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Flora Gordon, a do-it-all assistant producer and effects assistant on several films directed by her husband, the famed low-budget sci-fi director Bert I. Gordon, has died. She was 90.
Gordon, who later served as a production designer on the 1980s ABC primetime soap opera Dynasty, died Tuesday in Lake San Marcos, Calif., her family announced.
She worked for her husband on such films as The Cyclops (1957), The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), Beginning of the End (1957), Attack of the Puppet People (1958), The Boy and the Pirates (1960) and Picture Mommy Dead (1966); the last three featured their daughter, Susan Gordon, in the cast.
Talking about the filming of The Cyclops in Tom Weaver’s book Interviews With B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers, actress Gloria Talbott said of the director: “He was like a man possessed because he did have to get it finished quickly; this was all done in five of six days.
“But he certainly had it well-organized — and I’m sure that his wife had a hell of a lot to do with that. His wife was so sweet — she was doing the script supervising, the wardrobe, making cookies, everything …”
They were married for more than 30 years until their divorce in 1979. She went by the name Flora Lang later in her career.
Her production designer credits also included The Great Smokey Roadblock (1977), starring Henry Fonda, and the Joan Collins-starring 1983 telefilm Making of a Male Model.
Born and raised in St. Paul, Minn., she attended the University of Minnesota and studied film production at USC.
In 1979, Gordon was an original member of the newly formed DGA Women’s Committee, which found that between 1949 and 1979, a total of 7,332 feature films were made and released by major distributors, and just 14 of those were directed by women.
The research led to the DGA in 1983 filing class-action lawsuits against Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures, alleging discriminatory hiring practices. A judge ruled in favor of the studios, but the guild’s support of women for the first time was seen as a major advance.
Survivors include her daughters Carol and Patricia; grandchildren Hana, Ariel, Aton, Shura, Lilly and Yair; and 13 great-grandchildren.
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