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Stanley Neufeld, a top-notch production manager who worked on several Oscar best picture winners as well as on the TV series Naked City and Cagney & Lacey, died Dec. 26 in Eugene, Ore., his family announced. He was 91.
Neufeld, who spent six decades in show business and worked until he was 80, supervised production at Orion Pictures, contributing to the best picture winners Amadeus (1984), Platoon (1986), Dances With Wolves (1990), The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and several Woody Allen films, where he was one of the few people allowed to read the reticent director’s scripts from beginning to end.
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And for one of his final projects, Neufeld served the bonding agent on nine-time Oscar recipient (and another best picture winner) The English Patient (1996), spending time with the production in North Africa.
His brother is Sig Neufeld, who directed episodes of Kojak, Switch, T.J. Hooker, Simon & Simon and other TV series.
Born and raised in Hollywood, Stanley Neufeld spent his early years on the sets of Producers Releasing Corp. movies led by his father, Sigmund Neufeld (producer of scores of B movies, including many Westerns starring Buster Crabbe). He attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles and the Merchant Marine Academy, then served as an engineering officer on ammunition ships in the Pacific during World War II.
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Neufeld was an assistant director on several of his father’s films and later worked on Orson Welles‘ Lady From Shanghai (1947) and All the King’s Men (1949), the first of the best picture Oscar winners on his resume
He moved to Flying A Productions in 1950 when he was hired by cowboy star Gene Autry and was an A.D. on The Gene Autry Show, The Range Rider, Death Valley Days and Annie Oakley.
Neufeld’s first job as a production manager came in 1957 on Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans, one of the first TV series to film in Canada.
He moved to New York in 1960 to produce 70 episodes of the gritty Naked City, which often filmed on the streets on New York, and headed the ABC series’ production unit as well.
He worked on The Patty Duke Show, which filmed in New York because of California’s strict child labor laws (star Patty Duke began the series when she was 16) and later on the CBS-Orion Television detective drama Cagney & Lacey throughout its 1981-88 run.
Neufeld’s movie work also includes Loving (1970), Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), Death Wish (1974), Mandingo (1975), Lipstick (1976) and Orca (1977).
In addition to his brother, survivors include his wife, Lesley, and son, Tim.
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