Filmmaker Paul Mazursky, who captured the 1960s and ’70s counterculture with a string of successful movies, died June 30 in Los Angeles. He was 84.
Born Irwin Mazursky in 1930 to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, the filmmaker later became a proclaimed atheist. But his affection for Jewish characters and Jewish humor pervaded much of his work. He changed his name to Paul when he acted in his first movie, Stanley Kubrick’s debut feature, “Fear and Desire,” in 1953.
The movies he directed and wrote captured the freewheeling, free-loving, drug-smoking era of the ’60s and ’70s, including such films as “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” “An Unmarried Woman” and “Harry and Tonto.” He also wrote and directed “Down and Out in Beverly Hills.”
Mazursky’s work spanned six decades, including the 1989 adaptation of an Isaac Bashevis Singer novel called “Enemies, a Love Story.” In recent years he appeared in several episodes of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Mazursky was nominated for five Oscars but never won. — jta