Marcia Nasatir, the pathbreaking studio executive and producer, died on Tuesday at the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Country House and Hospital, according to an individual with knowledge. Nasatir was 95.
Nasatir broke the glass ceiling and became the first female vice president of production at United Artists in the 1970s. She worked on box office hits like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Rocky,” “Coming Home,” “Three Days of the Condor,” “Carrie” and “F.I.S.T.” She also worked at Orion Pictures and Johnny Carson’s production company before branching out as an independent producer.
In 1974, Nasatir was a literary agent with an impressive client roster that included top screenwriters like William Goldman, Robert Towne, Lorenzo Semple Jr. and director Sydney Pollack. Nasatir then got a call from Mike Medavoy, then the senior VP of production at United Artists, who offered Nasatir a story editor job. She agreed to take the job on the condition that she would be a vice president at the company.
“At the time, Americans’ views toward women were beginning to change, and I believe that the wife of the head of UA [Arthur Krim], Dr. Mathilde Krim, said to him, ‘It’s a good idea, Arthur,’ so he said yes,” Nasatir told the Hollywood Reporter in a 2013 essay. “A woman had never been a production VP before, and it became known at other studios as ‘Marcia Nasatir’s job.’ [Arthur would introduce me to people as ‘our woman vice president.’]”
She went on, “It was an interesting place to work: I was always the only woman in meetings, except for a secretary, and when the men cursed they would apologize to me. I said, ‘Listen, guys, I’ve heard those words before.'”
In 1978, Nasatir left for Orion Pictures when Medavoy and three other former United Artists executives left to start the new company. Nasatir became a VP of production. In the ’80s, she joined Carson Productions, where she developed the Academy Award best picture nominee “The Big Chill.”
Eventually, Nasatir would branch out as an independent producer and produce films like “Hamburger Hill,” “Ironweed,” “Vertical Limit” and “Elle.”
In 2016, director Anne Goursaud released the documentary “A Classy Broad” about Nasatir’s life and career.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.