Gary Kurtz: Mormon Producer
Gary Douglas Kurtz was a film producer of several blockbuster hits such as Star Wars (now titled Star Wars IV: A New Hope) and The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back). He parted ways with Lucasfilm when he saw the franchise being driven by the merchandising, rather than the storyline. His first corroboration with George Lucas was on American Graffiti, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture for Star Wars.
Kurtz produced The Dark Crystal, which was directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. He worked on Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, but left the project in 1983. He also worked on Disney’s Return to Oz. He also coproduced Slipstream and The Thief and the Cobbler, and was associate producer of Two-Lane Blacktop and Chandler. He was producer and pre-production supervisor for the television series Friends and Heroes. His early work includes acting as an assistant director for Ride in the Whirlwind and as production manager for Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. He worked as an assistant camera operator on The Shooting.
Kurtz is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.