Ira Halberstadt, Producer and Unit Production Manager, Dies at 66

Courtesy of Morghean McPhail
Ira Halberstadt

His film résumé includes 'Kramer vs. Kramer,' 'The Hand That Rocks the Cradle' and 'Mr. Holland's Opus.'

Ira Halberstadt, a producer and unit production manager who worked on such films as The Hand That Rocks the CradleMr. Holland's Opus and Roommates, has died. He was 66.

Halberstadt died Friday in Durham, North Carolina, after "nearly 20 doctor-defying years bearing up under a brain tumor and subsequent strokes," his wife, Morghean McPhail, said. 

As a UPM, Halberstadt worked extensively with the Walt Disney Co. and Robert Halmi Entertainment before creating the production department at Interscope Communications.

A native of New Hyde Park, New York, who studied at New College in Sarasota, Florida, and New York University, Halberstadt got his start as a DGA trainee on Woody Allen's Interiors (1978) and Robert Benton's best picture Oscar winner Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).

He then worked as second assistant director on the 1982 releases Eating Raoul and Q.

Halberstadt served as a production manager on several telefilms and then on the films Green Card (1990), Curtis Hanson's The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) and The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992). He received producing credits on those features as well.

Halberstadt was UPM and executive producer on Peter Yates' Roommates (1995) and the executive in charge of production on Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) and Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997).

Survivors also include his sister Amy. Donations in his memory may be made to Duke HomeCare & Hospice or a hospice of your choice.