Anthony Goldschmidt, Designer of Iconic Movie Posters, Dies at 71

From right: Goldschmidt, former Academy chief Tom Sherak and Mark Crawford of design firm Blood & Chocolate in 2011.

UPDATE: The founder of Intralink Film Graphic Design helped create the lasting images that marketed such films as "Blazing Saddles," "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" and "Apollo 13."

Anthony Goldschmidt, the influential graphic designer who worked on the iconic posters for scores of films, including Blazing Saddles, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Thelma & Louise, has died. He was 71.

Goldschmidt, who founded the groundbreaking Intralink Film Graphic Design in 1979 and served as its president for years, died Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. His friend, Michael Rosenberg, co-chairman of Imagine Entertainment, confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter.

In 1999, Goldschmidt was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from THR’s Key Art Awards, which annually recognizes the best in entertainment advertising.

He recently worked on the design for the 2012 Academy Awards poster. It featured the Oscar statuette alongside memorable images from Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, Giant, The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Driving Miss Daisy, Forrest Gump and Gladiator with the tagline "Celebrate the movies in all of us."

Goldschmidt often worked with John Alvin, whose long list of credits include the poster for Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1992).

Intralink created the posters for such films as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Color Purple (1985), Rain Man (1988), Apollo 13 (1995), The Da Vinci Code (2006), Sex in the City (2008) and the Batman movies, and the company redesigned TriStar Pictures' Pegasus logo in the 1990s.

Goldschmidt also was behind the marketing and/or the posters of Phantom of the Paradise (1974), Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Chaplin (1992) and A Few Good Men (1992).

"Movie posters are really the last poster art form in the United States," he said in a 1991 interview with The New York Times.

He told The Times that the poster for Thelma & Louise was not able to convey the darker side of the Scott film.

"The scene that drives it is an attempted rape, and you really need the 15 or 20 minutes that precede it to get to know the characters," he said. "We don't have the capacity to build that in an ad, so we decided to be true to the warmer side of the film."

The poster showed the two heroines (Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis) smiling in a vacation Polaroid against a backdrop of desert skies.

In addition to his work on Blazing Saddles (1974), Goldschmidt also is credited as the title designer on three other Mel Brooks films — Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie (1976) and Spaceballs (1987) — as well as on Summer of '42 (1971), McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), Scarecrow (1973), Stargate (1994) and Dante's Peak (1997).

Goldschmidt received an Emmy nomination for outstanding achievement in graphic design and title sequences for the 1976 telefilm Eleanor and Franklin.

Born in New York, Goldschmidt earned a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's from Yale.

After beginning his career as an art director at J. Walter Thompson in New York, he moved to California, where he worked at Warner Bros. as a production assistant on The Wild Bunch (1969) and other films.

Goldschmidt left the studio in 1971 to form Anthony Goldschmidt Graphic Design. There, his work included the branding and marketing materials for the books of poet Rod McKuen.

Survivors include his wife Cari and his brother Marc.

Alex Ben Block contributed to this report.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4