More sad news to report today as Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz has died.
Also known for his work on American Graffiti and The Dark Crystal, Kurtz passed away on Sunday after battling cancer according to his family. He was 78 years old.
After helping George Lucas champion Star Wars into a massive hit back in the summer of 1977, the duo set about writing a sequel. Kurtz would step in to direct second-unit work on the film after production went over schedule and Lucas was forced to dip into his own pocket to finish it.
Following the troubled production of The Empire Strikes Back, Kurtz was replaced by Howard Kazanjian as producer on 1983's Return Of The Jedi.
Kurtz got his start as an assistant director on Monte Hellman’s Ride In The Whirlwind, a 1966 Western that starred a then-unknown Jack Nicholson. He would go on to work on such films as Voyage To The Prehistoric Planet and Beach Ball and even served as a member of the Marines during the Vietnam War from 1966 to 1969.
The staff here at Infinite Earths would like to express our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Mr. Kurtz during this trying time.
May fond memories comfort you in the coming days.
Rest In Peace, Mr. Kurtz! Thanks for helping take us to a galaxy far, far away!
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