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Samuel Z. Arkoff

Samuel Z. Arkoff

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Also Known As: Died: September 16, 2001
Born: June 12, 1918 Cause of Death: natural causes
Birth Place: Fort Dodge, Iowa, USA Profession: producer, executive, cryptographer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Arkoff is the co-founder (with James H. Nicholson) of American International Pictures and has served as producer or executive on over 200 of the low-budget exploitation films--monster movies, motorcycle films and beach-party pictures geared to the teenage audience--that made the studio famous. Arkoff also gave fresh talent such as Francis Ford Coppola ("Dementia 13" 1963), Martin Scorsese ("Boxcar Bertha" 1972) and Woody Allen ("What's Up, Tiger Lily?" 1966) the opportunity to direct some of their early feature films. In 1980, he sold AIP and formed his own companies, Samuel Z. Arkoff Pictures and Arkoff International Pictures. Arkoff wrote his memoirs, "Flying Through Hollywood by the Seat of My Pants" in 1992. His son, Louis, is also a producer.

Arkoff is the co-founder (with James H. Nicholson) of American International Pictures and has served as producer or executive on over 200 of the low-budget exploitation films--monster movies, motorcycle films and beach-party pictures geared to the teenage audience--that made the studio famous. Arkoff also gave fresh talent such as Francis Ford Coppola ("Dementia 13" 1963), Martin Scorsese ("Boxcar Bertha" 1972) and Woody Allen ("What's Up, Tiger Lily?" 1966) the opportunity to direct some of their early feature films. In 1980, he sold AIP and formed his own companies, Samuel Z. Arkoff Pictures and Arkoff International Pictures. Arkoff wrote his memoirs, "Flying Through Hollywood by the Seat of My Pants" in 1992. His son, Louis, is also a producer.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Pitch, The (1996) Himself
3.
 Runaway Daughters (1994) Storekeeper
4.
 Naked Paradise (1957) Sam, plantation owner
6.
 Canned Ham: Bowfinger (1999) Interviewee
8.
9.
 Anatomy of Horror (1995) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Fort Dodge, Iowa
:
During WWII, served in the US Air Force as a cryptographer
1950:
Began producing career with TV's "The Hank McCune Show" (NBC)
1952:
Suffered a cerebral hemorrhage; recovered after spending a week in a coma
1954:
Co-founded American Releasing Corp. with James H Nicholson; first released film "The Fast and the Furious", directed by Roger Corman
1955:
Company name changed to American International Pictures (AIP)
1957:
AIP released "I Was a Teenage Werewolf", starring Michael Landon
1960:
With "House of Usher" starring Vincent Price, AIP began series of adaptations based in part on the writings of Edgar Allen Poe
1963:
Enjoyed success with the teen "beach" movie "Beach Party", starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello
1966:
AIP released the English-language dubbed version of "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" with dialogue by Woody Allen
1966:
Moved into highbrow fare releasing Fellini's "La Dolce Vita"
1972:
AIP released "Boxcar Bertha", helmed by Martin Scorsese, and "Sisters", directed by Brian De Palma
1973:
First association between John Milius and AIP, "Dillinger"
1980:
AIP released "Mad Max", featuring Mel Gibson (although dialogue was re-dubbed to eradicate Australian accents)
1980:
Formed Samuel Z Arkoff Company (president and chairman)
1981:
Formed Arkoff International Pictures (president)
1993:
Received star Number 1973 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 14
2000:
Signed deal with HBO allowing remakes of five AIP films
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Iowa: Iowa City , Iowa -
University of Colorado: Boulder , Colorado -
Loyola University Chicago: Chicago , Illinois - 1948

Notes

In 1990, Arkoff announced his return to film production, with plans to remake "Machine Gun Kelly" and "The Man With X-Ray Eyes." In 1993, he was planning auditions for a remake of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf".

He is the international vice president of the Variety Clubs International (1973- )

He has served as the vice president of the Permanent Charities Committee.

Arkoff has served as a member of the board of trustees of Loyola Marymount University.

He received the Commendatore of the Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of Italy in 1970.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Hilda Rusoff. Sculptor. Born in Winnipeg, Canada; married to Arkoff from 1945 until her death on July 26, 2001.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Louis Arkoff. Producer.
daughter:
Donna Arkoff Roth. Producer. Married to executive and director Joe Roth.
son-in-law:
Joe Roth. Executive, director.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Flying Through Hollywood by the Seat of My Pants"

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