Zev Braun, Producer of Vietnam CBS Drama 'Tour of Duty,' Dies at 90

Zev Braun - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Braun Family

He earned an Oscar nomination for his work on a Marlene Dietrich documentary and produced films starring Jodie Foster, Peter Sellers and Muhammad Ali.

Zev Braun, who produced the Vietnam-set CBS drama Tour of Duty and an Oscar-nominated documentary about German screen legend Marlene Dietrich, died Oct. 17 in Los Angeles, his family announced. He was 90.

Braun also produced such features as The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976), starring Jodie Foster, and The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980), starring Peter Sellers; telefilms including 1979's Freedom Road, starring Muhammad Ali and Kris Kristofferson, 1994's Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills and 2014's The Gabby Douglas Story; and such series as Murphy's Law and Bagdad Cafe.

Tour of Duty, which showed Americans in combat in Vietnam, ran for three seasons (1987-90) and starred Terence Knox, Stephen Caffrey, Tony Becker and Miguel A. Núñez Jr.

In addition to Marlene (1984), Braun also produced The Pedestrian (1973), which earned an Oscar nomination for best foreign-language film. Both were directed by Maximilian Schell.

Born on Oct. 19, 1928, in Chicago, Braun attended Sullivan High School — where he ran into Eleanor Roosevelt, one of his early heroes — and Marquette University.

Rejecting a career managing the family bottle business, Braun found his calling when he produced Goldstein (1964), co-written and co-directed by his cousin, future Right Stuff helmer Philip Kaufman. The comedy won the Prix de la Nouvelle Critique at Cannes.

Survivors include his wife, Mayling; his children, Ben, Jonathon, Jeremy and Sue-Ling; his brother, David; and his grandchildren Julia, Thaddeus, Julius, Eliza and Akira.