Michael Rauch, Film Producer and Former Showtime Executive, Dies at 69

Courtesy of Showtime
Michael Rauch

He worked on such films as 'Superman,' 'Reversal of Fortune' and 'Dressed to Kill,' then joined the cable network for a 15-year stint.

Michael Rauch, a film producer, assistant director and longtime Showtime executive, died July 2 at his home in Studio City after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 69.

Rauch worked as a producer on such features as Blue Steel (1989) and Point Break (1991), both directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and Barbet Schroeder’s Reversal of Fortune (1990), the real-life drama about the Sunny von Bulow murder case.

Earlier, he served as an assistant director on Richard Donner’s Superman (1978), Jonathan Demme’s Last Embrace (1979), Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill (1980) and Simon (1980), starring Alan Arkin.

After relocating from New York to Los Angeles in 1992, he produced the ABC miniseries Wild Palms a year later.

Rauch accepted an executive position at Showtime in 1993, and he supervised production of more than 140 films and numerous series including Queer as Folk, The L Word and The Tudors. He retired as executive vp production in 2008.


Born in Troy, N.Y., Rauch graduated from New York University with a major in art and landed a spot in the DGA trainee program, where he learned the business on The French Connection (1971) and The Godfather (1972).

That led to stints as a production supervisor or unit production manager on such films as Live and Let Die (1973), Eddie Macon’s Run (1983), The Cotton Club (1984) and Brewster’s Millions (1985).

Survivors include his wife Vibeke, brother Stuart and nephew Dan.

A life celebration will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Temple Adat Ari El in Los Angeles.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Rauch’s name to the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society, P.O. Box 7769, Van Nuys, CA 91409.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4