Christopher Pearce, Former Head of Production at Cannon Films, Dies at 73

Christopher Pearce - Publicity- SQ 2016
Courtesy of Garry Richards

He helped the famed B-movie house put out an astounding 43 films in 1985, then served as chairman and CEO.

Christopher Pearce, who in the 1980s served as head of production of Cannon Films, the legendary B-movie house known for churning out a slew of action fare, has died. He was 73.

Pearce died Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla., after a battle with cancer, family friend Polly Chung told The Hollywood Reporter.

Working for Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus at Cannon, Pearce helped take the company’s production output from a handful of films per year to an astounding 43 in 1985. Movies made by Cannon that year included Death Wish 3, American Ninja, Missing in Action 2: The BeginningRunaway TrainThunder Alley, Hot Resort and Invasion U.S.A.

After Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti and Pathe Communications took over Cannon, Pearce became chairman and CEO of the company in 1991, overseeing contract negotiations, marketing and advertising and the management of more than 5,000 employees.

He left Cannon in 1994 with Globus to launch the short-lived Global Pictures.

Pearce was born in the U.K. and attended Lord Wandsworth College and London University, where he received a law degree.

He collaborated with directors Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas at Zoetrope Studios, where he participated in the making of The Godfather (1972) and American Graffiti (1973), among other notable films.

Pearce retired from filmmaking in 2000 and since then had served as an adviser on numerous projects.

Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Luda, and her son Louis.