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Richard A. Roth Dies: ‘Summer Of ’42’ Producer Was 76

Deadline logo Deadline 3/25/2017 Greg Evans
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Richard A. Roth, producer of the romantic coming-of-age melodrama Summer of ’42, died March 17 at his home in New York City. He was 76.

His death was announced by his family.

He was a producer of 1975’s Gene Wilder-directed The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother.

According to his family, Roth had graduated from Stanford University Law School and was working for a small literary agency when he read the Summer of ’42 screenplay from a slush pile. He borrowed $5,000 from his father, optioned the screenplay and pitched it to To Kill a Mockingbird director Robert Mulligan.

With a $1 million budget from Warner Bros., the nostalgia-drenched Summer of ’42 became a hit. The film grossed $32 million and was nominated for five Oscars, winning for Michel Legrand’s score. The movie’s theme song, “The Summer Knows,” became an instantly recognizable easy listening classic, with recordings by Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Other producing credits include 1974’s Our Time and 1981’s Outland.

Roth is survived by his wife Sharon Hayes Roth and stepson, Richard Hayes Mathers, among other family. No formal memorial service is planned, in keeping with his wishes.

An earlier version of this post included credits for producer Richard Roth, and cited an incorrect date of death. Deadline regrets the errors.

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