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Raju Patel, 45; Produced Films Including 'Bachelor Party' and 2002 Bollywood Hit 'Kaante'

October 12, 2005|From a Times Staff Writer

Raju Sharad Patel, who produced several films beginning with the 1984 comedy "Bachelor Party" starring Tom Hanks, has died. He was 45.

Patel died Sunday at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center of colon cancer, his wife, Dimple Patel, said Tuesday.

Born and brought up in Kenya and of Indian descent, Patel was credited with combining Hollywood and Bollywood in the first Indian movie shot entirely in the United States using an American crew and modern Hollywood technology. That hit film was the 2002 "Kaante" (Hindi for "thorns"), about a heist by six ex-prisoners starring Indian heartthrob Amitabh Bachchan.

Patel told The Times in 2001 that it should play well in several countries because of its "international flavor in terms of its content and the fact that it delivers international standards."

The future producer first came to the United States in 1982 to distribute the docudrama "Amin: The Rise and Fall" about Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, a film directed by his father, Sharad Patel. Two years later, Patel began his own movie career by producing "Bachelor Party."

His other films included "The Jungle Book" in 1994, "The Adventures of Pinocchio" in 1996, "The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo" in 1997 and "11:14" in 2003.

Patel directed a single motion picture, 1986's "In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro," a fact-based movie about a baboon siege of a game reserve.

In recent years, Patel worked with pop singer Michael Jackson and Mark Damon of MDP Worldwide to set up the production company Neverland Pictures.

In addition to his wife, Patel is survived by two sons, Karam and Amar; his father; and his brother, Viju.

His family has asked that any memorial donations be made toward Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, or to the Memorial Medical Center Foundation, for the Robert Nagourney M.D. Cancer Research Fund, 2801 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA 90806.

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