Harry J. Ufland, ‘Last Temptation of Christ’ Producer, Dies at 81

“He became my fiercest advocate, my champion, and he never stopped guiding me, encouraging me, pushing me to go farther,” Martin Scorsese said his frequent collaborator

Harry Ufland Martin Scorsese
Chapman University

Harry J. Ufland, agent-turned producer and frequent collaborator of Martin Scorsese, has died. He was 81.

Ufland (above right with Scorsese) died in his Los Angeles home after suffering from brain cancer, his son Tommy told The Hollywood Reporter.

“Harry Ufland and I met in 1966, at the very beginning for me,” Scorsese wrote in a statement. “It was long before I had any kind of foothold in the movie business, and I was really struggling. Harry called me about a project that I was trying to make, and I could hear in his voice that he truly believed in me right when I needed it most. He became my fiercest advocate, my champion, and he never stopped guiding me, encouraging me, pushing me to go farther. He was one of my most my trusted friends. He was my bedrock. I thought that he would always be there, and I never imagined that I would have to say goodbye to Harry Ufland.”

Ufland spent many years in the entertainment industry as an agent with William Morris, where he represented names like Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Ridley Scott, Martin Sheen, Harvey Keitel, Peter Bogdanovich, Catherine Deneuve, Charles Grodin and Jodie Foster.

There, he packaged movies such as “Raging Bull” and “Blade Runner” and produced films including “Crazy/Beautiful,” “One True Thing,” “Night and the City,” “Snow Falling on Cedars” and “The Last Temptation of Christ.” His most recent project was 2013’s “The Big Wedding” starring De Niro, Susan Sarandon and Diane Keaton.

In recent years, Ufland was professor in Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts where among his courses was one called “My 20 Years With Marty.” The course retraced his journey collaborating with director Martin Scorsese on “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Mean Streets” and “The King of Comedy.”

Ufland is survived by his wife of 33 years and his six children, Tommy, John, Anne, Chris, Jenny and Jossie.

His production company did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.