainment, Hanna-Barbera Productions and MGM, where he rose to executive vp animation.

He helped revitalize the MGM animation department and was involved in production of such movies as All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, The Pink Panther and an animated Babes In Toyland.

"Don made things happen. He put his faith and trust in you — in an industry where faith and trust aren't exactly common commodities," says Kelly Ward, a colleague at MGM  animation.

Mirisch, who had been married 39 years, was also a flying enthusiast and certified flight instructor. He was on the board of The New West Symphony and Jewish Family Service and was a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He is survived by his wife, Roberta, of Westlake Village; his daughter, Niki, of Woodland Hills; his son Marc and his son's wife Wendy, of Thousand Oaks; his siblings, Lynn Rogo of Beverly Hills and Carol Hartmann of San Diego; and three grandchildren, Marissa, Norah and Benjamin.

A private service was held and the family requests donation in his name be made to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Attn: Paola Werstler, 8700 Beverly Blvd., Suite 2416, Los Angeles, CA 90048 to support Dr. Jethro Hu's research.

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