Producer Karen Montgomery Dies at 66

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Karen Montgomery

She shepherded 'Diary of a Hit Man' as well as a documentary about that film’s director, the late acting coach Roy London.

Karen Montgomery, an actress, producer and film executive, died Friday at her home in Los Angeles after a decade-long struggle with breast cancer, her husband, director Christopher Monger, said. She was 66.

Montgomery worked in development at several independent film companies and was an associate producer on the Forest Whitaker-starrer Diary of a Hit Man (1991), directed by Roy London, her former acting coach.

London also guided the careers of Brad Pitt, Jeff Goldblum, Patricia Arquette and many others. After his death at age 50 from AIDS complications, Montgomery teamed with Monger to make the documentary Special Thanks to Roy London, which premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.

Earlier, Montgomery served as an assistant to screenwriter Waldo Salt, director Hal Ashby and producer Bruce Gilbert on Coming Home (1978) and worked at Gilbert’s American Filmworks as the supervising exec on Sydney Lumet’s The Morning After (1986).


She also was a producer on ’Til There Was You (1987), starring Jeanne Tripplehorn and Dylan McDermott; Row Your Boat (1999), with Jon Bon Jovi; and A Sense of Wonder (2008), a re-imagining of Kaiulani Lee’s play about environmentalist Rachel Carson.

A Chicago native who was raised in Southern California and graduated from UC Berkeley, Montgomery played Princess Beata, the leader of a planet, in a 1988 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She also appeared on such series as Kojak, Nero Wolfe and L.A. Law and in the movie Amazon Women on the Moon (1987).

In addition to her husband, survivors include her mother Susan, brother Carl and nieces Madison and Paulina. Donations can be made to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Save the Children and NKLA.

A memorial is planned for 2016.

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