Mardik Martin, a screenwriter who collaborated on such films as Raging Bull and Mean Streets, died today in Los Angeles. He was 82 and his death was confirmed by former WGA West president Howard Rodman in a tweet. No cause of death was given.
Martin was born in Iran and lived in Iraq, entering the film world by working for a distributor during his teens. He moved to New York to attend New York University as an economics major. But the lure of film proved greater, and his immersion in the film department led to meeting Martin Scorsese. Their friendship led to a life-long collaboration, including work on Scorsese’s feature debut, Who’s That Knocking at My Door?”
Rodman’s tweet recalled Martin fondly. “To say that Mardik was one of a kind is a wild understatement. No one—no one—will ever fill those shoes. May he rest in well-earned peace.”
Martin co-wrote Mean Streets with Scorsese, and co-wrote New York, New York with Earl Mac Rauch. Martin later moved to Hollywood and worked for Chartoff-Winkler Productions, writing Ken Russell’s Valentino. He renewed ties with Scorsese on his documentary The Last Waltz, the final concert by The Band. Martin wrote the documentary’s treatment.
His key contribution came in 1980’s Raging Bull, where he co-wrote the screenplay with Paul Schrader and earned a Golden Globe nomination.
To cap his career, Martin became a professor at NYU and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
A documentary about his life, “Mardik: Baghdad to Hollywood,” was made in 2008.
No survivors or memorial plans were immediately available.