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Mr. Kershner on the set of Martin Scorsese’s

The Last Temptation of Christ in Morocco

Irvin Kershner's background is a mixture of music and art. The

study of music (violin, viola, and composition) was the most important

activity of his early years. He attended the Temple University - Tyler

School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Later, he went to New York and

Provincetown to study with the famous painting teacher Hans Hofmann.

He then moved to Los Angeles where he studied photography at the Art

Center College of Design. Mr. Kershner's accomplishments as painter,

photographer and musician are all evident in his work as a film director.


He began his film career at the USC - School of Cinema teaching

photography and taking cinema courses under Slavko Vorkapich, the

great montage artist and then dean of the School of Cinema. Kersh next

accepted a job as still photographer on a State Department film project

in Iran under the Four Point Program, which ultimately led to an assign-

ment as a director and cinematographer of documentaries in Iran,

Greece and Turkey with the United States Information Service.


When he returned to the States, he and the late Paul Coates

developed CONFIDENTIAL FILE, a documentary television series. Kersh

worked as writer, director, cinematographer and editor. He later

developed and directed the television series THE REBEL, as well as the

pilots for PEYTON PLACE, CAIN'S ONE HUNDRED, PHILIP MARLOWE, etc.


Some of his best known films are THE HOODLUM PRIEST which

starred Don Murray, THE LUCK OF GINGER COFFEY with Robert Shaw

and Mare Ure (this film in recent years has attained cult status), A FINE

MADNESS, showcasing the talents of Sean Connery, Joanne Woodward

and Jean Seberg, THE FLIM FLAM MAN starring George C. Scott, UP THE

SANDBOX with Barbra Streisand, RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE

starring Richard Harris, the critically acclaimed TV movie RAID ON

ENTEBBE which was nominated for 9 Emmys, including Best Direction,

THE EYES OF LAURA MARS starring Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones,

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, second film in the STAR WARS trilogy and

one of the top 10 highest grossing films of all time, NEVER SAY NEVER

AGAIN, Sean Connery's return to the role of James Bond, the HBO film

TRAVELING MAN starring John Lithgow and Jonathan Silverman, for

which Kersh was nominated for an ACE Award, and of course, ROBOCOP 2.


In recent years, Kersh continued to produce and write, while teaching screenwriting at the University of Southern California and lecturing in many countries. He also created an extraordinary collection of fine art photographs for exhibition in New York, San Francisco, and Mexico. Some of his work now exists as a permanent photography exhibition at the newly opened Los Angeles County General Hospital.


At the time he died, Kersh was working on a Broadway musical entitled ‘Djinn’ and a documentary about his friend Ray Bradbury. At his request, there will be no funeral. Instead of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to: The Settlement Music School, P.O. Box 63966, Philadelphia, PA or The San Juan Preservation Trust, P.O. Box 327, Lopez, WA 98261.

Tribute to a Friend
Written by Matthew RobbinsIrvin_Kershner_Tribute_by_Matthew_Robbins.html

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