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Herb Jaffe, 70; Independent Film Producer

December 09, 1991

Herb Jaffe, the onetime literary agent who subsequently became United Artists' chief of production and then an independent film producer, died Saturday.

His son, Stephen-Charles Jaffe, said his father was 70 when he died at his Beverly Hills home of cancer.

A native of Brooklyn, Jaffe was promoting such postwar foreign films as "The Bicycle Thief" when he joined the embryonic television division at MCA. After working with TV writers he decided to front his own literary agency where he represented Paddy Chayefsky and Reginald Rose, two giants of the small screen, writers Joseph Heller and Philip Roth and writer-photographer Margaret Burke-White among others.

He sold Herb Jaffe Associates and in 1965 became head of West Coast and then worldwide production for United Artists during a period when the company was turning out the early Woody Allen pictures, "Midnight Cowboy" and the controversial "Last Tango in Paris."

In 1975 he became an independent with "The Wind and the Lion" starring Sean Connery, the first of about a dozen pictures that included "Demon Seed," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Jinxed"--in which he and several other executives on the picture clashed publicly and often with star Bette Midler--"Lords of Discipline" and "Fright Night II."

Besides his son, Jaffe is survived by wife, Nel; a second son, Robert, and three grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled Sunday at noon at Hillside Memorial Park.

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