One of the most prolific and powerful studio heads from the late 1960s until his retirement in 2003 — who led three studios and produced a number of important movies — has died. John Calley, 81, died following a long illness, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Calley had a hand in the creation of some of the biggest movies of the era during an 11-year stint at Warner Bros., including "Superman," "A Star Is Born," "Dirty Harry," "A Clockwork Orange" and "All the President’s Men."
In 1993, Calley was president and CEO of MGM/UA, where he shepherded in a new era in the 007 film series with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Brosnan’s first foray, 1995’s "GoldenEye," is the highest-grossing film in the history of the James Bond franchise.
He later ran Sony Pictures, where he shepherded blockbusters such as “Men in Black” and “Spider-Man.”
Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman/CEO of Sony Corp., talked about Calley in an interview with Deadline.com, saying: “John was more than a brilliant executive. I’m not sure he would even like that title. He was a wonderful raconteur, up there with Mike Nichols, Michael Caine and Peter Ustinov, who could hold your attention for hours with rich anecdotes that capture the human dimensions of his beloved film industry; love’s labors never lost as long as he was there to remember them.”
In recent years, Calley was a producer, with "The Da Vinci Code" and its sequel "Angels & Demons" to his credit. In 2009, he was presented with the Irving G. Thalberg Award, an honorary Academy Award given to producers.
Other films he produced included “Catch-22,” “Postcards From the Edge” and “The Remains of the Day.”