Kahli Small, who worked on the films Bohemian Rhapsody and Milk, died on Sunday. She was 53.
She began her career with Focus Features, joining in 2003 as a production executive who contributed to the creation of the films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Milk and Eastern Promises, among 20 films. She spent her last four years there as an EVP.
From there, she joined production company GK Films as EVP of production and development, helping to develop Bohemian Rhapsody into an Academy Award winner.
Small then joined NBC as SVP of drama development, and rose to EVP at the network.
“This is heartbreaking. Kahli Small was first and foremost a filmmaker’s executive,” said a statement from Focus Features CEO James Schamus, co-founder David Linde, and former president John Lyons. “For Kahli, a project was only worth championing if it commanded true passion from great talent. And champion she did: every day she worked with us at Focus was a day fueled by passion and belief in the transformative power of good work. In struggling with this insidious disease for over a decade, we never once heard her mention her struggle or let it interfere with her work load and commitment, and she was a terrific and loving mother to Bo and [wife] to Jeff. A force, that Kahli! She will be sorely missed.”
Survivors include her husband, Jeff Okin, an Anonymous Content manager and producer; and her son, Bo.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Cedars-Sinai to help support metastatic cancer research.
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