David Weisman, Oscar-nominated producer of ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’, dies at 77

In 1967, he co-wrote and co-directed the cult classic avant-garde film ‘Ciao! Manhattan.'

David Weisman, Oscar-nominated producer of ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’, dies at 77
David Weisman (Getty Images)
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David Weisman, Oscar-nominated producer of ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’, died on October 9 in Los Angeles at the age of 77. According to Variety, his death was caused due to complications from West Nile virus.

Weisman was born in Binghamton, New York, on March 1942. He attended Syracuse University’s School of Fine Arts. Inspired by the Italian film ‘La Dolce Vita’, Weisman dropped out of college to design film-posters in Rome. From there, he had a long career as a graphic designer and photographer.

In 1967, he co-wrote and co-directed the cult classic avant-garde film ‘Ciao! Manhattan’, with John Palmer. Following that, Weisman worked as associate director on another avant-garde film, ‘The Telephone Book.' He also created an English-language film edited from a series of Japanese samurai-movies, ‘Shogun Assassin.'

In 1982, using the proceeds from a re-release of ‘Ciao! Manhattan’, Weisman acquired the rights to ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ and started developing the screenplay with Leonard Schrader. The film received acclaim at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival; William Hurt won Best Actor. In fact, contrary to expectations, the film grossed nearly $18 million and was even Oscar-nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Hurt won Best Actor. 

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He also co-authored the book 'Edie: Girl on Fire' with Melissa Painter and worked on a documentary on Sedgwick.

Weisman is survived by his brother, film and television director Sam Weisman; sister-in-law Constance McCashin; nephew Daniel Weisman; and niece Margaux Weisman.

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