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Howard Zieff
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Filmmaker
    (October 21, 1927-February 22, 2009)
    Born in Los Angeles, California
    Print-advertising photographer turned director
    Created the Alka-Seltzer TV commercial with the catchphrase: 'Mama Mia, that's a spicy meatball!'
    Directed 'Slither (1973),' 'Hearts of the West (1975),' 'House Calls (1978),' 'The Main Event (1979),' 'Private Benjamin (1980),' 'Unfaithfully Yours (1984),' 'The Dream Team (1989),' 'My Girl (1991)' and 'My Girl 2 (1994)'
    Died of complications from Parkinson's disease at age 81
    He wanted to become a TV director but nobody would hire him.
    Durning his commercial tenure, Time magazine called him the 'leading practitioner of the indirect sell.'
    He was slated to direct the movies 'Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)' and 'Punchline (1988),' but didn't work on either.
    It took him nearly 30 years before he finally married his partner Ronda Gomez-Quinones in 1997.
    His father died when he was a child and he was raised by loving stepfather.
    He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1946, where he studied photography.
    He set up his own print-ad studio in New York where he sought out 'common faces' by scouring city streets and subway stations.
    His Alka-Seltzer commercial was one of the best known and loved ads of the early '70s.
    He had to retire from directing after 'My Girl 2' due to the onset of Parkinson's.
    'Private Benjamin' gave Goldie Hawn's career a huge boost; she paid tribute to him as someone with 'special talent for directing comedies, always a rare gift. What I remember and cherish most was his humor and love of laughter.'

Credit: Scar Tactics


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