Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Director Irvin Kershner R.I.P.

Irvin Kershner, who directed such films as The Flim-Flam Man (1967) and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), passed on November 27, 2010 at the age of 87. The cause was complications from cancer.

Irvin Kershner was born Isadore Kershner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 29, 1923. Mr. Kershner studied art and music, and played both the viola and violin. He attended the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and studied photography at the Art Centre College in Southern California. After serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II as a flight engineer and mechanic, he changed his first name to Irvin. He entered film making as a documentary film maker for the United States Information Service in Iran, Greece, and Turkey.

It was in 1958 that he directed his first movie, Stakeout on Dope Street. He went onto direct The Young Captives (1959) and Hoodlum Priest (1961). He directed several episodes of the TV show The Rebel. In the early Sixties he worked mostly in television, directing episodes of Cain's Hundred, Ben Casey, Naked City, and Kraft Suspense Theatre. His first film in the Sixties was Face in the Rain (1963). He finished out the decade directing The Luck of Ginger Coffey (1964), A Fine Madness (1966), The Flim-Flam Man (1967), and Loving (1970). In the Seventies he directed the movies Up the Sandbox (1972), S*P*Y*S (1974), The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976),. Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980). In the Eighties he directed Never Say Never Again (1983) and Robocop 2 (1990). He also directed an episode of Amazing Stories. His last work directing was in the Nineties, directing one episode of SeaQuest DSV.

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