US TV producer Halmi dies aged 90

Robert Halmi Sr Robert Halmi Sr has been called the last great US television impresario

Prolific US television producer Robert Halmi Sr, whose work won dozens of Emmy Awards, has died at his New York home aged 90.

Halmi, who was born in Hungary, began his career in the US as a photographer before turning his hand to TV.

His many productions included Gypsy starring Bette Midler, Gulliver's Travels and Alice in Wonderland.

Halmi Sr worked with his son Robert Halmi Jr, with the pair making a number of big budget productions in the 1990s.

In 1994, they produced an epic TV remake of Civil War classic Gone With The Wind, which Halmi Sr dubbed "an eight-hour study in American history".

Numerous projects were headed up by big stars and landed impressive ratings, including The Lion in Winter which starred Glenn Close and was screened in 2004.

Halmi began his career in television in the early 1960s and continued to make programmes well into his senior years, including Neverland, based on the story of Peter Pan in 2011, and a remake of Treasure Island a year later.

Glenn Close in The Lion in Winter Glenn Close starred in Halmi's 2004 production of The Lion in Winter

He was also executive producer on the 13-part Olympus mini-series, which has yet to be completed and is due to air next year on the Syfy channel.

In 1993, Halmi said that TV production had turned into a business populated by "money people", saying: "I'm somebody with pretty good taste who goes one step further."

"With the creative process, everything has to be nurtured. I know on every project, every day, where it stands dollars-and-cents-wise, but I also know if someone has a cold," he added.

Aside from numerous prizes for his productions, Halmi was honoured with a prestigious Peabody Award in 1999 for his personal contribution to the business.

He was hailed as "perhaps the last of the great network television impresarios".

Before emigrating to the US, Halmi was twice captured during the Second World War in his native Hungary, once by the Nazis and again by the Soviets while spying on behalf of the Americans.

More on This Story

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


From BBC Culture

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach - why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.