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March 29, 2006

Director-Producer Dan Curtis Passes

Winds of War and Much More

Los Angeles, CA – Dan Curtis, the producer and director best known for transforming author Herman Wouk's sweeping novels The Winds of War and War and Remembrance into acclaimed miniseries, died Monday at his Los Angeles home. Curtis, who was 78, passed away due to complications of a brain tumor.

Curtis, whose television career spanned 50 years, was also creator of the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, and a producer of the athletic series Challenge Golf and The CBS Match Play Golf Classic, for which he earned an Emmy Award for achievement in sports. More recently, he directed the 2005 TV movies Saving Milly and Our Fathers.

Born Daniel Mayer Cherkoss in Bridgeport, Conn., Curtis graduated from Syracuse University in 1950 and began his TV career as a salesman of syndicated programs.

Curtis' success with the horror-inflected Dark Shadows, which ran from 1966-1971, spawned a pair of feature films, House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows, both of which he directed, and a 1991 NBC series.

The apogee of his career came with the production of the 16-hour ABC drama The Winds of War, which starred Robert Mitchum and Ali McGraw, followed by the 29-hour sequel, War and Remembrance, which starred Mitchum and Jane Seymour, and aired in 1988-1989.

Curtis' other credits include the 1970s TV movies The Night Strangler and Trilogy of Terror, as well as the 2005 remake of the '70s horror series The Night Stalker.

Curtis' wife of 54 years, Norma Mae Klein, died March 7 of heart failure. He is survived by his daughters, Cathy and Tracy.

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