Entertainment & Arts

Paul Mazursky, Unmarried Woman director, dies at 84

Paul Mazursky on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Paul Mazursky was known for his affectionate satirisation of American society

Director and screenwriter Paul Mazursky, best known for the films An Unmarried Woman and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, has died at the age of 84.

He died of a pulmonary cardiac arrest at a Los Angeles hospital on Monday, a family member said.

Mazursky was praised for his sympathetic satires of the angst-ridden US society of the late 1960s and '70s.

He was also an actor and was Oscar nominated five times over a career spanning more than 40 years.

His other notable films include 1984's Moscow on the Hudson starring Robin Williams and 1986's Down and Out in Beverly Hills featuring Bette Midler and Nick Nolte.

Mazursky was also the co-creator of the much-loved 1960s music and comedy TV series The Monkees.

Image copyright Getty
Image caption Paul Mazursky was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Writers Guild of America Awards earlier this year

Born in Brooklyn, he began his career as an actor after taking roles in student plays.

He broke into Hollywood in Stanley Kubrick's Fear and Desire in 1953 and appeared in episodes of TV dramas the Twilight Zone and Blackboard Jungle.

Later in life he appeared in shows including The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Mazursky's first film-writing credit was for the Peter Sellers comedy I Love You, Alice B Toklas in 1968.

His 1969 film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, starring Natalie Wood and Robert Culp, was his directorial debut and also earned him the first of his Oscar nominations for screenwriting.

The other films for which his writing skills were singled out were 1974's Harry and Tonto, 1978's An Unmarried Woman and Enemies: A Love Story from 1989.

An Unmarried Woman was nominated for a best picture Oscar, with its star Jill Clayburgh also up for the best actress Academy Award.

In February, Mazursky was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Writers Guild of America and last year was granted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He is survived by his wife and daughter.

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