BEVERLY HILLS—”The Blob” producer Jack Harris, 98, died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills home on Tuesday, March 14.
Harris was born in Philadelphia on November 28, 1918. He began performing in vaudeville at the age of 7, worked as a theater usher in his teens, and within five years, was managing 16 movie theaters. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II for four and a half years and in Army Intelligence for an additional two. Upon completing his service, he worked in marketing, and then opened his own publicity and film-distribution company, with branches operating in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington.
Harris’ career as a producer began in 1954 when he acquired the rights to “Jamboree” from the Boy Scouts of America. He traveled the country to promote and distribute the film.
In 1958, Harris collaborated with the film studio Valley Forge to produce “The Blob,” which grossed over $3 million. It was directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth and starred a young Steven McQueen in his first leading role. The horror film, now a cult classic, is about an alien amoeba that lands in a Pennsylvania town on a meteorite and terrorizes its residents.
Harris was the executive producer of the 1972 sequel, “Beware! The Blob.” He went on to produce other horror films, such as “4-D Man” and “Dinosaurs,” as well as works in other genres, such as: “Equinox,” “Schlock,” “Dark Star,” and “Eyes of Laura Mars,” starring Faye Dunaway. In 2014, at 95, Harris became the oldest person to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Harris is survived by his wife, Judith Parker Harris; his daughter, Lynda Resnick, co-founder of The Wonderful Co,; his son, Anthony; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 20, at the Westwood Memorial Park, 1218 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles.