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Fred Gallo, Esteemed Assistant Director and Former Paramount Production President, Passes Away at 78

Fred Gallo, a renowned assistant director with a remarkable career that included work on iconic films like ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Rocky,’ ‘Annie Hall,’ and ‘Body Heat,’ before transitioning into a prominent production executive role at Paramount Pictures, has died at the age of 78.

Gallo passed away on September 7 at his residence in the Santa Ynez Valley, as confirmed by his family.

During his career, Gallo also took on producing responsibilities for films such as Floyd Mutrux’s ‘American Hot Wax’ (1978), Martin Brest’s ‘Going in Style’ (1979), James Caan’s ‘Hide in Plain Sight’ (1980), and Lawrence Kasdan’s ‘Body Heat’ (1981).

After serving as a production executive at Warner Bros., Gallo joined Paramount in 1993. His role at the studio saw him rise to become Executive VP of Feature Production Management in 1996 and Worldwide President of Features Production Management in 2001, where he was responsible for overseeing day-to-day physical production for the studio until his retirement in 2005.

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Lee Rosenthal, President of Worldwide Physical Production for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, expressed his sentiments about Gallo’s impact on the industry: “Fred was a singular force in the industry.

Beneath a formidable exterior was a big-hearted, one-man masterclass in filmmaking and production management.

Some of the most iconic movies of our time — The Godfather, Rocky, and Annie Hall, to name a few — are imprinted with Fred’s artistry.

He was a vestige of a time and place in Hollywood history, an early champion of inclusivity and a mentor to many.

While he will be greatly missed, his legacy lives on through the many lives he touched and executives and filmmakers upon whom he bestowed his gifts. There will never be another Fred.”

Born on November 8, 1944, in Queens, New York, Fred Thomas Gallo embarked on his career by working as a production assistant, production manager, and assistant director on various films. He began his association with Woody Allen as a unit manager and went on to collaborate with the director as an assistant director and associate producer on several projects.

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Gallo’s contributions to the film industry extended beyond his work on set. He was a dedicated member of various organizations, including the Saddle and Sirloin Club in Los Angeles and the Los Borrachos Camp of the Rancheros Visitadores. His passion for polo and equestrian pursuits also played a significant role in his life.

Fred Gallo is survived by his wife, Joan, children Kirstin and Toby, son-in-law Gene, and grandchildren Delilah, Madison, and Bella. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

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