International sales veteran, former actor was 91

Mark Damon, an actor turned independent sales executive who was a force in foreign distribution and film markets for decades, died Sunday in Los Angeles, according to his wife. He was 91.

Damon won the Golden Globe for most promising newcomer for his starring role in the 1960s “House of Usher” for director Roger Corman, who died on Thursday. He then appeared in numerous spaghetti westerns and other B-movies shot in Europe, including Johnny. Yuma” to Mario Bava’s “Black Sabbath”.

Born Alan Harris in Chicago, Damon earned an MBA at UCLA and then moved to Rome, where he launched a busy acting career. When he returned to the United States, he founded the Producers Sales Organization to bring American independent films to international distributors and helped launch the American Film Market and the Independent Film & Television Alliance.

He explained how his business started in 2013 diversity Profile: “It was very hard in 1975. At that time, producers typically found funding from private sources. They could not use foreign contracts as security; This is something our company kind of invented. (The producers’ distribution organization sold “Never Say Never Again,” the only James Bond film ever licensed by an independent company, to independent international distributors.) They tried to get advances from domestic distributors, but the idea Using foreign contracts as security was not the case at the time. And most of the pictures came from big studios. Back then, independents only made tiny, low-budget films. There were no big-budget pictures made by independents,” Damon said.

The companies Damon led as an international sales representative included PSO, Vision International, MDP Worldwide and Foresight Unlimited.

He has been involved in the production of more than 70 films, including executive producer of The Neverending Story, Das Boot, Short Circuit, The Lost Boys, 8 Million Ways to Die, 9 1 /2 Weeks” “Wild Orchid”, “The Upside of Anger” and “Clan of the Cave Bear”.

He also produced the 2003 Patty Jenkins biopic Monster, for which Charlize Theron won the Oscar for lead actress.

More recently, Damon founded Foresight Unlimited and served as executive producer of 2 Guns alongside Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

The 2008 book “From Cowboy to Mogul to Monster,” written by Linda Schreyer and Damon, told the story of his playboy years in Rome and his years in the independent film business, with “juicy behind-the-scenes anecdotes” about the making of many films, it said in the table of contents.

In 2015, when he was in his 80s, he said diversity It was his 40th consecutive year at Cannes. “We work about 17 hours a day,” he said of his sales work at the festival. Asked if he goes to festivals and market parties: “I average one or two a night, for six nights,” Damon said.

He is survived by his wife, Maggie Markov Damon; son Jonathan; Daughter Alexis Damon Ribaut and son-in-law Mathieu Ribaut.