Writer and director Jonathan Kaufer, who helmed Saul Rubinek in 1982’s Soup For One for Warner Bros and 1997’s Bad Manners starring David Strathairn and Bonnie Bedelia, died October 2 in a car accident while driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. He was 58. The LA-based filmmaker got his start in his late teens while attending Sarah Lawrence College and was tapped to write for ABC’s Mork & Mindy. He was discovered by the director Howard Zieff, who brought him into features to do rewrites on the Barbra Streisand picture The Main Event and, later, the Dudley Moore-starrer Unfaithfully Yours. Kaufer also wrote for television, scripting episodes of ABC’s Holmes And Yo-Yo, NBC’s Quark, and HBO’s Dream On. Kaufer ran in a tight-knit Hollywood circle surrounding the late Zieff, whom he eulogized in 2009 following Zieff’s death: “Howard’s reputation was for working on scripts that somehow never became films. Howard and I would often be in a restaurant when any number of writers he worked with before would come by the table, great writers like Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, Chuck Shyer, Dale Launer, Rick Richter, Robbie Fox… all of whom seemed to approach Howard with a mixture of affection and the bewilderment of a bride left at the altar: ‘Howard, you don’t call anymore!'” Kaufer also had family ties to the industry; he was married to actress Pia Zadora from 1995-2001 and is the brother of Scott Kaufer, former comedy exec at Warner Bros and TV writer/producer (Boston Legal, Memphis Beat). Kaufer is survived by his son Jordan, mother Jimi, father Mac, sister Susan, and brother Scott.
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