Howard W. Koch

LOS ANGELES--Howard W. Koch, a veteran producer and director, died Feb. 16, 2001, of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 84. Koch was connected with one film featured on MST3K: He directed 1957's "Untamed Youth," featured in episode 112.

Born in New York in 1916, Koch got started in the movie business in Universal's contract and playdate department and then moved to 20th Century-Fox as a film librarian. He got his first assistant director job with 1944's "The Keys to the Kingdom." In the early 1950s, he joined a company that produced several successful films for United Artists with Koch as director, including the popular 1953 Western "War Paint." Koch also worked as a director on such TV series as "Maverick", "Hawaiian Eye", "Cheyenne" and "The Untouchables." In 1961, Frank Sinatra asked Koch to run his Sinatra Enterprises. Koch served as executive producer on several features for the star, including: "Sergeants 3," "None but the Brave" and "Robin and the Seven Hoods."

He was executive-producer for 1962's memorable "The Manchurian Candidate". He became the production head at Paramount in 1964, but in 1966 departed to form a new production, which supplied major features to Paramount for years. Koch served as president of the motion picture academy from 1977 to 1979 and produced eight Academy Award shows. He also sat on the boards at the Directors Guild of American and the Producers Guild of America. He was still on staff as a producer at Paramount at the time of his death. Reportedly well-liked in Hollywood, Koch was a recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1990.