LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A prolific producer and president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for many years, Walter Mirisch has died at the age of 101, the Academy announced Saturday.
Mirisch died of natural causes in Los Angeles Friday, according to an Academy statement.
"The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is deeply saddened to hear of Walter's passing," said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang. "Walter was a true visionary, both as a producer and as an industry leader. He had a powerful impact on the film community and the Academy, serving as our president and as an Academy governor for many years."
The New York native enjoyed a film career that spanned more than six decades, the Academy stated. He founded The Mirisch Company in 1957 with brothers Harold and Marvin, and produced hit films including "Some Like It Hot," "The Magnificent Seven," "West Side Story," "The Great Escape," "In the Heat of the Night," and "The Thomas Crown Affair."
The Academy honored Mirisch three times. He received an Academy Award for Best Picture for "In the Heat of the Night," the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his "consistently high quality of motion picture production" and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, given to an individual whose "humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry," according to the statement.
Mirisch is survived by his children, Anne, Andrew and Lawrence Mirisch, his granddaughter and her husband, Megan and Craig Bloom, and his great-grandsons Emery and Levi Bloom. His wife, Patricia, passed away in 2005. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF). A memorial service will be held at a future date.