Stuart Cornfeld, the producing partner with Ben Stiller on Zoolander, Dodgeball and Tropic Thunder, died Friday of cancer. He was 67.
His friend, actress Liliana Greenfield-Sanders confirmed the news on Twitter.
Cornfeld was born in Tarzana in 1952, and graduated from the American Film Institute in 1975. While working with Anne Bancroft on two Directing Workshop for Women projects, she introduced him to husband Mel Brooks. That led to Cornfeld becoming the assistant on 1977’s High Anxiety.
He worked on several other Bancroft and Brooks projects, becoming the executive producer on the Brooks-produced The Elephant Man.
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Cornfeld worked on a few projects in the 1980s, most notably David Cronenberg’s The Fly in 1986.
In 1999, he teamed with Ben Stiller to launch Red Hour Films, and comedy gold ensued. Together, they produced Zoolander (2001), Duplex (2003), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Dodgeball (2004) with Stiller and Vince Vaughn, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (2006), and Blades of Glory (2007).
The comedy run ended with horror thriller The Ruins (2008), but returned with Tropic Thunder (2008) with Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr. and Stiller. The film yielded an Academy Award nomination for Robert Downey Jr. and won best comedy at the Broadcast Critics Film Awards and the Hollywood Film Awards.
Cornfeld produced The Polka King (2017) and did some recent television work. He retired from the entertainment business about two years ago.
He is survived by his ex-wife, Johanna Went, and sisters Lois and Ellen.
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