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Jerry Bick, 81; Hollywood Producer and Book Collector

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From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Jerry Bick, 81, who produced Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye” and Jonathan Demme’s “Swing Shift,” died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Born in New York, Bick graduated from the University of Georgia, where he taught English, and studied at the Sorbonne after serving in the Navy during World War II. After a stint as an MGM publicist in New York, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as an agent with MCA, Goldstone/Tobias and the Kurt Frings Agency. He also had his own Jerry Bick Agency, marketing books for such authors as Jim Thompson and Daniel Mainwaring.

A book collector and a fan of mystery writer Raymond Chandler, Bick began his Hollywood producing career with Altman’s film in 1973. Fascinated with a Chandler comment praising the book “Thieves Like Us” by Edward Anderson, Bick found the book and acquired the film rights. With Altman directing, he produced the picture in 1974.

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Bick also produced “Russian Roulette” in 1975, remade another Chandler tale with “The Big Sleep” starring Robert Mitchum in 1978, and then produced “Swing Shift” starring Goldie Hawn in 1984. He was an executive producer for “Farewell, My Lovely” in 1975 and “Against All Odds” in 1984.

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