Sarky Mouradian, an Armenian writer-director who also hosted a U.S. TV series in which he interviewed celebrity countrymen, has died. He was 90.
The Armenian Film Society said he died February 10 in Los Angeles, where he’d been based for decades.
“It is with deepest sorrow that I inform everyone of the passing of my beloved grandfather, Sarky Mouradian,” his grandson Tristan Mouradian said in a statement. “He passed peacefully and leaves behind a legacy spanning decades. His influence on Armenian television, music, and film in America will never be forgotten.”
The Armenian Film Society said in a statement: “The passing of Sarky Mouradian is a huge loss, not just for the Armenian community but for the film community at large. Mr. Mouradian was a pioneer in more ways than one and was prolific up until his passing at the age of 90. The Armenian community will remember him for his incredible contributions to film and television.”
Born on November 15, 1931, in Beirut, Mouradian began performing music at the age of 16. In 1955, he moved to Boston to continue his education in music then relocated to Los Angeles in 1960 to pursue his passion for film. There he attended the Theater of Arts and began working in the industry.
He wrote and directed such films as Sons of Sassoun (1973), Tears of Happiness (1975), Promise of Love (1978) and Alicia (2002). Mouradian also successfully adapted Franz Werfel’s 1933 novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh into a feature film in 1982, after numerous unsuccessful attempts by filmmakers raning from Louis B. Mayer to Sylvester Stallone, the Armenian Film Society. The adaptation repeatedly was objected to by the Turkish government.
Known as “the Godfather of Armenian Television in the U.S,” Mouradian established one of the first Armenian TV shows in Los Angeles in 1978. Armenian Teletime featured interviews with various Armenian celebrity performers and politicians.
He continued his work in cultural preservation and documentation on YouTube, archiving decades of footage while producing original episodes of his popular show up until his passing.
In 2016, he was awarded a gold medal by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.
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