Russell Thacher; Film Producer and Novelist, 71

Russell Thacher, a novelist and film producer, has died at the age of 71.

Thacher died Monday at UCLA Medical Center of complications from abdominal surgery.

Born in Hackensack, N.J., and educated at Bucknell and New York Universities, Thacher wrote three novels early in his career, “The Captain,” “The Tender Age” and “A Break in the Clouds.” He then switched to editing for Omnibook Magazine and Book of the Month Club.

Thacher entered the motion picture business as eastern story editor for Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, and in 1969 transferred to Los Angeles as the studio’s vice president for production.


Moving into independent production in 1972, he co-produced “Travels with My Aunt,” “Soylent Green,” “The Last Hard Men” and “The Cay.” In the early 1980s, he was consultant and executive producer with the Samuel Goldwyn Co.

Thacher is survived by his wife, Betty, two sons, Michael of Los Angeles and Christopher of Teaneck, N.J., and two sisters.

A memorial service is scheduled Saturday in Hackensack. The family has asked that any memorial contributions be made to the American Heart Assn.