Ex-BAFTA Chairman Johnny Goodman Dies at 87

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Goodman worked as an assistant director on 'Ivanhoe.'

The producer worked on the Elizabeth Taylor-starring 'Ivanhoe' and formed a close friendship with Roger Moore while working on 'The Saint.'

Johnny Goodman, the U.K. producer behind a string of classic 1960s spy shows and a former BAFTA chairman, has died. He was 87.

Former James Bond actor Roger Moore, whom Goodman formed a close friendship with after working with him on the TV spy series The Saint, confirmed his passing on January 30, saying in a tweet that his "dear friend and colleague Johnny Goodman left us for the great cutting room in the sky."

Goodman began his career in the entertainment industry as a teenager, working in the mail room of London's Lime Grove Studios, which would later be bought by the BBC, in the office of Albert Fennell, who would go on to produce The Avengers. After WWII, Goodman went to the U.S., working for 20th Century Fox as a dialogue editor, before returning to the U.K. as an assistant director on a series of films in the 1950s. Among his biggest titles was 1952's Elizabeth Taylor-starring Ivanhoe with MGM British Studios.

Read more BBC Films to Receive BAFTA Award for "Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema"

But it was in 1962 when Goodman joined what would become his most famous production, working as production supervisor for four years on Incorporated Television Company's series The Saint, starring Moore, which would prove hugely popular on both sides of the Atlantic. The 1960s would also see him ply his trade on ITC's other espionage shows The Baron and The Champions before returning to The Saint in the final year of the series as an associate producer.

Goodman, Moore and producer Robert S. Baker went on to form their own production company and create The Persuaders!, also starring Tony Curtis, which was successful in Europe but failed to find its feet in the U.S.

Read more James Bond Villain Richard Kiel Dies at 74

In 1987, Goodman became chairman of BAFTA for a two-year stint.

Current BAFTA chairwoman Amanda Berry offered her tribute to the late producer. "We were deeply saddened to hear the news that Johnny Goodman passed away," she said. "Johnny was a highly respected producer as well as a longtime supporter of BAFTA. He had many friends at the academy, and he will be very much missed. Our thoughts are with his family."