EXPIRED: 10/13/09 – Daniel Melnick, 77, entertained us w/ Get Smart, the Flintstones, The Fugitive and Altered States. So how did he entertain himself? Playing poker w/ Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Chevy Chase & Johnny Carson of course.
In a career that spanned decades, Melnick produced both Oscar-winning prestige pictures such as Kramer vs. Kramer and Network, as well as the action movies Total Recall and The Quick and the Dead.
It was at MGM where he worked from 1972-76, that he left perhaps his most indelible mark, rising from a vice president of production to eventually become worldwide head, presiding over something of an artistic renaissance at the studio, which regained some of its former luster with a string of critically acclaimed hits such as The Sunshine Boys and The Goodbye Girl.
At Columbia he oversaw the dramas “And Justice for All” and “The China Syndrome.”
Afterwards, when he became an independent producer he lost his edge. Aside from the box office hits Roxanne and Total Recall, Melnick productions like “Air America” and “Punchline” failed to connect with audiences or critics.
The 90’s saw little of the shine they had come to expect from him. And so, there were the poker games to look forward to.