Bob Rafelson, famous film director, writer and producer, died yesterday at the age of 89. The news was confirmed by his wife, Gabrielle Taurek Rafelson, who confirmed that he passed away on July 23 with his family by his side. Rafelson died as a result of a battle with lung cancer. After that, no information about his funeral was released.
Bob Rafelson’s career in entertainment
Bob Rafelson began his career as a story editor on the TV show Play of the Week. In 1960, he wrote an episode of The Witness, followed by The Greatest Show on Earth in 1963. Rafelson moved with his family to Hollywood in 1962 and began working as an associate producer on various television series and films. In 1965, after meeting producer Bert Schneider, the two formed Raybert Productions, their first project being a TV program centered around a rock ‘n’ roll band. Rafelson’s escapades as a band member in Mexico inspired the program. The series, titled The Monkees, aired on NBC for two seasons. In addition, as producers, the team won the 1967 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Rafelson and Schneider then founded the publishing house Colgems and produced the feature film Head. Jack Nicholson co-wrote the screenplay, and their subsequent collaboration resulted in several other films such as Five Easy Pieces, The King of Marvin Gardens and others.
Easy Rider, the second film produced by Raybert Productions, was released in 1969. Its success allowed the corporation to continue with new ventures. Schneider’s childhood friend Stephen Blauner joined the cast and the company was renamed BBS Productions. Their successful credits include Five Easy Pieces, The Last Picture Show and Hearts and Minds, the latter of which received four Academy Award nominations.
Rafelson went on to direct The King of Marvin Gardens, which was released in 1972. It was BBS Productions’ last feature film, although it failed to match the popularity of Five Easy Pieces. Stay Hungry, a 1976 comedy-drama based on the book by Charles Gaines, was Rafelson’s next project. In 1978, he began work on another film, Brubaker, but was fired after only 10 days.
Rafelson and Jack Nicholson continued their relationship in 1981, appearing in films such as The Postman Always Rings Twice, Black Widow, Mountains of the Moon, Blood and Wine and others. He contributed to the Los Angeles Times magazine and John Brockman’s book The Greatest Inventions of the Past 2000 Years.
Twitter users pay tribute
Bob Rafelson has been recognized for his impeccable work as a film director over the years. After his death, Twitter was flooded with tributes:
RIP Bob Rafelson: my favorite movie of his was THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS pic.twitter.com/XyiYJzqlAW
— Jesse Hawken (@jessehawken) July 24, 2022
RIP Bob Rafelson, the producer who gave us Head
— Molly Lambert 🦔 (@mollylambert) July 24, 2022