'Hoodlum Priest' producer dies

Walter Wood helped increase film, TV production in NY

Walter Wood, who produced the gripping 1961 film "Hoodlum Priest" starring Don Murray, died April 20 at his home in Palm Springs after a long illness. He was 88.

"Hoodlum Priest," directed by Irwin Kershner, was a true-life tale based on the life of Father Charles Dismas Clark, who worked with street gangs and ex-cons in St. Louis. The United Artists film played In Competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Wood also produced director Robert Siodmak's "Escape From East Berlin" (1962), also starring Murray, and executive produced "The Todd Killings" (1971), a creepy crime drama starring Robert F. Lyons.

In the 1970s, Wood worked with the Mayor's Office in New York City and helped to significantly increase film and television production in the city.

Wood served an aide to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and received a Purple Heart for his service in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War.

Wood is survived by his wife, Laurel, and his son, Randall. His first wife, Cindi Wood, died in 1983.
comments powered by Disqus