Producer of ‘Pink Panther’ and ‘Some Like it Hot’ Walter Mirisch dies aged 101

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Oscar-winner Walter Mirisch, who produced Hollywood classics such as “West Side Story,” “Some Like It Hot” and “The Pink Panther,” has died at age 101 of natural causes, the Academy said Sunday.

Mirisch, whose career spanned six decades and who was also a former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, died on Friday in Los Angeles, the organization said in a statement.

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The Academy was “deeply saddened to hear of Walter’s passing,” said chief executive Bill Kramer and president Janet Yang in the statement, hailing him as a “true visionary.”

“He had a powerful impact on the film community and the Academy.... His passion for filmmaking and the Academy never wavered, and he remained a dear friend and advisor,” they added.

Mirisch, who was born in New York City on November 8, 1921, was honored by the Academy three times: with a Best Picture Oscar for 1967’s “In the Heat of the Night,” the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his “consistently high quality of motion picture production,” and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

The Academy called him “one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood history.”

The Mirisch Company, formed in 1957 with his brothers Harold and Marvin, produced enduring classics including “Some Like It Hot” (1959), “The Magnificent Seven” (1960), “West Side Story” (1961), “The Great Escape” (1963), “The Pink Panther” (1963) and “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968).

His wife Patricia passed away in 2005, and he is survived by his three children, one grandchild, and two great-grandsons.

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