Krantz, Steve 1923-2007 (Stephen Falk Krantz)

views updated

Krantz, Steve 1923-2007 (Stephen Falk Krantz)


Born May 20, 1923, in New York, NY; died of complications from pneumonia, January 4, 2007, in Los Angeles, CA; son of Philip and Rose Krantz; married Judith Tarcher (a writer), February 19, 1954; children: Nicholas, Anthony. Education: Columbia College, B.A, 1943.


Film and television producer. National Broadcasting Corp., program director, 1953-54; Columbia Pictures, from director of program development to vice president of world sales and production, 1954-56; Steve Krantz Productions, president. Producer of films, including Fritz the Cat, Cinemation, 1972; Heavy Traffic, American International, 1973; The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, American International, 1974; Cooley High, American International, 1975; Ruby, 1977; Which Way Is Up?, Universal, 1977; Jennifer, American International, 1978; and Swap Meet, Dimension, 1979. Producer of animated television shows The Marvel Superheroes, 1966, Rocket Robin Hood, 1967, Max the 2000-Year-Old Mouse, 1967, and Spider-Man, 1968-70; producer of miniseries Sins, CBS, 1986. Executive producer of television movies, including Princess Daisy, NBC, 1983; I'll Take Manhattan, CBS, 1987; Dadah Is Death, CBS, 1988; Deadly Medicine, 1991; Deadly Matrimony, 1992; Torch Song, 1993; House of Secrets, 1993; Jack Reed: Badge of Honor, 1993; Children of the Dark, 1994; Jack Reed: A Search for Justice, 1994; Dazzle, 1995; Jack Reed: One of Our Own, 1995; and Jack Reed: Death and Vengeance, 1997; executive producer of miniseries Mistral's Daughter, CBS, 1984, and Till We Meet Again, CBS, 1989. Creator and producer of television programs, including The Tonight Show and The Kate Smith Show, 1950-52; creator of the series Dennis the Menace, Hazel, and Winston Churchill—The Valiant Years. Military service: U.S. Army Air Force; served during World War II; became second lieutenant.


Independent Producers Association (president, 1951-52), Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.


(Author of story) Ruby (screenplay), 1977.

(Author of story) Jennifer (screenplay), American International, 1978.

Swap Meet (screenplay), Dimension, 1979.

Laurel Canyon (novel), 1979.

Skycastle, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1981.


Steve Krantz enjoyed a long and successful career in both film and television. Going back to the early days of television in the 1950s, he worked on such programs as The Tonight Show, Hazel, and Dennis the Menace. Starting his own company in the 1960s, he purchased rights to some of the Marvel comics and created cartoon television shows, such as Spider-Man. Krantz's career took an odd turn in the early 1970s when he produced the famous adult animated feature Fritz the Cat, later also working on its poorly received sequel, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat.

Later in the 1970s Krantz produced comedy films such as Cooley High and Which Way Is Up? By the 1980s he was focusing primarily on television. Married to popular novelist Judith Krantz, he turned many of her books into miniseries. Both professionally and personally, the husband-and-wife team clicked, and together they were considered a kind of cottage industry within Hollywood. Krantz was also the author of two of his own novels: Laurel Canyon and Skycastle. In a New York Times obituary, Douglas Martin described the books as "steamy novels," the former being "a drama of depravity in Hollywood's high circles that made best-seller lists."



Broadcasting, February 10, 1992, "Judith Krantz and Her Husband, Producer Steve Krantz, Have Signed a Long-Term Agreement with ABC," p. 80.

Library Journal, May 15, 1982, Donna L. Nerboso, review of Skycastle, p. 1011.

Los Angeles Business Journal, January 3, 2000, "Persuasive Partner," p. 4.

New York Times, August 10, 1986, "They're Keeping Their Mini-series All in the Family," p. 23; March 11, 1987, "I'll Take Manhattan," p. 29.

Publishers Weekly, March 5, 1982, review of Skycastle, p. 57; April 8, 1983, review of Skycastle, p. 57.

TV Guide, November 18, 1989, "Author Judith Krantz Tells: Why TV Strips the Sex out of My Novels," p. 2.

Wall Street Journal, February 23, 1987, "I'll Take Manhattan," p. 23.



Daily Variety, January 10, 2007, Pat Saperstein, "Steve Krantz," p. 12.

Hollywood Reporter, January 17, 2007, p. 36.

New York Times, January 12, 2007, Douglas Martin, "Steve Krantz, 83, Maker of TV Mini-Series, Dies."

Variety, January 15, 2007, p. 48.