Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer identified for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88.
Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey where he attended grade and high school, before graduating Princeton University in 1953 with a degree in architecture. Soon after, he returned to New York where he worked for the Candida Donadio talent agency and the Feuer and Martin company. It was the latter that got him his next job as an Off-Broadway producer for the improvisational theater The Premise.
From there, he became the Vice President of New York Production for United Artists, before leaving to buy film rights for the first video cassette company Cartrivision. At that time, he also began working with Corman’s New World Pictures and moved to Los Angeles where he established the Australian Film Office. There, he helped promote releases of films like “Newsfront,” “My Brilliant Career,” “Gallipoli,” “The Last Wave” and “Mad Max.”
Sam is survived by his ex-wife Jane Gelfman and three children, Peter Gelfman, Andrew Gelfman and Polly Gelfman as well as three grandchildren, Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo, Elijah Gelfman Randazzo and Max Gelfman Stocker.