Ismail Merchant

The producer, right, arrives with collaborator James Ivory at a movie memorabilia auction in New York City in 1999. “I remember my college [dean] saying I could sell snowballs to Eskimos,” Merchant once said of his salesmanship.

( Mark Lennihan / AP )

The producer, right, arrives with collaborator James Ivory at a movie memorabilia auction in New York City in 1999. “I remember my college [dean] saying I could sell snowballs to Eskimos,” Merchant once said of his salesmanship.

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