Ivan Tors

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Ivan Tors
Ivan Tors 1960.JPG
Tors in 1960.
Born (1916-06-12)June 12, 1916
Budapest, Hungary
Died June 4, 1983(1983-06-04) (aged 66)
Mato Grosso, Brazil
Spouse(s) Constance Dowling (1955-1969)

Ivan Tors (born Iván Törzs, June 12, 1916 Budapest, Austria-Hungary – June 4, 1983) was a Hungarian playwright, film director, screenwriter, and film and television producer with an emphasis on non-violent but exciting science fiction, underwater filmed television and films, and films about animals. He started a Miami-based film studio now known as Greenwich Studios,[1] and later a music company.[2]

Biography[edit]

Tors wrote several plays in Hungary before moving to the US just prior to World War II. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps then transferred to the Office of Strategic Services.[3] Following the war he was contracted to MGM as a screenwriter.

In 1952 Tors made Storm over Tibet, his first film as co-writer and producer. He began his partnership with fellow Hungarian Andrew Marton with this film.

Long interested in fact-based science fiction (often with an underwater setting), Tors partnered with actor Richard Carlson in the 1950s to create A-Men Films, a production company devoted to making movies about its own fictitious exploits.

Under the A-Men banner, Tors wrote and produced films such as The Magnetic Monster (1951), Riders to the Stars (1954), Gog (1954) and the TV series Science Fiction Theatre, Sea Hunt, and The Aquanauts (starring Keith Larsen, Jeremy Slate, and Ron Ely and renamed Malibu Run). He created the NBC science fiction series The Man and the Challenge, starring principally George Nader and Jack Ging and was executive producer of Ripcord.

His Office of Scientific Investigation (OSI) trilogy consisted of: The Magnetic Monster, Riders to the Stars, and Gog.

Judy the Chimp, who was a regular on Daktari, also had a role in Jambo.

In the 1960s Tors left science fiction and made several films and television series spin offs involving animals such as Flipper, Daktari, and Cowboy in Africa a TV spinoff of his film Africa Texas Style. Tors was an executive producer of MGM Television's 1967 Off to See the Wizard.[4] He directed some films like Rhino!, Zebra in the Kitchen (1965) and Galyon (1977). Several of Tors' television series were made by the production company Ziv TV.

His production company, Ivan Tors Films did the underwater filming for the James Bond film Thunderball as well as filming his own Around the World Under the Sea for MGM and Daring Game and Hello Down There for Paramount. The company also co-produced a nature-themed documentary series, Jambo, for the NBC television network from 1969 to 1971. Tors studio filmed the Soupy Sales film debut in Birds Do It.

Tors was married to film actress Constance Dowling from 1955 until her death in 1969. Tors himself died 14 years later, eight days before his 67th birthday. He died in Mato Grosso, Brazil where he was scouting a new TV series.

In 1989 the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences posthumously awarded Tors a NOGI in Arts.

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