Larger-than-life polyglot worked with Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Evzen Kolar, the Czech-born producer of The Boys & Girl From County Clare and City Of Industry, has died in California after a brief illness. He was 67.
Kolar was born in Moravia in the Czech Republic to a diplomat and got his first taste of entertainment as a child actor, before becoming an assistant director in Europe on commercials, television projects and features.
He lived in London in the late 1970s and produced fringe theatre before moving to the US in 1979 where he built a name for himself as a production executive, notching up numerous line producer and producer credits.
After stints as vice-president of production at Fireline Productions, a subsidiary of the Armand Hammer Company, and CEO at Crossover Films Ent, Kolar worked as a line producer. His credits included Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery, Street Smart starring Morgan Freeman, Master Of The Universe with Dolph Lundgren, Bat 21 with Gene Hackman and Danny Glover, Double Impact starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Storyville starring James Spader and Jason Robards.
In 1993, Kolar established his production company KPI Entertainment, producing such films as the cult youth comedy Surf Ninjas starring Leslie Nielsen and Rob Schneider and erotic drama Delta Of Venus, both for New Line, thriller City Of Industry starring Harvey Keitel for MGM, Inferno (aka Desert Heat) with Jean-Claude Van Damme for Columbia TriStar, and costume drama Bride Of The Wind directed by Bruce Beresford for Paramount Classics.
Fluent in French, English, German and Czech and conversant in Russian with some knowledge of Italian and Arabic, Kolar deployed his taste and expertise to good effect when shooting in international locations and structuring co-productions, and was preparing a number of projects when he died.
Kolar produced the comedy The Boys & Girl From County Clare starring Colm Meaney, Bernard Hill and Andrea Corr for Samuel Goldwyn Films, which opened the 39th Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 2004 and played as an official gala selection in Toronto. On another occasion he served as a juror at Karlovy Vary in his native Czech Republic, and did the same at the International Antalya Film Festival in Turkey.
The cosmopolitan flair and charm of Kolar and his beloved wife Deborah Shaw Kolar ensured they were never far from family, friends and social gatherings. In person he was a culturally literate bon vivant, often volcanic in his opinions yet always kind and attentive, who took delight in supporting his grown-up children’s musical careers and loved to indulge his passion for the arts and Liverpool FC.
He is survived by his wife, a co-partner at entertainment industry public relations and marketing firm Kean & Kolar Communications, daughter Rachel McCord, grandson Mateus Kofi McCord, son and musician Rob Kolar, and extended family. A private family service will be held.