Bill Curran, Former Exec at Propaganda Films, Dies at 73

Courtesy Julie Shepherd
Bill Curran

He headed commercial production at the company founded by Steve Golin and Sigurjón Sighvatsson.

Bill Curran, a former Propaganda Films executive who also worked in advertising and marketing during his career, died Sept. 18 of prostate cancer in Los Angeles, his family announced. He was 73.

In 1988, Curran became the first executive producer and head of commercial production for Propaganda Films, the music video and film company founded by Steve Golin and Sigurjón Sighvatsson. With his help, Propaganda was producing one-third of the industry's music videos two years later.

Curran also managed large-scale productions for such firms as J. Walter Thompson, Foote Cone & Belding, David and Goliath, Rubin Postaer and Associates, Ketchum Advertising and Conductor Advertising.

Born in Pikesville, Md., Curran served as a captain in the U.S. Army. He studied radio and television production and communications at Syracuse University and film production at USC.

As a freelance line producer for L.A. and New York production companies, he became one of the first DGA members to qualify as a unit production manager and first assistant director based on his commercial production experience. 

Curran co-founded Associated Filmmakers International in 1978 to coordinate the expanding needs of Hollywood productions for international commercial campaigns that originated in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the U.K. 

"Bill was your greatest ally on any production," Tim Tennant, his Associated co-founder, said in a statement. "His attention to detail and production knowledge turned the vision of an advertising campaign into reality. These qualities and his contagious laugh were beloved by everyone he worked with. The crazier a production became, the more the calming effect of Bill's experience and humorous point-of-view emerged, saving many productions."

As an executive producer, Curran also led such commercial production companies as Lovinger, Graso & Cohn, Dick James, SEE Co., Portal Pictures, SPIN Branded Entertainment and Adore Creative.

Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Andrea, and children Collin, Tessa and Lauren. In lieu of flowers, a donation or voluntary service can be made to the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.