On This Day … 08 August [2022]

People (Deaths)

  • 2014 – Menahem Golan, Israeli director and producer (b. 1929).

Menahem Golan

Menahem Golan (31 May 1929 to 08 August 2014, originally Menachem Globus) was an Israeli film producer, screenwriter, and director. He was best known for co-owning The Cannon Group with his cousin Yoram Globus. Cannon specialised in producing low-to-mid-budget American films, primarily genre films, during the 1980s after Golan and Globus had achieved significant filmmaking success in their native Israel during the 1970s.

Golan produced films featuring actors such as Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Charles Bronson, and for a period, was known as a producer of comic book-style films like Masters of the Universe, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Captain America, and his aborted attempt to bring Spider-Man to the silver screen. Golan also wrote and “polished” numerous film scripts under the pen name Joseph Goldman. At the time of his death, Golan had produced over 200 films (including The Delta Force, 1986), directed 44, and won 8 “Kinor David” awards as well as “Israel Prize” in Cinema. He was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign-Language Film for Franco Zeffirelli’s Otello.

Life and Career

Born Menachem Globus in Tiberias in then British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel), his parents were Jewish emigrants from the Russian Empire. He spent his early years in Tiberias, then studied directing at the Old Vic School and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and filmmaking at New York University. During the 1948 Palestine war, Golan served as a pilot in the Israeli Air Force. Golan was married to Rachel (1930-2015), makeup artist and had three daughters, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Ruth Golan (born 1953), Naomi (1958-2015) and Yael (born 1964). His cousin was Israeli-American producer Yoram Globus.

Whilst visiting Jaffa, Tel Aviv, with family members on the morning of 08 August 2014, Golan collapsed. He lost consciousness, and attempts to resuscitate him failed. He was 85 years old.

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