Mickey Zide, an exhibition and distribution specialist who later went into producing films including “Dirty Mary Crazy Larry,’ died Nov. 10 in La Quinta, Calif. of natural causes. He was 90.
Born in Detroit, Zide was the third generation of his family to work in the film business, and got his start working as a salesman for Columbia Pictures in Detroit. His father Jack and brother Martin owned Allied Film Exchange, the largest independent distributor in Midwest, which released films for companies including AIP, Crown and Atlantic Releasing.
He became VP of sales for Sam Arkoff’s American International Pictures, where he booked films such as “Foxy Brown,” “Last House on the Left” and “The Pit and the Pendulum.”
After AIP producer James H. Nicholson left to form Academy Pictures, Zide joined him and served as associate producer on the Peter Fonda-Susan George starrer “Dirty Mary Crazy Larry.” Distributed by 20th Century Fox, the road crime thriller became a surprise hit and ended up as Fox’s most successful film of 1974.
His other production credits included Academy’s supernatural horror film “The Legend of Hell House,” starring Roddy McDowell, and Italian production “Werewolf Woman” for Dimension Pictures.
Zide later established Academy Film Service, which specialized in film storage and rejuvenation for studios.
He is survived by his daughter Debbie, sons Larry and Rick Zide and nephew Warren, producer of the “American Pie” and ‘Final Destination” franchises.
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