Mace Neufeld, the producer whose star-driven action films were blockbusters, died overnight in his sleep at his home in Beverly Hills, his family told Deadline. He was 93.
Neufeld’s hit films included The Omen and its sequels, The Equalizer pics and several adaptations of Tom Clancy-penned Jack Ryan thrillers including Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears and The Hunt for Red October. He was Emmy-nominated for East of Eden and exec produced the Prime Video series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan starring John Kasinski.
Deadline has learned that Neufeld was working on a third Equalizer pic and another Tom Clancy series for Prime Video at the time of his death.
Neufeld was at his zenith in the ’90s when, with partner Bob Rehme, he formed Neufeld/Rehme and produced a string of hit films such as Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Beverly Hills Cop III. Rehme eventually left the partnership to become President of the Movie Academy, and Neufeld carried on under his Mace Neufeld Productions banner.
Neufeld made his mark after the partnership ended, as well. From the late ’90s through 2018, he produced The Saint, Invictus with Clint Eastwood, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, The Equalizer and Equalizer 2 — both starring Denzel Washington — and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan for TV.
Morgan Freeman, who received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Invictus, and his Revelations Entertainment partner, producer Lori McCreary, released a statement to Deadline following news of Neufeld’s passing saying, “It was both a privilege and an honor to have known as well as worked with Mace. May he Rest in Peace.”
Born on July 13, 1928 in New York City, Neufeld began his career writing songs for artists like Dorothy Loudon, Betty Clooney and Sammy Davis Jr. He also wrote the theme for the animated series Heckle and Jeckle.
He segued into management and developed a client list that included Captain and Tennille, Don Adams, Jay Ward, Randy Newman, The Carpenters, Gabe Kaplan, Don Knotts, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and Jim Croce. He produced shows like The Captain and Tennille in the early ’70s and also was a co-EP on the short-lived 1978 NBC sitcom Quark, which starred Richard Benjamin.
Neufeld broke into film by producing The Omen for 20th Century Fox. The horror hit spawned a series of film and TV projects that ran through the made-for-TV movie Omen IV: The Awakening in 1991, which Neufeld EP’d. Other film producing credits include Sahara (2005), Gods and Generals (2003), Lost in Space (1998), Flight of the Intruder (1991), Transylvania 6-5000 (1985) and Gene Wilder’s The Frisco Kid (1979).
Along with the Emmy nom, the producer’s accolades include the 2003 Career Achievement Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the 1994 Showmanship Award from the ICG Publicists Guild, the 1993 ShoWest Award for Producer of the Year, the Career Achievement Award in Producing from the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Christopher Award, the National Board of Review Award, the Critics’ Choice Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He was also on the Board of Trustees of the American Film Institute and a mentor at the USC Ray Stark Producing Program.
Neufeld was predeceased by his first wife Helen Katz Neufeld in 1995. He is survived by his wife Diane Conn and three children, Brad Neufeld, Glenn Neufeld and Nancy Neufeld Callaway, as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of whom he considered his greatest works.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Neufeld’s memory to City of Hope and the Hope for Depression Research Foundation.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
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