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JOE SALEH, 1934 – 2007

in Filmmaking
on Apr 26, 2007

I received this email of an obituary that Jackie Raynal wrote for Joe Saleh, who died at 73 last week of complications from a stroke in Paris. Saleh produced many Merchant-Ivory movies and also founded the Angelika movie theater.

Joseph J.M. Saleh who produced many of the Ivory-Merchant movies, created and founded the famous Angelika movie theater multiplex in New York, died in Paris last wek.

Saleh financed the documentary STREETWISE which received the 1985 Academy Awards Nomination. He was also resposible for the developing the first network election night forecasting system in 1964.

He was born January 18th,1934 in Hamadan, Iran and came to New York in the 40’s. After graduating from Colgate University he did graduate work in sociology at Columbia University.

He became an associate Director of Research at CBS, Where he had the opportunity to develop the first network election night forecasting system in 1964. He later had a position with Columbia Pictures as Director of Research.

In the 70’s he produced four feature films,including BOMBAY TALKIE and SAVAGES with the filmmaking team of James Ivory and the late Ismail Merchant.

He was also a successful real estate developer during the 1980’s. It was during this period that he created and build the first multiplex Movie Center in Soho that showcased independent films and created a social climate for exhibitions and “Cafe Dialogue”.

Together with his booker, Jeffrey Jacobs, he helped launched such commercial hit as DRUGSTORE COWBOY, THE CRYING GAME and PULP FICTION at the Angelika Theater.

Mr. Saleh was also responsible for the distribution of over 70 films in the US. among them: SWEET LORAINNE, THE SUICIDE CLUB (he produced and financed those two films ) and the Italian classic masterpiece WE, THE LIVING. He also distributed ON VALENTINE DAY,1918 (written by Academy Award Wnner Horton Foote), LIQUID SKY and END OF THE LINE among others.

In 1994 he received an award from the City of New York as Cinematic Entrepeneur of the Year.

He is survived by his daughters Jessica and Eva Saleh,his first wife Angelika, his sister Angela, his mother Naima Saleh of Fort Lauderdale and his second wife Jackie Raynal who is a filmmaker and prior owner of Bleecker Street Cinemas and the Carnegie-Hall Cinemas.

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