||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
July 13, 1928 |
New York City, New York
|Occupation||Film and television producer|
|Spouse(s)||Helen Katz (m. 1954; 3 children)|
Life and career
Neufeld was born in New York City, New York, the son of Margaret Ruth (née Braun) and Philip M. Neufeld, a stockbroker. He married (to Helen Katz) on 28 February 1954. He has three children, the eldest son Bradley David, Glenn Jeremy and daughter Nancy Ann.
Neufeld began as an amateur photographer in his teens; his first snapshot, a returning World War II veteran, "Sammy's Home", was widely syndicated and won an award from The New York World Telegram-Sun. He first ventured into the television business when he got a job with the DuMont Television Network (which was one of the four major networks, alongside ABC, CBS, and NBC). Within a few years Neufeld then formed his own independent television production company and personal management firm which over the years had promoted such popular comedians as Don Adams, Gabe Kaplan and Don Knotts. Not only comedians worked under Neufeld, but musical talents as well, including The Captain and Tennille, The Carpenters, Randy Newman, and Jim Croce.
Neufeld also showed his own talent in showcasing performers, writing musical material for the likes of music stars such as Rosemary Clooney, Sammy Davis Jr., Dorothy Loudon and The Ritz Brothers. He also wrote the theme song for the popular animated antics of the two crows showcased in The Heckle and Jeckle Show.
Neufeld's career then moved into television series production in the late 1970s. His productions of the time included an enjoyably light-hearted variety show The Captain and Tennille, which ran from 1976 to 1977 on ABC, The Kids from C.A.P.E.R., which ran from 1976 through 1977 on CBS, and Quark, which ran for one year in 1978 on NBC.
He also became a film producer, and enjoyed immediate popular success with The Omen in 1976, along with its sequels. Neufeld next produced the TV-movie Angel on My Shoulder on ABC 1980; as well as the features The Frisco Kid (the first of several film projects with Harrison Ford) in 1979, The Funhouse in 1981, and Transylvania 6-5000 in 1985. His television miniseries adaptation of East of Eden in 1981 was highly respected and his production of the film No Way Out in 1987 was an intriguing and successful thriller starring Kevin Costner.
Neufeld's small screen work continued, including a 1981 family drama The American Dream and the fantasy of The Magic Planet (both on ABC), as well as White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd on NBC and the adventure of Lightning Force, a syndicated series, from 1991 to 1992.
But as the 1990s progressed, more of the prolific producer's energies were focused on blockbuster feature thrillers. His production company, with mogul Marvin Davis, was followed by one set up with Robert G. Rehme, which arranged an exclusive production deal with Paramount.
Launching their partnership with 1991's Flight of the Intruder, the team went on to shepherd The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, three extremely successful films based on the bestselling books of Tom Clancy.
When Rehme exited the partnership to become President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Neufeld went on to produce yet another Tom Clancy adaptation starring Ben Affleck, The Sum of All Fears as well as Bless the Child, Lost in Space and Asylum.
Mace Neufeld and his wife Helen were avid collectors of African and Oceanic art. Starting while in college, they continued to acquire works for over forty years. In the 1990s, they donated more than 250 pieces to Bryn Mawr College, Helen's alma mater.