December 10, 2018

Oscar-Winning ‘Platoon’ Producer Arnold Kopelson Dies at 83

Arnold Kopelson

Movie producer Arnold Kopelson, whose films include “The Fugitive,” “Se7en,” and the Oscar-winning Vietnam War drama “Platoon,” died of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills on Oct 8. He was 83.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Kopelson was an entertainment and banking lawyer before he began his show business career in 1972, founding Ocean Film Sales to distribute American independent films internationally. He later became a producer with over 100 films to his credit, including “Falling Down,” “Eraser,” and “U.S. Marshalls.”

His movies range from the raucous comedy “Porky’s” to the Holocaust drama “Triumph of the Spirit,” about an imprisoned boxer (Willem Dafoe) forced to fight for his life in the ring that was set in and filmed entirely on location in Auschwitz.

Kopelson, a member of the Board of Directors of the CBS Corporation from 2007-2018, served on the Executive Committee of the Producer’s

Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was a member of the Board of Mentors of the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producer’s Program at the University of Southern California.

Sharing his expertise and experience, he lectured at Harvard Business School, American Film Institute, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, New York Law School, The Writer’s Guild of America, The Independent Feature Project West, The Kagan Seminar, USC and UCLA.

In 1998, Kopelson Received the New York Law School Distinguished Alumnus Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He is survived by Anne Kopelson, his wife and business partner of 42 years, and three children, Peter, Evan and Stephanie.