JohnRoberdeau, nominated with his long-time partner Robert Michael Geisler for anAcademy Award for Best Picture as producers of Terrence Malick's TheThin Red Line (1998), died onMonday, May 6th at Manhattan's Cabrini Medical Center of aheart attack. He was 48.
Inpartnership with Geisler since 1979, Roberdeau had recently announced thepair's acquisition of Faith of My Fathers, the best-selling memoir written by Senator JohnMcCain with Mark Salter. Senator McCain had actually sought out the producingteam to turn his book into a film as he believed that Roberdeau's familybackground in the military would serve his story well.
Roberdeau'spast productions include Robert Altman's Streamers (1983), which was awarded an unprecedented GoldenLion for its entire ensemble cast at the Venice Film Festival; the Broadwayproduction of Strange Interlude,starring Glenda Jackson, nominated for six Tony Awards; and writer DennisPotter's motion picture directorial effort, Secret Friends (1992), starring Alan Bates.
Friendsof the late Potter, Roberdeau and Geisler believed so strongly in the film thatwhen it failed to find distribution, they distributed it themselves. Theysubsequently commissioned Potter to write a screenplay adaptation for D. M.Thomas' novel, The White Hotel, which is in development as a motion picture.
Roberdeaualso served on the Board of Directors of Marianne Weems' experimentaltheatre company, The Builders Association.
Roberdeauwas born on August 17, 1953, in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the son of the lateColonel Neywood Roberdeau, U.S. Air Force, and Caroyl Wheelus, widow of thelate Reverend Cleve Wheelus. Roberdeau is survived by his mother; his brother Thomas Roberdeau andniece Solange Roberdeau, who live in Los Angeles; his sister-in-law, SandraRoberdeau, widow of the late Michael Wood Roberdeau, lives in Dallas, Texaswith sons Wood and Cody Roberdeau.