Writer-producer Rodney Sheldon Dies at 70

He produced telefilms starring John Gielgud and Johnny Cash.

Rodney Sheldon, a screenwriter, producer and talent manager, died Oct. 19 at his lakefront cottage on Lake Hopatcong, N.J., after a five-year battle with neck and lung cancer. He was 70.

Sheldon served as an executive producer on the 1987 telefilm The Canterville Ghost, starring John Gielgud, and the feature Deadly Illusion, also from 1987, starring Billy Dee Williams and Morgan Fairchild.

Earlier, Sheldon worked as an independent producer under contract to Columbia Pictures Television, developing projects for such stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Ed Asner and Pearl Bailey.

Mentored by Mort Lachman, a gag writer for Bob Hope and Eddie Cantor and an Emmy-winning producer for All in the Family, the Queens, N.Y., native co-wrote the films To Kill the King (1974) and The Black Pearl (1977).

In 1978, Sheldon produced the telefilm Thaddeus Rose and Eddie, starring Johnny Cash and Diane Ladd.

Among his management clients were actors Joseph Bologna, Renee Taylor, Joseph Cortese and Teresa Ganzel.

Survivors include son Jason and daughter-in-law Michelle. A service will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 29 at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

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