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British Producer Tim Hampton Dies at 65


Tim Hampton - H 2013

Tributes to the producer of Ridley Scott’s "Legend," starring Tom Cruise, flood in from former Monty Python members Terry Jones and Michael Palin, Roman Polanski and others.

LONDON – British movie producer Tim Hampton, whose resume boasts stints at Twentieth Century Fox and also as producer of Ridley Scott’s fantasy adventure starring Tom Cruise, has died.

The movie industry stalwart died peacefully surrounded by his family March 11, 2013 aged 65.

With a background in theater, television and commercials, Hampton began his career as a runner and progressed to working – as both a studio executive and producer – with directors including Jean-Jacques Annaud, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Richard Donner, Hugh Hudson, Peter Medak, Terry Gilliam, George Lucas, Wolfgang Petersen, Roman Polanski, Nic Roeg and Martin Scorsese.

In the early 1970s, Hampton worked as a production or location manager on movies such as Gregory Peck starrer , starring Alan Bates and Janet Suzman, with Peter O’Toole, with Donald Sutherland and with Michael Caine.

Subsequently, he spent 18 months as line producer on the development of Bond producer Harry Saltzman‘s shrunken man project, .

Hampton worked from 1977 to 1979 as production supervisor in the U.S. and France on and , as associate producer on , and also spent time developing projects with Hemdale in the U.S. and Mexico.

In 1979 he was approached by Richard Berger to take up the role of managing director at Twentieth Century Fox Productions, during which time he was closely involved with the production of , , and .

In 1983 Hampton produced , starring Cruise, a production that would be additionally notable for burning to the ground the original Ken Adam designed 007 stage at Pinewood.

Hampton returned to Twentieth Century Fox where he took up the position of vp, worldwide production overseeing titles including and .

In 1987 Hampton collaborated with Roman Polanski on his Hitchcock inspired Paris set thriller and subsequently produced with Marlon Brando, before then continuing his relationship with Twentieth Century Fox, acting as production consultant on movies being shot in Europe including with Michael Douglas.

From 1992 to 1994 he worked as president of production at Cine Vox Entertainment.

Splitting his time between Los Angeles and London, he oversaw all of the company’s development and production activities, including 2 episodes of the fantasy and .

New Line’s $80 million reinvention of the franchise starring William Hurt, Gary Oldman and Heather Graham was Hampton’s last production.

He is survived by his wife Anna, his three boys Matthew, Piers and Tom from his first marriage to Sally, and grandson William.

Paul Higginson, executive vp Twentieth Century Fox said: "With great friends we may seldom see them but always carry them in our hearts and minds. Tim was one such friend. Tim was always calm, even when the 007 stage burned down taking the set with it! Most of all I loved his wicked, irreverent and endearing sense of humor! All who knew him will have memories to treasure."

Monty Python’s Terry Jones described Hamton as being "so fresh in my mind, so lively, and so concerned, and so capable," while fellow former Python Michael Palin said: "I have very fond memories of Tim. He kept a remarkably cool head amongst all the madness and he was damn good at his job too…all the Pythons liked and respected him."

Polanski said: "Desperately sad news. Tim’s warm personality, humor and just outstanding professionalism made him a joy to work alongside… we’ll all miss him."

John Quested, chairman The Goldcrest Group noted: "When, at Hemdale, we had no money to complete the picture he would turn to me with the slightest smile and say – John, it will only get better. Always loyal and sorely missed."

David Korda, co-managing director Film Finances, said: "I shall always think of Tim with love and affection – it was a privilege to have him as a friend."

Peter Medak, the Hungarian/British director for whom Hampton produced several films in addition to the background footage for Pink Floyd’s revolutionary world tour said: "When I think of Tim he just brings smiles into my heart.  We all loved him and will love him forever."

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