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Phillip M. Goldfarb, the producer and production manager who won two Emmys for L.A. Law and worked on films including I Never Sang for My Father, Taxi Driver and The Last Detail, has died. He was 82.
Goldfarb died April 7 in Los Angeles, his friend Garry Hart, chair and professor of the Department of Cinema and Television Arts at California State Fullerton, announced.
Goldfarb served as a coordinating producer on the first three seasons of L.A. Law. He received Emmy noms for three straight years and won in 1987 and ’89, sharing the honors with series co-creator Steven Bochco, among others.
Goldfarb, who spent seven years as a vice president for Steven Bochco Productions, also helmed a 1989 episode of the acclaimed NBC drama and was an assistant director on films including Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997).
Born in Brooklyn on Feb. 24, 1940, Goldfarb served as a production assistant on director Paul Newman’s Rachel, Rachel (1968), starring Joanne Woodward.
He then worked as a production manager/unit manager or associate producer/co-producer on such features as Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), I Never Sang for My Father (1970), The Last Detail (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Thank God It’s Friday (1978), Ice Castles (1978), My Bodyguard (1980) and Taps (1981).
His TV résumé also included stints on Knots Landing, Monk, The Librarians, NYPD Blue, Southland, House of Lies, Leverage and Roswell.
A DGA member since 1967, Goldfarb served often on guild negotiation committees in contract talks with producers. In 2015, the DGA presented him with its Frank Capra Achievement Award.
“With more than 30 years of continuous service as a trustee for the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans, Phil was an exceptionally dedicated leader, a strong advocate for DGA members and a thoughtful, gentle and kind man,” DGA national executive director Russell Hollander said in a statement. “His loss is deeply felt by us all.”
“All we really have is each other, so what we should try to do is help each other,” Goldfarb said after learning of his award. “I cannot repay the people who assisted me, they are no longer here, all I can do, out of respect for them, is to help others on their way.”
Among those he mentored was Dean Devlin; in the Telluride Daily Planet, the producer-director called Goldfarb “my teacher, my friend, my co-worker, my support, my guru.”
A longtime resident of Telluride, he taught at UCLA and CalArts.
Survivors include his wife, Jane; children Fidel, Trace, Jeffrey, Griffin, Alexandra and Harmony; and brother Ken.
Donations in his memory can be made to World Central Kitchen.
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