August 8, 2014 – Menahem Golan’s, the legendary producer behind the Death Wish sequels and such 1970s and ’80s Cannon Films actioners as The Delta Force the Lou Ferrigno-led Hercules has died. He was outside his home in the city of Jaffa when he lost consciousness. He was 85.
The Israeli cinema pioneer and filmmaker was behind more than 200 films of films during a nearly half-century career, featuring stars including Charles Bronson’s Death Wish sequels , Sylvester Stallone (1987 Over The Top), Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin (1986 Delta Force) and Jean-Claude Van Damme (Kickboxer 1989).
Those and many others were produced by Cannon Entertainment, which Golan started with his cousin Yoram Globus.
Cannon’s output also included such decidedly non-action fare asBolero (1984), starring Bo Derek and George Kennedy; A Cry In The Dark (1988), starring Meryl Streep and Sam O’Neill; and Puss In Boots (1988), with Christopher Walken. However Golan will be best remembered for his action films.
Golan (born Menahem Globus) was born to Polish immigrants on May 31, 2929 in Tiberias, located in Northern Israel and served in the Israeli Air Force during the 1948 War of Independence.
Hollywood Reporter chronicled Golan’s career stating that he first worked for cult film producer Roger Corman in his 1963 directorial debut of the Israeli film El Dorado, before acting as produce of Sallah Shabati that one the Golden Glove for best foreign film, becoming the first Israeli film to be nominated for an Academy Award. Co-founding Noah Films with his cousin Yoram, Golan was behind the Academy Award nominated films I Love You Rosa (1972) and The House on Chelouche Street (1973).
Operation Thunderbolt was based on the Israeli raid on Entebbe airport in Uganda, also nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film.
Golan attempt to return to action films had him bidding for Spider-Man with Stan Lee/Marvel Comics. While he did not win that film, he did produce a version of Captain America (1990).
During the past two decades, Golan focused on local productions and was the recipient of Israeli Film Academy’s Ophir Award for Lifetime Achievement and The Israel Prize, given annually by the government for excellence and contribution to cinema.
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