Robert Lazarus, a veteran ofthe film industry who worked at companies including Turner Pictures and MutualFilm Co, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 43 after a long pulmonaryillness.
Lazarus, a popular figure inthe entertainment industry both in the US and in international markets, leavesbehind his life partner John E Ferraro of Los Angeles, California, his parentsHerb and Shelley Lazarus of Woodland Hills, California, his brother Sid ofTulsa, Oklahoma, and his brother Michael, of Ventura, California.
Lazarus' career encompassedboth domestic and international, film and television. He started inentertainment as Western Regional Affiliate Sales and Marketing Manager forpremium cable service The Disney Channel before entering the independent filmbusiness as President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Vista StreetEntertainment where he established relationships with distributors around theworld and helped shape the films he sold to them.
His fast ascent in theindustry next saw him move to Ted Turner's Turner Broadcasting Systems where heheld the position of Executive Vice President and General Manager of TurnerPictures Worldwide Distribution Inc. At Turner, his range of responsibilitiescovered acquisition of films, sales, marketing, business development and legaland business affairs. Among his achievements at Turner was the creation ofdirect distribution and licensing deals in certain key territories.
In 1996, Robert joinedParamount-based Mutual Film Company as Chief Operating Officer where heco-developed and executed the business plans and finance models for theco-financing of six major feature films with budgets over $285m including ASimple Plan, Primary Colors and TheJackal.
He also staffed and operatedMutual Film International, the international sales, marketing and distributionarm of the company which fast became one of the industry leaders.
In 2000, Robert teamed upwith production executive Chris Buchanan to launch Flixer, an innovativeweb-based digital production studio which was at the forefront of the internetmovie-making boom.
A memorial service was heldfor Robert on Monday this week (March 14) at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery inHollywood. Family, friends and industry colleagues turned out to pay respectsto Lazarus, whose popularity in life as well as in business was well-known.
In lieu of flowers, thefamily requests contributions to The Robert David Lazarus PulmonaryRehabilitation, Education and Support Group Fund. Checks can be mailed to: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,444 S. San Vicente Blvd., Mark Goodson Building Room 902, Los Angeles, CA90048, attention: Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
Robert held a Bachelor ofScience in Business Administration from the University Of Denver in Denver,Colorado.