Julie Kirkham, Producer of 'Black Rain' and 'Anna and the King,' Dies at 61

Courtesy Defender Films

She worked for Orion, TriStar and Lawrence Bender and Quentin Tarantino's A Band Apart.

Julie Kirkham, who produced such films as Cherry 2000, Black Rain and Anna and the King and served as an executive for Lawrence Bender and Quentin Tarantino, has died. She was 61.

Kirkham died June 10 after recently being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, her friend, Black Rain screenwriter Craig Bolotin, said. 
 
Kirkham began as a script reader in Hollywood. She worked for Ray Stark Productions at Columbia Pictures as a development executive, shifted to TriStar Pictures and then became vice president production at Orion Pictures, the company behind the 1987 Melanie Griffith sci-fi film Cherry 2000.
 
She later served as a senior vp for A Band Apart, the company founded by Bender and Tarantino, and then later for Lawrence Bender Productions.
 
 
In addition to the crime thriller Black Rain (1989), which starred Michael Douglas, and Anna and the King (1999) with Jodie Foster, Kirkham produced such films as That Night (1992), Knockaround Guys (2001), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Around the Bend (2004) and 3, 2, 1 … Frankie Go Boom (2012).
 
A native of Bronxville, N.Y., who attended Princeton, Kirkham is credited with nurturing the careers of such screenwriters as Bolotin, Oscar winner Steve Zaillian, Oscar nominee Ron Shelton, Jordan Roberts (Big Hero 6) and W. Blake Herron
 (The Bourne Identity).
 
At the time of her death, she was partnered in Kirkham/Lewitt Productions and worked for Roberts’ company, Defender Films. She also taught part-time at Chapman University’s Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. 
 
Survivors include her husband of 30 years, producer Elliott Lewitt, and children SamIsabelle and Theo.
 
Twitter: @mikebarnes4
 
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