28 Jan 2013

Film producer Lloyd Phillips dies

9:45 pm on 28 January 2013

A New Zealand producer associated with some of the biggest names in Hollywood has died suddenly of a heart attack in the United States.

Lloyd Phillips was producer or executive producer of films starring actors such as Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta Jones.

South African-born Phillips grew up in New Zealand and attended Auckland Grammar School.

He was executive producer of the Quentin Tarantino movie Inglourious Basterds starring Brad Pitt, and executive producer of the 2010 thriller The Tourist, which starred Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.

Early in his career Phillips produced a short film, The Dollar Bottom, which won an Oscar for best short film of 1980. He produced and co-wrote an early New Zealand film Savage Islands starring Tommy Lee Jones.

Weta Workshop founder Sir Richard Taylortold Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme Phillips never forgot his New Zealand colleagues.

He said this was shown when, as producer of the 2005 film The Legend of Zoro, he managed to get 15 New Zealanders onto the project.

Auckland film-maker Catherine Madigan, an early colleague, said he was a fantastic producer who knew how to pull complex films together.

"If you look through his credit list there's quite a few international (films) where huge crews would travel round the world for several months ... they're always the most difficult films to produce and he just knew how to do it."

Phillips died at the age of 63 at Malibu in California.