Oscar-nominated producer Karolyn Ali has died. Ali, nominated for the 2004 documentary feature Tupac: Resurrection, was 70 and passed away from natural causes August 18 at her home in Los Angeles.
Ali was a collaborator on a wide variety of projects encompassing movies, documentaries, music videos and commercials for more than three decades. Since 2013, Ali had served as executive assistant to Motion Picture Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, a longtime friend.
For her career accomplishments Ali received the Lillian Gish Award from Women in Film, as well as the NAACP/Legal Defense Fund’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
In her early career Ali worked for Benny Ashburn, manager of the Commodores, and she served as served as an executive at Dick Griffey’s SOLAR Records, where she launched into TV commercial and music video production.
She founded Renge Films Inc. in 1984 with Bill Parker and Peter Allen, and they went on to produce commercials for Coca-Cola and McDonalds. Ali also produced more than 200 music videos with Renge including Stevie Wonder’s American Music Award-winning song and video “Part Time Lover.” Her clients included Sinbad, Steele Pulse and Ziggy Marley, Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach.
In 1994 Ali produced with Carolyn Pfeiffer her first feature film, Kla$h, which starred Jasmine Guy and Giancarlo Esposito. She joined Tupac Shakur’s Amaru Entertainment in 2000 as senior production executive. In 2004, she and Lauren Lazin received an Oscar nomination for the documentary feature Tupac: Resurrection.
Ali also was a founding member and board chair of Theatre of Hearts/Youth First Artists-in-Residence, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that mentors under-served youth via fine arts educational workshops.