Michael Jay (Mike) Rauch, film producer and longtime Showtime executive, died July 2 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Studio City. He was 69.
Born in Troy, NY, Rauch graduated from New York University with a major in art. He began his entertainment industry career shortly thereafter, landing a spot in the DGA trainee program, where he worked on such films as The French Connection and The Godfather. For the next 20 years, he worked consistently in New York, wracking up credits that included stints as production supervisor on The Cotton Club, unit production manager on Live And Let Die, Eddie Macon’s Run, and Brewster’s Millions, and assistant director on Superman, Dressed To Kill, Last Embrace and Simon among many other films and TV series. Rauch went on to work as a producer on the features Blue Steel, Reversal Of Fortune and Point Break.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1992, where he produced the miniseries Wild Palms. The following year Rauch joined Showtime, where he remained until he retired in 2008 as EVP Production. During his tenure there, he supervised production of more than 140 films and numerous series including Queer As Folk, The L Word and The Tudors.
Rauch is survived by his wife, Vibeke Arntzen; his brother, Stuart and his nephew Dr. Dan Rauch of Scarsdale, NY. There will be a celebration of his life July 12 at Temple Adat Ari El, in Valley Village, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Rauch’s name to the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society.