Featured obituary: Arthur Marks was a TV, film producer

In this Dec. 2018, photo provided by Paul Marks shows his father, film and TV producer Arthur Marks. Longtime producer and director Arthur Marks, who helmed many episodes of the "Perry Mason" television series and produced several hit blaxploitation films, has died. He was 92. Arthur Marks died Nov. 13 at his home in Woodland Hills, Calif., his son Paul Marks said Saturday, Nov. 23.

LOS ANGELES — Longtime producer and director Arthur Marks, who helmed many episodes of the “Perry Mason” TV series and produced several hit blaxploitation films, died at age 92.

Marks passed away Nov. 13 at his home in Woodland Hills, California, his son Paul said Saturday.

“My brother and I learned everything about the film industry from my father,” said Paul Marks, who is a TV producer. “He was a pillar of the industry. He taught us the morals of the industry and how to treat people.”

Arthur Marks’ grandparents and parents worked in the film business, and he grew up in it.

Marks was the director and producer of 80 episodes of “Perry Mason.” He also directed episodes of the TV shows “I Spy,” “Mannix” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

He made several films aimed at black audiences in the 1970s. They include “Detroit 9000,” which was re-released in theaters in 1998 by Quentin Tarantino, and two films starring actress Pam Grier: “Friday Foster” and “Bucktown.”

“I believe when you put in the mix; a good script, a terrific cast, an experienced and perceptive director and a professional production what is the result? A film that audiences will enjoy and play eight weeks in a downtown theater in Chicago, Detroit or Kansas City,” Marks said. “My intention was never to sell my films as a “black” film, rather a film that will damn well entertain for 120 minutes…with excitement, passion and a heart moving story.”

In addition to his son Paul, Marks is survived by another son, Beau; two daughters, Kathleen and Elizabeth; six grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.

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