Christopher Pearce, Producer and Cannon Films Exec, Dies at 73
Christopher Pearce, who worked as unit production manager on Cannon Films productions such as “Barfly” and “Runaway Train” and later served as CEO of Cannon Group, died Dec. 4. He was 73.
Pearce headed production for the prolific studio, led by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, that churned out genre fare and dabbled in arthouse films during the video boom of the 1980s. He worked as unit production manager, executive in charge of production or executive producer on Cannon titles including “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” “Revenge of the Ninja,” “Lady Chatterly’s Lover,” “Grace Quigley,” and “The Mummy Lives.”
After disgraced Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti and Pathe Communications took over Cannon in 1989, Pearce served as CEO of the reorganized Cannon Pictures from 1991 to 1994.
Pearce appeared in two recent documentaries about the colorful production company, “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films” and “The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films.”
He left Cannon in 1994 to partner with Globus at Global Pictures, Inc. and retired from filmmaking in 2000.
Before moving to Cannon, Pearce worked with Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas at Zoetrope Studios during the production of “The Godfather” and “American Graffiti.” Born in the U.K., Pearce received a law degree at London University.
He is survived by his wife, Lyudmila and her son Louis.
Christopher Pearce, Former Head of Production at Cannon Films, Dies at 73
He helped the famed B-movie house put out an astounding 43 films in 1985, then served as chairman and CEO. Christopher Pearce, who in the 1980s served as head of production of Cannon Films, the legendary B-movie house known for churning out a slew of action fare, has died. He was 73.
Pearce died Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla., after a battle with cancer, family friend Polly Chung told The Hollywood Reporter.
Working for Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus at Cannon, Pearce helped take the company’s production output from a handful of films per year to an astounding 43 in 1985. Movies made by Cannon that year included Death Wish 3, American Ninja, Missing in Action 2: The Beginning, Runaway Train, Thunder Alley, Hot Resort and Invasion U.S.A.
After Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti and Pathe Communications took over Cannon, Pearce became chairman and CEO of the company in 1991, overseeing contract negotiations, marketing and advertising and the management of more than 5,000 employees.
He left Cannon in 1994 with Globus to launch the short-lived Global Pictures.
Pearce was born in the U.K. and attended Lord Wandsworth College and London University, where he received a law degree.
He collaborated with directors Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas at Zoetrope Studios, where he participated in the making of The Godfather (1972) and American Graffiti (1973), among other notable films.
Pearce retired from filmmaking in 2000 and since then had served as an adviser on numerous projects.
Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Luda, and her son Louis.