'Nixon Interviews' producer Marvin Minoff dies

1:17 PM PST 11/13/2009 by Mike Barnes, AP

Also produced 'Patch Adams,' 'Ordeal of Patty Hearst'

Marvin Minoff, who produced the famed Richard Nixon interviews with David Frost, numerous telefilms and the 1998 film "Patch Adams," died Nov. 11 at his Los Angeles home with family and friends at his bedside. He was 78.

Minoff, the husband of actress Bonnie Franklin and the longtime business partner of writer-actor Mike Farrell, left the agency business after 15 years to become president of Frost's David Paradine Television in 1974.

There, he executive produced with the talk-show host and John Birt the interviews with Nixon that were broadcast in syndication in 1977, three years after the disgraced U.S. president resigned. The interviews were the basis of "Frost/Nixon," the Broadway play that was adapted into the 2008 film that was a best picture Oscar nominee. Keith MacKechnie played Minoff in the film.

Paradine also did subsequent interview sessions with Nixon's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the Shah of Iran.

A Brooklyn native and the son of theatrical haberdasher Harry Minoff, Marvin Minoff got his start in show business as an agent at William Morris and then International Famous Artists. He represented actress Cicely Tyson, director Sidney Lumet and writers David W. Rintels and Bruce Joel Rubin and packaged such hit films as "Love Story" (1970) and "The French Connection" (1971).

At Paradine, he also produced the telefilms "Dynasty," based on the James Michener novel; "The Ordeal of Patty Hearst"; and "Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger," starring his soon-to-be-wife Franklin as pioneering birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger.

In 1985, Minoff formed Farrell/Minoff Prods. with Farrell, and they worked together for a quarter-century, producing telefilms starring Shelley Fabares, Fred Savage, Helen Hunt, Tess Harper, Patricia Wettig, Jill Clayburgh, Missy Crider and Edward Asner.

Farrell/Minoff also did two features: "Dominick and Eugene" (1988), starring Tom Hulce and Ray Liotta, for Orion, and "Patch Adams," starring Robin Williams, for Universal.

In addition to Franklin, his wife of 29 years, Minoff is survived by a daughter, Julie, and her husband, Glenn Mar; a son, Jed, and his wife, Madoka; granddaughters Natasha Mar Minoff and Maya Grace Minoff; and a brother, Bruce, and his wife, Susan.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
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