William N. Graf; Helped Produce 'Man for All Seasons,' 'Born Free'

William N. Graf, 82, Columbia Pictures executive who helped produce the Academy Award-winning "A Man for All Seasons." After growing up in Manhattan, Graf began his career as assistant to independent producer Mark Hellinger in 1937. During World War II, Graf was an Army officer who made training films for the Army Air Corps. He joined Columbia Studios after the war as assistant to its president, Harry Cohn, and was soon promoted to assistant production manager of the studio. In 1952, Graf moved to London to supervise the studio's overseas productions. Graf was particularly known for his close supervision of film budgets. He preferred blockbusters, and oversaw the production of "A Bridge on the River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Born Free" as well as "A Man for All Seasons," which won six Oscars. After leaving Columbia, Graf formed two short-lived independent film companies, Dartmouth Films Ltd. and Grosvenor Productions Inc. On July 1 in Los Angeles of heart failure and pneumonia.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
58°