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Jonathan Kaufer, Writer and Director, Dies in Car Accident

Writer-director Jonathan Kaufer, who helmed 1982’s “Soup for One,” starring Saul Rubinek, for Warner Bros., and the 1997 film “Bad Manners,” starring David Strathairn and Bonnie Bedelia, died Oct. 2 in a car accident en route from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. He was 58.

Kaufer was still in his teens attending Sarah Lawrence College when he was hired onto the writing staff of “Mork & Mindy.” Director Howard Zieff brought him into the feature arena, and Kaufer did rewrites on Barbra Streisand starrer “The Main Event” and “Unfaithfully Yours,” starring Dudley Moore.

Kaufer’s TV credits include penning episodes of ABC’s “Holmes and Yo-Yo,” NBC’s “Quark” and HBO’s “Dream On,” the last of which he also directed.

Survivors include a son, Jordan Maxwell Caufer, from his marriage to actress Pia Zadora (pictured above with Kaufer), and a brother, Scott Kaufer, a former comedy executive at Warner Bros. who has written and produced for TV.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Director Howard Zieff dies at 81

Howard Zieff, a famed director of TV commercials in the 1960s who went on to specialize in Hollywood comedies, died Feb. 21 of Parkinson's disease at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 81.

Zieff's films include "Hearts of the West" (1975), "Private Benjamin" (1980), "Unfaithfully Yours" (1984), "The Dream Team" (1989), "My Girl" (1991) and his last film, "My Girl 2" (1994).

Goldie Hawn, who received an Oscar nomination for best actress for her role in "Private Benjamin," told the Los Angeles Times that Zieff "had a special talent for directing comedies, always a rare gift."

The Chicago native also is credited with helping to change the face of American commercials in the '60s with witty slice-of life vignettes, such as his "Spicy Meatball" spot for Alka-Seltzer. Time magazine called him the "master of the mini ha-ha."

One of the best-known photographers on Madison Avenue early in his career, Zieff also did the posters for Levy's Rye Bread,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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