Paul Mazursky, an actor, writer and director whose career spanned from the 1950s to the 2000s and is perhaps best known for “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice,” has died at age 84, Variety reports. Mazursky died of pulmonary cardiac arrest yesterday at Cedars-Sinai Medical
Center in Los Angeles, family spokeswoman Nancy Willen told The Los Angeles Times.
Mazursky wrote and directed most of his 17 films including “An Unmarried Woman,” “Next Stop, Greenwich Village,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “Enemies, A Love Story” and “Harry and Tonto.” As an actor, he studied with Lee Strasburg and appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s “Fear and Desire” and “Blackboard Jungle” as well as early TV shows such as “The Chevy Mystery Show,” “The Detectives” and “Twilight Zone.” In addition to making cameos in many of his own films, Mazursky also had memorable roles in “Carlito’s Way” and on TV in “The Sopranos,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Once and Again.” He also provided the voice to characters in animated films such as “Antz” and “Kung Fu Panda 2.”
Over his career, Mazursky directed a wide array of talent, including Robin Williams, Art Carney, Jill Clayburgh, Woody Allen, Stanley Tucci, John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Bette Midler and Richard Dreyfuss. Mazursky wrote and produced most of his directorial efforts. He was nominated for an Academy Award for four screenplays (three of them shared), for “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice,” “Harry and Tonto,” “Enemies: A Love Story” and “An Unmarried Woman,” for which he also shared a Best Picture nomination. Many of the actors in his films received Academy Award nominations for their performances, including Art Carney, who won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in “Harry and Tonto,” Jill Clayburgh, who was nominated for Best Actress for her role in “An Unmarried Woman” and Dyan Cannon who was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice.”
In recent years, Mazursky directed the 1998 HBO biopic “Winchell” and the 2003 Showtime movie “Coast to Coast.” His last directorial effort was the 2006 documentary “Yippee: A Journey
to Jewish Joy,” about the annual three-day pilgrimage of
Hasidic Jews to a leader’s gravesite in the Ukraine. The film premiered in 2007 as part of a Film Society of Lincoln Center retrospective “The Magic of Paul Mazursky.”
Directors and others in the industry are sharing their memories and condolences via Twitter:
RIP hero Paul Mazursky whose Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is a constant source of inspiration (especially to my twitter bio). Love to family.
— Adam Goldberg (@TheAdamGoldberg) July 1, 2014
RIP my dear dear friend Paul Mazursky, after a long struggle. He was a reason to go to LA and the Farmer’s Market will never be the same
— Mike Figgis (@TheMikeFiggis) July 1, 2014