Producer Don Guest dies

Worked on 'Paris, Texas,' 'The Last Picture Show'

Don Guest, who produced "Paris, Texas," the winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1984 Cannes International Film Festival, died April 23 in Tours, France, his home for the past nine years. He was 75.

Earlier in his career, Guest served as a production manager on Peter Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show" (1971) and Sam Peckinpah's "The Getaway" (1972). He also worked on Martin Ritt's "Sounder" (1972) and Philip Kaufman's "The White Dawn" (1974), serving as associate producer on the latter two.

"Paris, Texas," starring Harry Dean Stanton, was Guest's second film with director Wim Wenders; the first was "Hammett" (1982), produced with Francis Ford Coppola and Fred Roos.

Guest had his first film producing gig on Paul Schrader's "Blue Collar" (1978), starring Richard Pryor.

A much-in-demand production manager early in his career, Guest oversaw the complexities of Michelangelo Antonioni's controversial "Zabriskie Point" (1970). Coming on the heels of "Blowup," MGM gave the Italian director license to shoot for almost a year over much of the American West. It was Guest's first feature outing, and it established his reputation for smooth and efficient oversight of difficult productions.

Born in Oklahoma, Guest moved to Los Angeles with his family in the 1940s as part of the Dust Bowl migration, and he memorialized the childhood experience in a screenplay, "Okie Blues," written in the 1970s. Other screenplays include "Way of the Peaceful Warrior," from the novel by Dan Millman, and "Star Child."

Guest began his career at Ziv TV, an early syndication powerhouse that was acquired by United Artists in 1960.

His other feature credits include the international co-production "Shadow of China" (1990), directed by Mitsuo Yanagimachi and starring John Lone (produced with Elliott Lewitt); "At Close Range" (1986), directed by James Foley with Sean Penn and Christopher Walken; and the Charles Bronson starrer "Breakheart Pass" (1975).

Guest is survived by his wife, Laurie; children Steven, Diane and Genine; and three grandchildren.
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