May 28, 2009
Thanks to a tip from author Jim Rosin, I’ve done some checking and verified the death of producer Richard Goldstone, on March 7, 2007. Goldstone was born on July 24, 1912, so he would have been 94 at the time. As far as I know, his death has not been reported anywhere until now.
Goldstone was a veteran screenwriter turned producer whose early career coalesced in MGM’s short subjects department during its heyday. After that his name appears on some good films noir, including Robert Wise’s The Set-Up, Gerald Mayer’s Dial 1119, and Anthony Mann’s The Tall Target.
In the fifties, Goldstone moved over to Twentieth Century-Fox and into television. He is credited as the producer of Adventures in Paradise during most of its first two seasons, but seems to have left less of a creative mark on the show than some of the other members of the show’s large staff (which included Dominick Dunne and later William Self). In his memoirs, Paradise producer William Froug depicts Goldstone as a passive personality, willing to defer to Froug on key story matters; he may have handled mainly the physical production.
The same arrangement seems to have been in effect on Peyton Place, another Fox show, which Goldstone produced during its first season. But no one I’ve talked to from Peyton Place remembers Goldstone, and the executive producer, Paul Monash, kept tight control over the story content and casting. Goldstone also filled in for Gene Levitt as producer of a few Combat segments during the 1963-1964 season.
I never know quite what to do with these belated obituaries when I come across them. I’ve run a couple on the blog over the past year and a half. They’re not exactly news, but it seems to me that the information should be recorded in some reliable spot on the internet. It used to be that the trade papers, or just Variety at least, would report the deaths of every small-part actor, assistant director, or makeup man in the industry – and very often, the spouses, parents, or children of same. But the filmmaking community isn’t a community any more. Now if you’re an industry veteran and you die, and a member of your family thinks to fax over a press release, the trades might reprint it, albeit without any further reporting, proofreading, or fact-checking. If you’re lucky.