“Roger Corman, Hollywood Mentor and ‘King of the Bs,’ Passes Away at 98”

Roger William Corman, born on April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan, was a true legend in the vibrant world of American cinema. Fondly referred to as the “King of B-Movies”, Corman blazed trails in independent filmmaking like no other.

He peacefully passed away on May 9, 2024, at the remarkable age of 98.

Roger Corman
Roger Corman. Los Angeles 1978 Elisa Leonelli/REX/Shutterstock

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Early Life and Career

Corman kicked off his Hollywood journey as a messenger at 20th Century Fox, later climbing the ranks to become a story analyst. His breakthrough came in 1953 when he sold his debut script, “The House in the Sea,” later adapted and released as “Highway Dragnet” (1954). Unhappy with the outcome, Corman pivoted to producing, launching his maiden film, “Monster from the Ocean Floor” (1954).

Roger Corman: The B-Movie King

Corman was celebrated for his energetic, budget-friendly genre films spanning horror, action, science fiction, and even some family-friendly fare. One of his standout achievements was “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960), famously filmed in just two days and a night. Despite the constraints of limited budgets and tight schedules, Corman’s films consistently shone with creativity and innovation.

Legacy and Influence

Corman’s impact on Hollywood is immeasurable. He served as a mentor and launching pad for numerous budding film directors, including Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Peter Bogdanovich. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in kickstarting the careers of actors like Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd and William Shatner.

Life and Death

In recognition of his significant contributions, Corman was honored with an Academy Honorary Award in 2009 “for his rich engendering of films and filmmakers.” His films were groundbreaking and rebellious, capturing the essence of their time.

Corman was married to Julie Corman, and together they raised four children. He peacefully passed away on May 9, 2024, at his home in Santa Monica, California. In a statement released by his family, they shared, “When asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, ‘I was a filmmaker, just that.’”

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