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Kip Gowans, a veteran assistant director who went on to produce four telefilms that starred his wife, the late Lee Remick, died March 11 in the South of France. He was 80.
The Englishman, then married to actress Valerie Gearon, met Remick in Brussels on the set of the film Hard Contract (1969); she was James Coburn‘s co-star, and Gowans was first assistant director. They were married from 1970 until her death from kidney and liver cancer in 1991 at age 55.
With Remick starring as a woman under pressure, Gowans produced the telefilms The Women’s Room (1980), The Letter (1982), Rearview Mirror (1984) and Of Pure Blood (1986).
As an assistant director for almost three decades, Gowans worked on such films as John Schlesinger’s Darling (1965) and Far From the Madding Crowd (1967); Anthony Harvey’s The Lion in Winter (1968); Michael Ritchie’s Downhill Racer (1969); Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Sleuth (1972); Norman Jewison’s Rollerball (1975); Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976); and Otto Preminger’s last feature as a director, The Human Factor (1979).
Born William Gowans on March 28, 1930, Gowans grew up in a London suburb, where his father, a former coal miner, worked in a munitions plant during World War II.
At 14, he left school to work at Denham Studios, where he became friends with two other movie-crazed teenagers, future stars Jean Simmons and Anthony Newley. Gowans worked as an office boy on such classics as Great Expectations (1946), The Red Shoes (1948) and Oliver Twist (1948).
Survivors include daughters Nicola and Justine and four grandchildren.
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