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Russell Kagan, a veteran executive and producer in the world of international television distribution, died Wednesday in Los Angeles after a short battle with cancer, ICM Partners announced. He was 65.
His son, Michael Kagan, is a partner and head of international television and media at ICM.
Russell Kagan produced the 1999 CBS miniseries Jesus and executive produced Caesar, a 2002 miniseries for TNT — both starred Jeremy Sisto — and helped package the $120 million miniseries The Bible, which aired over 10 installments on History Channel in 2013.
He also worked on TNT’s Joseph, the Emmy winner for best miniseries in 1995, and Discovery Channel’s The Great Wall of Iron, a Peabody Award winner in 1989.
Kagan began his career with Alfred Haber Distribution, then formed his own company, International Program Consultants, which was behind the early Fox series Beyond Tomorrow.
On behalf of filmmaker Peter Gimbel, he packaged 1982’s Andrea Doria: The Final Chapter, a globally syndicated live event special that looked to reveal the contents of the sunken ship, and helped put together the syndicated show Kids Incorporated for Biller, Tom Lynch, MGM and K-tel Records.
While working at Kinnevik Media Ventures (now Modern Times Group), Kagan aided in the launch of the first commercial TV stations in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Baltics.
A fixture at NAPTE and at the annual MIP market events, he was often referred to as the “Mayor of Cannes.”
In addition to his son, survivors include his brother, Richard, and his family; his “longtime love,” Janis; and his niece, Haley. A funeral is planned for 2:30 p.m. Friday at Mount Sinai Simi Valley.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that a donation be made to Stand Up to Cancer.
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