FredTurner, former head of Rank Film Distributors (RFD), has died aged 71.

Turnerjoined Rank as a tea boy in 1946. He first worked for Eagle Lion, then Rank'soverseas distribution arm, before working his way up through the company tobecome financial controller and, in 1981, managing director.

Heremained at Rank until 1997, when he retired on its sale to CarltonCommunications, which eventually dismantled the company. In all, he worked for50 years at Rank, his only employer apart from two years National Service.

Duringhis time as managing director, Rank handled such titles as The FabulousBaker Boys, Educating Rita and Silence Of The Lambs.

Turner is survived by two daughters,Deborah and Dawn, and six grandchildren. His wife Iris died in 1999.

Donationswill go to two charities, First Steps, a special needs school, and The LinBerwick Trust, which provides accommodation for people with disabilities.