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Jud Kinberg, the father of X-Men movie architect Simon Kinberg who produced such stellar films as the Vincent van Gogh biopic Lust for Life, starring Kirk Douglas, and William Holden’s Executive Suite, has died. He was 91.
Kinberg, who also wrote the screenplay for the Hammer Films cult horror classic Vampire Circus (1972), died Nov. 2 of natural causes at his home in New York City, his son told The Hollywood Reporter.
Kinberg served as an apprentice under the influential producer-actor John Houseman, and they went on to produce films at MGM including Julius Caesar (1953), starring Marlon Brando; Executive Suite (1954), directed by Robert Wise; Her Twelve Men (1954), featuring Greer Garson and Robert Ryan; Vincente Minnelli’s The Cobweb (1955), toplined by Richard Widmark and Lauren Bacall; Moonfleet (1955), helmed by Fritz Lang; and Lust for Life (1956), which received four Oscar nominations.
Kinberg also produced the taut British psychological thriller The Collector (1965), directed by William Wyler (who turned down The Sound of Music to work on this film), and the Michael Caine-starring The Magus (1968). Both movies were based on novels by Englishman John Fowles, who was the best man at Kinberg’s 1971 wedding.
The Collector played at the Cannes Film Festival, and Kinberg received a Golden Globe nom for his work.
Kinberg also was a television executive at ABC, Embassy, Michael Grade Productions and Universal Studios, where in 1978 he received an Emmy nomination for outstanding drama series for producing NBC’s Quincy M.E., starring Jack Klugman. He also wrote for the show.
Later, Kinberg wrote and produced telefilms including 1992’s To Catch a Killer, starring Brian Dennehy as serial murderer John Wayne Gacy, and taught film and television as a professor at California State University, Northridge and the University of Southern California.
Born in Brooklyn in 1925 on the Fourth of July, Kinberg attended the University of North Carolina and earned a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for his service with the U.S. Army during World War II. Back in New York and working in advertising, he was recruited by Hollywood and assigned to apprentice under Houseman, who a bit earlier had collaborated with Orson Welles at his famed avant-garde Mercury Theater company.
Simon Kinberg received an Oscar nom last year for producing the best picture finalist The Martian. His many achievements include writing and/or producing Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes, Deadpool and four films in the X-Men franchise, and he is executive producing the upcoming Legion series at FX.
“I’m a writer and a producer, just like my father,” he said.
Jud Kinberg also is survived by his wife Monica, sons Steven and Robert and grandsons Toby and Oliver.
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